[CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

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[CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:30 pm

Almost exactly 31 years ago, a man and woman decided to publicly voice a complaint against a major industry in the US. They used a somewhat unconventional and creative way to do this. In the short term, the result was nationwide recognition and they even received an award. But long term results were not as positive...

- One person accused the man and woman of confusing history with zoology
- Several people felt that the man and woman were hypocrites by voicing the complaint, yet profiting from the very industry they claimed to rebel against
- Many people felt that the overall content of the complaint was ridiculous and should not be taken seriously

Still over 30 years later, this creative complaint is remembered by many people, referenced in commercials, repeated in many places and believed to be among the most significant events in this industry during the 1980's.

Can you figure out 1) Who the man and woman are (not necessary to know their first and last names) 2) How they may have confused history with zoology 3) Why people thought they were hypocrites and 4) Why this event that was thought to be ridiculous was worthy of an award and is still considered significant today?

There are 2 ways to discover the 4 points. One is by figuring out the sequence of events between the voicing of the complaint and today's viewpoint of the event. The other way is to figure out exactly who the man and woman were. There's a good chance that if you know these exact people, you'll know the answers to the other questions. Good luck!
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Westing1992 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:21 am

Were they married? Are they famous for other reasons? Entertainers? Singers? Actors? Politicians?
Was their complaint environmental in nature? Against unsafe products? Exploitation of workers? Discrimination?
History: American history? European? Within the last hundred years?
Was the award given by the very industry they protested? Was it given due to raising awareness? Or due to the creative way they did it?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:04 am

Were they married? No
Are they famous for other reasons? Entertainers? Singers? This is what they were famous for Actors? Politicians?

Was their complaint environmental in nature? No
Against unsafe products? No
Exploitation of workers? This is part of it, yes
Discrimination? No
History: American history? Yes
European? Yes, this too
Within the last hundred years? Yes, and slightly longer ago
Was the award given by the very industry they protested? Yes
Was it given due to raising awareness? No
Or due to the creative way they did it?
Yes
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Zanreo » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:16 pm

Done through a song? Another form of artistic expression?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:20 pm

Done through a song? Yes Another form of artistic expression? No, just in song
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Balin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 pm

Was the award for the song itself? A Grammy?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:08 am

Was the award for the song itself? A Grammy? Yes to both
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Balin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:12 pm

PM on the way.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:21 pm

Balin got it! Nice job.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby biograd » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:00 pm

Is the subject of the criticism the recording industry? Some other business involved in entertainment?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:47 pm

Is the subject of the criticism the recording industry? Some other business involved in entertainment? The recording industry is implied, the overall target of the criticism is broader than this though.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:33 pm

It's not necessary to know the song or the exact people involved in order to figure out the rest of the puzzle. It's already been discovered that the singers were called hypocrites for criticizing the music production industry, the very industry which was making them profitable...
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Westing1992 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:12 am

Does the song criticize capitalism in general?
Do the man and woman usually sing together, or was this a one-off collaboration?

(While writing these questions, I suddenly realized what song this is! I'm going to let it go on for other guessers, though.)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:37 pm

Was the genre of the song pop? Rock? R&B? Folk? Country? Classical? Jazz? Metal? Other genre?

Was the "zoology" in reference to a particular species of animal? Some animal mentioned in the song? In the music video (assuming there is one)? History have something to do with some variation on the Labor Movement? Unions?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Zanreo » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:12 pm

Industry: Just the music industry? Or entertainment/media in general?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:46 pm

Does the song criticize capitalism in general? No, just one aspect of it
Do the man and woman usually sing together, or was this a one-off collaboration? They sang together regularly

(While writing these questions, I suddenly realized what song this is! I'm going to let it go on for other guessers, though.)
Several people may know this, but I'll keep it going for now, thanks for not $poyling

Industry: Just the music industry? Yes Or entertainment/media in general? No

Was the genre of the song pop? Rock? It's been described as both of these, yes
R&B? Folk? Country? Classical? Jazz? Metal? Other genre? No

Was the "zoology" in reference to a particular species of animal? Yes
Some animal mentioned in the song? Yes In the music video (assuming there is one)? Yes but only because the song is sung the same way in the video as in the recorded version, the video does not include any intentional or accidental references to an animal
History have something to do with some variation on the Labor Movement? Unions? No, something more directly related to the industry that they are supposed to be complaining about (and they mention it specifically in the song)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:09 pm

Species of animal: mammal? reptile? bird? amphibian? fish? invertebrate? sea- or land-dwelling (or both?)? Does the animal itself appear in the music video or is it just mentioned in the song? Is it in the song title? Is it just one species of animal, right? or more?

