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LETTERS

Marketing, Not Talent, Is Musical Force

January 05, 2003

Few argue with the notion that talent is the least important quality of today's crop of pop stars ("After a Rocky Year, Time to Face the Music," Dec. 29).

They exist at the behest of the marketing juggernauts that package and advertise them. Is it any wonder that the record company gets the lion's share of the money when you buy a Britney [Spears]CD? After all, it did most of the work.

The most obvious examples of this reality are the TV shows on which young hopefuls who wanna be a rock star compete for fame and fortune. Simultaneously pathetic and humorous, they prove the point that almost anyone can make it big if they sell themselves to the system.

Bob Fately

Van Nuys

*

The article about the decline in music sales hit home with me.

I am a buyer of live acts for several venues and I can tell you what everyone in concert booking knows, and that is there have been few acts from 1985 on that have the staying power of more than one or two years, and the industry has done it to itself.

By lowering the bar of creativity to the point where only die-hard fans of a certain artist or genre will buy that product, the recording industry has ensured that my generation -- which was weaned on the Beatles, Eric Clapton and many other artists who could actually sing and create -- will go elsewhere for entertainment.

Like a farmer who does not think about the long term and ruins his fields, the industry -- in its promoting of fast-talking street punks and others to star status -- is a short-term gain but a losing proposition.

Chuck Heinold

West Hills

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