It is amazing to me how this music industry has become, to quote Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous”, an industry of cool. An industry now of cookie cutter artists who mean anything, except they are the flavor of the month. For every incredible new Nine Inch Nails album, or new Wilco album, or new Neko Case album, there is the crap like Nickleback, or any new slop that VH1 wants to sell on you. Or the typical Gangsta Rap MTV puts on you.
Why are CD’s so expensive?, this is a corporate world, and it is all about making the men and women in suits happy and the artists happy. So they can all make money all around. It costs 50 cents to a dollar to manufacture a CD, that money goes to the so-called artists, and the company. There is no need, why do people download? it is cheep and conviniant, and they can listen to songs in advance. Not too many bands care about value for money anymore. I site the new Nine Inch Nails album as a great example of an artist giving you more for your money. And there are a number of bands in the indie world that care about the fans, Mates of State, The Bird and The Bee. The Decemberists, signed to Capitol, and made an indie album on a major label. People download now because, and I will stick by this, the music sucks. The Industry has seen a big change with American Idol’s Carrie Underwood, very cheesy, and plastic, generic country, version of The Prentenders “I’ll Stand By You”, that was done on the Idol Gives Back episode this year. It is now a number 5 hit, (it maybe higher than that now), but it is only available on ITUNES, not available in stores. So the industry is now saying that downloading is the way to go. Well thats easy, they only made it available as a download, and it’s cheep to do for 0.99, or $1.99 (which EMI will be charging, i believe, here it comes), and if the truth be told, I would not want to buy that myself. But I am convinced that if people download, and they love what they hear, and they love the music, and the band, they will buy the CD to get the total package. I know you can now get that on ITUNES, downloading the artwork on your computer is not as fun as getting the disc, and reading the lyrics. I personally prefer vinyl gatefold albums, but some artists do care about making the small CD art great.
How do you get people buying CDs again?, well first, LOWER THE CD PRICE TO $8.99!, it boggles my mind that there is no common sense about this, if you download, you can get about 5 full albums for a decent price, that is if you download legally. If you buy 5 CDs your talking about around $100.00, or more. Back in 2003, UNI, was going to lower the price of their CDs to about that price, until their artist like Eminem, wined and moaned, artist greed, DON’T THEY KNOW WHY PEOPLE DOWNLOAD ILLEGALLY?, “WE DON’T WANT TO GIVE YOU MORE OF OUR MONEY, BECAUSE YOUR MUSIC IS NOW HORRIBLE, AND YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT US”. So UNI canceled their plains. Also the artists needs to care about what they give their fans, and music lovers. The big artists don’t care anymore. Their was a time U2 cared, now Bono just wants to be the next big world leader. And thats fine, but give me some good music. On The Beatles original British releases ( which is the way they are on CD), they gave their fans 14 tracks per album, and never put their singles on the album, because they felt that was conning their fans into paying twice for the same music. They wanted there fans to have all new music. It was the idea of giving more for your money. Where is that care now. The artists don’t CARE about us. Here is what they care about, getting the glossy magazine covers, being seen, being famous, being number one, and making mad money. They don’t care about the music. The music use to be first, and fame second. To quote almost famous again, people don’t know what it’s like to want a piece of music so bad, that it hurts. There was a time when you could not wait for that next album of your favorite band to come out, be it The Beatles, The Who, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd. They all cared. Their are bands nowadays that do care, Dylan still cares, Tom Petty still cares, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails still cares, Wilco cares, Radiohead cares, Coldplay cares, Neko Case cares, and many more.
Greed all the way around is the reason. How do you stop this? Well I download occasionally, but if it’s an artist I love, I do want that album so bad it hurts, so downloading the new Radiohead is not enough, I will buy it, they have my money because I know I will have an adventure with them, and even if the album won’t be good, I know that the care and effort they put in their music is worth my money. But if it’s a band that I know does not care, or I only like one song on the album, they are not worth my money. In fact, if people want to send the industry a big message, stop downloading, and stop buying, unless it is music that you need so bad that it hurts.