» » Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier - The People's Choice Music
Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier - The People's Choice Music album

Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier - The People's Choice Music album

  • Performer: Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier
  • Genre: RAP, Hip-Hop / Rock / Soul, Funk / Pop
  • Title: The People's Choice Music
  • Released: 1997
  • Style: Novelty, Gangsta, Rhythm & Blues, Punk, Ballad
  • Label: Dia Center For The Arts, Mulatta
  • Catalog: DIA 002, MUL002
  • Country: US
  • MP3 version size: 2765 mb
  • FLAC version size: 1855 mb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 485


1The Most Unwanted Song (Fewer Than 200 Individuals Of The World's Total Population Will Enjoy This)
Accordion – Yuri LemeshevBagpipes – David WatsonBanjo – Dave SoldierConductor – Norman YamadaDrums [Bass] – Komar & MelamidHarmonica – Wade SchumanHarp – Margerie FittsOrgan – Mary BoppPercussion – Christine BardPiccolo Flute – Elissa KleemanSoprano Vocals – Dina EmersonTuba – David GregoVocals [Children] – Emma Ensign, Kate Polsky, Max PolskyVocals [Speaking] – Nina Mankin
2The Most Wanted Song (A Musical Work That Will Be Unavoidably And Uncontrollably "Liked" By 72 ± 12% Of Listeners)
Bass Drum – Komar & MelamidCello – Lisa HaneyDrums [Additional] – Rory YoungGuitar [Featuring] – Vernon ReidKeyboards, Violin, Drums – Dave SoldierSaxophone – Andy SnitzerVocals [Female] – Ada DyerVocals [Male] – Ronnie Gent


CategoryArtistTitle (Format)LabelCategoryCountryYear
NJR-013Komar & Melamid, David Soldier Komar & Melamid, David Soldier - The People's Choice Music ‎(LP, Album, Pin)Needlejuice RecordsNJR-013US2019
NJR-013Komar & Melamid, David Soldier Komar & Melamid, David Soldier - The People's Choice Music ‎(CD)Needlejuice RecordsNJR-013US2019
NJR-013Komar & Melamid, David Soldier Komar & Melamid, David Soldier - The People's Choice Music ‎(LP, Album, Bro)Needlejuice RecordsNJR-013US2019
NJR-013Komar & Melamid, David Soldier Komar & Melamid, David Soldier - The People's Choice Music ‎(Cass, Bro)Needlejuice RecordsNJR-013US2019
DIA 002Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier - The People's Choice Music ‎(CD)Dia Center For The ArtsDIA 002US1997


  • Composed ByDave Soldier
  • Executive-ProducerCharles Simonyi
  • Lyrics ByNina Mankin
  • Photography By [Cover]Joseph Coscia Jr.
  • ProducerJane Bausman
  • Recorded ByRory Young


Recorded at Big House Studios and Acme Recording Studio.

From the liner notes:
"Ever wonder what people really like in music? What they really hate? Komar & Melamid, the Russian duo who have long provoked the art world, team up here with Dave Soldier, also known for unconventional and disturbing projects. Together, they ran a poll on the world wide web asking people about their most wanted and most hated musical instruments, voices, forms, and styles. Check out the songs they constructed with the resulting statistics."
Full statistical data is also included in the liner notes.

© 1997 Dia Center For The Arts; Rigglius, ASCAP; Eva Key Music, BMI; and The Komar & Melamid Studio.
Cover photos © 1997 Joseph Coscia Jr.
Made in the USA.


  • Barcode (Text): 6 43157 06572 2
  • Barcode (String): 643157065722
  • Matrix / Runout: 4193 DIA002J11118-02 A
  • Mastering SID Code: L803
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 2F60
  • Other (Other CD Matrix data): @


  • Recorded At – Acme Recording Studios
  • Recorded At – Big House Studios


Related to Komar & Melamid & Dave Soldier - The People's Choice Music


Gavinrage Gavinrage
This is being reissued on vinyl, CD and tape:
Grillador Grillador
i liked the unwanted one the best whats wrong with me
TheJonnyTest TheJonnyTest
Some could argue that The People's Choice Music, an unprecedented attempt to create music 'statistically proven' to be most likable and least enjoyable for an average listener, is only valuable as an original piece of NYC conceptual art scene memorabilia. In fact, it's a quite listenable and truly idiosyncratic album. While The Most Unwanted Song is obviously in the center of attention, much more publicized and eagerly accepted by acoustically untrollable fans of People Like Us, Negativland, The Evolution Control Committee, Girl Talk, Christian Marclay, DJ Food, Wobbly, Matmos and any number of sound collage/cut-up/musique concrete gurus, the matching Most Wanted love ballad may provide a listening experience just as peculiar. Perhaps, though, on a subtler level of psycho-acoustic perception, easily confused with a banal 'guilty pleasure' moment.

Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, a tandem of Soviet-born conceptualist artists, started the 'People's Choice' project in 1995. They organized professional market research surveys in 13 countries, asking people about their most (and least) favorite colors, styles and genres in fine arts, appealing shapes and forms, etc. As a result, Komar & Melamid created a series of Most Wanted and Least Wanted paintings for USA, France, Russia, China, Kenya and other participating nations. After the collection was exhibited internationally, and reprinted in Painting by Numbers: Komar and Melamid's Scientific Guide to Art book, the Dia Center for the Arts urged duo to expand this original concept into the realm of music. Komar & Melamid happened to know just a right man for such an endeavor – Dave Soldier, a composer and musician who also worked with them on Naked Revolution opera. A versatile and innovative composer, known for his peculiar ways and never-ending outlandish ideas (from an orchestra of trained elephants in Thailand to a hip hop album recorded at East Harlem public school with 5-10 y.o. kids who'd never been exposed to music making), Soldier seemed like a perfect candidate.

