Music Industry

An Ex-Indie Record Store Owner Defends the Record Industry’s Old Ways in “Elegy for the ‘Suits'”

Not everyone things the Internet was the greatest thing to happen to music. Check out this opinion piece from the New York Times:

I WAS the worst kind of music retailer. I got high on my own supply. What a rush it was to anticipate the new release from a favorite artist. If my store was out of stock on an item, there was a good chance it was because my partner and I took the last copies home.

I was — and am — a music junkie.

We were on top of the world for a while, but as soon as business dropped, we blamed the “suits” at the labels. It was their fault for raising CD prices. It was their fault for reissuing the same music over and over. Now, almost 10 years after we closed the shop doors for good, every last note of recorded music is at my fingertips. No more waiting and anticipating. Just get up, pour some coffee and minutes later, every release is on your hard drive.

Quite frankly, I hate it.

As an ex-indie record shop owner, I never thought I’d say this, but I miss those suits at the major labels calling the shots and deciding what was worthy of release.

The suits made hits and created stars because they knew something. The suits had been around the block and back, having experienced, firsthand, everyone from Jimmy Dorsey to Jimi Hendrix to Jeff Buckley to J. Lo. I trusted them because they earned that trust, at least on a purely musical level.

Continue reading.

(Via FYI Music News)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38035 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “An Ex-Indie Record Store Owner Defends the Record Industry’s Old Ways in “Elegy for the ‘Suits'”

  • I have to agree with many of the points made here. It’s a very mixed blessing when the traditional restrictions of making music are gone and quite literally anyone can record and distribute their work.

    Maybe I’m getting older, but I miss the “curating” of the old labels.


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