Friday, 13 August 2004

Two fingers to the record industry

Back in the day, the only way a band could get their music to a loving public was through the medium of record label. Beit major or indie, the label was the only real form of distribution that would get a band's releases into shops.

How times have changed. Not only are labels really a thing of the past, the bricks and mortar record stores are as well.

Over the last few years, a number of bands have taken it upon themselves to do things literally independently. From Public Enemy to Prince. Now, the Pixies have entered that hallowed club of "We don't need no stinkin' labels".

Lead singer Black Francis, put it succinctly to the Associated Press, "At the end of the day, the record company always needs content. They need artists. Right now, they need artists more than we need them. We're in a situation where we don't have to make records anymore to be asked to go into a studio and make music. Because of all the cross-marketing that goes on these days, it's like everyone's getting called to make songs for a movie, or for a web site, or a commercial."

Are the days numbered for record labels? Probably. As bands like the Pixies forgoe mainstream distribution, releasing new tracks direct to iTunes and selling CDs of concerts at the venues themselves, eagle eyed music fans will wonder exactly why they're bothering with EMI, Sony, Warner or Universal releases.

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