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Buying CDs and streaming music


jdgm
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As the title says.....I am still buying CDs although I spend more and more time now listening to music on Spotify, which is great as I can decide whether I like what I'm streaming enough to buy it.

To me it is a win-win situation as now I hear things I'd never have done before the net arrived.  I'm aware that it's bad for the artists royalties but as a consumer I've probably never had it so good.

The reissue/remastered box set seems to rule at the moment. Tman recently wrote a thread about the reissue Abbey Road, and a quick look on Amazon shows there are dozens of box sets being issued; The complete Band Of Gypsies concerts "Songs For Groovy Children" has just come out, and Cream's "Goodbye Live 1968" tour is due early in the New Year.  Pink Floyd's "The Later Years" is sumptuous and very expensive indeed in its full edition,  David Bowie's home demos are available,  Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, Kinks, Neil Young, Dylan (think they are releasing every recorded cough) and many more have boxes or 'anniversary' editions of some sort or other out there....and then there are the broadcast sets.   A huge number of these, pick an artist and there's probably a radio show or badly-recorded live bootleg now on CD.

So....here are some box sets and single CDs I bought this year.

Herbie Hancock - the broadcast collection 1973-1983.  8CD box at an unmissable price; Herbie live with his own bands and others including (not all at once!) Jaco Pastorius, Joni Mitchell, Santana, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Tony Williams.  Stereo broadcasts, sound quality on some of it not the best but there's a lot of great playing here.  CD8 is VSOP mk2 live in Japan - Hancock, Carter, Williams and the Marsalis brothers. That's a smokin' concert!

Robin Trower - The Studio Albums 1973-1983.  10 CD box at even more of a bargain price; I couldn't resist this for the money. I'm not a huge Trower fan but bought the 1st 3 albums when they came out and a couple more later, and they still sound good to me.  I'm not bothered about Trower copping Jimi as he did it very well, in fact.  All of these except "Victims Of The Fury" (which is awful)  sound good.  Here are Trower's best singers;  8 of the CDs feature James Dewar (R.I.P) on vocals (and bass)  who was one of Scotland's finest.  The 2 other ones have Jack Bruce who was even better - the BLT album still sounds great, for instance.    "In City Dreams"  features one of the flangiest, whirriest guitar intros ever ("Somebody Calling") and there are odd bizarre moments like the song "Birthday Boy" on "Caravan To Midnight".  I still have a soft spot for the 1st album "Twice Removed From Yesterday"; Trower's guitar groans and creaks like the rigging on a big sailing ship, then explodes into incandescent fireworks on the 2nd track.   They do not make 'em like this any more.  So there.

J.J.Cale - "Roll On" and "Stay Around".  Separate CDs.  Cale passed away in 2013 and "Roll On" was the last album he released. The title track dates from the 1970s and was on a Jessi Colter album. Cale's own version features Eric Clapton and is one of the highlights. This album is much better than "Guitar Man" or "To Tulsa And Back".  Cale was a fine bluesman but never once on any of his recordings will you hear a clenched-teeth, note-bending screaming solo.  He was a great colourist and an expert analog engineer and producer.  The 1st Cale track most people heard - "Call Me The Breeze", way back in the 70s  - was driven by a drum machine.  He uses a drum machine a lot on this album but he integrates it so well you just don't notice.  The last cut "Bring Down The Curtain"  is an unsentimental goodbye and would have been a fine epitaph - had it not been for the release this year of "Stay Around", a collection of unreleased tracks lovingly curated by his partner and manager.  IMO this is better than "Roll On" and some of the material goes back decades.   Again it is the aural textures and colours which draw you in. Hearing "Stay Around" made me feel very happy and that's what it's all about.

Scott Kinsey - "We Speak Luniwaz".  Kinsey is/was the keyboard player in Tribal Tech with Scott Henderson and this is a tribute to Joe Zawinul.  No-one can do Zawinul like Kinsey, who worked with him programming synths, and the opening track "The Harvest" is possibly even better than Zawinul's original.  Bass is by Jimmy Haslip (The Yellowjackets) and also Hadrien Feraud who is an amazing post-Jaco stylist. However one track has (pah!) a rap on it....."you ought to check out Joe Zawinul" etc.....sounds dated and completely intrusive to me.  Otherwise it's very good indeed.

