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Post Info TOPIC: Complete Control


In the Long Grass

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Posting this because my next door neighbour and good friend has just been told he's lost his job as UK manager of Roadrunner records, as part of cutbacks by recent new owner Warner Music.

The article at following (and embdded links) raise a fair few interesting points on the back of the decision. 

http://www.rocksins.com/2012/05/the-demise-of-roadrunner-records-uk-were-all-to-blame-14761/

Was the music industry always so savage or do I only notice this now I'm older (no wiser sadly)? I'm in no doubt the bands have always been expendable, but are we rapidly entering an age where a few major corporates cream off the years of work of others. Will record labels even exist in a few years if bands come to rely on the net and "free" downloads just to get their offerings heard? Will the lack of return mean these bands just can't make it a living?

Will we therefore be forever condemned to ephemeral X factor "talent"?

Haven't really thought this through logically, but thought I'd open the debate anyway with a few spontaneous musings. Doesn't seem like good news for anyone involved to me....



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Music industry is savage.  Always has been.  Bands end up broke despite selling millions of records.

As for the demise of this record label, it's so easy to see why.  Where is your nearest record shop?  HMV doesn't really count as it tends to sell DVDs and electronics these days.

The nearest to me nowadays is Sister Ray in Berwick Street (ignoring Oxfam Books & Music as that is only second hand).  I do buy a few records on Amazon, but I have to confess they are retro, like the Ziggy 40th Anniversary LP, so not really helping any new bands.

Record labels are finished.  Best hope for bands of making money recording is getting a cut off Spotify subscriptions, but that will be chicken feed.



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Loudmouth

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The traditional music industry has been going to hell on a handcart since the advent of the Internet. However we cannot deinvent( if that's a proper word) the wheel. Most young people have not grown up with the concept of actually paying for music- and a certain natural rebelliousness will blind them to any argument that they should.

I'm not as au fait with the indie scene as I once was, but in the eighties and nineties and early noughties things seemed pretty stable.I get the impression that lots of bands come along now and have one hit record but cannot build on that success through lack of sales, whereas in the past they would have generated enough money to stay afloat. One of the better indie bands of the last few years Golden Silvers just released one album despite lots of music press praise. If they had been around in the nineties I think cd sales would have been much better and they would have  lasted much longer.

I think a lot of the old punk generation  of musicians, including the Rats are glad they were around when people actually bought records. It's the reverse of the old footballers who regret they missed out on all the Premership money.

Despite this some bands seem more able to thrive than others, but it must be hard for any new indie or metal or whatever type band to succeed in the musical wild west we live in. Whoever said pop will eat itself was right.



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noelindublin wrote:

I think a lot of the old punk generation  of musicians, including the Rats are glad they were around when people actually bought records. It's the reverse of the old footballers who regret they missed out on all the Premership money.


 Maybe, but the bands that really coined it were the eighties/nineties stadium acts.  They sold records, tours and t-shirts.  Oasis made an absolute fortune.  The band of the Rats generation didn't really progress beyond the Odeons and Apollos.



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In the Long Grass

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ArrGee wrote:

Music industry is savage.  Always has been.  Bands end up broke despite selling millions of records.

As for the demise of this record label, it's so easy to see why.  Where is your nearest record shop?  HMV doesn't really count as it tends to sell DVDs and electronics these days.

 


 Agreed, and I knew bands were always commodities to line the pockets of the suits at the label, but what's troubling me is the apparent self-destruct mentality, where the big fish gobbles up ALL the smaller fish and ultimately deprives itself of any sustenance. Surely the industry needs its food chain?

The article mentions stuff about local presence (i.e. there is a world outside the States) and how vital that is, for bands to tap into and for them to be promoted properly. I realise t'internet is www, but as we've seen with Rats the industry like it or not relies on decent promotion of bands old or new, by experienced pros with a network of contacts. The quality of the artist is only half the story. The relationship with label is surely symbiotic, so again without a label that specialises or 'gets' them the bands will be starved to death. I just can't see how a massive office somewhere in USA can hope to find, promote and ultimately fleece its bands, thereby eventually killing itself.

As for us being to blame, there's some truth in that. It's symptomatic of C21 culture that everyone wants everything now, for as little as possible (where 'free' is just utopia). Only the other day I pulled a CD off shelf and found myself shocked I'd paid £14.99 for it (price label still on jewel case) and it wasn't even a chart CD or huge artist at the time. I'd baulk at that now, no question. Even when we bought 7" singles it was say £1-£2, 30 years ago (what does that equate to now?), whilst kids today begrudge 69p for a download and seek out the free versions, or just pirate them. Who wants to save up, or even needs to, to invest in someone else's talent, thereby nurturing and nourishing that talent?

I find myself feeling sorry for my kids that they'll in all likelihood be forcefed a diet of short-lived manufactured dross music, captured in some intangible format, and available live only if a) the band can actually play at all b) they can afford about £80 for a seat 100 yards from the stage in a soulless stadium.

Not saying the relationship was ever a match made in heaven http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/clash/complete+control_20031887.html  but seems a very real danger there will be no relationship at all before too long.



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suss wrote:

As for us being to blame, there's some truth in that. It's symptomatic of C21 culture that everyone wants everything now, for as little as possible (where 'free' is just utopia). Only the other day I pulled a CD off shelf and found myself shocked I'd paid £14.99 for it (price label still on jewel case) and it wasn't even a chart CD or huge artist at the time. I'd baulk at that now, no question. Even when we bought 7" singles it was say £1-£2, 30 years ago (what does that equate to now?), whilst kids today begrudge 69p for a download and seek out the free versions, or just pirate them. Who wants to save up, or even needs to, to invest in someone else's talent, thereby nurturing and nourishing that talent?

I find myself feeling sorry for my kids that they'll in all likelihood be forcefed a diet of short-lived manufactured dross music, captured in some intangible format, and available live only if a) the band can actually play at all b) they can afford about £80 for a seat 100 yards from the stage in a soulless stadium.


I just paid £14 for an album, so I don't know if am as guilty as others but with second hand CDs available for the cost of postage on amazon and Spotify dishing out music for free, actually paying proper money for music does seem odd.  Generally I will listen to albums on spotify and if I like them buy the vinyl copy which generally is more expensive than the CD.

The recent enthusiasm surrounding live music (along with comedians) surprises me.  Fortunately none of the bands I like progressed much beyond playing the Odeons, Academys and Apollos of this world so I've never been too far from the action.  Never really got why people went to see bands from afar on TV screens.

I think Rock n Roll as we know it is dead.  No new bands for a few years and increasingly more and more heritage acts.  Your kids and mine will probably never bother with live events.



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Loudmouth

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About a month ago I walked into HMV on Grafton St Dublin and I found that all the cd's had been relegated to the basement, where once they had the whole of the ground floor. So it seems music is an after though in HMV now. Good if you want gadgets and Ipod's and docking stations. Not necessarily blaming HMV but it's sad to see so few people looking through the cd racks.

Technology and time and business models move on.  



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