Superfly
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The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:58 pm






















Inspired by the file sharing thread.

What happened to the recording industry? Why did things start to go down hill in the late 1980s?
The record industry use to promote ‘groups’ that were talented. Bands would then go out on tour and sell out major arenas. Artist had to have talent and looks were not at all important. Record companies still managed to make profits and record company execs were still able to have there own private jets, huge mansions up in the hills of Hollywood with pools, hot tubs, throw awesome parties with hot babes and yes cocaine was aplenty for them , get chauffeured in the plushest Lincoln Continentals and really enjoy the good life. Record execs along with the entertainers were all able to live a fantastic hedonistic lifestyle.
Fans were treated to great bands such as Kiss, Rush, Journey, Earth Wind & Fire, Ohio Players, Kansas, Styx, Electric Light Orchestra, Chicago, etc..

Today the industry is dragging 12 year kids to court for down loading a few songs and all the record company gives us is garbage such as Toby Keith, Creed, 50 cent, Nellie and Pink. Legendary areas such as Candlestick Park in San Francisco and the Forum in L.A. sit empty most of the year. The few great bands from the past that are still with us are playing at county fairs near the petting zoo.

What went wrong and why did they change there strategy?

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ClassicLover
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:07 pm

One word -

Autotune.

You no longer have to have any sort of decent singing voice in order to sound fantastic on record. Any problem with you being in tune can be corrected by Autotune. I read today that someone recently released a CD where it was proudly proclaimed that autotune hadn't been used on any of the tracks.

The fact that this can be done means that talentless wonders can be pre-packaged to suit whichever market the record company gods deem for them.

In the past talent scouts and such would discover new groups, bands and singers, usually from the live music circuit, which doesn't exist to a comparable extent to the past. Once signed, it was up to the DJs to make something a hit more than anything else.

I guess part of the difference is also mass media. Once it was radio, then radio and television, then radio and television and concerts, then came cable television, followed by the Internet... no longer is an appearance on one television show nationally guaranteed to put you in front of the majority of the audience like in the past.

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
vaporlock
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:06 pm

Superfly, wow...........looks like you have some greats! Here are a few 45's that I have.....you'll probably know every one. I have a collection of about 200 - 45's and at least 200 albums...as well as 8-track tapes.

The music of the past was so amazing...............











Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:16 pm

ClassicLover:
Excellent post!  Smokin cool
I've never seen you here in the Non-Aviation forums and I am glad that I was able to start a thread that's sparked your interest.


"Autotune"?

I don't even know what that is until now. That explains how music is just awful across the board. It seems as though singers if you want to call them that use the same formula in every genre of music.
All the male rock singers copy Eddie Vetters awful growling virbrato, R&B male singers have been reduced to a bunch of cry babies and females just seem to be angry b!tches in both R&B and rock. "Country music today is just bad rock" (quote from Tom Petty) and he is correct.
Jazz?
Don't get me started. I knew we were in trouble back in 1985 when jazz great Miles Davis was doing Cindy Lauper covers. It's no wonder why simpletons such as Kenny G, David Sandborn and John Tesh could pass off as 'jazz artist'.  Yeah sure


I guess part of the difference is also mass media. Once it was radio, then radio and television, then radio and television and concerts, then came cable television, followed by the Internet... no longer is an appearance on one television show nationally guaranteed to put you in front of the majority of the audience like in the past.

I think a 'true artist' can embrace new media and still put out quality music.
Remember back in the early 1980s when established artist made short movies/long videos that were about 15-20 minutes long?
Examples;
Micheal Jackson - Thriller
Styx - Mr. Roboto/Kilroy Was Here
David Bowie - Blue Jean
Paul McCarthey - Give My Regards To Broadstreet
Supertramp - Brother Where You Bound

There many others too.
New media is not a good excuess for the industry to hide behind to drag 12 and 13 year olds to court.




Vaporlock:
That is a great collection you have there!  Smokin cool
I've been looking for that song 'Build Me Up Buttercup' by the Foundations.

