4 Years Ago (2017)
Back in the 80’s, when songs from the 60’s and early 70’s used to come on the radio, I used to say, “really, play something more current.”
They sounded old.
Fast forward to today and all I play is old tunes. Actually 70 percent of the music I listen to is pre 1995.
More specifically; 1980 to 1992.
It’s hard to believe that “Diary Of A Madman” is 40 years old.
Like the “Blizzard” album before it, “Diary” is a listening experience from start to end.
And because of my addiction to the “Tribute” album, I was blown away by the depth of material on “Diary” that didn’t appear on the live album, like “Over The Mountain”, “SATO”, “You Can’t Kill Rock N Roll”, “Tonight” and the unbelievable title track.
To top it off, it clocks in at 43 minutes which meant back in the 80’s I could dub it one side of a 45 cassette tape and the other side I could devote to the “Blizzard” album.
Back in 2017, during this week I was listening g to;
Sweet And Lynch – Unified
Babylon A.D – Revelation Highway
Shakra – Snakes & Ladders
These three artists had my attention back then. Tomorrow it would have been someone else. They might come back at another time and get my attention. Maybe they won’t.
But if they are not releasing new product on a regular basis, they become forgotten.
So heading towards the end of 2021;
Sweet And Lynch are reading a new album.
Babylon A.D haven’t released any new music since 2017.
Shakra released “Mad World” in 2020 which I missed and they dropped a new single this year which I also missed.
8 Years Ago (2013)
When Metallica started on the scene, I dont recall anyone walking around saying that they got into Metallica because James Hetfield was such a cool cat or Lars Ulrich was the man.
People get into a band for multiple different reasons.
Like being a fan of genre and looking for similar artists of that genre or the songs connected or the album cover connected or the artist was getting a lot of word of mouth and people wanted to be part of the conversation and so on.
Of course some outliers do exist and some people become a cultural influence that transcends their music. In other words, they become institutions themselves like Ozzy.
Slash also comes to mind but it took him almost 14 years from when he left Gunners to re-establish and re-brand himself as a force to be reckoned with.
But he’s back with Gunners.
Because the band name is the star and it always will be.
That is why Axl Rose went all legal to claim the name.
That is why Tommy Lee returned to Motley Crue.
That is why James Hetfield returned to Metallica after rehab. That is why Lars Ulrich never contemplated anything else except Metallica during this period.
That is why Dave Mustaine resurrected Megadeth after he disbanded the band towards the end of the 90s.
That is why David Coverdale resurrected Whitesnake after he disbanded it.
That is why Dimebag didn’t want Pantera to end. He knew that Pantera was the star.
That is why David Lee Roth worked with Van Halen again. That is why Sammy Hagar wanted to work with Van Halen again.
That is why Alex Skolnick returned to Testament.
That is why there was a fight over who owns the right to the Queensryche name.
That is why Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters went all legal for the Pink Floyd name and the rights to “The Wall”.
That is why Benjamin Burnley went all legal for the right to use the Breaking Benjamin name.
That is why Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to Iron Maiden.
That is why Rob Halford returned to Judas Priest.
That is why Black Sabbath reformed with three of the original members and released ’13’.
That is why bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Poison and Skid Row are still continuing with very different line ups and in some cases no original members.
To finish off with the immortal words of Ronnie James Dio “And on and on and on and on it goes….”
For all artists that sign record deals remember this. The label owns your copyright.
And guess what the labels are pushing for.
Even longer copyright terms. Because their is value in copyrights for the corporate entity holding it.
Greed from the major record labels could end up killing streaming services.
Back in 2013, musicians from Sweden were threatening to sue major labels Universal Music and Warner Music over streaming royalties.
These artists had identified that the problem lies with the major record labels rather than the streaming service and they took action to get royalty rates that better reflect the costs involved in digital production and distribution.
Even the UK Government did a review of streaming paymnets in 2020 and found that the labels are at fault.
Spotify is just one streaming service and they pay 70% of its revenues to music rights holders. Apple is similar and Tidal as well.
And Spotify, as at 2020 has paid $23 billion to the rights holders. When you add the numbers from the other streaming services, it’s a prettty massive profit the labels are making.
Once upon a time, the artists had the power.
Then in the Eighties, the labels stole it back. With the rise in revenue due to the CD, it made the labels mega rich powerhouses.
Well it’s time for the artists to take back the power. Basically the labels without any artists are worth nothing.
But there’s a new player in town. Hedge Funds and Investment firms. And they have cash and artists are cashing in.
The labels are signing Seattle bands, left, right and centre while at the same time they are dropping hard rock and heavy metal bands left, right and centre. This is the power the label had. Not only could they make an artist famous, they could also destroy an artist.
Because the labels controlled all the points of distribution.
But in 2013, things had changed dramatically.
But the power is still with the major record labels. They gathered enough of it during the Eighties and Nineties to be a force to be reckoned. Then in the Two Thousands the massive mergers and takeovers happened, further enhancing the power of the labels. Then in order to allow digital start-ups, the labels did one of three things; charge high licensing fees or litigate the start-up to bankruptcy or negotiate a large ownership stake in the start-up.
So even though the internet has lowered the barriers of entry, without the money and power of the label behind the artists, there is a pretty good chance, the artist would probably go unnoticed.
One thing is certain in 2013.
We move on fast.
Look at the Top 10 lists of pirated movies that TorrentFreak publish each week. It’s always changing and very rare for the same movie to be at number one spot for two weeks in a row.
Look at the Top 10 of the streaming Charts published by each country. The artists in the list are always changing.
And that’s another wrap for another week.