NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘BODYCOMBAT 44

At the filming of BODYCOMBAT 44 last week one track in particular caught my attention more than the others for the strangest of reasons. Without getting myself in trouble for spilling too much information, it was a cover of an artist on the PPNZ’s “clearance will not be given” list – that is, a list of eight bands that, quote “do not allow their work to be used under any circumstances.” (I only know this as my day job is in marketing and I’ve tried to get clearance on one of these bands before – obviously to no avail!) PPNZ is the organisation that licenses the public performance of music (in places such as fitness centres) – so when I heard this track in BC44 I was surprised as obviously they would never allow it to be used – however the important fact here is that the version used was a cover – not the original track.

I’m having trouble making my point here so some background first. You may or may not be aware of a fairly hot topic in the fitness industry right now; The proposed increases to music copyright tariffs to fitness centres by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). Without getting bogged down in details, the PPCA (the Australian arm of the PPNZ) is currently proposing some MASSIVE increases in the music licensing rates for fitness centres/gyms. Fitness Centres in Australia currently pay $0.968 per fitness class per week to the PPCA, with an annual capped maximum of $2,654. The new proposed rates balloon to $4.54 per member per month – regardless of whether those members participate in group fitness classes or not! To put this in perspective an average sized fitness centre would go from paying $1500 per year – to over $80,000.00! Large gyms would go from $2,654 to over $200,000.00! It’s a massive threat to our industry and obviously a major concern as it could set a new precedent worldwide.

Now, this is just my opinion here – I literally have no inside knowledge about what Les Mills are doing – but, as far as I can see you only have to look at your recent Les Mills releases though to see that they’re preparing for the worst. When LM creates their own music they are able to side step the PPCA tariffs.  I grabbed one of my combat releases from 2008 (BC37) and took a look. Not one Les Mills cover track on it (easiest way is to look at the back and you’ll see © Les Mills Music Licensing Ltd under the track). As a comparison I grabbed BC41 and took a look – just a year later – half the release is LM covers. Pump 67, 68, 69 – not one cover. 72 – I think has 3 and Pump 73 as far as I can see has six!

Now, obviously covers aren’t ideal. Heck, for years LM sold themselves as being head and shoulders above the other group fitness systems (like Radical) as they used only original artists. But, times are changing and before too long we may find that our releases are exclusively covers. Which brings me back to my original point – and the reason for the post; Putting a positive spin on a cr@p situation:

Let’s say you’re a Programme Director and you hear a track on the radio that you think would make a phenomenal track for your programme. In the past – you’d have to go through all the proper channels, jump through a whole raft of legal hoops to possibly be able to get that track licensed (it’s not an easy process – and personally I was only trying for NZ – let alone the entire world!) – and that entire process takes time and when approval finally does come through (if it does) and you’ve filmed the release and then it hits the streets 4 months later… well let’s just say it’s more than likely that track would have had its day in the sun and we’ll all be sick of it! On top of that being an original track it can’t be edited – the PD has to make the choreography fit to the music – not the other way around (which in an ideal world would be better). But… that’s what has to be done as getting original tracks/artists is always much more preferable to using a cover version.

But – due to all this PPCA carry on – imagine the ability to use original artists is now out of the question (obviously this would be a massive shame but I’m trying to be glass is half full here!) Now, under those circumstances when a PD hears a track they rush into the office and get LM Music to whip up a cover – mixed exactly as they’d like for their class. Sped up, slowed down, spliced, whatever they want really! On top of that – there’s comparatively next to no messing around with legalities or licenses – a quick session in the studio and its done (obviously the process isn’t quite this easy but you see where I’m going).

Which brings me full circle to my opening paragraph. As I said the track that got me thinking about this from BC44 is from an artist on the “clearance will not be given” list. That is, when LM only used original artists this track could never have been in combat. But now – a whole raft of new musical opportunities open for us. Granted – they will be covers, but some of the Les Mills covers are really good (Use Me in BC42 was almost indistinguishable from the original) – some in my opinion aren’t the best (Know Your Enemy anyone??) .

As such, we could now start seeing some exciting new music that we’ve never seen before in our releases. And that, could be a pretty cool side effect of a rather cr@ppy situation don’t ya think?

