Jack White-Downloading had Cheapened Music
Old 26th July 2009
  #61
Gear maniac
 

Fake

Music is overproduced and fake. Anyone can sing with all the software available. I am so sick of all the perfect harmonizing that is fake. Where are all the good new bands that actually sing and play and arent somehow connected to someone in the BIZ? Kids these days dont even want to play guitar or drums. Its like the South Park episode where the dad tries to show off his guitar skills and the kids just want to play Guitar Hero! I remember buying Dark Side of the Moon and Roxy Musics Avalon and just really wanting to sing and play. Who knows maybe we had more time on our hands back then when people didnt have to work 3 jobs to eat. Maybe video games are just more fun and more tangible. Actually I think gaming has replaced what music was to older generations from the 90s on back. I mean Im in my 40s and I would rather play Fallout 3 than lay on the floor and read an album sleeve and listen to a scratchy record. Those were the good old days and they are gone. I love music still but music is not as important as it once was to our culture.
Old 26th July 2009
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post

2. Everything is Perfect - Audio production techniques (which many of us here employ) have evolved to coincide with the capitalization of art into business. Now that we have digital edits and beat replacement every sonic element is accurate to the bit, ever snare hit is identical to the last, all the vocals (even the quiet ones) are screaming at you in dynamically controlled wonder. The is no humanity. It's digitally altered performance delivered on digital media, paid for digitally with plastic money. What is the real value of digits? What happened to real performances, on real instruments? John Bonham needed no Beat Detective...
Just watched a Toto concert from 2007 on tv. The vocals were autotuned to DEATH! At first I thought it was one of the newer songs, and they were using autotune trying to recreate a robot like effect that might have been present on the original recording. To my surprise the horrible autotune with superfast attack was on every single song in that show. Couldn't believe it. Completely ruined the show.

Bad autotune jobs are ALL over the newest Eagles album as well.

When bands like Toto and the Eagles start abusing autotune you know the "so-called digital perfection" has gone too far. What a shame.
Old 26th July 2009
  #63
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Just one thing about these throwaway, filler CDs: I think it has been quite rare ever that new album has instantly felt great. There seems to be lots of fillers on album and few good songs (assuming it is a good record ). You were probably introduced to that album by its singles. So at first they sound best.

But after a while and few more listenings, the album starts to open and there comes time when you don't even like that single song so much but love most that obscure track near the end.

This has been quite common at least for me through the years.

I don't doubt that there is lots of crap published these days but the bigger problem might be the fact that we don't have time to give time to albums. We actually want instant hits.

And downloading artist's entire catalog with one mouseclick isn't helping. So the mystique of record shops and spending your hard earned cash to some new album had its merits other than nostalghia. Scarce goods are more valuable.
Old 26th July 2009
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Does that include the inability to see beauty and truth in such things as 'foggy-eyed nostalgia', or a longing for deeper, more meaningful experiences than on-demand consumerism tends to provide?


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Nah...that's not really what I meant. What I mean is that the argument Jack White makes (and lot's of vinylheads in my direct surroundings) always has this dismissive, essentialist ring to it. They never say it out loud, but the vibe you get is an arrogant, or patronizing, vibe. They roll their eyes and sigh at your Ipod or burnt CD and. They claim that real beauty lies in their vinyl, in their pure methods of music enjoyment. It's materialism mixed with some voodoo and *holier than thou* attitude.
That bores the shit out of me.
Old 26th July 2009
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesky View Post
Those were the good old days and they are gone. I love music still but music is not as important as it once was to our culture.

In no way am I attacking purplesky here, but this little quote from his response really illustrates the major gap in generation/attitude/whatever that I'm so bored of.

1. For purplesky, "those" were the good old days. I wasn't even born then so have no understanding of this.
2. Music is *incredibly* important to me. I don't know what purplesky means when he says music is not as important to our culture as it was. I wasn't around when it supossedly was, and I feel it IS important. Now.
Catch my drift...?

Again, no offense to purplesky.
Old 26th July 2009
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Bored, or jealous?

Some of us have had, and continue to have those kinds of experiences. thumbsup
Well...this illustrates what I mean. You assume only you can have such experiences and deduct I can't/haven't or am jealously longing for it.

