Things That Annoy Me About The Music Industry

1st September 2005

Why is it that people who wish to defraud the music industry are able to get their hands on the latest releases weeks before I can go into a shop and hand over my hard earned cash for them? Wouldn’t it be better to release them legally as soon as they were ready? I’d pay to get my hands on them early, so why should people who don’t pay be able to do so? If you release them I will buy them. Continue to let the bootleggers distribute them first and eventually we’ll be persuaded that waiting really isn’t worth it.

Why is it that most albums gain their highest chart position on the first week and then drop? I can remember when albums would get released and steadily climb as word of mouth spread. So called ‘sleeper’ hits are still possible. James Blunt's Back To Bedlam album has been one of this years success stories and finally made four weeks at Number One recently after being released last year.

Why is it that The Beatles managed to release umpteen albums, many of them classics, and 20 odd Number One singles in seven years when Coldplay (probably the current biggest British band in the world) have only managed to release three in about the same time? It's taken them three years to follow up their second album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, with X&Y which, when it was finally released, showed barely any development in their sound and precious little experimentation (Oh Mr Martin with this Kraftwerk sample you are really spoiling us). In a similar period The Beatles managed to release a string of amazing records. Most people have access to the internet now so let the bands release a few singles via the net. With the immense pressure for the single to market the album its no wonder everyone plays safe. Let’s let bands release stuff just for the pleasure of making a great tune.

Why is it that modern bands have no shelf life? Can anyone see Razorlight, Kasier Chiefs or The Bravery becoming the next U2 or the Rolling Stones? Or will they become a passing fashion? Dropped by their record companies the minute they’re not selling loads of records. Some of the greatest bands of the modern era, say Blur for instance, didn’t gain massive commercial success until they’d released their third or fourth album. This gave them time to experiment and find their own sound. Now if you don’t sell records from the off you don’t get a chance to make another record. Hence everyone either sounds like Coldplay or jumps on the nearest bandwagon (hello The Bravery!).

Why is it that the shelves of my local record emporium are clogged up with so called Greatest Hits albums from artists who've barely released enough singles to fill a record never mind cherry pick the best of them? These days they’re a cynical exercise in padding out the back catalogue with a couple of new tracks and fleecing the fans into buying them all over again.

And whilst we’re on the subject of fleecing fans why is it that when I buy an album I get confronted with a special edition offering a bonus DVD, Live CD, different cover or extra tracks about six months later in a desperate effort to try and make me buy it again? It doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t make me want to buy said artists material again. It makes me want to stop buying CDs on release (And what’ll happen to your precious week one chart position then Mr Marketing Executive?) and wait to pick it up a few months later in HMV's inevitable '3 for £20' sale.

It’s not rocket science. Look after the fans and the fans will buy the music. Continue to fuck us off and we may well vote with our feet.