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ClassicLover
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:40 pm

There is still plenty of good music coming out, by artists that have a good voice, great writing, and a great image.

Examples for me are the likes of Dido, Garbage, Sugababes, Scissor Sisters, to name but a few contemporary artists.

It's interesting though, to look at the success of back catalogue material or even hits compilations of older artists. They usually sell hand over fist. I don't believe it would solely be due to the fact that all the oldies have decided to buy the material again.

A case in point would be ABBA Gold by ABBA. The album has sold over 6 million copies in the USA, when the previous best by them was around 1 million copies. Considering they haven't recorded or done anything in decades, it's astonishing to see a growing fan base.

To me, that indicates that the general quality (overall) of recorded music has declined, as so many people are still discovering, liking and buying music that was recorded before they were born.

I should never have worked in the record industry  Smile

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:20 pm

ClassicLover:
Excellent observation.
Between 1990-1993, I worked in serveral different record stores while in high school and college. The majority of CDs that were sold were Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Gino Vannelli, The Eagles, AC/DC, James Brown, RUSH, Styx, Isley Brothers and other greats from 'The Grand Era'.

The crap at the time (Vannilla Ice, MC Hammer, Billy Ray Cirus) sold for about a week or two in large numbers but didn't have staying power.


Till this day, Michael Jackson's Thriller is the best selling album EVER!
The Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 doesn't count because that was a compilation of material from 4 different LPs.

Dido is OK and Garbage has a few good songs.
New music I like now is far removed from Western pop-culture. There are so many great artist from the Middle-East, India, Western Africa, Cuba and South America.
Have you ever heard of Mondo Grosso, Tarikan, Salif Keita or Amir Diab(sp) ?
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Banco
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:22 pm

Superfly, if you didn't know about Autotune, here's an article you might find of interest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/10/06/do0603.xml

It goes back a bit further than that too, there have been various pieces of technology to allow the singer to cope with parts of their vocals. I always remember Roger Daltrey referring to a cock-up in one live performance by saying "It's live. If you want it perfect, go and watch Michael Jackson".

But actually I think the signs were there in some of the records you've listed. By the late seventies the advances in technology allowing layering meant that frequently the musicians weren't even in the studio at the same time, but had their parts dubbed over each other.

Motown of the sixties is the one that springs to mind as perfection recording wise to me, not so much because of the music (though it was great) but because the sound quality and vibrancy was absolutely incredible for the time. When you hear how flat other bands were in comparison, even those recorded a few years later, it is striking.
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mdsh00
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:46 pm

Superfly,

I think like what all these other posters say, the full embrace of mass consumption makes it more necessary to find someone that looks good and sounds mildly good enough to market. In her defense, Christina Augilera has some good singing talent. I've never understood why Britney is considered a "singer" with that nasal voice of hers. There are also plenty of genre sell-outs too (cough cough..Nelly and Ja Rule).

To be fair, there are a some good artists out there like Nora Jones or Josh Groban, all still far from being commercialized. In hip-hop you have artists like Common or Talib Kweli which are also more underground than others.


Have you ever heard of Mondo Grosso, Tarikan, Salif Keita or Amir Diab(sp)

I have a few songs of Tarikan, and Amr Diab (Habibi), and Khaled. I don't understand any of it but Arabic music sounds good. What kind of music from India you listen to? Movie songs or pop?

[Edited 2004-10-08 11:47:50]
 
LHMark
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:11 pm

The piddle pushed upont the public has forced m to go underground in my music buying. I'd rather discover small, unsigned bands who sell CDs out of the back of their vans than buy whatever the major label bean-counters have market-researched for my demographic group (18-34).

I've also expanded my horizons to new, more experimental bands that have leaked through the bars in the major labels' cell block. bands like Sigur Ros and Mogwai have turned music on its ear, with some of the most beautiful sounds ever to come out of a speaker.