This is a typical reaction many people have. I've heard it tons of times. That's why I'm so bored of it.
Old 26th July 2009
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolet View Post
In no way am I attacking purplesky here, but this little quote from his response really illustrates the major gap in generation/attitude/whatever that I'm so bored of.

1. For purplesky, "those" were the good old days. I wasn't even born then so have no understanding of this.
2. Music is *incredibly* important to me. I don't know what purplesky means when he says music is not as important to our culture as it was. I wasn't around when it supossedly was, and I feel it IS important. Now.
Catch my drift...?

Again, no offense to purplesky.
No offense taken at all because you are helping me make my point. There was a time when music had a larger purpose in our culture and was more influential. Music has more competition for our time. TV has the same problem. This is just my opinion so yes its kind of an age thing perspective.
Old 26th July 2009
  #68
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[QUOTE=

The problem these days it that the market gets exactly what it wants. All the people here complaining about how it's all the same music are failing to realize WHY it's all the same music. I agree with them that that's not optimal, but I disagree that it's because the music companies aren't giving people exactly what they want. It's because they ARE giving them exactly what they want.

[/QUOTE]

(I know it now says 'zonedoc,' but this is still drpeacock after a quick name change)

Yes, I'm aware of the practice of focus group market research based on playing people 8 second clips of songs (actually, maybe it's radio that uses the 8 second clips - labels may use longer ones or even whole songs).

However, that doesn't equate to giving people exactly what they want. It equates to giving people exactly what they are familiar with.

Basic marketing psychology will tell you that people have to be exposed to something new an average of 7 times before they will act on it (which could be buying a cd or choosing a song in a marketing survey.) The information they are getting from this marketing research says absolutely nothing about what the public's reaction would be to something that was put out there and given some exposure so that people had time to start to 'get it.'

So all they are researching when they do that is figuring out which songs/bands the public will gravitate towards the quickest, not which ones they will love the most.

Just another example (IMO) of how, yes, the people running these labels are making poor decisions, and they have created a business focused entirely on the quick hit with no staying power. It is a business model doomed to failure. Heck, their their biggest profit generators are box sets of classic artists, but 30 years from now there will be none of those sold because their current business model isn't generating any new classic artists to package future box sets from.

I really don't disagree with your overall message, but I do think the labels have made and continue to make poor decisions. It's not all the fault of the market and piracy.
Old 26th July 2009
  #69
Quote:
I really don't disagree with your overall message, but I do think the labels have made and continue to make poor decisions. It's not all the fault of the market and piracy.
I don't doubt that. Any large group of people making complex decisions that are trying to make a lot of different people happy will make some bad decisions. It's inevitable.

But, I just always have to come back to the fact that somehow they weren't making these stupid decisions until the exact point in time when downloading started. I mean, up until 2000 they were putting out lots of great music and were selling lots of records. But, somehow, once file sharing really kicked in, suddenly they became ********?

It's kind of suspicious and raises a lot of questions in my mind. They weren't just selling old box sets. I can roll off a long list of great artists that were selling very well up and the music industry was doing well. Alanis Morrisette, Jewel, Live, Blues Traveler, Pearl Jam, Fiona Apple, Nirvana, Natalie Imbruglia, Silver Chair, Collective Soul, Joan Osborne, No Doubt, Sarah Maclachlan, Sheryl Crow, Sound Garden, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cranberries, Smashing Pumpkins, The Wallflowers, etc...

Was the entire management of the music industry changed in the year 2000 or something? If not, why did they suddenly become incapable of putting out good music at that exactly point in time?
Old 26th July 2009
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I don't doubt that. Any large group of people making complex decisions that are trying to make a lot of different people happy will make some bad decisions. It's inevitable.

But, I just always have to come back to the fact that somehow they weren't making these stupid decisions until the exact point in time when downloading started. I mean, up until 2000 they were putting out lots of great music and were selling lots of records. But, somehow, once file sharing really kicked in, suddenly they became ********?

It's kind of suspicious and raises a lot of questions in my mind. They weren't just selling old box sets. I can roll off a long list of great artists that were selling very well up and the music industry was doing well. Alanis Morrisette, Jewel, Live, Blues Traveler, Pearl Jam, Fiona Apple, Nirvana, Natalie Imbruglia, Silver Chair, Collective Soul, Joan Osborne, No Doubt, Sarah Maclachlan, Sheryl Crow, Sound Garden, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cranberries, Smashing Pumpkins, The Wallflowers, etc...

