Here is an open letter to the recording industry by "Music Buyer," which was posted at



Hi there. I don't know if you remember be. It's been a long time since we've talked. I'm your customer.

That's right. I'm one of the bustling consumers that has for many years spent thousands and thousands of hard earned dollars on your product.

In fact, I'm such a loyal customer that I've bought some of your products many times over either because I've lost them and couldn't live without them, or because you came up with an extra value added feature, or even because you claimed that you improved them - even if you didn't.

In some ways, I guess you could say I'm a sucker. But because people like me are out here, you make money.

I have a little confession to make, though. You may find this shocking, but I have heard some music that you haven't "officially" released. While I realize this makes us a little less exclusive, I hope you understand that it doesn't mean we are over. There are just some things you haven't been able to give me, but I will always be a loyal customer.

Since I'm in a confessing mood, there are some other things I should get off my chest. Back when my car had a cassette deck, I used to copy my records and CDs onto blank tapes to play in it instead of buying pre-recorded ones. Again, I know that's not what you had in mind but I really have been a great customer. And it wasn't really very many.

My new car has a CD player. But... my auto insurance doesn't cover theft of my CDs so I made duplicates on CDRs so that my discs, especially the rare ones, can stay protected at home. I'm sure you agree that this is fair, since I really DID buy the music. If not, I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you.

There's this whole other conversation we need to have at some point also. I'm not sure exactly how you feel about it - I got an Ipod. Given some of your feelings in the past, I'm not sure whether it's okay to copy my 1500 or so legally purchased CDs into it, or whether you'd like me to purchase newly downloaded files. I think I know what you're going to say, but like I said - we gotta talk.

Really, the reason I felt urgently that I needed to write you at this time is that I'm feeling a little unappreciated. This relationship is starting to feel a little one-sided.

When we started off, things were great. It seemed like we had so much to offer one another. I had my money that you wanted and you had lots and lots of music that I wanted to hear. It was good music, and it sounded good too. It's not that you didn't cut corners or play around at times - it's okay... I understand. No relationship is perfect and I knew you were going to cheat a little from time to time. After all, you're just an industry. And, as I've just confessed, I've had my faults too.

But lately you've been, like, so - stuck up or whatever. Like, SO superior. After everything we've done together, you've called the cops on me. You SUED me? That is SO lame! We've got history, baby - how could you play me like that?

It's almost like you think you can do better or something. Yeah, whatever! Well you know what - you're not so hot!

I know you think you're all that and bag of chips - but you ain't all that! You're not the same as you used to be. Like what's with your sound now? Why you gotta be all loud all the time? And how come you don't sing like you used to? Everything sounds the same now - you've gotten like static so that I don't listen to anything you do anymore. It's all like blah, blah, blah! It's like so soulless and boring - I feel like I don't even know you anymore!

I just need to compose myself here - I wanna say this once and I wanna say it right. I don't want no regrets.

You're gonna have to start showing me some more love.

I mean it! Enough of these cookie cutter boy bands, and crappy records by whatever rapper/actor you can dig up. I want some real music. And I want you to really try and sell it. I know there's always gonna be some crap, but you gotta cut back - you've REALLY let yourself go! And another thing, stop trying to make our GOOD music sound bad! I swear, at times I wonder if you'd paint a moustache on the Mona Lisa! These damn things sound like fingernails on a chalkboard - are you deaf? Or do you just think we all are? Turn down the damn volume!

While we're on this kick, I've got some specific demands:

No more Tupac albums.

No more Steely Dan remasters.

You're gonna have to reunite Jellyfish.

I don't like the fixed tambourine in "Day Tripper" on Beatles 1 - it confuses me!

The Monkees - I gotta have at least Headquarter and Pisces deluxe. Gotta.

Press more vinyl - it's what your real customers want.

Get Marc Ford and Weird Ed back in the Black Crowes.

Buy up every last dual disc, and destroy it. That not a format, it's BULLS**T.

The Genesis remaster have to be released as SACD domestically. Otherwise, what's the point!

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.

Now, I don't wanna hear you talk about how you're gonna change. Heard it before. I need action. You don't shape up, and I'm outta here.

I got plenty of music already, and I can always remember the good times. But you're acting like we don't have a future. And if that's that, so be it! That's not what I want, but I'm gonna do what I gotta do.

And this is not an idle threat - just ask radio.

- The Music Buyer

For more... email with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."

February 6 , 2007