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 Post subject: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:21 pm 
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So I have an idea I'd like to run by my karaoke friends. I was wondering if there was a big enough market for alternative versions of previous PHM titles. For example, if I were to take a song released under the Pop genre and rerelease it with several alternative versions, such as a country version, a reggae version, a rock version, maybe a reggae version, etc., would there be enough interest to make it worth my while? The trick here would be in finding songs that could lend themselves to alternate versions at the original tempo/structure so that the original graphics file could be used with the alternative versions. Of course I would need to get a legal opinion as to whether this can be done without the prospect of getting sued, or probably even seeking out a declaratory judgment beforehand, but I just thought I'd throw this out there to get an opinion or two. While the motivation for this idea was not strictly financial, it would have to be financially feasible of courese, at least to the point where it could break even. The main motivation for me would be the satisfaction from the challenges and creative possibilities in creating content like this and maybe some satisfaction from hearing how some singers may interpret these arrangements.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:43 pm 
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I don't have enough requests for anything like that - probably would pass.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:50 pm 
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I would think that it would be tough to turn a pop song into a country song without having to move the lyrics around a little bit. It's not that hard to edit a CD+G file; especially if you have the original on your computer already. Maybe it would be easier to just sell the mp3s like Karaoke Version does?


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:22 pm 
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I would simply say that it's a creative thought, but I don't think it can warrant enough sales to come close to sustaining itself.

Most (note the word "most") karaoke singers sing songs that were fairly popular and recognizable by a general audience. And for a very long time, those were the only kinds of songs that were available. A few years later, some of the less-well-known songs were put out, primarily to satisfy "B side aficionados" and others like them. Almost all brands put out the Moody Blues "Nights in White Satin" but only SC put out "I know you're out there somewhere" which is over 6 minutes and has a very limited customer base.

But I think it's a bit of stretch to consider that the average karaoke singer could successfully translate a pop song to a country version or reggae.
For a musician like you? Not a problem and I don't think you'd even break a sweat.

Elvis's "Can't Help Falling In Love" is one example redone in the reggae style by UB40 that had marginal success. (available on the JVC brand)


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am 
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It's working for Weird Al.

I only have a small handful of PHM tracks and my singers love the quality. I would definitely purchase any new content including alternative stuff for my shows. Singers like to be different because it gives them a sense of original style kind of the reason Post Modern Jukebox is doing it also and similar to Glee Cast.

There is a market for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:30 am 
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neat idea, but impractical for karaoke.
the different versions could be neat, but in cases like Weird Al or Postmodern Jukebox, people have heard them. just making for instance, a country version of "Bad Romance" may be cool and a great version, but nobody has ever heard it. they would not know to ask for it, they would not know how to sing it since it has never been heard before.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:35 am 
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Weird Al makes song parodies. He doesn't take a pop song and turn it into a country song with the same lyrics. He takes a song and writes all new lyrics to the tune of a popular song.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:18 am 
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It's a cool idea... just not very feasible. I would pass.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:54 am 
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I Suggest you focus on remakes and alternate versions that have already been covered by the same artist or others. There are 1000s. I like doing alternates because its much easier to do your own thing with it. Or at least it is for me. Acoustic versions, versions that have already shifted from one genre to another. I can provide some examples if you like but I think it's a self explanatory point.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:17 am 
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I like the idea, maybe a little input
by the karaoke community as to
which songs they would like to see
restyled into a version they would
like to sing, I like to embellish a few
I sing just to liven them up a little.
for example, I like to sing Conway
Twitty's, It's only make beleive, in
a Roy Orbison Rockabilly style.
Maybe love songs with a little hook
and a Rastafarian touch to liven up
a karaoke party. Just my two cents
worth, but I thank you for keeping us
in the loop for possible new material
to sing, seeing how today's music is
for the most part, is surely lacking.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:17 pm 
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I like the idea, and would buy and sing alternative versions of songs I like. However, I'm sure I'm in a minority there when it comes to karaoke singers.

While I don't think you'd sell enough outright to break even, I do think you'd have potential for breaking even over time, through YouTube. Those alternative versions tend to get passed around a lot, and garner quite a few views.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:00 pm 
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Personally, I like the idea and would purchase for myself. I have performed calypso versions on steel pans of country songs like My Maria.

Then on the other hand I can think of only two singers I have that possibly would go this route you are suggesting and they both perform and record.

If one were looking to tank on their corporate taxes, it stands a good chance of success. IMHO

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:51 pm 
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Perhaps the Zoom "acoustive" series would be an example of how it might play out. For those who don't follow Zoom, a couple years back they started producing their own alternate arrangements of well-known karaoke songs as acoustic or "unplugged" versions. I thought it was a great idea and bought several just before US downloads from the UK were cut off.

I love several of these, especially Joline and Time After Time, which sound brand new as these new arrangements. BUT... me and my wife were the only ones singing any of these. As much as I "pushed" them, it took me a two or three YEARS to get one regular to try even one of the tracks.

Bastiat, your idea is wonderful. I'd buy the album :) But karaoke singers probably won't go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:20 pm 
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I thank all of you so much for your input. I remember back in 1995 when we thought about releasing a line of popular current radio hits (the original Top Hits Monthly) many people thought that there wouldn't be a market for current hits, and quite frankly we weren't so sure either. The thinking back then was that the audience for karaoke was not typically someone who was listening to top 40 radio but was geared more to the Elvis/Patsy Cline crowd. Obviously it turned out to be a very good line of products for us and I believe over time was largely influential in broadening the karaoke demographic that was more inclusive of a younger audience. Part of our thinking back then was that karaoke seemed to be getting stale and was at somewhat of a standstill. I see some of those same elements in today's karaoke. Maybe there can be other possibilities other than to sing the same songs as closely as possible to the most popular recordings. Maybe there are ways to inspire originality in the medium that have yet to be explored. Maybe it's not necessarily different versions of a song, but something no one has thought of yet. Maybe there is a different breed of karaoke enthusiasts yet to be discovered. Then again, maybe not. Either way, one will never know unless one tries.

Then again we did release a similar product called Pop Hits Singles that bombed. Of course at the time blank CD media was very expensive, around $3 per disc as I recall with about a 40% shrinkage rate so maybe it was the price point that was responsible for its failure or possibly the fact that we didn't really get behind our own product with some serious marketing amongst other factors, but nevertheless there were at least 5 different versions of each Pop Hits Singles per release. However the versions weren't radically different from each other. There might have been a duet version with no lead vocals, a version with just the male lead vocal, one with just the female lead vocal as well as an instrumental track such as a saxophone playing the melody that could be used as background music, etc., but be as it may there are no guarantees that new products will do well in any market.

Every point made thus far in this thread is well thought out and valid. I will keep all of them as well as points yet to be made in mind as I continue to contemplate this project and I thank you all again for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:44 pm 
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the difference i see here is that with the original THM, you were releasing songs that were coming on the radio and people were hearing.
this idea however is to put out versions that have never and will never be on the radio or any other medium and nobody will be hearing.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Okay ... so I've been a bit out of commission with a few health issues (it sucks to get old) but when I regain my stamina I'll choose a song or two from my archives and rework the multi-tracks into various versions. I'll make a 100 or so copies and distribute them free of charge on a first come, first serve basis to anyone who thinks they can interest their clientele to perform one of the tracks. Anyone interested just PM me and I'll add you to the list.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Paradigm Karaoke wrote:
the difference i see here is that with the original THM, you were releasing songs that were coming on the radio and people were hearing.
this idea however is to put out versions that have never and will never be on the radio or any other medium and nobody will be hearing.


You are right of course, but bear in mind however that it is always easy to see how something will fail rather than succeed. The things that are most successful are usually the things that no one thinks will do well, otherwise everyone would have been doing it already. Also I don't totally agree with your analysis. The song versions that I intend to release are songs that are or were popular and did get radio play. Just not that version. For example we did an acoustic version of "Higher" by Creed. We never released the fully orchestrated version. I can't begin to tell you how many copycats have followed suit with that song. Just because someone hasn't hear that particular version doesn't mean they the melody of the song has been erased from their mind. It will take a bit of creativity however to sing the song in a different style which is exactly the point of the product.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:28 am 
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I love stripped down versions of songs. I love to sing along to just an acoustic guitar and maybe a banjo. Doing this at home is very enjoyable but singing the same song at a noisy bar doesn't give the same satisfaction. The crowd noise overwhelms the acoustic track and it feels like no one is paying attention to the singer.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:53 am 
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That's a good point that I hadn't considered although it should have occurred to me seeing that at one point in my musical career I did a solo thing with either an acoustic guitar or a keyboard and remember all too well playing at Ground Rounds where people would throw peanut shells on the floor and stuff their faces with chicken wings while I was attempting to perform a poignant ballad. I guess you can chalk it up to the nature of the beast as not everyone is there to listen to other people perform as much as they are there to listen to themselves perform as well as a bit of socializing and dining or snacking, drinking, etc. There were those rare gigs where the people attending where there for the "live" (yes I was often accused of being alive) entertainment and would point facing the stage and hang onto every word and verse, but those gigs were the exception and not the rule. Due to the nature of karaoke I don't suppose that type of gig exists although it would be interesting to learn if they do.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Versions?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:51 am 
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I like singing then this left feels right version of Bon Jovi's Living on a prayer, especially the ending of the song put out by zoom, too bad my copy was a download before the UK brands started to block US IP addresses.

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