Was the entire management of the music industry changed in the year 2000 or something? If not, why did they suddenly become incapable of putting out good music at that exactly point in time?
I played in a band at this point in time and yes the internet is the big issue here but HIP HOP AND PEOPLE DANCING TO X REALLY changed this time period. Actually it started in the early 90s and I laughed so hard when I heard RAVE MUSIC AT AN NFL GAME. It was at that point I knew we were in trouble! I mean come on you have people going to here a DJ spin RAVE mixes like he is a musician or something. Try doing it with THE LIGHTS ON AND NO DRUGS. You had white kids trying to act and talk like rappers from the hood. NOT THAT THERES ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT but the young music scene went to rap and its bye bye time to GRUNGE and The CRANBERRIES.
Old 27th July 2009
  #71
A history lesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
But, I just always have to come back to the fact that somehow they weren't making these stupid decisions until the exact point in time when downloading started. I mean, up until 2000 they were putting out lots of great music and were selling lots of records. But, somehow, once file sharing really kicked in, suddenly they became ********?

**********************************************************

Was the entire management of the music industry changed in the year 2000 or something? If not, why did they suddenly become incapable of putting out good music at that exactly point in time?
Jeez, Dean, you still don't get it? The industry has been bitching about declining sales ever since the early '80s when they first started getting detached from the market.

The bitching got worse in the '90s after the great label heads were retired and the companies had been taken over by bean counters and lawyers.

Sales were declining sharply well before Napster.

The only thing that the downloading fiasco has really done is given them a new scapegoat and more excuses for not doing their job. Maybe it has exacerbated the problem a little - but not all that much. People will still pay for a quality product. They won't pay for crap.

Most albums on the pop market these days consist of one or two hits and a pile of filler. That's the way most pop albums were in the '50s and early '60s too, but in those days people could - and did - but 45 rpm singles. Album sales were a tiny percentage of the market. It wasn't until the British Invasion hit in the '60s that pop/rock albums contained all good material - which was when album sales started taking off to the point that by 1970 the singles market was tiny and album sales were everything.*

Now the record companies put out CDs filled with crap and expect people to pay full price? Not only are they totally out of their minds, they are profoundly ignorant of the history of their own industry.

People aren't THAT stupid - they'll only go for a certain amount of crap before they get wise.




* The idea of putting out full albums of good material was probably borrowed from the folk music scene of the early '60s - folk labels always did full albums and only rarely released singles, as it was a different, more specialized market similar to the jazz sector of the business.
Old 27th July 2009
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesky View Post
I played in a band at this point in time and yes the internet is the big issue here but HIP HOP AND PEOPLE DANCING TO X REALLY changed this time period. Actually it started in the early 90s and I laughed so hard when I heard RAVE MUSIC AT AN NFL GAME. It was at that point I knew we were in trouble! I mean come on you have people going to here a DJ spin RAVE mixes like he is a musician or something. Try doing it with THE LIGHTS ON AND NO DRUGS. You had white kids trying to act and talk like rappers from the hood. NOT THAT THERES ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT but the young music scene went to rap and its bye bye time to GRUNGE and The CRANBERRIES.
Again, the industry embraced rap and "dj/rave" music because the production costs are far lower than for music that uses real musicians - regardless of whether those real musicians are actual members of the band or studio "ringers". Understand that I'm not saying that ALL rap is bad - just most of it. There may have even been some rave music that was good in the beginning, but by now it's all been regurgitated so many times that it all seems the same. However, all rap and rave music has one thing in common - it's extremely cheap to "produce".

Urban Dictionary: producer
Old 27th July 2009
  #73
Quote:
Jeez, Dean, you still don't get it? The industry has been bitching about declining sales ever since the early '80s when they first started getting detached from the market.
CD sales steadily increased throughout the 90s from the numbers I've seen, and not just a little, but a lot. I don't know what you are talking about and what it's relevance is to actual sales. But if you want to show some numbers from a trusted source that shows that CD sales was dropping since the 80s, then feel free to do so.