Grant Green - 5 original albums. An absolute unmissable bargain on Blue Note, the original label, so Green's estate should get some royalties.  5 of Grant Green's fine Blue Note LPs and these are the Van Gelder remastered versions too, all for much less than you would have paid for a single one on CD a few years back.  These days they call this 'smooth jazz' - it has teeth when you turn it up, however.  The albums are "Idle Moments", "Street Of Dreams", "The Latin Bit", "Grant's First Stand" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".   The 1st two are acknowledged classics; "Street Of Dreams" has Larry Young, Bobby Hutcherson and Elvin Jones - what a band!  "The Latin Bit"  features an amazing rhythm section with Willie Bobo on drums who really swings.  Green's playing is a divergence IMO from the Wes Montgomery style; his tone is thinner, treblier, brighter than the plummy, thick treble-free sound favoured by his contemporaries and peers, because at the time he used a Gibson ES-330 with P90s.  He also played single-note lines much more than octaves or chordal passages.  Very cool indeed and even the Beatles cover works well.  There was always careful preparation and arrangement on Blue Note recordings and it paid off.  When you listen closely to Green you realise that he worked very hard at his craft.  The jazz encyclopedias say he was not an innovator, but to me that's partly the point; there has to be room for guys like Green, if all jazz music was up at the Coltrane super-technical level it would be unlistenable.

I also bought Tony Williams "All Stars Live In Tokyo 1978", another broadcast release,  which has Ronnie Montrose absolutely shredding his buns off....caught up on some old Amos Garrett - what a fabulous player! "Off The Floor Live" has some brilliant guitar on it including a superb "Sleepwalk"....and honorary mention to Jimmy Reed - I got a 2CD anthology, but any anthology should do.  I will never stop listening to Jimmy Reed. 

OK that's more than enough.  Apologies for going on and on!  I don't think I'm going to get the Hendrix box as I got the last 2CD issue and.....hmmm...if it was that good they'd have released it years ago.

🎸[thumbup]

Edited by jdgm
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I buy a CD every now and then when it gets released with cool extras like the last 3, 50th Anniversary LP'S by The Fab 4, and when Page remastered the Zep catalog and added a lot of studio outtakes.

I got to see Ronnie Montrose twice. What a day that was. Not the day I saw him, the day he took his life.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I'm seeing more local bands doing home made cd's. They get ALL of the money that way. The quality is equal to or better than a lot of classic recordings and they have complete control over the entire project. No label, no pocket pickers. I think it's the future.

Streaming doesn't seem right to me, as a songwriter. It simply doesn't pay beans. It's the last grasp to pick our pockets.

I'm still buying stuff from iTunes (even though the News says it's gone, the iTunes Store works fine for me) , even if it's just single songs. That's a sale for the Band/Writer and I actually own it and can compile it in any list I want.

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To say the streaming  royalties are bad to the artist and that buying a CD at a store or one song off iTunes is better for the artist isn't really true. It really depends on who owns the rights to the song and if an artist has a crappy deal with a record company.

My understanding about spotify is that the record companies are taking quite a large cut and it's not getting to the artist. Same goes for iTunes.

Usually purchasing merch directly from the band is the best way to support the artist, whether on their bandcamp page or at a show. You can usually get a digital version of their songs from them there too. Good replacement for iTunes, so you don't have to support that company.

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I listen to the various Streams which are in MP3 format... It's ok. But, I prefer CD's as they're in High Resolution WAV Format.. 

I still have many Albums from the 60's - 80's.. But, I no longer have a Turntable.. Maybe for Christmas? I hope. 

Ultimately I prefer the Sound from Vinyl LP's over both of the other Formats...

 

 

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4 hours ago, deeman said:

To say the streaming  royalties are bad to the artist and that buying a CD at a store or one song off iTunes is better for the artist isn't really true. It really depends on who owns the rights to the song and if an artist has a crappy deal with a record company.

My understanding about spotify is that the record companies are taking quite a large cut and it's not getting to the artist. Same goes for iTunes.

Usually purchasing merch directly from the band is the best way to support the artist, whether on their bandcamp page or at a show. You can usually get a digital version of their songs from them there too. Good replacement for iTunes, so you don't have to support that company.

Record Co's always got a big percentage as they fronted all the expenses. Nothing new. Spotify pays literally 0.. 

An Indy Artist with a strong following can release his or her Music & keep about 80% these days. Of course they pay all the upfront expenses. If that Artist could sell 100,000 Downloads per year that would be about $80,000.  If they could sell 100,000 Albums that would be about $800,000.

