what a lovely subject to have come along after my last post. whereas the "old" style record industry refuses to accept money worldwide for these "digital download" forms of music, as i commented, some artists with a degree of control have happily been selling worldwide for quite some time now. how about a major artist, followed if not worshipped worldwide, goes this route entire, taking funding from fans buying the album in advance to create the album?
this is the idea of a someone or something called Amanda 'f******' Palmer, directed at no less a person that Morrissey.
first off, just who or what is an Amanda Palmer, exactly? some quick research reminded me of her Oasis nonsense, as well as one or two other things. bascially she has an incredible desire for self-promotion at seemingly any cost, but just doesn't have the success of a, say, Courtney love.
her latest shot at this is a seemingly "this will do" article for a website thingie in which she suggests she can help Morrissey crowdsource an album. do click that last bit, read, admire how Ms Palmer looks in the below picture, then if you wish carry on with this post.
read that article? good. see what i mean about the self-promotion thing? for the most part, yes, you have wasted your time reading her article, as it is all "me, me, a bit more me and me". her proud boast of her Twitter following suggests that she is unaware that about 60% of anyone's following is computer generated advertisting stuff. nonetheless, even if her following number are all real, her calculation that Morrissey "would get 500,000 orders" on the basis that 1,400 suggested they might give $5 towards a new album speaks volumes of her analysis skills and indicates why she is perhaps still on a self-promotion quest and not just a success yet.
let's put aside the farcical idea that Morrissey would need an Amanda Palmer to do this. let us also put aside the ludicrous claim of how "You’d also be the first artist of your fame and caliber to undertake a
project of this kind with your fanbase, which would make it historic", for other have done this before. let's instead consider what would happen if Morrissey did this.
Morrissey seems to be in a not at all unusual for him difficult spot. the usual rants and ravings from him seem, or at least have been reported as being, to be getting more extreme. a knock on effect, with his public image being somewhat low, is that no record label wishes to take him on at present. so he says, at least - we don't know what demands he is making of the labels not offering him a deal.
despite that, there are indeed many of us all around the world that do, will and always shall love the music that Morrissey makes. of course we would want more. perhaps even the 500,000 that Ms Palmer speaks of, maybe even more. would i throw $5, $10 at Morrissey for a few new tracks? without thinking, oh yes indeed i would.
the trick is, would Morrissey want to do it? Morrissey does what Morrissey wants, and as far as anyone can tell, Mr Morrissey is very much not interested in this digital download nonsense. despite the record industry seeming to turn his back on them, it is to them, and their business model of conventional, physical releases, that he wishes to stay true to. he wants you to hold his works of art, not shove them on an iTwat.
i, as you are aware, agree with the Morrissey philosophy. digital downloads are a necessary evil in the music world. one can only hope the world falls in love with artwork, having a collection and the sheer joy of uncompressed, properly recorded music once again. at the moment, though, things are swinging the way of "who cares if the music is compressed and limited, look how much of it i can fit on this memory stick or iTwat device?".
say Morrissey relented and did this. he may well sell around the 500,000 copies speculated by this Ms Palmer thing, he may sell 100,000 more or less. at the Palmer price that is $2,500,000 Morrissey makes, less the album production costs and less tax, although if Morrissey has decided to go digital i am sure he can decide to go "hi Bono, Moz here, what's that place you bank your cash" too. then what? it would most certainly not be "historic", although it might be what they call a "game changer", only changing the game for the worse.
Morrissey could sell 500,000 copies of anything because, Ms Palmer and anyone else wondering, he is f****** Morrissey. simple. anyone who is not Morrissey, or of a similar established nature, will not be able to replicate this trick on the internet. it will just make it far, far tougher for them to get out there and get heard.
The Smiths, on an independent label, managed to break considerable ground in being as successful as they were with minimal chance of exposure. it took landmark, era-defining performances on shows like The Tube and Top Of The Pops, coverage in music newspapers and fans talking to each other and suggesting them down at the record shop on a Saturday morning to get them success. all of those, depending on what exactly you think of the NME these days, have gone.
someone like Morrissey successfully releasing his own album, internet only, really would be the start of the end for the big record labels, and end they have seemingly wished upon themselves since tapes arrived in the late 70s. if he so much as threatened to do it, watch a label all of a sudden meet his terms for a physical release.
ah, but, you say, the Artic Monkeys proved that bands can find an audience and success on the internet alone. complete and utter bullshit. sadly that story is bullshit. yes, the Monkeys found an audience off that prototype facebook thing, MySpace. MySpace happens to be owned by someone called News International. they thus punted the hell out of the band in the hope of attracting people to their web service, going as far as having Gordon Brown (yes, that Gordon Brown) comment on how much he liked the band in an interview with The Sun.
whereas Morrissey could not either destroy or revolutionise the record industry with such a move, oddly there was one chap this year that could have done it overnight, if he was of a mind to have done so.
yes, him. imagine if David Bowie had decided that The Next Day would be available to buy only as a download from his website? you would have had everyone, all the existing record labels and all those who sell digital downloads selectively to parts of the world, shitting it.
on the one side, it's rather strange that he didn't. over ten years ago, long before an iTwat was a "must have" product, Bowie spoke of how eventually music would "stream across the internet like water". he is a techno geek too and, let us not forget, he is an astute businessman. it's that last part which is telling.
having someone else, for instance Sony, cover all your costs, production and marketing, is a nice thing to have. it stops you having to go out and work or promote. whilst he doesn't mind the income from digital downloads, you would think that Bowie would be horrified at the thought of his music not being released in an uncompressed, proper format like a CD or LP, much like Morrissey.
well done, then, Ms Palmer, on making yourself a little bit of a sensation with your entirely random article, but if i were you i would not be expecting a call from Morrissey's people any time soon. if you approach a more motivated by money in a brazen way artist, say Noel Gallagher, you may well get some success.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!