Alanis Morrisette herself sold approximately the equivalent of 350 million tracks. Contrast that to 2008, where I think Little Wayne's album was the top seller at below 3 million, which was the first time that had happened since 1991 if I remember correctly.
Old 27th July 2009
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I don't doubt that. Any large group of people making complex decisions that are trying to make a lot of different people happy will make some bad decisions. It's inevitable.

But, I just always have to come back to the fact that somehow they weren't making these stupid decisions until the exact point in time when downloading started. I mean, up until 2000 they were putting out lots of great music and were selling lots of records. But, somehow, once file sharing really kicked in, suddenly they became ********?

It's kind of suspicious and raises a lot of questions in my mind. They weren't just selling old box sets. I can roll off a long list of great artists that were selling very well up and the music industry was doing well. Alanis Morrisette, Jewel, Live, Blues Traveler, Pearl Jam, Fiona Apple, Nirvana, Natalie Imbruglia, Silver Chair, Collective Soul, Joan Osborne, No Doubt, Sarah Maclachlan, Sheryl Crow, Sound Garden, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cranberries, Smashing Pumpkins, The Wallflowers, etc...

Was the entire management of the music industry changed in the year 2000 or something? If not, why did they suddenly become incapable of putting out good music at that exactly point in time?

Oh, I never meant to imply that I thought they just started doing it in the year 2000. They've been doing it for a long time.

If I had to point to a particular point in time that would mark the beginning of the market testing idiocy (IMO) I would point to 1991 (I think it was '91...it could be '90).

That was when Bush 1 signed a law that repealed a previous limit on the number of radio stations any one entity could own (I think it was 9).

That's when the 'Clear Channel' phenomenon began. Huge conglomerates bought up entire radio markets and radio stations started with their 8 second clip tests and they were formatted to beyond ridiculous degrees.

I remember reading a trade journal article from around 1997 that compared example playlists from 1990 and 1997 for the major rock radio station in Chicago (Which, if you will recall, was the leading radio market for breaking new rock acts in the 90s). There was no comparison - I don't recall actual numbers, but the ratio was something like:

Debut songs per week 1990 - 20 1997 - 2
Total different songs in rotation 1990 - 145 1997 - 29

Like I say I don't remember the actual numbers, but it was something like that. In only seven years time the whole face of breaking new artists over radio changed.

Anyway, I don't think it is entirely the label's fault. I think it is the proverbial perfect storm we are seeing, and the piracy piece may prove to be the fatal blow.

But I do think that they would have a better chance of surviving if they were more visionary and less reactionary. That trend has been going on for a long time.
Old 27th July 2009
  #75
But Clear Channel and over-concentration of radio stations into too few hands isn't an issue to do with the music labels really. That's a completely separate issue, and not something that they can be blamed for, I don't think. It's a bad thing, IMO, all around. But a different bunch of people to blame.
Old 27th July 2009
  #76
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If music has been 'cheapened', it's only because of 'cheap' music. None of the stuff I listen to is 'cheap', in fact the vast majority of my collection is worth much more than what I paid for it.

I mean, my copy of "Little Wing" by Stevie Ray Vaughn came from The Sky Is Crying which I believe I paid around AU$26 for about 10 years ago. Yet the effect that song has on me is worth an incalculable sum. If someone where to take away that song and hold it to randsom for $100 or $1000 I'd gladly pay to get it back.

What I do notice about my buying habits these days, is that most of the stuff I'm getting isn't new releases, it's all old stuff I'm discovering. I think of the last 10 albums I've bought either from iTunes or on LP, only one or two were released in the last year. Everything else is 80s, 60s or 30/40s (I'm going through a big band swing phase right now - it's rather bizarre when Glenn Miller rocks a 29 year old's world).

Has music got worse? Probably. There's still good stuff out there, but it is harder find through the noise of 1000s of crappy artists who get all the exposure on radio, TV.
Old 27th July 2009
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headwerkn View Post
If music has been 'cheapened', it's only because of 'cheap' music. None of the stuff I listen to is 'cheap', in fact the vast majority of my collection is worth much more than what I paid for it.

