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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Have manufactured pop bands reached their peak?
Popstars group Hear'Say have split up less than two years after first entering the limelight.

The act, formed after winning the ITV talent reality show last year, cited pressure and public abuse.

The news comes as the BBC has announced the contestants on its upcoming reality talent show Fame Academy.

The show will see a group of 12 candidates ensconced in a 35m mansion while they hone their musical skills ready for a career in showbiz.

Have manufactured pop groups reached their peak? Can they stand the test of time?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

They haven't worked hard to get the role, so they shouldn't be surprised when they don't last long

Jo, UK
These manufactured bands are like someone coming to do your job and having everyone else do the role for them. They haven't worked hard to get the role, therefore they shouldn't be surprised when they don't last long.
Jo, UK

Good riddance - but as long as the public is prepared to go along with the media hype involved in 'manufactured' bands, the circus will continue. The proposed battle for a male or female 'Popstars' Christmas number one is a true farce. I can only recommend that we don't buy either - and spend our money on something a little more original and creative.
Peter D, UK

We will only see the end of pointless manufactured plastic bands like this when the British public "dumbs-up", stops swallowing whatever garbage is pushed under its snout, and starts thinking for itself. And that's not going to happen.
Steve, UK

These people are just exploited to make record company bosses very rich and when the public have had enough of them and don't buy their records, the record company flushes them down the pan. I don't think Hear Say had the looks to make it in this industry.

The best news, I have heard all year!!
Libby Allen, UK

I would like to see Will, Gareth and Westlife disappear from the face of the earth as well. They have been at number one too many times and don't deserve it.
Helen, UK

They achieved a great deal and sadly fell because of this country disgraceful press. They worked hard to get where they were, they may have been manufactured but who cares they sounded great because they really had talent. I hope they all do on to do great things.
Mark Dent, UK

I'm not a huge fan of Hear'say, but I went to their concert last September and had a great time. They certainly don't deserve all the abuse they've had in the press. Good luck to them and what they've achieved is still amazing, whatever people are now saying.
Colin James, UK

It really is time that the British public woke up to the venomous tabloid newspapers

Peter, England
It does not matter if you like these sort of bands or not the success of these band should be judged by the till receipts at the record stores and NOT by the disgusting media stories sadly believed by the public. It really is time that the British public woke up to the venomous tabloid newspapers and make them change their disgusting ways.
peter, England

Hearsay showed that the pop star life can be short if you do not keep up your momentum in the business. They suffered from not having a settled image which in turn reflects the buyer of your material. They changed styles too often and did not know if they wanted to appeal to kids or an older market. This is where Liberty X made the right decisions. They picked the sexy slick style and R'n'B music which is massive at the moment, and the right songwriters. This is more than likely to have been the result of good advisors and having the same goal as a band. This is what Hearsay lacked and resulted in their fall from grace. Liberty X may well suffer the same fate, but are doing their best to reflect current trends. The average shelf life for these sort of bands is 4-5 years anyway, and that is the most successful ones at that. Enjoy it while you can popstars.
Sean Murray, England

They were all chosen for their above average singing voices. The guys were OK, but just not cute enough and in the fickle world of showbiz (and other areas of life) sadly - looks do count. They were also let down by being given poor material to work with.
Jane, UK

Its not fair to say they are ruining proper musical talent.

Susan, UK
Hang on a minute. The kids on Pop Stars and Pop Idol are very talented. Its not fair to say they are ruining proper musical talent. The problems come in the songs they are forced to sing and the way they are marketed. There is no reason why Will Young or the others from Pop Idol can't be very successful for a long time - if they are handled correctly. Did Elvis write any of his songs?
Susan, UK

Kym Marsh's departure was the first nail in Hear'Say's coffin - Myleene Klass's bitchy comments afterwards was the second, and Liberty X's success is definitely the last.
Kim , UK

How about investing money in nurturing genuine talent by helping budding musicians to write some original songs? There must be countless people out there with some actual ability in playing instruments and / or singing without simply repackaging someone else song in the blandest manner possible.
Mike Harrison, Wakefield, England

Disposable, forgettable and regrettable.

Alan, UK
There have always been bands like this, they're always wildly successful for a couple of years at most, and they always disappear without trace very quickly. Bay City Rollers, Bros, Herman's Hermits to name few. People simply get tired of them. The new twist here is that the process of creating the band has been made into entertainment, but the end product is still the same - disposable, forgettable and regrettable.
Alan, UK

People need to start looking at their record collections when they were teens before being so judgemental of "manufactured" modern pop. Motown featured in-house songwriters, in-house band, in-house studio and a roster of manufactured acts who were told what to do and when to do it. Of course, the generation who grew up with Motown have had years to get nostalgic over it, turn into their parents and start complaining about how "that's not proper music nowadays."

