Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Guy Garvey doesn't like the iTunes

Guy Garvey doesn't much like iTunes because - goodness - it saves people having to wade through filler tracks:

"Ultimately, iTunes is a device for selling hardware, MP3-playing hardware, so they should give the artists the freedom to lock their records if they want and it's something that I'm personally gonna see if I can make happen because it's fucking important.

"It's not the buying thing either, it's not like I want GBP7.99 (for an album) not 79p (for a single track). I'd rather people ripped the whole thing for free than got the individual tracks for 79p each, you know what I mean.

"There's no point in doing what we do (otherwise)."

Yes, he really is suggesting that he thinks people should be forced to take the padding tracks they don'r want, and he'd rather make no money at all than have people not take them.

It's unclear if Garvey is suggesting that audiences be made to listen to every bloody track, too - perhaps by having their ears held open as the tunes are poured in through large trumpet-shaped devices.

It hasn't occurred to him that the way to make sure that people listen to every track is to make every track worth listening to - the songs left on the virtual iTunes aren't there because people are being cussed by not buying them. They don't buy them because they don't want them, Guy.

Still, as he says, this is "fucking important", although why it's different to the situation when a successful single from an album could outsell its parent record ten, twenty, even one hundredfold isn't clear; nor why it's so sweary-mouthed important that people continue to purchase music in bunches of tracks determined by the technical limitations and capabilities of the 33-and-a-third rpm disc over half a century ago.


Duncan said...

I guess it depends on which you consider to be the artwork - the single or the album. For someone like Kylie, it's the former, and your argument stands without question.

For a band like Elbow, the album experience as a whole is far more crucial, and just listening to individual songs (on *shudder* shuffle, perhaps) doesn't come even close to matching the experience that the album gives you.

In my opinion, anyway :)

Anonymous said...

yeah elbow are an album's band. And contrary to what you say, it's precisely because people can just pick and choose that artists fill up their albums with so much crap these days

Duncan said...

Do you really think so? I can't imagine even the most cynical of artists thinking "ahh, this one's crap. Never mind, it's just an album track, we'll whack it on anyway"...

Anonymous said...

A lack of solid gold tracks all the way through clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with whether people can pick and choose. Filler has existed since the dawn of the album. Unfortunately not all songs are created equal, and as the creator one is usually too close to the material to be able to tell the difference. I like Elbow but Garvey's talking rubbish. I suspect he may have had a few when he made this statement.

ian said...

Isn't the whole of an Elbow album padding, with only those blissful few seconds of silence every four minutes to redeem it?

Anonymous said...

Albums don't have filler tracks, just tracks we don't all like. One person's filler is another person's next single. Bands don't write 16 tracks for a 16 track album, they might write double that. So for them it's a distillation, creating a concentrated work of where they are at that point musically. Sometimes it's 16 tracks of shit.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I'm sure that many bands do take that approach, anonymous. But other bands? Especially what we used to call singles acts will shove tracks on to make up the numbers.

You might have written 100 tracks for a 12 track release - or had them written for you - and you may know in your heart that only 10 are really worth sharing. That you're putting the least worst two of the remaining 90 onto the record doesn't stop them being filler..

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