I mean, my copy of "Little Wing" by Stevie Ray Vaughn came from The Sky Is Crying which I believe I paid around AU$26 for about 10 years ago. Yet the effect that song has on me is worth an incalculable sum. If someone where to take away that song and hold it to randsom for $100 or $1000 I'd gladly pay to get it back.

What I do notice about my buying habits these days, is that most of the stuff I'm getting isn't new releases, it's all old stuff I'm discovering. I think of the last 10 albums I've bought either from iTunes or on LP, only one or two were released in the last year. Everything else is 80s, 60s or 30/40s (I'm going through a big band swing phase right now - it's rather bizarre when Glenn Miller rocks a 29 year old's world).

Has music got worse? Probably. There's still good stuff out there, but it is harder find through the noise of 1000s of crappy artists who get all the exposure on radio, TV.
Agreed. Seems like there is always some better, older, undiscovered music than the new stuff out there... It's funny that this effect has lead me to having a vastly eclectic library of music...
Old 27th July 2009
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
It's not the place of the music or the movie industry to preach to people and tell them what to think.
This, which you have repeated, is EXACTLY my f**king problem - not with you, my anger isn't directed at you, or your well stated opinion - but with this idea, promulgated again and again in our media. This rant isn't directed at you, or anyone in particular, at all, I want to make that clear, but at a rhetorical "you" of those who put profit uber alles in our current society.

IT IS EXACTLY the job of ART to challenge, bludgeon, and force forward the human race. The job of the artist - and by extension the job of those who are in the art business - is to examine the human condition, and then express something that reframes our perceptions on it. Otherwise, you are merely entertaining with aesthetics.

This crossroads of art vs entertainment is another argument entirely, but the notion that capitalism has within it these mechanisms is just f**king bullsh*t, and exactly the reason why our economy has melted down in the first place. "The market" is made up of people - greedy, selfish, complicated, idealistic, fickle, noble and idiotic people. No amount of "market forces" is EVER going to account for that.

Treating everything in this overly simplistic "let the market fix it" worldview is completely mad, as unrealistic and as helpful as "let God sort it out".

CBS, Baldwin, Rose Moriss, Thomas Organ, et al discovered nearly half a century ago what the cost is of treating certain products to the ole "corporate engineering". Same with the American auto industry. ANY company that compromises product for profit sells it's long term soul to the quick buck Devil. And that's what the current music industry does.

Along with the aforementioned Clear Channel phenomenon, you had another thing come along in the late 90's that ALSO changed the musical landscape - Boy Bands. Most specifically, Lou Pearlman's Boy Bands. And now, almost 13 years after that, you have an entire generation of people raised on the post-grunge pop explosion of Backstreet Boys, Britney, Xtina, N Sync. This profit model - bolstered by shows like American Idol - was leaped upon by record labels in a frenzy that made the Great Seattle Musical Rush of the early 90's look like nothing. And this party-time-pop profit model has taken over from hardcore Gangsta Rap - once touted at the "CNN of the ghetto" and morphed it's cartoon bad boy image into the "let's all get nekkid and fuk" anthems of Lil Jon, Ludacris, Nelly, and a wash of anonymous female singers trying to be as illiterate as Mariah Carey.

"Ironic" looks like freakin Shakespeare next to "Umbrella" or "Poker Face".

In the post-grunge era, yeah, people were tired of everything being all serious and emotional. But now the market has taken that backlash and - like the housing bubble - exploited it and sustained it far beyond it's natural swing in order to milk every drop of cash from people they are desperately trying to keep within a specific consumer mindset. It's a lot easier to sell the party than the reality.

Instead of using the web and small market economies to maximize profits from many smaller acts, they force large acts into a given profit mold regardless of anything but maximizing short term gains. Instead of bringing costs down to produce many smaller records, each perhaps with a small but rabid fanbase, they mass market fluff, and then wonder why the consumers have no real attachment to the act. Well, heck, Mister Record Exec, if YOU don't believe in the artistic merits of the act, why should your consumers?

Art, unlike dish washing soap, is a critical element of our very existence. There's a reason why we developed paint before the light bulb. To say that it doesn't matter is to ignore the very fabric of history. Indeed, that very fabric is woven of hymns written to express the greatest longings of Man's desires towards Gods and Heroes, of stories and myths to uplift us to our highest aspirations, to illustrate the cautions of our darkest fears. Paintings have brought down Popes, songs have brought down governments, books have felled Kings.

