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Right Now... This time the song and the artist is real.
Somewhere around the middle of the previous decade, the consumer electronics company, LG, started releasing cell phones with a ring tone called “This Time” preloaded onto them. I say “somewhere” because it is unclear which model of what year contained it first. The earliest date I've come across during my web searches, is 2005. I also read that there have been other brands of phones on which this ring tone appeared but I have been unable to verify this. Whatever the case may be, “This Time” and its origins have since become the subject of heated online debate and conjecture; It is obvious that it has struck a chord with thousands upon thousands of cell phone owners.
Hunting for extra terrestrials:
Trying to discover the pedigree of the ring tone bears a striking resemblance to researching alien visitations or trying to gain insight into the alleged conspiracy that led to the assassination of JFK and here's why:
It is widely believed that the song was composed, written and first produced by a Japanese artist called Makou for a PSP hand held video game called DJ Max Portable 2 and was called “Right Now” in that incarnation. Apart from the fact that they neither solely composed nor wrote this track (as you will later see in this hub), there is one major issue with them being its first producers: How could they have been the first producers if the game was only released in 2007 and the first questions I could find about the ring tone on the net, was dated in 2005 already? Some forums name the artist as “Kani Makou” but although an artist like that does exist, she has a totally different style and is from Hawaii, not Japan.
Then there's the “Maniac Garage” theory: Where and how the name “Maniac Garage” came into being is unknown but another conception is that this illusive band was responsible for creating the ring tone. I have done intense research and could find no link between this band name and LG. Furthermore, there is seemingly no information on this band that would render them to be more than a figment of someone's imagination. Other than pages, on which you can listen to the ring tone or discussion forums and blogs about the song, there is absolutely no indication on the internet that they actually ever existed. Now that's a disappearing act of which David Copperfield would be envious and in this day and age of information abundance, not even the “men in black” could have pulled it off so effectively. I cannot for a fact say that they never existed as there is no proof of their non-existence so I stand to be corrected. However, this is highly unlikely.
In order for me to give you the facts, it is necessary to give you a brief rundown of my personal experience with the song in question. As you can imagine, the chance of getting your hands on a possible hit track doesn't roll around everyday for an unsigned, independent artist such as myself. As a result, I reserve the right to be vague with specific details. That being said, let's continue:
A few months ago, I bought a song creation pack from a very reputable company. A song creation pack is basically a sound sample pack which contains complete songs with prerecorded but dry vocals (IE. has no effects such as delay or reverb applied to them). These songs can then be used royalty free and credit free by artists in their own productions without having to administer the distribution of royalties. I should mention that I much prefer composing my own music but my bank account is still reverberating from the credit crunch and studio and session costs will not currently allow me to record any of my own compositions. However, this particular pack did not come with any guide tracks. In other words, a fairly large amount of composition is required to create a complete song out of the samples. For this reason, I instantly become a legally accepted co-composer for any of the tracks in the pack I wish to produce.
While going through the songs in the pack, I stumbled upon one track that was not included in the demo MP3 I had listened to before I bought the pack. Although the vocals were dry, I immediately liked the catchy chorus line. I decided to use that song as my next track and set about doing so right then and there.
Fast Forward to the first week of August and my track was complete. Even though I was very happy with how my mix had turned out, I decided to have a look-see on the internet for other versions of this song to compare the quality of mine and to make sure I don't release a track which have been done to death. Wouldn't you know it? There it was on YouTube; A 30 second video of a ring tone with over 60000 plays and the simple title: “Maniac Garage – This Time”. True, it was slightly different from mine seeing that I had composed the chord arrangement that best suited my own taste, the vocals sounded different and mine had a more pop feel to it but it was the same song alright. Going through page after page of comments underneath the video, I quickly realized that I might very well be onto something here since most of them inquired as to where the full song could be found. I started investigating it intensely for over 2 weeks after it had dawned on me how sought after and yet, unavailable the track truly was. So now my version of “This Time” is out there and ready to be found.
Let me summarize the knowledge I've gained from being a legally licensed producer of this track:
The track was originally composed and written by 2 guys from the UK under commission from a sound sample production company.
There is no doubt that “Makou” used the exact same vocal samples I did in my production and hence, it's not a female vocalist from Japan who performs it. Take a listen to my track and theirs and compare just the vocals; Apart from the tempo, they are exactly the same. The song creation pack simply names the vocalist as “Sarah”. That doesn't have a Japanese ring to it, now does it?
The license agreement of the song creation pack in question, grants the licensee the right to use the contents in ANY production and it's therefor safe to assume that LG had some session artists perform the song to use as a ring tone. When you go into the nitty-gritty of royalty distribution, the benefits for LG in doing this becomes glaringly obvious. The release date of the song creation pack and the first questions I could find posted about the ring tone also conveniently co-insides. However, this is just an assumption; not a fact.
So now that you have a better insight into the origins of “This Time”, please have a listen to my version of it and let me know what you think: