Since I’ve stopped buying physical music albums, I sort of lost touch on what exactly is out there at stores. This past year I’ve pretty much downloaded about 85% of the music I have listened too. I think the only albums I actually bought were The Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Offspring, and both Nine Inch Nails releases (however, those don’t count since Trent pretty much gave those albums away for free).
Still, it really does amaze me when I am out and about at the store and I see the physical albums that I had long since downloaded before there releases only to see how much of a rip off you actually get. It’s really pathetic, to think I used to be such a loyal droid to the music industries system. For one thing, a few months ago I illegally downloaded Slipknot’s album, “All Hope Is Gone” which included three bonus tracks. Okay, I thought these bonus tracks were a normal thing attached to the release, but then while I was driving around with my friend Lilly I noticed her physical “purchased” album didn’t have the extra three bonus songs. On top of that, I downloaded P!nk’s latest album “Funhouse” which included two bonus songs. Again, I thought these tracks were found on all releases, but low and behold, Lilly’s copy only has 12 songs and not 14 like my digital “free” copy.
Oh, and don’t talk to me about sound quality either cause I only download 320kbps copies of albums and songs. (I’m not one of those FLAC kids yet, sorry.. but I like to listen to my music in my Zune thank-you-very-much.) Anyway, today I downloaded The Killers “Day & Age” four hours after it leaked, and already there are two bonus songs that have me doubt they’re even in the physical US version. While I’m really loving the album (“Spaceman”, “Neon Tiger”, and “Joyride” rule!), it’s the exclusives and separation of bonus songs that are such a turn off. I’m almost certain these decisions aren’t created by the actual rock bands themselves but their record labels and companies. I’m pretty sure P!nk intended on having the other two songs on her album cause they’re really good and definitely compliment her record. Same thing goes for The Killers. The industry loves to bitch how people like me killing everything, but am I really? I won’t bring in the shitty economy on to this, but come on, it’s pretty fucking obvious to see that the music industry grabbed a shotgun and shot themselves in the foot by trying to fuck over their costumers. The only reason I bought The Offspring’s album, “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” (while I had it for free 1 week before it’s release INCLUDING the bonus track “OC Life”), is because at heart, I have been a big fan of them for years and years and I felt it was my duty as a loyal fan to go out that day and buy their album. But you know what? You can’t rely on that all the time Mr. Bigwig Musicbiz, because even buying it I knew it was a bullshit move to screw over fans by not having the extra track. Shit, copies of there previous album “Splinter” have had bonus DVD’s in other countries outside the United States.
While giving some countries or big box stores exclusives may seem nice and cute, is it any wonder why sales of physical albums have been plummeting to the ground each year? Why should I go out
As for supporting the bands, I do. You see, while I have downloaded all 4 albums by The Killers without buying any of their albums I did buy two tickets to their upcoming tour. That’s money the industry doesn’t touch, it goes straight to the band. I still buy band merch and as you all know, I go to plenty of shows.
So I guess the more I see it, the more it becomes clear that the whole “support the band by buying the CD at a big box store” is just a gimmick. If you really want to support them go out and buy their discs at their concert or purchase their shirts at Hot Topic or official online stores.