For what it's worth, the availablility of good recording equipment is making the record industry irrelevant. We all owe it to ourselves as listners to hasten that process by digging a little, going to some local shows, and finding the good stuff ourselves, instead of relying on pop radio to tell us what we should listen to.
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electraBob
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:06 pm

I grew up during the '60s and I can remember shopping around for the absolute lowest price for a 45 rpm new release.....I think the lowest price I found was 59 cents at the Woolworth and Kresge dime stores.  Smile In the '70s, there was a discount department store chain here in the Detroit area...E.J. Korvette...a couple of times a year, they would hold an "all label album sale"...the record department was so jam packed full of people, you had trouble getting in. Albums were priced at 3.99 to 5.99 and you would see people buying 10 albums at a time. Those were the days.

I also remember the big groups of the '60s...The Beatles, Beach Boys, Frankie Valli and the 4 seasons, and of course, the big Motown groups, to name just a few....they would release 2, 3 or even 4 albums in a years time...how often do you see that today.


Vaporlock and Superfly --

I know the two of you love good, classic oldies. If you want to hear some of your favorites on CD, boy do I ever recommend the Time-Life collections that are available ....I have their complete sets from the '50s, '60s and '70s (close to 100 CD's) and I listen to these things over and over and over.

Here's an example --

Time-Life 1969

I Want You Back - The Jackson Five
Venus - Shocking Blue
Hot Fun In the Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana/Supremes/Temptations
You Showed Me - The Turtles
Oh, What a Night - The Dells
Get Together - The Youngbloods
Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
I Can't Get Next To You - The Temptations
No Time - The Guess Who
One - Three Dog Night
Time of the Season - The Zombies
Let's Work Together - Wilbert Harrison
Dizzy - Tommy Roe
Soul Deep - The Box Tops
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) - Jr. Walker & All Stars
Baby, Baby Don't Cry - Smokey & The Miracles
Hawaii Five-O - The Ventures
Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & Shondells
Only The Strong Survive - Jerry Butler
Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Jackie DeShannon
Mendocino - The Sir Douglas Quintet
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman

That is just one of 3 CD's from 1969 ...most of the other '60s years have 4 cds...great stuff.





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Logan22L
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sat Oct 09, 2004 1:43 am

Where to begin? This is an open-ended enough topic, that I'll just throw in a few observations:

1. First record bought - Loggins and Messina (you're momma don't dance, 1972)
2. Went through several favorite bands - check out this order:
The Beatles, Kiss, Rush, Yes/ELP (tie), Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, King Crimson.
3. These days, I listen to mostly jazz (actual jazz) and classical.

Superfly: Yes, the jazz scene is a total mixed bag (mucho garbagio) now (has been for 30 years), but there are some pure artists out there making some great stuff. For current artists, check out Bennie Green, Junko Onishi, the list goes on and on. But I prefer the 1957-1965 ish Blue note and Original Jazz CLassics (Prestige, Contemporary, etc.). You can get these fairly cheaply. Mingus, Coltrane, Monk, Blue Mitchell, Bobby Timmons, Red Garland, Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy...most all this stuff is pure 2-track single takes, and put it out that afternoon.

I hate to even go down the road of current pop music. That's a oxymoron in my book. Autotune, lip synching, and even digital recording have become the bane of creativity in music. I once recorded a track in Boston with a certain singer who had a brief stint in a very well known band (sorry, no name dropping), and he spent 15 minutes trying to re-record the perfect finger snap to splice over the "live" one he did during the take.

I may not agree with all of your tastes in music, and no doubt you don't all agree with mine, but it's nice to know that some of us still appreciate the purity of genuine music played by actual human beings.

Logan
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sat Oct 09, 2004 9:58 am

I have to agree on the vibrancy of 60s recordings. My mother is a big fans of the 60s becase that was when she was a teenager, and as such I've inherited her taste. To hear some of that music exploding out of a great sound system is absolutely awesome - and nothing compares to it.

With unsigned bands - a lot of stuff that comes out on independent labels is a lot better than the material being put out by the majors. The one that comes to mind is a new band in Australia called The Hampdens. They have had two EPs come out and both are utterly awesome - both vocally and musically. If you have a spare $15 or so, go to www.sanity.com.au (large Australian chain store) and look them up.

