So, I’ve been sitting on this blog for awhile. I’m not sure why. Maybe I don’t want to stir up a hornets’ nest of political talk back and forth. Maybe I’m not sure I want people to know just how much I’m impressed with the Dixie Chicks’ new CD. Regardless…
To be honest, I first listened to Taking the Long Way when it first came out, and obviously I didn’t listen very well. Truth be told, I was a little turned off by “THE COMMENT” fiasco, and all I could hear in the first single was that they were “still mad as hell…” yada yada yada. And I just wanted them to move on.
Well, let me just say: I was completely wrong.
A friend of mine started listening to the CD and wouldn’t stop talking about how great it was, so I slowly started listening more and more closely. Then, I started realizing that this is the first CD that they’ve co-written the whole record, which put a new spin on all those songs. Then, I realized some of the co-writers and the players (tom petty’s band members for starters) and Rick Rubin (among other things, producer to the latest Johnny Cash recordings) producing!
So, then I couldn’t get enough of it. THEN, I saw the documentary “Shut up and Sing” about the whole comment fiasco.
Now, I wasn’t really a fan of the comment. But, even if I think it might have been sort of a dumb thing to say at that particular moment, I think you’re pretty much allowed to say as dumb a thing as you want.
The documentary really showed how this dumb little comment blew WAY out of proportion and context. But, what it really did for me was show me even more where these songs were coming from and wow are they great songs.
And finally, I want to celebrate this whole story because it’s really a triumph of art over commerce.
This dumb comment, and the dumb way it was exploited, turned their fan base against them. When they realized that they didn’t have their fan base or support anymore, they said “screw it. let’s make the best record we can make talking about the things that are important to us and take it to whoever will listen.” And they did.
5 Grammies later, for once in a lifetime, following your muse and disregarding the almighty green worked out.