The historical event directly related to the music industry: record labels taking so much profit from album sales? performers not writing their own songs? performers not getting a say in what songs they have to perform/record? anything to do with discrimination within the industry (e.g. against women, certain races/ethnicities, LGBT people...)?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:45 pm

Species of animal: reptile? sea- or land-dwelling (or both?)? A land-dwelling reptile
Does the animal itself appear in the music video or is it just mentioned in the song? No, it doesn't appear. And the people who wrote and sang the song didn't intend to mention an animal but numerous critics say that they did (it was their intent to mention something else)
Is it in the song title? No Is it just one species of animal, right? or more? Just one

The historical event directly related to the music industry: record labels taking so much profit from album sales? performers not writing their own songs? performers not getting a say in what songs they have to perform/record? anything to do with discrimination within the industry (e.g. against women, certain races/ethnicities, LGBT people...)? None of this
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:11 am

Is the animal a snake, turtle, lizard, alligator, crocodile?

Is there complaint generally viewed as illegitimate now? Did they complain about something to do with charity donations supposedly given by large recording companies?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:45 am

Is the animal a snake, turtle, lizard, alligator, crocodile? A certain snake

Is there complaint generally viewed as illegitimate now? Maybe, but most of the discussion about this ended in the late 80's. Then about 15 years later music critics pointed it out again.

Did they complain about something to do with charity donations supposedly given by large recording companies? Not this specific, no
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:50 am

Is the name of the snake similar to another word that the singers meant to include in the lyrics? Something like mambo/mamba. Vipers relevant? boas? anacondas?

Was the complaint about corruption in the music industry? greed? lack of quality? some kind of injustice?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:26 pm

Is the name of the snake similar to another word that the singers meant to include in the lyrics? Something like mambo/mamba. <--- That's exactly what it is!

Was the complaint about corruption in the music industry? greed? lack of quality? some kind of injustice? Both fans and critics of the song and the group would say that all of this is implied based on the song's lyrics, yes.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:22 pm

Oh! Is "We Built this City" by Starship? They say "Macaroni plays the mamba", but it sounds like it should be mambo, because mamba is a snake...Also the song's theme fits, complaint against the music industry being overly corporate? : "Someone's always playing corporation games"...?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby CoffeeBean » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:40 pm

**** SPOILER ****

Oh! Is "We Built this City" by Starship? Yes!
They say "Macaroni plays the mamba", but it sounds like it should be mambo, because mamba is a snake...That's right. So they confused a historical reference to a style of music with a species of snake. Some critics think this was done on purpose by the writers of the song, but still think it's a dumb idea to do in a song about making music.

Also the song's theme fits, complaint against the music industry being overly corporate? : "Someone's always playing corporation games"...?
Yes. Another complaint by critics and fans of the group is that this song showed how Starship had moved away from the creative and original style of their previous years and were becoming just another 80's pop group. This caused some fans of the group to no longer listen to their music.

And in addition to these complaints, even though the song won a Grammy award, the song was voted the "Number One Worst Best Song of the 1980's." This wasn't publicized until the late 1990's and again in the early 2000's by some music magazines. When this was put out, according to some critics, it revived the song's popularity and made some people mad because they felt that it had always been a great song.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:21 am

Neat, I didn't know these details about this song! Nice puzzle. :)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Balin » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:45 am

I named an adventure puzzle on the old forum after this song. And while it's a song I don't mind listening to, I do agree with the criticisms.

Also, pardon my amusement at the typo of what should be "Marconi" in the last set of questions... :lol:
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby Twilightseeker » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:53 am

typo of what should be "Marconi" in the last set of questions.. oops, lol!!
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Re: [CoffeeBean] On A Scale Of 1-10

Postby peter365 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:23 am

For what it's worth I hate this song.
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