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Sanjek, David

Fairly Used: Negativeland’s {U2} and the Precarious Practice of Acoustic Appropriation

2003

Tuesday 17 January 2006, by Rob Weale

In this chapter, the author critiques and problematises the group Negativeland’s satirical work titled U2, a 1990 release that fused lyrics from the Irish band U2’s song “I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with obscene outtakes from radio broadcaster Casey Kasem’s “Top 40” program. The commercial release of this work was halted due to accusations of copyright infringement, this led to years of litigation. Through this critique the author raises a series of inquiries about the form and function of sampling, in the hope of bringing about a new appreciation of the complexity of acoustic appropriation as well as the potential contractions it embodies.

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