Sunday, July 22, 2007

I saw this on the Organissimo forum, and I am in awe. Somebody (not me!) apparently wrote this on the Blue Note web site in response to their releasing another quickie Grant Greet compilation:

Reviewer: emperor nobody, worst nightmare of music "industry" from California. You just can't get it, can you? Year after year goes by, and person after person comes on here and says the same thing, over and over, about Visions, Shades of Green, Green Acid, whatever, all the unreissued GG gems, and you don't even respond. You just issue the same redundant thing over and over like you don't even care. You're probably sitting there in your plush office reading this aloud to your porcine co-workers, themselves drunk with power and false pride over just how incredibly cool you all are working for a biiiiiiiiig record label, all of you laughing with hubris and derision at the hapless comments like this one. But you know what, swine? The joke is on you. Because the day will come when big fat pig record labels that have eliminated any attention whatsoever to the actual music they possess and have instead chosen to pursue it all as a 101% profit-motivated enterprise... the day will come when you will be as obsolete as the "product" you keep putting out. The internet is speeding that day ever closer, and I cannot wait for the day when you're not snickering to yourselves anymore and are out on the street, jobless. Because when you get right down to the truth of it, you idiots ain't making any money with these dumbass compilations... I see them in the cutout bins every day. The truth of it is that you hate the people who make the music and have such utter contempt for the people that buy it, your actual customers, as you sit up there and decide just exactly how bland and homogenized and incomplete and lifeless the cultural content of this country is destined to become.... that soon there will be no need for you anymore. What you are doing is a crime against humanity and beauty. How is it that at one time or another every single BN album has been reissued in Japan, yet your catalog Stateside is not even half-reissued merely 25 years into the CD/digital era? Have you no pride, no balls, no shame? If I had the time and the martial arts skills, I'd break ninja-style into the warehouse where you keep all the masters of all the transcendent music you have entirely NO intention of ever showing the light of day, and I'd take them, remaster them in a studio, and release them on the internet FOR FREE, just to hasten the day that you sorry pigs are OUT OF BUSINESS, forever. This is the new fascist America right here, where the corporations rewrite history (through, in this case, intentional omissions from the catalog of one of the greatest guitarists ever to play) and attempt to homogenize the culture into a one-dimensional caricature of itself because they love money and power just so much. Count the days until you are finished, pigs, count them carefully.

OK, so maybe this guy is going a little overboard, but the gist of the argument is sound. Forget for a moment that this is a great cultural legacy that should be made available. I think if record companies with a vast back catalog would invest in digital remastering and marketing DRM free music on the Internet, I believe they would recoup their investment and make a solid profit. It would be a win-win situation. The music would never go out of print, and also the companies would save money by not not having to press and ship physical discs. If you look at it from a Long Tail perspective, marketing the Blue Note, Fantasy or Verve catalogs in this way would be a solid moneymaker from the companies involved and a boon to music lovers everywhere.

Send comments to: Tim