But in this day when all humanity crumbles around us into one big over-marketed mess, please, by all means tell me that ART HAS NOTHING TO SAY YOU WANT TO HEAR. That art's job is to uphold this sickening and frightful status quo. Leave it to the priests of the Almighty Dollar to tell us that the one thing we need most - real, honest art - "is not the job of the industry".

Not everything is sustained by profit. In some things you have to BELIEVE. Mark my words, there's another Nirvana coming, and the major labels are NOT going to be ready for it.
Old 27th July 2009
  #79
Quote:
IT IS EXACTLY the job of ART to challenge, bludgeon, and force forward the human race. The job of the artist - and by extension the job of those who are in the art business - is to examine the human condition, and then express something that reframes our perceptions on it. Otherwise, you are merely entertaining with aesthetics.
That's completely true. And there are artists doing that. The problem is that people are free not to listen to it. They can choose what they want to listen to, and most don't want to be challenged. Therefore, the bulk of them will listen to unchallenging music and therefore those folks who provide that service will be the ones most able to provide the most outlets for music.

I don't think that this is really a modern phenomenon or anything, right? I mean, probably a LOT more people went to see The Magic Flute than went to see Don Giovanni probably?

In the end, EVERYTHING is our fault in this particular sphere, because we the consumer drive what gets consumed. If you want more challenging music on the radio, convince more people to want to be challenged.
Old 27th July 2009
  #80
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Again, the industry embraced rap and "dj/rave" music because the production costs are far lower than for music that uses real musicians - regardless of whether those real musicians are actual members of the band or studio "ringers". Understand that I'm not saying that ALL rap is bad - just most of it. There may have even been some rave music that was good in the beginning, but by now it's all been regurgitated so many times that it all seems the same. However, all rap and rave music has one thing in common - it's extremely cheap to "produce".

Urban Dictionary: producer
This is simply not true. You're forgetting the fees these big urban and pop producers charge...in their heyday some were getting well over $100,000 per track.
Old 27th July 2009
  #81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
CD sales steadily increased throughout the 90s from the numbers I've seen, and not just a little, but a lot. I don't know what you are talking about and what it's relevance is to actual sales. But if you want to show some numbers from a trusted source that shows that CD sales was dropping since the 80s, then feel free to do so.

Alanis Morrisette herself sold approximately the equivalent of 350 million tracks. Contrast that to 2008, where I think Little Wayne's album was the top seller at below 3 million, which was the first time that had happened since 1991 if I remember correctly.
I didn't say that sales were actually dropping - I said the industry claimed sales were dropping. Not in actual reported figures (although they did in fact "cook the books" on those in several ways), but in their PR releases, starting some time in the '80s. I don't remember exactly when. For awhile they claimed sales were dropping but they were only reporting vinyl. Then they started including CDs and they still claimed sales were down. It makes it very hard to believe anything they say. As of a couple years ago they weren't including internet downloads, just hard copies. Now they're including internet downloads, but only from major (and "major indie") labels. And nobody counts CDs and vinyl sold by band merch at shows.

Maybe Little Wayne didn't deserve to sell more than 3 million. I remember when sales of 3 million would have been cause for major industry celebration, not bitching.

Comparing an artist like Alanis Morrisette to a rapper like Little Wayne is absurd anyway. Morrisette is a great artist who had monster appeal across several genres. Wayne is - another goddamn rapper who appeals to rap fans. Of course he isn't going to sell as well as Morrisette. Again, the industry doesn't understand the market if they think that somebody like Little Wayne could ever have the mass market appeal of an Alanis Morrisette. Little Wayne doesn't even SING!
Old 27th July 2009
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
But Clear Channel and over-concentration of radio stations into too few hands isn't an issue to do with the music labels really. That's a completely separate issue, and not something that they can be blamed for, I don't think. It's a bad thing, IMO, all around. But a different bunch of people to blame.
They work hand in hand.

A similar thing happened with the consolidation of record labels. Too much power in the hands of too few companies is a bad thing. It leads to corporate arrogance and stagnation of the industry.
Old 27th July 2009
  #83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
That's completely true. And there are artists doing that. The problem is that people are free not to listen to it. They can choose what they want to listen to, and most don't want to be challenged. Therefore, the bulk of them will listen to unchallenging music and therefore those folks who provide that service will be the ones most able to provide the most outlets for music.

