Theme:Doing anything to get a record deal and then getting chewed up by the record industry. Which thematically, breaks down further into these categories: disillusion, abuse, ambition, unfulfilled expectations, thwarted intentions
Similarities:It's hard to draw a line of commonality between these two songs, which is why I decided to write this post when I did find one. On their own, their both good songs. One of these similarities exists in their approach to lyrics. Both Pink Floyd's, 'The Wall," and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' songs are self referential. Pink Floyd sings about their fallen band mate, Syd Barret, and M&RL sing, ostensibly, about themselves, but even in this line of thought the similarities seem to end because
Musically speaking, I can't say that I really enjoy this aspect of the song. In fact, I sometimes skip this song when listening to the album. For me, the lyrics and intent make this a powerful song and worth recommending.
Interesting fact: M&RL break down a sample contract with terms and actual payout to artist, and it is abysmal and a little depressing.
Musically, the song is a great piece for the whole album, it sets you up for "Wish You Were Here" and this is where the album really lands. It's heard often on classic rock stations, so you know a lot of other people like it. By itself though, I tend to skip this song on the album and prefer "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" (both parts).
Interesting Facts: There's such a long jazz/rock opening that the lyrics don't start until almost a minute and 30 seconds in. Also, this song (and album) are about one of the original members of the band: Syd Barrett, and his fall from the band and success.
Final Thoughts:The relationship that each band has to the recording industry is very interesting considering the lyrics of these two songs. M&RL wrote lyrics that eschewed the recording industry and the unfair treatment. These lyrics are supported by the indie release of their own album. By contrast, Pink Floyd, have relied heavily on the record industry to generate revenue. In fact, the brand 'Pink Floyd' is one that generates revenue and name recognition on its own. So, I guess the question is: "Could Pink Floyd have enjoyed the same degree of success, back then, by relying entirely on independent distribution and sales? Further, was the band forced under the same type of pitiful contract that M&RL sing about in "Jimmy Iovine?"
The internet has provided new artists a way to publish their music and to do it cheap, no more: publishing costs, distribution costs, just send it to YouTube. The internet doesn't guarantee success, but then neither did having a record contract. The internet however does allow for a greater diversification in published music which allows for a globally crowdsourced census of what the population wants to listen to; it evens the playing field so every artist has a chance at success.* If the album 'The Wall' is about the rise and decline of Syd Barret, and if (as the music claims) that Syd Barret was a crazy diamond that was chewed up by the machine, how different would the album 'The Wall,' have been were the internet present in the 70's?