So, it turns out you can browse eMusic without being logged in, but the big "SIGN UP" splash-screen doesn't give you a browse button; it's only later, when you've tried to get your password back that you find it. They do have Fire Escape, but are fined seven points for being a horrible experience. And, also, for having a glacially slow 'retrieve your password' service.
On to round two, and it's On The Wire/Snub TV favourite Gary Clail with his proto-Peta veg-pusher track Beef. Beef! How low can you go? Hear the cattle cry - death row. You know the one.
Officially credited to Gary Clail On-U Sound System featuring Bim Sherman, this made it to 64 in the charts back in 1990. And impacted on sales of sausages at the far end of student halls of residences for about a week.
You have to wonder: had the On-U Sound System ever got the success they deserved, and its component parts branched out into their own fashion ranges, would Bim Sherman constantly have had his clothes seized by trading standards, alongside Gooci belts and DYKN sunglasses?
Come on, then, competiting music services - can you give me a side of Beef?
After a wobbly start with Rote Kapelle, at least Spotify can point to a few Gary Clail tracks. But no Beef.
I am, of course, pondering at which point to deploy my 'where's the Beef' gag. Don't want to go too soon with it.
They come up with the goods - or, at least, thirty seconds of the goods. It's a minced Beef. To add insult to injury, it's a snatch of an extended version. What's the point of that, exactly?
Again, iTunes offer a smattering of three Gary Clail tracks and one he's done a dub all over. But no Beef. Zero for them, too. This is turning into a rout.
"Did you mean Gary Clark?" enquires we7, suggesting, in the digital-stores-as-1980s-high-street metaphor, they're occupying the role of an assistant who's been shifted from the Book department to the WH Smiths record department, struggling with the paper catalogue but desperate to help. Zero.
Pushing aside the young pretenders, YouTube comes up with the goods:
Ten points. Although it's lucky we're not docking points for visual clarity.
Bemusingly, Amazon's mp3 store has no Gary Clail tracks, but offers three ways to search him to get no returns. Minus one for taking the piss a bit.
There's no Beef on Imeem, but they do have more Gary Clail stuff than anyone else bar YouTube. A point for the effort.
Bloody hell, I've used eMusic in the past and don't remember it being so user-hostile. A search on Gary Clail comes up with this:
Artist names matching gary clail (623 results)
* Gary Numan
* Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
* Gary Peacock
* Gary Moore
* Gary Burton
* Gary Stadler
* Gary Jules
* Gary Versace
* Gary Hoey
* Gary Lewis and The Playboys
* Gary Cooper
* Rev. Gary Davis
* The Gary Tesca Orchestra
* Gary Bartz
* Gary Numan / Tubeway Army
How, exactly, does Gary Numan "match" Gary Clail? This is the Woolworths' assistant suggesting "ooh, there was a lad lived up the road called Gary; he was Elsie's eldest, went to sea, I think; his brother married a nutritionist." After a lot of pushing, eMusic eventually offers up rapidly-forgotten late-90s Dutch dub act Beef, which earns them a point for fighting obscurity with obscurity.
At the end of the second round, then:
Amazon - 14
LastFM - 10
YouTube - 10
itunes - 05
Imeem - 01
Spotify - 00
We7 - 00
eMusic - -04
We'll be back in the evening with the next round: Ready for some NME-praised mid-90s Welsh rock, anyone?