Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Robert Smith says 'keep off the iTunes'

There was a bit of a cock-up with the pricing of the new Cure ep on iTunes, with the system getting confused and thinking it was an album, offering a £7-99 single-pop. Terribly embarrassing, of course, but it got picked up quickly and the price fixed.

Unfortunately, not before Robert Smith - or, actually, it might have been Arthur Smith off Grumpy Old Men bounced on to the internet to warn his fans:

"This is absurd," Smith wrote. "TMU [shorthand for 'The Men Upstairs'] have managed to fuck this up to another level."

He also posted an email he sent to the label, where he claimed the pricing was "totally fucking wrong".

"I fucking despair," he added.

Smith instructed his fans not to buy the ep off iTunes - although if he was that bothered, he could have just suggested they buy it in individual chunks at 79p a go.

Of course, someone who - not for the first time - is flogging off his back catalogue in yet another remixed form might want to think a little before accusing anyone else of ripping off fans.


Anonymous said...

"I fucking despair," he added.

"Despair" about the price of mp3s. Robert Smith really has gone emo. If this is how he now uses the word "despair" I dread to think what his more recent lyrics are like. Where once we could, for want of a better word, enjoy the beautiful anguish and depression of Faith, Seventeen Seconds or Pornography, we are now forced to endure the sheer awfulness of the price of mp3s. Death and Suicide are shrouded by its terrifying shadow. I feel must now retire to the darkest corner of my room with my Poe and Goethe.

danbutt said...

I'm not sure that's entirely fair. If you read Smith's original post at http://www.thecure.com/default.asp he explains that people can't just buy the individual tracks for 79p a go, as there's one track - the 65 Days of Static remix - which you only get if you buy the album as a package. So he was worried that people would, in fact, get ripped off - paying an extortionate amount for a single remix.

The tracks are remixes of songs from the forthcoming album, so I think "flogging off his back catalogue in yet another remixed form" isn't really accurate. And finally - it's a charity EP. "All Artist royalties from the Hypnagogic States EP will benefit The International Red Cross."

So, sure, it's an intemperate email, but it's the latest in a series of critiques that Smith has posted in relation to Universal's handling of the new album. Right or wrong, that's the context of the "I fucking despair" statement.

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