David Bowie’s Laughing Gnome: Would today’s music business have killed his creativity?

One of the quirkiest songs that David Bowie ever wrote was Laughing Gnome (1967)

“Ha ha ha, hee hee hee I’m a laughing gnome and you don’t catch me”

You can hear him sing it here Laughing Gnome video

Now as you can see it is almost like a nursery rhyme and definitely not rock or pop. So would the suits in today’s music business have given it the time of day? I doubt it. 

Too arty, too commercially risky, not good television. 

How else do we push the boundaries though if everything we do is with half an eye on the commercial outcome? It’s a perennial business problem. 

Where is the difference between astounding originality and commercial insanity? I guess it’s in the mind of the person who has the power to decide. 

So does this mean that the music industry is simply a social construction of the powerful? The people who say what goes and what doesn’t?  Isn’t it the same for any proposed concept? New rocket launch system, new taxi ordering service, new food retail outlet.

What do you think – would The Laughing Gnome have secured a recording contract in 2016?

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