Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Musical Mish Mash...

Still tending to the ill, but want to quickly comment on some recent music biz developments.

The past 24 hours saw the 'official' release of two recordings from superstar artists...Bruce Springsteen's Magic and Radiohead's In Rainbows.

Radiohead's effort arrived with the fanfare of being for download only, and with a unique purchasing scheme: they are charging what you feel it's worth or what you can pay.

Wow. That's different. And kinda cool...perhaps a harbinger of all media purchases to come. Read all the download details HERE.

I listened to parts of it this morning on the New Music Express Website. In Rainbows is The Bends or OK Computer (though what is or ever will be?) and more Kid A than Hail To The Chief, but still good.

You can also order 'physical media' or a hard copy (read: compact disc) for us old-timers, and I mostly likely will. I was intrigued and teased just enough to 'want it for myself.'

Springsteen's effort, on the other hand, arrived via the regular channels, more or less....a Tuesday morning CD release and available at all your favourite music outlets. Thing is though, Magic's been available to hear online for the past month or so. And I've sampled it a few times. It's good (I don't know if it's 5 star good (see Rolling Stone review) but whatever...) and worth a listen, but after a few spins?, I'm not sure I want to buy the disc now.

What's up with that?

I'll tell you what's what. I think it falls into the same category as all those pilot scripts and screeners and episodes from new TV series that found their way onto the internets this summer. I know they were 'leaked' to generate buzz and whet our appetites, but I swear by the time some of the series actually premiered this fall, I was already a little tired of them. It's like I'd been there, done that, and moved on.

It's almost like taking movie trailers that give away the plot and expanding them into free previews of the entire film. I can't quite explain it better than that, but I'm seriously starting to question the value of mass previewing as a marketing strategy in the music/TV biz.

Just my opinion, for what it's worth.


Book of Don said...

Hi Will ... I don't suppose by any stroke of good fortune you'll be at the Geminis next week, will you ??

If you are - I'll try and find you to say hello in person.


Callaghan said...

Just as I avoid spoilers of my favourite shows, I also avoid spoilers of albums from my favourite artists.

I knew that the Springsteen album was out there, just waiting to be downloaded, but I stubbornly waited for the album to actually be released, then bought it the day it came out.

Not to sound like a cliche record store snob, but I still love the feeling of buying the album (ahem, CD), unwrapping the cellophane, popping it in the stereo, listening to it while I check out the liner notes.

The new album of your favourite band just shouldn't be experienced through crappy laptop speakers, with the wrong track order, with questionable sound quality.

Don't get me wrong....I download albums all the time, as a means to sample them and decide if I want to buy them. But never for my favourite artists. Not because I have great morals about downloading, but mostly because I don't want the spoilers.

The other danger is finding early demos of the songs online. Avoid at all costs. The latest TV on the Radio was on the 'net for months in an early form. I would have hated to hear would have ruined the album for me for sure.

And the new Springsteen album...I agree...good, but not legendary. Three and a half out of five. Not even close to The Rising. Going to see him on Monday...I'll let you know.

The_Lex said...

Is it true that the Radiohead songs aren't very good quality and that it costs something like $80 for the hard CD?

That's what I heard on the radio.

Callaghan said...

Lex, the $80 price tag includes two CDs (not sure about the content) and also two LPs.

I don't know if that's the only hard copy version available or not.

The_Lex said...

Hunh, I guess considering the access to the content online and that fewer copies would get sold makes up for the high price.

If the online quality sucks, though, that is kind of a bad deal.

wcdixon said...

Just FYI, Callaghan is more or less a younger 'me' in another city.

Yes, the 80 bucks for what appears to be a novelty box is steep...but according to initial reports is selling quite well. And I'm not a downloader but there seems to be a fair number of complaints about the 'average' sound quality of the online download version.

Nevertheless, I see either this model or the free previews only increasing in the near future as music biz tries to claw back something from the consumer.

Callaghan said...

I just read that Radiohead are planning to release a "traditional" CD version of the album later this year, or maybe in January. Possibly on their old EMI label.