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Friday, 5 August 2011

Revolution Now!!!!

Home taping is killing music. It's a fact. They told us it was true so it must have been.
Downloading is killing music. Another fact. Don't question them. Just accept it.
Buying dodgy CDs and DVDs at the car boot sale is funding terrorism. It's true.
Do you want people to die because you need to have a crap copy of the latest Disney blockbuster?
Of course not.
There's one problem with all of this though.
It's bullshit.
Modern day propaganda. Although that's an outdated term.
It's called spin now. It sounds nicer.
Just a re-branding of something that has evil connotations.
What is killing music is actually capitalism.
The people who have been behind providing us with the music have always wanted an excessive slice of the pie and will walk all over anyone to get it.
Artists and fans are firmly to be kept clutching at the bottom rung of the ladder.
It has always been this way, and if they have their way then it always will.
Over recent years we have seen the repackaging phenomenon take root and fell for it.
Anniversary editions of favourite albums proliferate beside the nostalgia compilations on the racks and we dig deep to hear that singular unreleased bonus track.
I'm just as guilty as the next person for this, but I'm tired of it.
Tired of spending £10 to £15 for a remastered copy of an album I already have. Tired of paying for an album for one song. Tired of being abused as a fan by the labels.
Where is the investment coming from to nurture new talent?
There is none. They don't care. They're fiddling while Rome burns and the evidence is all around us.
The latest attempt to corner the market has really pissed me off to.
I'm not a fan of Jay-Z or Kanye West, but the forthcoming release of their album is a real slap in the face for music lovers and a step on a very slippery slope that will have an impact on all of us.
What is happening is that their album will be released to the public through i-tunes and the Best Buy chain in the US virtually two weeks prior to it being commercially available elsewhere.
To cut to the chase i-tunes and Best Buy will get the jump on their competitors.
Now while plenty of people will ask themselves why should they care I would ask them to think about where this leads.
Industry experts consider that 75% of the sales of a new album happen in the first ten days of its release.
This means that only 25% of sales will be covered by stores after i-tunes and Best Buy have their cut of sales, but wait. Not only that, but ongoing sales from i-tunes and Best Buy would be included in the 25% to.
So all in they may be getting 80%+ of the US market.
Bit shady in my opinion.
Of course some people may think that this is clever marketing, but when the rest of the record stores across the US are left to fight over the roughly 20% of sales that are left the result will be that the small independent stores will not be able to compete, and neither will some of the larger ones that are found in most cities.
The bottom line is closures, job losses and a greater strain on peoples tax dollars to support the newly unemployed.
Oh, but c'mon. It's just one album?
Well it isn't actually. In fact it's becoming more common.
AC/DC's Black Ice was given to Wal-Mart, while Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy and the Rolling Stones Biggest Bang DVD package, were also sold through Best Buy.
Starbucks have even had some pre-releases available to.
You want some Sheryl Crow with your crapaccino sir?
This is quite simply another prong in the attack on the consumer that has no foreseeable benefits.
It's the sign of an industry eating its own tail with no thought for the future.
We all know how much of an impact the supermarkets have had on local businesses globally.
It's all part of a tightening of the screw.
A protectionist attempt to corner a market, but in doing so they are limiting our choices as consumers.
They might have a few thousand copies of the greatest hits of Bucks Fizz in their aisle of music, but if that aint your thing then they are leaving you hanging.
So I want people to join me is saying 'Hell no'. If we don't participate in the game then in colloquial terms the game is a bogey, and what that means is everyone goes home.
Buy your albums direct from the bands and artists themselves like Ginger Wildheart and Tragic City Thieves.
Support labels like 'People Like You', STP, Newtown Products and the millions of others who provide music from the sidelines and are loathe to get their toes dirty by dipping into the major labels game of consume or die.
Go and see the band live and buy a t-shirt or whatever.
Lets just cut these money grabbing bastards out of the equation before the light goes out.
Let's take it back.


  1. Totally agree. You want the goods and can get it from the band itself that's the way to ensure the band is getting it's proper cut.
    My last album I paid for? Hellrider-direct from the Fireballs.
    My last shirt? Direct from the guitarist from Extreme Noise Terror.
    Support the band. Fuck the industry.

  2. Unsurprisingly I have already had one person disagree with me on facebook.
    Fair enough, people are entitled to their opinions, but since music was first sold to the public the people behind doing so have seen the artists as a product, nothing more, and they have created a system where many musicians and the public consider that an artist can't be successful without them, and therefore they are worth every penny they accrue for their services.
    I don't buy that. Just because it has always been this way doesn't mean it always has to be that way.
    We are seeing that template of how music is sold falling to the wayside right now, and it's about time.
    We can cut these people out of the equation to an extent and by doing so streamline the business side of it.
    Artists can sell to us at a lower price and gain more from it.
    It's a win win situation for the bands and fans.
    Meanwhile the music execs can reap what they have sown. Fuck them.

  3. A bit of support from Chuck D