They did have layering of vocals from the early 70s onwards, where you could overdub multiple times to give a fuller sound. I still think the music industry still had it throughout the 70s and 80s, where you still got people with big voices like Donna Summer, Laura Branigan and people like that.

I really think it began to come undone at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. Not that good material wasn't still coming out, just that it was diluted by piles of crap by talentless wonders.

Trent.
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Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:58 am

Great replies everyone!

Banco:
I always remember Roger Daltrey referring to a cock-up in one live performance by saying "It's live. If you want it perfect, go and watch Michael Jackson".

Hate to see Daltrey say that. Both Daltrey and Jackson are incredibly talented artist.




Mdsh00:
Thanks for the lead. I'll check out Josh Groban on a computer with faster Internet access.


LHMark :
I'd rather discover small, unsigned bands who sell CDs out of the back of their vans than buy whatever the major label bean-counters have market-researched for my demographic group (18-34).

I am with you on that also. I just hate it when I am nearly attacked on the street or gas station by some guys that want me to buy there CD.



ElectraBob:
Were 'quadraphonic' records on sale too?  Big grin
As far as the one hit wonders and other 10 hits from that time, I already have the 45s or the original LPs. I really don't like the transfer quality from analog to digital formats.



Logan22L:
I once recorded a track in Boston with a certain singer who had a brief stint in a very well known band (sorry, no name dropping),

Hmmmm, a singer from Boston. Could it have been Brad Delph of Boston? Big grin

Do you like any of the Verve label or CTI Creed Taylor jazz albums?




ClassicLover:
throughout the 70s and 80s, where you still got people with big voices like Donna Summer, Laura Branigan and people like that.

Don't forget Gino Vannelli.
Definatly the most under-rated vocalist of all time!






Not to sound like the Unibomber  Big grin but I think technology has done a lot of harm. The younger genereation is spoiled with the ability to have so much ability at there fingertips and ability to make 16 track recordings and burn on to a compact disc and distribute it. Yet the content is well, crap.
35-40 years ago artist had to be very creative with primative technology and the recordings are lengendary as Logan22L pointed out above.
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vaporlock
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:27 am

ElectraBob, thanks for the info.....did you grow up in the 60's in Canada??? I was just wondering about the Woolworths & Kresge's stores???

Another thing that I have saved with regard to music....is "CHUM" Charts - they were free and one was published every week. These Chum Charts listed all the music that was currently being played on the radio and the top 10 hits and albums were always listed. I'll have to look for some and scan and add them to this post......I know you guys will have a real laugh!!!!

Superfly, there is only one 45 rpm that I would love to get....I had it and cannot find it...

Song: Tighter and Tighter - Band: Alive and Kicking......can't locate it anywhere.....

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:22 am

Vaporlock:
I'll keep my head up for you.  Smile
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Archie Bunker
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:38 am




"Those Were The Days"

Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.
 
vaporlock
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:14 am

Superfly, thanks......!! Big thumbs up

Archie Bunker, indeed the Glen Miller Band was fantastic!!! I know when I was growing up my mom used to play it all the time!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy It sure brings back wonderful memories!!!

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 1:37 pm

That's the way it began,
we were hand in hand
Glen Miller's Band was better than before.


Wanna guess who that is?  Big grin
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vaporlock
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 1:49 pm

Reminicing.....Little River Band!!  Big thumbs up Dam that was an amazing song.....ahhhh

I feel the need for a good bottle of wine and some old music!!!  Big thumbs up

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
electraBob
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:24 pm

Vaporlock -

Here in Detroit, we had 4 am top-40 radio stations during the '60s and each one of them put out a weekly, free top hits guide...