You would definitely have to be out on Performing over a large area to build a huge Fanbase. You'd also. Be making $$$ from performing.

Is it realistic? Who knows? Depends on the Artist & the Music. It's a big crap shoot. But, it's doable...

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7 hours ago, Larsongs said:

Record Co's always got a big percentage as they fronted all the expenses. Nothing new. Spotify pays literally 0.. 

An Indy Artist with a strong following can release his or her Music & keep about 80% these days. Of course they pay all the upfront expenses. If that Artist could sell 100,000 Downloads per year that would be about $80,000.  If they could sell 100,000 Albums that would be about $800,000.

You would definitely have to be out on Performing over a large area to build a huge Fanbase. You'd also. Be making $$$ from performing.

Is it realistic? Who knows? Depends on the Artist & the Music. It's a big crap shoot. But, it's doable...

Who the hell sells that many albums nowadays? Everyone streams and steals. Even established acts don't, and they pad their sales when they give you a free CD when you buy a concert ticket. Its just different now.

Vinyl is making a comeback but at $25 a pop I am super selective about what I get.

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Streaming has become my favorite way to discover new music.   I love plugging in a genre or musician and seeing how the playlist builds.  I pay for the right to stream music (google play) not sure how the musicians get paid, hope they get something for it.  I have discovered quite a lot of music / musicians this way, it gives exposure...

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18 hours ago, Larsongs said:

Record Co's always got a big percentage as they fronted all the expenses. Nothing new. Spotify pays literally 0.. 

 

Spotify does not pay literally 0.. For an independent band that is moderately successful it can be a wonderful supplemental income source in addition to their album and merch sales on the road.

Google Play does do a much better job of royalty payment so kudos to Billroy.

See this article https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/03/how-much-musicians-make-spotify-itunes-youtube

As you can see, artists complaining about spotify, especially like huge ones like Taylor Swift, are just getting F-ed by their labels. Taylor would make a killing off Spotify even at a 80% of a penny a steam. but her label takes 80% of that 80%.

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With few exceptions, the musicians never got paid beans.

When Motown was courting us their highest offer was 2 cents per song sold. Out of our royalties would come inflated recording costs, inflated promotion costs, and inflated distribution costs. Our manager figured we would have to sell at least a million copies of our first album to end up not owing Motown money.

This is why you had so many 'one hit wonders' or 'one CD wonders". They didn't make their 'nut' and in order to record again, they would have to pay the record company what they owed. So the label dropped them, called it even, and they didn't get another chance.

However if your record went viral, and sold enough to pay of your debt to the record company and make a lot of money, you could negotiate better terms for your next album, and you would be considered "an automatic" like The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, or Taylor Swift.

The gatekeepers keep all the money.

It's just like open-mic night where musicians work for free, the owners reap the profit, the bartenders, wait staff, chefs, and even the janitors get paid, but the musician gets zilch.

Artists love what we do, and that's why we are so easily exploited.

Insights and incites by Notes

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On 12/19/2019 at 6:51 AM, Murph said:

 

Beans.

A pittance.

That's why musicians have to tour so much, sell t-shirts and cd's, and why they all start their own labels.

The Grateful Dead ( the real one) didn't. They never sold albums , they just toured and toured and then Jerry died. The hippies in the parking lot took care of the tye dyed t-shirt sales and Owsley.

They  were on WB got dumped and then started  their own label, but it folded. Then they signed to Arista, and of course they toured.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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On December 18, 2019 at 6:52 PM, Sgt. Pepper said:

Who the hell sells that many albums nowadays? Everyone streams and steals. Even established acts don't, and they pad their sales when they give you a free CD when you buy a concert ticket. Its just different now.

Vinyl is making a comeback but at $25 a pop I am super selective about what I get.

That's why you Tour... That  & if you're good enough & can build a strong following you can sell CD's, Ball Caps, T Shirts etc..  Unfortunately, most aren't good enough.

It's all about Marketing & Promotion. Unfortunately, most aren't good enough at that either..

But, some are really good at both. Just ask Taylor & Mariah about Record Sales........

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5 hours ago, Larsongs said:

That's why you Tour... That  & if you're good enough & can build a strong following you can sell CD's, Ball Caps, T Shirts etc..  Unfortunately, most aren't good enough.

It's all about Marketing & Promotion. Unfortunately, most aren't good enough at that either..

But, some are really good at both. Just ask Taylor & Mariah about Record Sales........

