July 1, 2007

The Very Model Of A Modern Label Executive...

by Chris Randall

This article piqued my interest for a second. Normally I could give two fucks about what music retailers (the second most annoying group of people in the music industry) and major labels think, and I tend to avoid this entire subject like the monkey pox it is, but it's funny to watch the snake eat its own tail on occasion. Here is a prime example: Sony/BMG UK pulled out of its distribution deal with Prince (I assume he's on the P&D plan) because he sold a British newspaper the rights to put his new album in its Sunday edition.

It's worth noting that Prince is one of the few artists to receive a Diamond album award from the RIAA, which is 10 million copies sold, for Purple Rain, which is currently the 30th best selling album of all time. (It was, for a brief period, the best selling album of all time, but that honor now belongs to The Eagles Greatest Hits, so just shoot me in the fucking head right now.) So this absolutely phenomenal artist, easily one of the best musicians of, like, ever, and certainly of my generation, has to put up with pithy little bullshit comments like the following:

"The artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the artist formerly available in record stores."

This from Paul Quirk, the appropriately named spokesmodel for the Entertainment Retailers Association of Britian. Well, Paul, I'm glad you got that off your chest; I may not know much about your end of the industry (well, I lie; I know quite a bit, but it doesn't have the same dramatic effect) but I'll say this much: when people don't remember what it means to actually go to a store and purchase an album any more, they'll still know who Prince was, and your big claim to fame will be that you'll forever look like a whiny pissant if anyone does a Lexus/Nexus search on your name, which they probably will never do.

Thanks to Shawn for the heads-up...



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Jul.01.2007 @ 10:55 PM
Aenemone Carbuncler
yeah, don't think i'll buy anything known to be associateed with the RIAA again. And most aren't aside from maybe Jazz... so, I'm looking into that. This is sad... and why isn't 24 bit a standard by now? oh, yeah everyone is happy with mp3s....fuk!

So, did Prince have to pay when he opened for the Stones? CR's previous music industry post made me wonder, or have things changed?

I wanna see Pince and Blixa do a duet!


Jul.01.2007 @ 10:59 PM
Aenemone Carbuncler
BTW: also, look at how the Black Album was still readily found as a boot when they wouldn't release it.

Jul.01.2007 @ 11:15 PM
Me thinks that if the record companies don't want albums to be given away in newspapers, they should get exclusive rights in the contract before hand. If they don't want the album leaked, they should get some sort of penalty for it leaking, in the contract before hand.

It is not like the record labels don't have good lawyers. The RIAA have never been anything but a big group of lawyers. It is not like that didn't anticipate something like this, because most contracts that most artists sign already strickly forbid this kind of thing. The big guys tend to refuse to do buisness unless that own all rights to an album... certainly if Prince is such a superstar exception to the rule that he can own the rights to his own album, he can licence it however he wants.

There is obviously something weird going on behind the scenes that we aren't hearing about.


Jul.02.2007 @ 12:53 AM
Chris Randall
(A) Prince doesn't have to pay to open for anyone. That only happens with new bands that labels are trying to break.

(B) He isn't really _signed_ in the strictest sense of the word, Rex, so that doesn't really apply. He's got a P&D deal, almost certainly. So different rules.



Jul.02.2007 @ 6:55 AM
What's funny is that the record company is acting at all surprised by this. Uh, hello, Prince. This is the little dude who took the idea of contractual obligation to a whole new level. And Prince most certainly knows that the money he would make from actual CD sales in the UK is nothing he won't make up for easily in licensing, publishing & tickets sales.

Jul.02.2007 @ 7:09 AM
it moves me that a man so little could embiggen us all

Jul.02.2007 @ 7:40 AM
Poor, poor, poor drowning record industry. Swim toward the bubbles, guys, not toward the dark where your ears hurt.

Jul.02.2007 @ 8:25 AM
And yet Universal is still stupid enough to threaten pulling their entire catalog from iTunes because they can't set their tracks high enough-

link [www.nytimes.com]">link [www.nytimes.com]


Jul.02.2007 @ 10:05 AM
Adam Schabtach
I wonder how many people have stopped Quirk in the hallway to point out to him that Prince regained the use of his name a number of years ago.



Jul.02.2007 @ 11:28 AM
Adam beat me to it!
I was going to say something along those lines.
Plus I have a feeling that someone else would pick Prince up for a P&D If he got dropped, just a hunch really...

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