The composer wrote a detailed poll, conducted on Dia's website in Spring 1996. Approximately 500 participants answered questions about most liked and disliked instruments, singing style, preferred volume/tempo, subject and duration for a song, ideal number of performers, most important attributes, desired emotional and intellectual response, etc. Survey results (with a few pie charts) included in the CD's booklet for most part aren't very surprising – the majority prefers songs of moderate duration, volume, and tempo, with 'a story' (36%) or about 'love' (32%), and performed by a mid-sized ensemble (3-10 musicians). They listen to music mostly at home, seeking mood enhancement, intellectual stimulation and entertainment. Most people hate holiday tunes, as well as songs about cowboys, politics, and religion, while the list of most despised singing styles include opera (25%), rap (17%), country (15%) and easy listening (14%). A vast majority of surveyed Americans hate listening to music as background (over 85%), which was a bit of a surprise (for me personally). Otherwise, people's preferences on 'set & setting' are somehow perfectly divided, with an equal number of respondents hating and liking to listen at live concert (22%), while driving (14%), or at a dance (4%).

The album opens with a Muzak magnum opus, The Most Wanted Song (5:00). This ultimate earworm is perfectly tailored according to the vox populi: a moderately sized 7-piece group plays guitar, piano, saxophone, bass, drums, violin, cello, and synthesizer (coincidentally, the only instrument to appear both on The Most Wanted and The Most Unwanted songs), while low female and male voices are singing in rock/r&b style. According to Dave Soldier's analysis, if survey results are representative for the entire US population, and assuming that the preference for each factor follows a Gaussian distribution, this uncannily Celine Dion-esque gooey love ballad, void of any 'undesirable' alternatives in melody, lyrics, or performing style, is bound to be unavoidably and uncontrollably liked by 72±12% of listeners. While urban legends often portray a record producer with spreadsheets behind the mixing board, precisely measuring subliminal harmonics to boost sales of yet another Top 40 blockbuster, hardly ever before in history a 'data-driven' songwriting approach was taken quite so literally!

The Most Wanted Song is largely based around saxophone, a vulgar king of baby-making 'radio nostalgia' music. A catchy 'Baby can't you see! You're my fantasy!' chorus is preceded by an all-familiar epic rhythm section drop, reminiscent of 'In The Air Tonight' by Phil Collins (or any number of smash-hits from the same era). After an excessively cheerful female singer outlines the basics of the ludicrous love story, a second voice, as low and soulful as an ogrish karaoke parody of Barry White or Kenny Rogers can be, presents a male counterpart – traveling man Joey, 'long and lean with a face like a baby.' Keeping in mind that 26% of the potential audience consider intellectual stimulation to be the most important response, in the third verse both singers add that our heroine enjoys reading Ludwig Wittgenstein, and may be a proper wine aficionado. The song definitely peaks at 2:50 with a masterfully executed guitar solo, courtesy of Living Colour's Vernon Reid. In response, Andy Snitzer (member of Manhattan Jazz Quintet) loses his sh*t completely, spiraling in a chaotic multilayered sax solo. A third layer of sugarcoating, a tacky synthesizer solo, arrives to ensure this multifaceted Most Wanted creation won't fall apart like an overblown wedding cake on the hot summer day.

The Most Unwanted Song, a colossal 20-min sound collage, is created in the similar maximalist manner, by combining all things off-putting and disturbing for an average American listener. Of course, the competition to make something 'annoying' for hypothetical normal music fan was pretty tough in the late 1990s – Japanoise, laptop electronica, academic avantgarde, and anywhere in-between – but you can't easily think of any other producer who would carefully research every possible undesirable aspect in popular music, and then meticulously apply them all. Soldier estimates that the resulting composition can't be possibly enjoyed by more than 200 individuals out of the entire world's population.

The ensemble for The Most Unwanted masterpiece is comprised exclusively of the most disliked instruments (accordion, bagpipe, banjo, flute, harp, organ and synthesizer), and features some of the finest players, such as Yuri Lemeshev (Gogol Bordello), David Watson, and Wade Schuman – all conducted by Norman Yamada (of Rough Assemblage). They play a supersaturated hillbilly leftfield folktronica tune, with primitivist electronic rhythm, abruptly and constantly interrupted by random interludes and irrelevant passages. This serves as a perfect accompaniment for Dina Emerson's hysterical operatic soprano, performing a wild crossover between cowboy conscious rap and atonal contemporary classical. One of the verses serves as a brief hip-hop introduction to Wittgenstein's biography and main philosophical concepts – to keep up with 21% of listeners who hate intellectualism in music. The song also features a children's choir, singing about various holidays (Christmas, Yom Kippur, Labor Day) and shouting 'do all your shopping at Walmart!' as loud as possible. Nina Mankin, who wrote lyrics for both songs, just recites some political slogans and random commercial jingles through a megaphone. Every time The Most Unwanted Song reveals itself from a different angle, providing a barrage of unexpected acoustic special effects – like some of the quirkiest Alvin Lucier's and BBC Radiophonic Workshop's tapes, or even Revolution 9 by The Beatles.
Skyway Skyway
Astonishing. A compulsive listening experience. Needless to say, the 'Most Unwanted' song is way, way better and sounds like a cross between The Residents, some Saturday morning cartoons and two lorries full of mental patients crashing into each other. Gangsta rap with bagpipes, banjos and yodelling? Bring it on!!

The 'Most Wanted' song, on the other hand, is like Luther Vandross becoming tumescent whilst applying hair lacqueur inside an industrial vat full of syrup. It's sickly and icky and quite, quite horrific.