The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

22 Dec
Bob Hunt

Where’s The Big Bicentennial Box Set?

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments

Know any tunes by this guy?

In the beginning there were the notes, and the notes were three short and one long, and they sounded like da-da-da-DUM!  So it was that precisely 200 years ago today, Ludwig Van Beethoven unleashed a momentous big bang upon the musical cosmos with the debut of his 5th Symphony.  Little did its audience know that they were witness to a spark of genius that would fuel artistic inspiration to this day and will likely continue to do so as long as humanity exists.

Consider the international fame and familiarity of those four notes.  Adults and children alike throughout the world recognize the tune and cannot resist singing the next phrase.  Orchestral performances of it are frequent, and personal listenings of its many recordings are constant.  Every facet of modern entertainment employs it as a universal point of cultural reference, whether to set a period mood or simply to tell a joke.  If only Ludwig had pioneered international copyright law and produced progeny that saw to its perpetual renewal, the world would now be owned by the Beethoven family.

But I speak with the jaded voice of a modern consumer, accustomed as I am to big, round anniversary numbers being celebrated for the ulterior motive of selling things.  Ten years is more than adequate for today’s entertainment industry to roll out expanded editions of its popular inventory in deluxe packaging, and 25 years is a legacy.  If only someone had harnessed the power of electricity and invented audio and video recording devices much earlier, I’m sure modern marketers would be salivating over the rights to Ludwig’s archival materials.  Just imagine the Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Bicentennial Box Set: The Ultimate Collection, featuring umpteen CD’s of rehearsals and alternate takes; a plethora of DVD’s including interviews, performances, and making-of featurettes; and a coffee table scrapbook as big as Austria.

Just as we cannot rewind our expanding universe back to its explosive source, neither can we rid the world of the influence of those four notes and the symphony that followed, nor would we want to.  Poor Ludwig might have hoped to achieve musical immortality, but he could not have conceived the degree to which his work would transcend his own life.  What would he say if he knew that 21st-Century music lovers carry his 5th Symphony with them at all times, a virtual conductor ready to raise the baton as quickly as we can pull a hard drive from our pockets?

Perhaps the great composer would simply respond with the phrase that has echoed for 200 years, “Da-da-da-DUM!”

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