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Manufactured Rock\Pop Bands From The Monkees to Asia's Blush

Updated on February 11, 2012
Beatles in 1963
Beatles in 1963
Blush in 2011
Blush in 2011

I guess, by definition, a manufactured rock\pop group or band is one that is put together for the sake of making money from unrelated talented musicians and singers. By that, then, several bands come to mind and the constant connection for all of them is they they never last beyond a few years.

One could say even The Beatles was a "bit" manufactured, in that, when Brian Epstein became their manager in 1962, he demanded they begin wearing suits and ties with Beatle boots that are now iconic images. Prior to that, they were wearing leather jackets, tennis shoes, jeans, normal every day clothes. Of course, their hair was their own as was the talent. But their appearance was changed and made them REALLY stand out by Brian. John, reluctantly went along with it.

In 1966, a new TV show was an immense hit with teens and tweeners, The Monkees, and for the next two years, maybe three, it was high in ratings and on the record charts. This band was totally manufactured for one thing only-make money, and it did. The four men who became the band were from diverse backgrounds: a teacher, a janitor, a jockey and all auditioned in LA in 1965 for the roles in a sort of "American Idol" cast call. Unlike the Beatles, who they emulated, they did not play instruments, wrote songs, or knew each other until the band was formed. They did all sing. The did original songs all penned by Boyce and Hart and seldom did covers. Their antics were akin to the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" in some ways yet much campier and sillier. They really appealed to the 10-16 yr. old age group. Tons of money made off them. Once the fact leaked out that they did not play instruments, fans had felt duped until they learned them. By the end of 1968, NBC cancelled the show and the gig for them was over.

More recently, Disney did the same thing with the Cheetah Girls around 2006 or so. The template used by those in creating The Monkees, formed the Cheetah Girls in identical manner. All were good looking, sang very well and even produced two movies and TV specials. Mostly tweens were targeted and the girl group made tons of money for Disney. They had several big hits. Yet, after a few years, they disbanded.

In 2010, a producer using the same formula as The Monkees, created another girl group, Blush. Except this time, the target audience is Asia and all five women are from different backgrounds and countries (one from India, Korea, Malaysia etc.) They are not yet well played in the USA, which has too much competition. But in Asia, they are huge earning tons of money. They are targeting the biggest market now, China, with Mandarin language pop songs, even though they speak English, they had to learn Mandarin. Again, the target age group are tweens and teens.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks, as MIA, i think it was a reaction for her or she planned to do it for attention. There is no statement in flipping the bird except to be radical and offensive.Nothing new there. In 1963, a band called the Kingsman released "Louie, Louie", still an iconic song without the f-word being shouted in the background. On the record, it is barely audible but sales zoomed.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I think to a certain point all bands are manufactured rather it be in image, appeal, delivery, branding or whatnot. Even though some rock and pop stars would like to think of themselves as organic, it all has a purpose. Just like when MIA flipped the bird last week, she planned to make a statement and get the attention and controversy. Interesting hub.

    • KF Raizor profile image

      KF Raizor 5 years ago

      How sadly true. Music has been loaded down with manufactured acts, from the Partridge Family (how could you forget them?!) to the Bay City Rollers (to this day their "lead singer" lip syncs onstage) to the boy bands of the 80s and 90s to the Disney bands of today. As long as there are gullible 10-year-old screaming girls they'll keep throwing them at us.

      One glaring error, however: "all" of the Monkees' songs were not written by Boyce and Hart. Their biggest hit, "I'm a Believer," was written by Neil Diamond.

      Good hub, thanks for writing.