Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Whose blame is it anyway?

Pet Shop Boys live in concert on October 13, 2...Image via Wikipedia

In an interview recently, Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant was complaining that the most annoying thing about internet piracy was that it ceased making the release of music - singles especially - an event.

While I agree that the term "release date" doesn't mean a damn thing these days, I would argue that, in the case of singles, the blame for them not being "events" should lay solely with record labels.

Back in the good ole days, a single would go to radio around the same time it went to the shops. The single would thus begin it's upward chart trajectory. Take "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood which went from the basement parking lot of the charts, all the way up to Number 1, staying there for weeks.

The single was released in October 1983 and didn't hit the top of the chart until January 1984! In June 1984, it found itself at number 2 just behind "Two Tribes". This is a single with a chart live of well over EIGHT months.

These days, a single goes to radio up to two months before it hits the shops. By the time you have the chance to buy it, you're bored of it. I guess one could argue that the day a single goes to radio is "event day", but I would counter-argue this is about as detrimental to the shelf-life of music as downloading pre-releases is.

Just another side of the coin.

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