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Sir Paul McCartney: ‘I Also Downloaded Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows”

December 26, 2007

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British rock legend Sir Paul McCartney criticized his former record label EMI for its “boring” approach, and accused it of taking him for granted in an interview with the UK’s “The Times.”

Sir McCartney said he also became frustrated with the amount of time it took for EMI to release a song – while he wanted them released within weeks, record label executives expected to take months.

“I’d started saying to them: ‘Look, we could write a thing and have it released the next week.’ And they would say: ‘You can’t do that these days.’ So I would say: ‘Well, how much time do you need?’ And they’d say six months. I said: ‘Why do you need that long?’ And do you know what they said? ‘To figure out how to market it.’ I said: ‘Wait a minute, are you sure you need six months for that? Couldn’t some bright people do that in two days?’ Jesus Christ. I said: ‘Look boys, I’m sorry, I’m digging a new furrow.”

He also noted that he too was one of the millions who downloaded Radiohead’s “In Rainbows,” paying “something reasonable.”

“This was how we used to operate,” he noted. “I remember John [Lennon], for instance, writing Instant Karma and demanding it was released the following week.”

EMI, on the other hand, wasn’t able to perform such a “miraculous” task and he lamented that music artists there “had become a part of the furniture.”

“I’d be a couch; Coldplay are an armchair. And Robbie Williams, I dread to think what he was … But the most important thing was, I’d felt (the people at EMI) had become really very boring, y’know? And I dreaded going to see them.”

Asked what he meant by accusing the record company of being “boring”, Sir McCartney responded: “Well, because I could guess what they were going to say.” He added that he became frustrated with what he described as the “treadmill” approach of the company when it came to marketing music. “You go somewhere, speak to a million journalists for one day, and you get all the same questions. It’s mind-numbing.

“So I started saying: ‘God, we’ve got to do something else’.” McCartney split with EMI earlier this year, and released his latest album Memory Almost Full with coffee giant Starbucks’s newly-launched Hear Music label.

Now I can only imagine what it was like when EMI execs would meet with Sir McCartney, but you’d think that they’d give him carte blanche to do as he pleases. I think as a former Beatle, and as a music artist in every sense of the word, he’s at least earned that courtesy. When a guy like Sir McCartney says “Well this is what John and I used to do,” and “John” is the John of all Johns besides that baptist fella, it’s probably safe to bet that his plan will work out just fine.

I mean honestly, 6 months to market what he can do in 6 hours? No wonder the music biz is falling apart.

What’s also telling about Sir McCartney is that he really is all about the music. Always has and always will. Unlike Prince and others who seem to try and sue any website that allows fans to hear their music unless they benefit financially, he has own official YouTube channel. Sure he can afford it, but can’t Prince?

in ZeroPaid

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Radiohead Slam New Owners Of EMI Records

December 24, 2007

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Radiohead have said that the new owners of EMI Records – private Terra Firma – “don’t fully understand” the music industry.

Speaking about the reasons for their departure from the label’s offshoot Parlophone, which came during Terra Firma’s takeover talks earlier this year, guitarist Ed O’Brien said they were glad to leave the label.

“We’ll miss the people we work with, all the people at [EMI subsidiary] Parlophone. The rest of the stuff about maybe not understanding the music industry? Terra Firma don’t fully understand.”

“Because one of the great things about the music industry is that it’s not an industry. It’s a collective of a series of relationships with people.”

Frontman Thom Yorke added that ultimately Terra Firma weren’t able to give the band the artistic freedom that they wanted.

“They didn’t seem very interested and neither did we,” he told the BBC.

“They [EMI] had us on a very, very long leash, for a very long time and that was because they had a series of artist that they allowed to do that like the [Pink] Floyd and Queen and everybody, and its really worked.

“And now when you’re in a situation with private equity firms, it [Terra Firma] looks at music as something to buy and then sell on.”

in Gigwise.com

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Wallpaper – Led Zeppelin 2

December 23, 2007

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Wallpaper – Led Zeppelin

December 22, 2007

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Spice Girls have ‘backstage bust-up’

December 21, 2007

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The Spice Girls’ UK comeback was marred by tension between the singers on their big night, according to a report.

The atmosphere backstage at London’s O2 Arena reportedly turned sour on Saturday night when Geri Halliwell, Mel B, Mel C and Emma Bunton complained that Victoria Beckham was receiving special treatment.

A report in the Daily Mail claims that Posh’s microphone was turned down lower than her fellow group members’, while there was also resentment about her being given the highest heels to wear. The article also suggests that Beckham annoyed the rest of the girls by refusing to put up the hood on one of her costumes – because she did not want her hair to get messy.

“All of these silly petty things just got on the nerves of the other girls,” a source told the newspaper. “And to top it off when Victoria kept getting the loudest applause and cheers, it really grated on the others.

“The fact Posh probably had the least to do but was getting the best reception was a bit disheartening. It all blew up backstage afterwards and there were some very stern words and evil looks exchanged.”

However, a spokesman for the group denied the rumours, insisting: “All of the others were thrilled by the response Victoria got from the crowd.”

in Showbiz News

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Led Zeppelin currently ‘considering tour’

December 20, 2007

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Led Zeppelin are currently ‘considering a tour’, according to sources at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, who are attempting to book the band for the venue.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis, who is involved in the stadium and is a friend of Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, told the Wales On Sunday that venue officials were talking to Harvey Goldsmith, the band’s promoter, about the possible gig.

“Initially Harvey said they were only going to do a one-off gig, but now they are considering a tour,” Lewis explained.

“We [the Millenium Stadium] are the only stadium in Britain with a retractable roof and we can guarantee a perfect event for 70,000 people. There’s nowhere else in the country that can do that.”

in NME

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Further lack of harmony between EMI and top acts

December 19, 2007

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The relationship between EMI and some of its leading artists soured further yesterday as the record label suggested Robbie Williams’s potential departure would not be a great loss, and a source close to artist Joss Stone said the 20-year-old had become “disillusioned” with the company.

The record label, recently bought by Guy Hands’s Terra Firma private equity company, played down the significance of Williams’s possible departure, saying he represented a tiny percentage of worldwide revenues, as the singer considers his future with the label.

Mr Williams signed a record £80 million deal with EMI in 2002 to produce four albums for the company.

“Robbie Williams is clearly an important artist but only represented in his best year less than 1 per cent of the worldwide revenues of EMI,” EMI said in a statement to The Times.

A source close to Joss Stone said the singer, who resigned with EMI earlier this year in a long-term deal, has more recently had concerns about Terra Firma’s commitment to music and the private equity group’s long-term investment in the business.

Joss Stone and her spokesman were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Some industry sources have raised concern that private equity investments are rarely for more than five or six years, although Terra Firma has said its investments are often for longer periods than this.

Tim Clark, Williams’s manager, said that the artist may leave the record label after he completes the final studio album of his contract for the company, which could come as early as 2009.

“While record companies used to provide finance, manufacturing and distribution, in today’s digital music market artists just need finance to fund marketing costs,” Mr Clark said.

“There is no need to go to a major record label to fund purely marketing costs, especially now the internet has reduced marketing costs dramatically.”

Williams, who has been with the company for a decade, has been one of EMI’s most successful artists in Britain, but has been unable to break into the lucrative American market.

by Amanda Andrews, Times Online