So, I was
sitting around "Casa de Gordo" the other evening, a
cold Tree Frog Ale sitting on the sideboard, Barney Fife pontificating
on the teevee, thumbing through my copy of the Rick Johnson Reader.
Suddenly it struck me - the "final solution" to the
music industrys woes! Not some pie-in-the-sky scheme to
separate music fans from their hard-earned dollars, but rather
a con that would make even the most jaded Beltway lobbyist blush
with me, if you will
a new, exciting and fresh recording
medium that would prompt music fans to ditch thousands of dollars
worth of CDs to repurchase their entire music collections all
over again! A new, ahem
record, if you will
a medium that would eliminate all but a small percentage of digital
piracy. A medium that is portable (to an extent), with sound quality
like angels serenading you to sleep each night with celestial
lullabies, one that would provide a healthy kick start to the
labels bottom lines, rescue the recording industry from
obsolescence, and maybe make musicians a buck or two to pay the
that Im talking about, gentle readers, is Vinyl. Yup, that
kind of Vinyl, as in Vinyl record albums, i.e. shiny slabs o
black plastic with grooves carved into them by some noble craftsman.
You all know what Im talking about - Vinyl, the beloved
medium of audiophiles that was butchered by the major labels back
during the 80s?
The cruel music biz Dons in their executive suites issued the
contract, and the boys in production carried out the hit, while
the gals over in marketing glad-handed the fix with the press
and politicos. The bean-counters over in finance tallied up the
dollars from new CD sales while the Dons, in their silk-suits,
sipped Cognac and laughed all the way to the bank
1999, that is...
things attempted by the major labels, however, they botched the
hit and Vinyl managed to get away, scarred but alive, disappearing
to someplace safe (England). Sure, the conspiracy-minded among
us believed Vinyl had survived all along. There were signs through
punk 45s that would pop up mysteriously in specialty
music shops, import albums would silently cross the border and
take their place among our record collections.
labels could simply start
all over again, in the beginning,
turning the clock back to 1955.
They could begin by releasing
classic Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and
Rick Nelson songs as 45 singles
to gauge public interest and
whet the cultural appetite.
Some of the
loony-tunes on the fringe of the industry believed that the whole
hit on Vinyl had been a scam from the beginning, the biz just
waiting to bring the medium back from retirement.
Either way, after nearly two decades out of the spotlight, Vinyl
is tan, rested and ready to re-take its rightful place as the
recording medium of choice for music fans everywhere.
In some twisted,
semi-logical way, it makes perfect sense. At least one of the
"Four Families" of the recording industry - Sony - has
its fingers all over the hardware racket. Surely they could dig
their turntable schematics out of mothballs, blow off the dust
and start production on a new generation of record players. The
other labels could toss caution to the wind, throw a few interns
into the vaults and see what they come out with. CD-pressing plants,
largely owned by the labels, could be re-fitted to manufacture
Vinyl records and savvy lobbyists could probably coerce a few
tax breaks out of an always-eager Congress to pay for the entire
could simply start all over again, in the beginning, turning the
clock back to 1955. They could begin by releasing classic Elvis
Presley, Chuck Berry and Rick Nelson songs as 45 singles to gauge
public interest and whet the cultural appetite. Hell, if the kids
like Justin Timberlake, theyll love Presley, who has more
soul in his pinkie finger than Timberlake has in his entire body
and Elvis doesnt sing like a girl, either! Rap fans would
naturally gravitate towards Chuck Berry
the legendary singers
career rap sheet makes 50 Cent look like a choir boy! Nelson could
become a teen idol again, some 22 years after his death.
hook has been thrown in the water, the labels could bring their
big guns out of the vaults - The British Invasion! This time,
they can do it right, and forget about all of that embarrassing
Pat Boone and whitebread pop that came between E and
just jump straight into the Brit-band years.
Forget about Radiohead, what about the Who? The Beatles, the Rolling
Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, Freddy & the Dreamers
the list of top-notch musicians from the era is seemingly endless.
And, in a couple of years, after fans have purchased all of their
favorite British Invasion bands on 180-grain virgin Vinyl albums,
the labels can roll out Bob Dylan, the Byrds, Peter Paul and freakin
Mary, and relive the folk-rock boom of the mid-'60s all over again.
Even if the
labels release big chunks of albums during a comparatively short
period of time (i.e. reissue all of the British Invasion albums
during the summer of 09), they still have almost 50 years
of music to sort through and sell, lots of gems to market to an
eager record-buying public.
After The British Invasion and the folk-rock stuff they could
do a year-long tribute to the psychedelic era
Airplane, Love, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service,
Moby Grape, Blue Cheer
something for everybody in the labels
new world re-order!
conversion to Vinyl makes sense
dollars and cents, that
is! It would cost the labels little or nothing to get back into
the Vinyl game. After all, all of these old records were originally
made 25-50 years ago, the cost of recording and production long
since recouped and/or written off.
If the labels begin releasing new titles exclusively on Vinyl
and digitally through iTunes (or whatever retailer Doug Morris
decides to support) and ditched the CD format altogether, piracy
issues would all but disappear. New jobs would be created in the
manufacturing sector, cranking out PVC for record production.
Recording industry jobs would be saved, money would be made and,
most importantly, the Dons of the Four Families would actually
earn their obscene paychecks for a change.
And if this
doesnt work, they can always go back to mono...
Note: Visit Rev. Keith A. Gordon's blog page at http://ryanadamssucks.com/.