I don't think that this is really a modern phenomenon or anything, right? I mean, probably a LOT more people went to see The Magic Flute than went to see Don Giovanni probably?

In the end, EVERYTHING is our fault in this particular sphere, because we the consumer drive what gets consumed. If you want more challenging music on the radio, convince more people to want to be challenged.
No Dean, the problem is that the channels of information are controlled by companies with a vested interest in pushing crap and the bulk of the market never even gets a chance to hear about anything different.

The consumer can not choose if the consumer is unaware of the choices.If the majors control the publicity channels and only push garbage then the consumer is only aware of garbage. (Not the band, obviously) Since the consumer only is exposed to garbage NO FRIGGIN' WONDER THAT SALES ARE DOWN! I don't know when the last time was that I bought (unused copies of) music other than directly from the artist. At least 2 or 3 years, probably longer.
Old 27th July 2009
  #84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDN View Post
This is simply not true. You're forgetting the fees these big urban and pop producers charge...in their heyday some were getting well over $100,000 per track.
Show me figures. Maybe one or two did once or twice, but that's definitely not the norm. I don't have the link but someone in another thread on this forum quoted a representative of one of the majors as saying that they wanted to get production costs for rock albums down from the average level of $50,000 - $100,000 to the level of rap albums, which is typically $10,000 -$15,000.

That's why we're flooded with (c)rap music while great rock bands can't get signed or promoted.
Old 27th July 2009
  #85
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No Dean, the problem is that the channels of information are controlled by companies with a vested interest in pushing crap and the bulk of the market never even gets a chance to hear about anything different.
Quote:
That's why we're flooded with (c)rap music while great rock bands can't get signed or promoted.
Like The White Stripes on Warner Bros. for example...

(don't bother replying, btw, it's just a joke...)
Old 27th July 2009
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
While I agree with the premise, this strikes me as fundamentally no different than the disconnect people have with the food they eat (precious few grow it or prepare everything fresh from whole ingredients they obtained themselves at a market), or any one of a billion other things that involves people simply consuming a ready-made version of something that once upon a time had to be built, designed, created, or obtained with at least a modicum of skill and effort.

And I gotta say, total disconnect from the food we eat has far greater implications for the health of the body and soul than shopping for vs. downloading music.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
I am sorry to say that I agree with Gregory's point....... this is all a bit creepy.
Old 27th July 2009
  #87
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Show me figures. Maybe one or two did once or twice, but that's definitely not the norm. I don't have the link but someone in another thread on this forum quoted a representative of one of the majors as saying that they wanted to get production costs for rock albums down from the average level of $50,000 - $100,000 to the level of rap albums, which is typically $10,000 -$15,000.

That's why we're flooded with (c)rap music while great rock bands can't get signed or promoted.
Pretty much all my work is major label hip hop/pop/ and r&b and you aren't even in the ballpark....$10,000 would pay for about 2 weeks of engineering, let alone producer fees, studio(around $1,500 a day+ here in Los Angeles), mixing, etc. I really don't know what projects your referring to but even a "low" budget major label album is at least 10 times what you claim($10,000-$15,000)
Old 27th July 2009
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Show me figures. Maybe one or two did once or twice, but that's definitely not the norm. I don't have the link but someone in another thread on this forum quoted a representative of one of the majors as saying that they wanted to get production costs for rock albums down from the average level of $50,000 - $100,000 to the level of rap albums, which is typically $10,000 -$15,000.

That's why we're flooded with (c)rap music while great rock bands can't get signed or promoted.
I don't know much about rap music but I do know a lot about the "dj/rave" music. The idea that the industry somehow "embraces" this music is absurd. It might have been somewhat true in the early to mid 90's when pop music borrowed a lot from techno and house, but these days the majors don't want to have anything to do with the scene, besides a few guaranteed (as in maybe a few hundred k) sales acts, like Prodigy and Daft Punk. 99% of this music is released by very small indie labels, who typically sell a few hundred copies per release, a few thousand if it's a hit. Even the remix business is kinda dead, since CD singles (which would include the mixes) don't sell anymore, people just buy the one hit track from itunes and never even hear the remixes.

