Elton John has spoken out against the whole Pop Idol phenomenon, claiming that the likes of Simon Cowell see their young charges as a commodity or just “another Mercedes Benz.”
The flamboyant rocker admitted that the music industry today is far too preoccupied with image and packaging of artists, as opposed to the old-fashioned notion of songwriting and playing live.
“Bernie and I started off songwriting and there were no videos in those days” Elton said. “You had to work live to get a record contract. It was all about the song. These days, it’s all about the packaging aspect of it. The songwriting aspect has gone out the window a little bit!”
Although Elton is critical of the TV talent show phenomenon, he admits that he’s very supportive of the performers “I’m on the side of the artist. I’m not on the side of someone of like Simon Cowell who sees them as another Mercedes Benz. He has no love for Will Young or Gareth Gates. He’s raking the money in. When someone else comes along in two years he’ll replace them. It’s kind of cruel. I feel for them. They’re being used by people who are making a fortune.”
Elton John’s ‘Definitive Greatest Hits’ is released later this month.