My favorite radio station during that time was WKNR--Keener 13, and there is quite an interesting web site that you may enjoy looking at...

http://www.keener13.com/

On the bottom of the WKNR Music Guide Box, click on "more keener music"...you can then click on any week from 11/7/63 until the station changed formats on 3/20/72 and see that weeks top hits....remember, these are the Detroit top hits...you may not recognize some of the local bands.
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bruno
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:31 pm

The industry really went down hill with more emphasis on rap and punk/alternative.
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Andreas
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:04 pm

There are several things that went dead wrong in the music business:

1. An increasing number of managers who are experienced number crushers but have no idea about trends etc in the music business.

2. As a result to 1. they go for fast money: better a quick cash-in now than developing a band name that holds for 10 years.

3. The upcoming of merchandising, and the fact that 10 year old kiddies are now considered to be a relevant customer group.

4. The upcoming of music online, downloads, in short: The Napster syndrome, a trend that the industry completely ignored during the internet age until last year or so...now they try for the first time to be players and not only sueing everybody who threatens to take away turnover from them.

I can't see any major changes coming from the majors, and unfortunately we will have bigger majors developing over the next few years, who will make things worse instead of better.

The industry is currently following the trend to milk a formula dead as fast as possible, than move on to the next format, currently it's all those awful talent-searching shows, maybe next time it's more talent-related  Big grin

Unfortunetaly, today talent is no more relevant since the fastest money is made by merchandising...and half-naked 15 year old girls do sell better that 3 gentlemen in the 50+ age group Big grin Big grin Big grin (Yes I was relating to RUSH, and the concert was absolutely marvellous, stunning, brilliant!!! 3 hourse and 10 minutes full blast!!)

My hope goes to the independent business parties!

...and to the re-issueing of that brilliant music that was recorded in earlier timers! Even now, my backlog is very long...and I do own 2,000 cds and ca. 3,500 vinyl records!!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
vaporlock
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:34 am

ElectraBob, thanks for the link....... Big thumbs up

Andreas, ....Rush always put on a fantastic concert!!! Big grin

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:59 am

Andreas:
Excellent post!  Smokin cool

I don't have a problem with marketing young sexy women. There are some talented ones out there.


I should have clarified that the 'golden age' I was refereing too was the late 1970s.
In 1978, 295 LPs went gold or platnum. That was the peak of the music industry thanks to disco, great pop music and prog-rock. The industry had went on a downhill slope and was brefly turned around with the re-issue of CDs back catalog. 1978 was a record breaking year and that record has yet to be broken.
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US Air/TWA Fan
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:02 pm

One of the biggest reasons that the recording industry is in such a bad state is the cost of purchasing CDs!

I cannot afford to buy CDs at the current costs...at least few CDs. When one CD retails for, on average $15-$18, no wonder CD sales decline.
Plus, add in the lawsuits, this gives the recording industry a negative image. I may only like a song or a few songs off a CD. Few bands today, I follow to where I would want to listen to a full CD (I find myself pushing the 'skip' button a lot).
Since all the lawsuits from the RAA, I have not bought a single NEW CD...not one! I have had to look at used CDs. Now, all my CDs are purchased used. This way, the RAA gets no more money from me and the prices are cheaper anyway. Used CDs average $3-$10 typically. So lets see...$15-$18 or $3-$10...which do you think is better???

Until the RAA cleans up its act and realises what its root problems really are (high CD prices, negative image, suing fans vs. catering to fans, getting better talent, etc), I will continue to purchase only used CDs.
 
Superfly
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RE: The Grand Years Of The Recording Industry

Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:43 pm

Vaporlock:
You are correct on the Little River Band.  Big thumbs up


US Air/TWA Fan:
You make a very valid point.

Few bands today, I follow to where I would want to listen to a full CD (I find myself pushing the 'skip' button a lot).

I still think the Compact Disc is partially the problem. The Compact Disc can hold up to 75 minutes of music. The LP holds about 45-50 minutes. Artist were forced to put onlt there best stuff on wax, thus eliminating filler material. Now artist have 75 minutes and most of it is filler material.
There is a reason that Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is STILL the best selling album ever and I doubt any new album will ever surpass Thriller in record sales.

The Eagles 'Greatest Hits 1971-1975' doesn't count because that is a compilation of material from 4 different albums.
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