Taylor and Mariah are established acts. I'm not a fan, but I'm sure those two women want for nothing and could live the rest of their lives comfortably and never sing another note.

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3 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Taylor and Mariah are established acts. I'm not a fan, but I'm sure those two women want for nothing and could live the rest of their lives comfortably and never sing another note.

They weren't always..  They all start somewhere.. Then, make it happen from there.. If, they got what it takes... The reality is, not many do. But, they & others are proof that it is doable...

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21 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

The Grateful Dead ( the real one) didn't. They never sold albums , they just toured and toured and then Jerry died. The hippies in the parking lot took care of the tye dyed t-shirt sales and Owsley.

They  were on WB got dumped and then started  their own label, but it folded. Then they signed to Arista, and of course they toured.

 

According to wiki they sold over 35 million albums. Underestimate the Dead at your own peril. 

 

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This article is about the rock band. For the folktale, see Grateful dead (folklore).
Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead (1970).png
The Grateful Dead in 1970, from a promotional photo shoot. Left to right: Bill Kreutzmann, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh.
Background information
Origin Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Genres Rock
Years active 1965–1995
Labels
Associated acts
Website dead.net
 
Past members

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California.[1][2] The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock;[3][4] for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams;[5][6] and for its devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads." "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists."[7] These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world".[8] The band was ranked 57th by Rolling Stone magazine in its The Greatest Artists of All Time issue.[9] The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994[10] and a recording of their May 8, 1977 performance at Cornell University's Barton Hall was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012.[11] The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

 

 

 

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Acquiring music and listening to music has changed greatly in my life. Early on in the mid 1960’s I would buy 45’s and play them on my “record player”. Listening to music on the radio was exclusively AM stations. FM had not caught on at this time. As time passed I would buy LP’s and play them on my Magnavox stereo. Radio listening was exclusively FM by the 1970’s.
 

Your album collection was treasured, it was akin to your status as “Landed Gentry” it was also an identifier as to who you were. Your music said a lot about you. 
Times change, we can’t prevent this, everything changes including us. We get older if we are fortunate, though some die before they get old.

Now I’m retired complete with the notion I’m entering the last phase of my life and I reflect back on my life and the constant thread that connects me from youth to present is music. 
Now I buy my “albums” from ITunes and SiriusXM Classic Vinyl is my radio station of choice.  Some changes are good, some are not. I just go with the flow. But I’m absolutely convinced that we Baby Boomers grew up with the best music ever created.  
And with all that, I say Rock On!

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6 minutes ago, Navy Vet. said:

 But I’m absolutely convinced that we Baby Boomers grew up with the best music ever created.  

 

 

I think this is proven with the amount of Classic Rock still being played, and used in Movies and commercials.

One this missing from those days is the anti-pop sentiment. It was cool to NOT be popular, sell out, go commercial and such.

 

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I grew up in the Bay Area and I'm pretty familiar with The Dead. I 'm not baggin' on the Grateful Dead, I love the Grateful Dead saw them 13 times (the real Dead not ever with John Mayer always with Jerry). Compared to The Beatles like you say that is a pittance, when they weigh in at a mere 177 million just in the States and worldwide top over 600 million. Hell I have 8 different copies of The Beatles aka The White Album,  7 different copies of Pepper and about 5 different copies of Abbey Road. I have them in all different formats. I would have 9 copies of The White Album but my friend about 30 years ago borrowed my 8 track version of it and never returned it.

I listen to music any way I can. Live, CD's, Vinyl, XM radio, and it the car it is just to easy to yell at Alexa and get something played hands free while driving.

 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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1 hour ago, Murph said:

I went to see Bob Dylan last year and he was selling cd's. And $ 40.00 t-shirts. And posters. The money now is in merchandising yourself. To hell with the labels.

I paid 40.00 for a Who t-shirt this year in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena before the Moving On Tour concert.  I only wear it on select and special occasions.  The concert was the best concert I’ve ever attended in 100 plus concerts.

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17 minutes ago, Navy Vet. said:

I paid 40.00 for a Who t-shirt this year in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena before the Moving On Tour concert.  I only wear it on select and special occasions.  The concert was the best concert I’ve ever attended in 100 plus concerts.

That is great. I saw them in '82. It was loud and The Clash opened and were way better that day.

I was a squid for 4 years and then switched to another branch and retired an E-8.  The Navy was fun but I had enough of there BS and the 2nd branch I joined life got a lot better.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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