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  • And the Mighty Keep Falling...

    Saw this link in the latest Lefsetz newsletter; the link mostly is about "blockbuster" albums that busted instead of blocked:



    http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart-w...173216096.html



    This is the quote that caught my eye, but it's not an isolated incident:



    The Rolling Stones' GRRR! drops from #19 to #64 in its second week, proving that a 50th anniversary hook isn't enough to sell a three-disk album in this market and/or that even with name-checks in #1 hits by Ke$ha and Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, Mick Jagger is still a distant figure to today's record buyers.



    How's that for a reality check? Maybe they should have called their album "Gangham Style."
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  • #2
    As an experiment, I'm going to see how long I can go without looking up Gangham Style in Wikipedia.



    No doubt I'll live to regret my willful nescience.
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    • #3
      Sign of the times.

      When the economy is down, the first thing many people cut back on is entertainment.

      And in the music business, people tend to be buying more single songs on line for a buck over

      buying a CD collection for $168 http://rollingstones50.shop.bravadou...FcqY4AodkVwAdQ



      Or it may be the gravy train is over for some older bands.

      I know when I was a kid, my parents or grand parents music wasnt what kids listened to or would buy.

      Watching/listening to old farts dance around like they were teenagers never had an appeal to me as a kid

      and bands like the stones have gotten away with plenty of comebacks over the years.



      Maybe kids would enjoy seeing them live, but $200 and up for the cost of a ticket isnt something an unemployed

      kid or even an adult can afford. You have to admit in any case, many of the old bands have appeal from a historical appeal, but

      live, they dont thrill you like they would when they were young.

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by blue2blue
        View Post

        As an experiment, I'm going to see how long I can go without looking up Gangham Style in Wikipedia.




        I had to look it up. Someone sent me a link to the video without a title, and I thought he was saying "Condom Style." I couldn't figure out what that meant. Korean civics isn't one of my strong points, so I didn't know that Gangham was a district in Seoul. Maybe it would have been clearer in 24-bit 96 kHz format.



        As for the Stones' new collection of greatest hits, I expect that the price kept most but really serious fans or collectors away. Even just the "ordinary" 3 CD set for $30 (not such a bad deal, actually) is quite foreign to the download generation, much less the $160 Deluxe set. And it's probably on "the torrents" already.
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        • #5
          Okay, maybe I'm not looking at this the right way, but in a horrible economy, the fact that a $170 album that primarily appeals to baby boomers can chart at #19 seems like it's time to uncork the champagne and high-five each other.
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          • #6
            Yes, but follow the link...it's not just about the Stones, but about other hyped artists who just aren't delivering what people expected, regardless of the price.



            If I had the bucks I'd buy the Kraftwerk boxed set, but not the Stones We all have our priorities.
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            • #7
              This is what happens when the accountants take over in creative industries. They say things like, "If only one out of ten artists make money, why don't we just concentrate on that one guy and drop all the others?" So we get another Rolling Stones album. Yeah well, maybe the Rolling Stones aren't quite as relevant or compelling today as they were fifty years ago. And maybe this idea that you can "manufacture" talent in the studio doesn't quite work out either.

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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by MikeRivers
                View Post

                I had to look it up. Someone sent me a link to the video without a title, and I thought he was saying "Condom Style." I couldn't figure out what that meant. Korean civics isn't one of my strong points, so I didn't know that Gangham was a district in Seoul. Maybe it would have been clearer in 24-bit 96 kHz format.




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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Kotch
                  View Post

                  This is what happens when the accountants take over in creative industries. They say things like, "If only one out of ten artists make money, why don't we just concentrate on that one guy and drop all the others?" So we get another Rolling Stones album. Yeah well, maybe the Rolling Stones aren't quite as relevant or compelling today as they were fifty years ago. And maybe this idea that you can "manufacture" talent in the studio doesn't quite work out either.




                  I looked for Grr! in MOG but it's not there yet. So I put on the UK version of Between the Buttons and hit play... "Who Wants Yesterday's Papers?"



                  Indeed.



                  But, actually, this is a fine album -- although the mono mixes I have on vinyl were (surprise, surprise) far better than the oddly gutless stereo mix -- at least in this remastering. Isn't it a shame we have to now pick our way through all these various, typically incompetent remasterings? It's like shopping at the vintage wine bargain basement.
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                  • #10
                    How many times can repackaged greatest hits/best of collections be issued before they stop being profitable? One of the most common record company sleazy tactics is creating a new cover design, changing out a song or two and then trying to pass off another greatest hits album as something new. Its always seemed especially disrespectful to the most loyal hardcore fans to thrown in an unreleased track on a greatest hits album, forcing the fans to pay for a whole album of content they already own just to get one or two new songs.
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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by blue2blue
                      View Post

                      ...the mono mixes I have on vinyl were (surprise, surprise) far better than the oddly gutless stereo mix -- at least in this remastering. Isn't it a shame we have to now pick our way through all these various, typically incompetent remasterings?




                      No kidding. Some of my favorite albums were ruined by mastering engineers trying to "improve" on the original sound.
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                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                        View Post

                        Yes, but follow the link...it's not just about the Stones, but about other hyped artists who just aren't delivering what people expected, regardless of the price.



                        If I had the bucks I'd buy the Kraftwerk boxed set, but not the Stones We all have our priorities.