It is cheap to make, yes, but it's mostly made for club play, not for major label release. Nobody makes any money doing it anymore, even if it's very cheap to produce.
Old 27th July 2009
  #89
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Originally Posted by zonedoc View Post
That's when the 'Clear Channel' phenomenon began. Huge conglomerates bought up entire radio markets and radio stations started with their 8 second clip tests and they were formatted to beyond ridiculous degrees.

I remember reading a trade journal article from around 1997 that compared example playlists from 1990 and 1997 for the major rock radio station in Chicago (Which, if you will recall, was the leading radio market for breaking new rock acts in the 90s). There was no comparison - I don't recall actual numbers, but the ratio was something like:

Debut songs per week 1990 - 20 1997 - 2
Total different songs in rotation 1990 - 145 1997 - 29

Like I say I don't remember the actual numbers, but it was something like that. In only seven years time the whole face of breaking new artists over radio changed.
Funny, I've reached the same conclusion myself. Format radios are to blame, at least partially, for the decline of record sales. How can people buy records they never hear? It's not like they are going to buy 50 copies of the latest Britney album, just because they heard ONE track from it 50 times.

The idea that people will buy one record WAY more when they hear it (or one track from it, more like) multiple times
when compared to hearing several other tracks from different albums is absurd to me, the common folk might behave like sheeps but come on, give them some credit at least.

I'm making these numbers up, but here's an example anyway.

Let's say when a random person hears a new song from the radio once he has a 1% chance of buying the album.

Now you play 10 different songs from 10 different albums to him. There's a 10% chance that he'll buy one of them. There's a small chance that he'll buy several albums.

Compare that to playing the same song 10 times. For it to be profitable, compared to playing different songs, hearing a song 10 times must make the person buy the album at least 10% of the time. Does it really work like that? I don't think so. AND there is no chance that he'll buy multiple albums. So the percentages have to be even higher.

Math is not my strongpoint, it might be flawed. But you get the point.

Of course, producing ten album is more expensive than producing one, but that's more of a profit related question, not sales. If the labels want to sell more records they need to get more music out, not play the same music over and over again, as there's a limit how many people might potentially like that music enough to buy it.
Old 27th July 2009
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

Everything I said was the most basic of market economics thoughts, hardly anything I can blamed for, having been invented hundreds of years ago, and fairly well understood by now.O.
When discussing market economics and the role radio plays with the marketing of music it might be beneficial and important at the very least mention how radio broadcasting has changed of the past 20 years.

In a nutshell, before deregulation in 1996 ownership of radio was limited to 7 AM stations and 7 FM stations. Prior to 1996 the content was mostly live and local. Prior to 1996 most radio stations did their own music research.

Today, Clear Channel owns over 1,000 radio stations, and not long ago owned many more but they, along with a few other corporate owners now have financial problems with their cookie-cutter cost-cutting methods of commercial radio programing.

Since 1996 the concept of live and local broadcasting has gone down the toilet. Radio stations are bought and sold in clusters. Many radio "stations" are nothing more than a computer with a large hard drive and a monkey to monitor for example 5 or 6 of those radio stations (ownership cluster) at the same time.

It is simply the McDonalds of radio forcing the listener to search deeper for the non-generic radio station. Since music has been cheapened, many are fine with McDonalds. Soccer moms don't care and the newer generation of radio listeners don't know what good radio is all about.

So while it may be "basic market economics" the rules have been completely changed, and this had led to more generic bland and boring radio.

Barfunkle---it really doesn't work that way at all when it comes to radio broadcasting. Speaking in generalities, and in a nutshell....PEOPLE WANT FAMILIARITY. The whole concept of Top-40 radio invented almost 50 years ago was based around this and led to the biggest rated radio stations for 40 years. PEOPLE WANT FAMILIARITY..not only works with Top-40, but many other formats as well. While a CHR station might rotate a power song in a 1 hour 10 minute rotation, the classic rock station will do the same however the rotation is a lot less.

Non-commercial, (radio stations with frequencies below 92.5 or around there) are the only stations that don't need to be as concerned with ratings, therefore can do whatever they want...to an extent.
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