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A Night at the GRAMMYs: An Ode to Voice, Video and Collaboration within the Music Industry

February 15, 2016 by Amanda Maksymiw

At Fuze, we understand the power of voice, video and collaboration tools to carry important messages across friends, family, coworkers and social networks. As you tune into the Grammy Awards tonight, either on TV or streamed live over your laptop, tablet or mobile, we’re rolling out the purple carpet at Fuze and taking a look back at some favorite music industry moments-in-time, starting with how the phone is depicted through modern pop guilty pleasures – and some classics, too.

In case you’re in the mood for some pre-Grammy-viewing music trivia from the vault, we’ve got you covered.

 

Voice

While we’re so much more than voice now at Fuze, let’s pause to pay tribute to our old friend, the call metelephone, by sharing some of the best songs on that topic to have graced our airwaves over the past 50+ years from the record player to the Bluetooth speaker:

  • 1964 – Before 7-digit phone numbers, The Marvelettes graced the Motown stage with “Beechwood 4-5789.”
  • 1980 – Blondie knocks it out of the park with this catchy single, “Call Me.” Day or night? Doesn’t matter. Call me anytime is the new pickup line.
  • 1981 – The famous digits, 867-5309 (aka Jenny by Tommy Tutone), were first shared on the radio. Hey Jenny? The 80’s had you on speed dial.
  • 1984 – Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” will grow to become a classic love song of the late twentieth century.
  • 2000 – “The Call” by Backstreet Boys starts with a fuzzy recording of a voicemail. The relationship was about as good as the reception, it seems.
  • 2009 – Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” is an instant crowd-pleasing hit – just don’t leave your phone on the dance floor along with your head and your heart.
  • 2012 – Maroon 5 releases “Payphone” with a throwback to the good old day of COLLECT calls and phone booths.
  • 2012 – Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe” gets stuck in the heads of listeners across the country. Even the Harvard baseball team can’t help but dance along.
  • 2015 – Drake, “Hotline Bling” blows up the charts most recently, with a pop culture nod to 24/7 access.

And this is just a short list of songs about phone calls, missed calls, waiting for “the one” to call, and mustering up the courage to make a call! It gets me thinking, why?

Could the mobile generation have some nostalgia for the past?

As the mechanisms for communication change, so too do the social contexts and precedents with which we interact. And vice versa: technology itself sometimes enables us to engage with others, regardless of circumstance, in novel ways, making once well-established behaviors unnecessary, cumbersome, or, at the very least, inconsistent.

And as the (phone) line gives way to cloud technology, culture reflects those changes. The result? A new catalogue of songs related to modern-day communication etiquette (or lack thereof). Cue: Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake and Adele.

 

Video

Equally important to the music industry was the introduction of video. From MTV’s “Total Request Live” to user-generated content on YouTube, video has left an indelible mark on the music industry.

  • 1980: The Buggles sing “Video Killed the Radio Star” for the first time, wondering how 20th-century technology would affect the performing arts and communication at large. The future has great things in store for video and music collaboration, not to worry.
  • 1998: MTV first airs “Total Request Live” (TRL), ushering in a new era of music video viewing obsession
  • 2008: Beyonce releases “VideoPhone” at a moment in time where video was still a novelty for individuals to communicate via their personal devices. Lyrics “On your video phone, make a cameo | tape me on your video phone” were pushing the envelope for communication at this moment in time.
  • 2012: PSY’s Gangnam Style becomes the most-watched music video of all time
  • Did you know $7 million was the most money ever spent on a music video? Thanks to Michael Jackson’s music video, “Scream,” the ante is upped for what audiences expect to see from a music video experience.
  • 2013: The longest music video to-date is Happy by Pharrell Williams, which is 24 hours long!
  • 2016: Nominees for tonight’s Grammy’s celebration for Best Music Video are: “LSD” – A$AP Rocky; “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” – The Dead Weather; “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar; “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift; “Freedom” – Pharrell Williams

 

Collaboration

Duets, trios, quartets; rock bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s, big bands of the ‘30s, orchestral arrangements going back to the great composers of yesteryear. Many a tune has been carried across a myriad of voices and instruments. What surprise appearance will grace the Grammy stage tonight? Whatever magic happens there, we know that the music industry thrives on collaboration.

  • 1964: The Beach Boys become the first sibling act to hit the charts; The Jackson 5 were the first all-black sibling group, teaching us the ABCs in the 1980s.
  • British Invasion! The decade of the 60s brought us the first boy bands to shape the modern music world. The Beatles were the first band to start the British invasion era.
  • I got you babe: Sonny & Cher delight fans as a married couple in the 1970s.
  • 1971: The Eagles were the first band to win a platinum album thanks to their platinum single, “Disco Lady.”
  • 1977: In honor of the late David Bowie and Bing Crosby, let’s remember the moment where they blew audiences away with a festive duet of “Peace on Earth” and “Little Drummer Boy.”
  • 1986: Rap and rock worlds collide when Run DMC and Aerosmith come together to sing, “Walk This Way.” The collaboration went down in Time’s 30 All-TIME Best Music Videos.
  • 2015: The British are still coming! One Direction becomes the first boy band to beat the Beatles’ previous record of five Top 10 debuts on the Hot 100 Billboard.
  • Holidays 2015: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett create an iconic rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and appear together in Barnes & Nobles’ holiday TV commercial
  • 2016:Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt will perform a duet at tonight’s Grammys awards.

 

A Digital Revolution

Looking back at the music industry then and now, we see a transformation in how audiences receive information. From the advent of Napster in the early 2000s to popular applications like Spotify and Pandora today, music has experienced a digital revolution.

At Fuze, we’re leading the revolution to make the modern employee feel liberated and empowered with choices to take on work in whole new way using technology that echoes your personal preferences for communication.

We’re disrupting communications, present and future. Stay tuned for what more’s in store.

Now someone drop the mic, please.

What are some of your favorite phone songs? Favorite music videos or artistic collaborations? Share some love for the music industry as we await tonight’s big show by letting us know in the comments.

Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda is responsible for setting and managing the Fuze content marketing strategy including creating, producing and publishing engaging content. Throughout her career, she's worked with fast-growing tech companies and VCs on developing content marketing, influencer marketing and social media strategies. Amanda received her BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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