                        Right, I totally get that. But I dunno, are expectations realistic? That's what I'm getting at.



                        If I have a band that appeals primarily to a graying population that doesn't purchase that much music compared to other demographics and haven't released an album that people consider great in over thirty years, and I put together an album that's mostly full of songs that have already been out for eons and sell it for $170 when most people aren't purchasing CDs anymore and it's a bad economy and that release gets to #9, I'm stoked.



                        I get that people expect Whitney Houston's repackaged greatest hits album to sell more than 57,000 copies in two weeks. That I can understand. I would hope that more people would find that "Psychedelic Pill" by Neil Young is a great album and buy it.



                        But am I missing something, or should we hail an album that sold well in the '80s coming back to #142 pretty damned good? Or do many other 30-year old albums do that kind of stuff when 1.) albums can be downloaded for free on the internet, 2.) I can probably listen to this for free on Spotify, and 3.) the economy sucks?



                        Then, too, there seems to be some good news as far as record sales go. Now, I don't like Rihanna's music, but should we maybe think, "Hey, she's selling 238,000 copies in one week! That's great for a current artist!" or should we think that maybe this should be reversed and Whitney Houston should be selling this much for a re-tread greatest hits album that soccer moms already have in their iPods?



                        Or that Taylor Swift is selling two million albums? Or we should expect aging grunge guys who haven't recorded in 15 years to sell better instead?



                        What is a realistic expectation? What's truly surprising?



                        I know. Let's compare whose sales are disappointing with those whose sales are considered good in the article and see if we can figure out a trend!!!

                        First, the disappointing:

                        - Michael Jackson thirty year old album "Bad"

                        - Whitney Houston's compilation of chart-topping oldies

                        - The Stones previously-released smash hits of yesteryear

                        - Soundgarden's first release in fifteen years, back when grunge ruled the airwaves and we wore flannel

                        - The Twilight Saga - I guess this is a movie soundtrack.

                        - Neil Young and Crazy Horse's "Psychedelic Pill". 67 years old and still rockin'!

                        - Lana Del Rey (I sure hope her new album is better than her last one, which had one decent song)

                        - The Deftones (****************, they're still around? Who knew?)

                        - Susan Boyle



                        Now, the encouraging[:

                        - Rihanna's new album, a young artist that appeals to people under 30.

                        - Taylor Swift's new album, a very young artist that appeals to people under 30.

                        - One Direction, a boy band that appeals to people who haven't reached puberty

                        - Phillip Phillips, young, recent American Idol winner

                        - Kid Rock, who appeals to a younger demographic

                        - Pink, born in 1979, who appeals to a younger demographic

                        - Psy, the fantastic new YouTube sensation who has the hot new dance

                        - Adele - young singer with recent smash album that appeals to...well, just about everyone!

                        - Rod Stewart Christmas album - back with a new Christmas album, this is a gimme, sort of like Kenny G Christmas albums of yesteryear, so of course this will sell

                        - Led Zeppelin's highly anticipated "Celebration Day" CD/DVD - this is a gimme as well, total blue chip stock



                        See a pattern emerging? Be honest - is any of this really surprising?
                        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by Kotch
                          View Post

                          This is what happens when the accountants take over in creative industries. They say things like, "If only one out of ten artists make money, why don't we just concentrate on that one guy and drop all the others?" So we get another Rolling Stones album. Yeah well, maybe the Rolling Stones aren't quite as relevant or compelling today as they were fifty years ago. And maybe this idea that you can "manufacture" talent in the studio doesn't quite work out either.




                          This is what happens when accountants take over a dying industry that is on life support in an economy that sucks in an environment where I can stream lots of things for free. This is what happens when an industry places less emphasis on writing good songs or developing artists or mining creativity, instead putting out repackaged retreads of old dinosaurs that haven't released anything that's all that great since Jimmy Carter was in office.



                          In light of that, I think some of these "disappointments" should be hailed as stellar marketing achievements.



                          Please note the use of the word "stellar".
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by UstadKhanAli
                            View Post

                            Right, I totally get that. But I dunno, are expectations realistic? That's what I'm getting at.




                            Hence my comment about a reality check.








                            See a pattern emerging? Be honest - is any of this really surprising?



                            Of course not, but what's surprising is that it's surprising to the record companies, who put endless amounts of hype into all these releases.



                            I can't remember the last time I bought a Stones album, but I think it was in the 70s...and in theory, I'm in that demographic.
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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by UstadKhanAli
                              View Post

                              This is what happens when accountants take over a dying industry that is on life support in an economy that sucks in an environment where I can stream lots of things for free.




                              I think those accountants are part of the reason the rest of your comments ring true. I distinctly remember the flurry of greatest hits packages, re-issues, and boxed sets that happened when labels started getting bought out by conglomerates. After all, why pay for studio time for new material, or take the effort to find new acts, when you can simply hire a graphic artist to come up with a nice package design for stuff that was already recorded and represents pure profit?



                              It was even better if the artists were dead. Hey, where did the royalties for that Robert Johnson boxed set go, anyway? No one really seems to know.



                              When Napster happened, record companies had a stellar opportunity to take over that scene, monetize it, and use their unique leverage with artists to give far more than Napster could. But, they didn't.



                              To be fair, I don't just see this in the record industry; magazines have a lot of "well, it worked 30 years ago" in their philosophies as well.
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