Rach after the BC44 filming

Rach after BC44

I’m a bit torn as I write this actually. You see, if you’ve read my post on the BODYPUMP 74 filming (which was immediately before combat) you’ll see I finished that class absolutely fizzing. I mean the class just rocked… I was smashed but still completely amped up for BODYCOMBAT 44… I’m sure you know the feeling; exhausted and excited all at the same time?!

It’s exactly the same way I felt right before the BODYCOMBAT 43 filming. That day combat came straight after BODYATTACK 68 – you go into the next class physically exhausted but still amped on a combination of endorphins and adrenaline…

But that’s where the comparison between the two filming days ends really. Here’s why; this is what I wrote about the BODYCOMBAT 43 filming:

Highlights of the release for me? Easy. Track 3 is great, track 8 is freaking fantastic, but track 6, well, in the words of Raina; it’s E-P-I-C!  Honestly I can’t say I’ve ever said a track 6 is my favourite track of a release before – but, definitely it’s the stand out track of BC43. It would be closely followed by track 8 however, this is a beast of a track with a 20 move combo that will smash you into a state of euphoria. We were situated towards the back of the class and all I could do at the end of this track was look to my mate Reymond and just smile – we had completely blown the roof off LM in that last cardio. Smashed is the only word to describe it.

This is why I’m a little torn… after being SO excited about BC43, after leaving and describing tracks as E-P-I-C I’m feeling a bit bad about not being excited about BC44. I loved track 8… it was awesome… but the rest of the release left me feeling a little bleh. I thought maybe it was just me, so afterwards in the changing room I asked a super long term combater what he thought and he agreed with me completely.

Okay, so let’s push that aside and get down to the nitty gritty and I’ll just report the facts (well as much of the facts without going into specifics about music or chorey if that makes sense!) BODYCOMBAT 44 was presented by Dan, Rach and Hernan. Again they were wearing the latest LM clothing line and it looked pretty cool (pic below). The shorts especially were awesome. This release didn’t appear to have a “theme” per se – Dan mentioned he’d been watching a performer on Idol that had him in fits of laughter and that this release – much like that day – was about finding pleasure in the smaller things in life. Hmmm… interesting theme for a combat class! 🙂

BC44 sees a new martial art being brought into the programme. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell you what it is or not so I’ll play safe and just say it’s a “ground fighting” style used in mixed martial arts. What else can I tell you – the warm up was a surprise – it was a remix of a song that was used in a VERY recent BC release… Track 4 built on the new move introduced in BC43, and track 6, well, let’s just say track 6 is all about maintaining balance

Track 8 was stand out track for me. I immediately came home and tried to find the track on the net so I could listen to it again… you’ll love it.

So yeah, without giving the game away there’s not too much else I can say! Unfortunately all I’m really allowed to report on is my opinion of the release… and I wish I was more excited about it I really do! What I have found in the past is that there are some releases you just love right off the bat… and there are others that take time to grow on you. BC39 for example, I wasn’t overly impressed with at first and now it’s one of my all time favourites. So, in that regard I really hope BC44 grows on me (and I’m sure it will). In the interim we have BC43 to look forward too… and that is something I’m really excited about!

Hernan, Dan & Rach

Hernan, Dan & Rach - sorry couldn't get a pic of them all together!

Hi guys, happy new year!

Below you’ll find the filming days for the Q2 2010 releases (Q1 were filming in October last year). I don’t have the exact times for each filming yet (LM usually let us know that the week or so before) and I will update this post the moment they are available. Also bear in mind these could change so check back a little closer to the day to confirm.

Thursday 28th January 2010


Tuesday 2nd February 2010

  • RPM 47
  • BODYJAM 53

Man BODYSTEP 80!! That’s 20 years of Step! That’ll be sure to be a paarty! For those planning ahead the next batch of filming dates after this one (Q3 2010) look to be on Thursday 22nd and Monday 26th of April 2010. I have the plans for those too if someone does want them. I’ll definitely be at the combat, balance and pump and will definitely try to make attack too – let me know if you’re coming and see you there!! 😀

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