Each generation will continue to dismiss the pop music of new generations but from Doo-wop through the Supremes, the Osmonds and on to Pop Rivals, boy and girl vocal groups have always sold and will continue to sell. Only the sound changes.
Steve B, Scotland

Quite apart from having a nonsensical name, Hear'Say was never a band. Like others of their ilk, Hear'Say is no more than organised Karaoke - a fact that has taken an unsurprisingly long time to sink into the senses of the young record buying public.
Chris B, England

There is a God!!!
Andy, UK

The British aren't yet tired of the fly on the wall format

Rebecca Southwell, UK
The British viewing public aren't yet tired of the fly on the wall format but get quickly bored of the wannabe stars it produces and the musical drivel recorded. The situation isn't going to improve as producers and agents want a couple of quick inane hits and short-term overexposure to cash in on the quick, short-lived fame of the wannabes.
Rebecca Southwell, UK

I think Hear'Say were destined to falter from day one, and I'm surprised they lasted over a year. How ironic that the Popstars rejects are going from strength to strength. Liberty X, with a little more time spent on them in ways of image and material have proved to be a viable pop act and now comfortably and stylishly overshadow those who were thought to be the overall better package. Proof that the manufactured method can still work in the right hands.
Jon A, Leeds, UK

Only Take That have flown the flag of decency

Nigel, Norfolk, England
These are bands with best before dates, once their pre-teen fanbase grows up they are history, the trouble being that it's never about the quality of the music, which bearing in mind they are part of the music industry is a sick joke. Music is meant to be an art form after all. Only Take That have flown the flag of decency, and God bless them.
Nigel, Norfolk, England

I think they had the look totally wrong for Hear'Say, although the girls looked the part, the boys seemed wrong for the group. Whereas Liberty X all look the part.
Karen Bateup, UK

No, manufactured bands have not had their day, just hopefully bad management and song writers have. If a pre-fabricated band has good management then they will succeed. Let's take Kylie Minogue for example; she is the only woman after Madonna to have three centuries of top ten hits, and is manufactured from the Pete Waterman factory.
Charles Henry, UK

In the long run these bands are being set up for a huge fall

Mel, UK
The problem is that voyeuristic TV is cheap, (in many senses) easy to make and addictive to watch. The after product is not so easy. The public adore the programme itself but 90% of them are not too interested in 'what happens after'. I know I am not. In the long run these bands are being set up for a huge fall. They will learn the very hard way and that is hugely unfair.
Mel, UK

Yes - isn't it a shame...
Trevor, UK

Manufactured bands are a fashion fad. As soon as the product looks out of shape, people go on the next new accessory. That is why it is ridiculous when people write off bands like Oasis because they are "too old". Unlike manufactured bands, they don't have a limited shelf life. They appeal to a more classical taste.
Robert Smith, UK

No-one should go through what they've been through

Hughie, Netherlands
I'm no fan of these fabricated groups but I think no-one should go through what they've been through. We don't tolerate abuse in the workplace so they shouldn't have to either. They are after all very young, inexperienced people who really need to be shielded from the abuse they've been getting. That said let's hope more of these groups follow suit so that we can have some refreshing, innovative music back in the charts. It looks to me that's exactly what the public wants.
Hughie, Netherlands

Let's face it, manufactured bands were always something of a joke. Now the pre-teens who love these so-called 'acts' are fed up with them and the industry is not making money out of them. Good news I say.
Peter Miller, UK

Manufactured bands are like tins of baked beans you throw away the can when you've had enough. If there are no beans in the can when you open the tin you throw it away immediately. Manufactured bands that have no talent are treated the same way.
Tim, UK

Year on year the airways are bombarded with utter mediocrity

R.C. Robjohn, UK
Manufactured bands only exist to exploit the parents of young children. They are like a pair of designer trainers, bright and shiny but empty on the inside. The creativity of true musicians is drowning not waving. Year on year the airways are bombarded with utter mediocrity and inane noise.
R.C. Robjohn, UK

Most manufactured bands have a limited shelf life. Hear'Say was different because the entire series was televised and people saw how they were selected.
Dan, UK

Not really. As long as marketing can sell this mindless pap to the public, manufactured bands, with short lives will continue. What we will see is the gradual decline in CD purchases and record industry bosses burying their heads in the sand screaming about piracy and internet downloading while ignoring the fact that we want real music from real bands.
Vish, UK

Good bye and good riddance. Can you take all the Popstars and other manufactured garbage with you? You are responsible for ruining proper musical talent in this country and made the UK the laughing stock of the world's music.
Kenny, UK

Hear'Say split


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