Lo Res Labels

Insider music biz stuff should in most cases stay that way because normal folk, what I like to call "civilians," don't care about who said what to whom in the bowels of some label HQ in Burbank or Manhattan. There's also something pitifully self-indulgent and exclusionary and ultimately pathetic about people who are in the know about the music biz and live to tell you about it.

That all said, here's one that I can’t believe and just have to share. For a feature on Third Stream Jazz in the October issue of Stereophile I needed hi res jpegs of the cover art of two Modern Jazz Quartet albums that were both released in the early Sixties on Atlantic Records. After nearly two weeks all Atlantic could come up with was one low res jpeg that I couldn't use. I ended up having a Stereophile writer's wife scan an LP copy of one of the records.

So explain to me again why every cover in the Atlantic Records catalog has not already been scanned at this late date. The two covers I needed were from records Atlantic bought and paid for years and years ago. Selling old catalog is pure cream for labels. And it's something they all love and spend much time scheming about; How can we sell more catalog? How can we repackage the catalog? Blah Blah Blah. I'll tell ya how! Have something as simple and basic as artwork standing by when some damned fool magazine editor like me calls up and says he's doing a story on 40 year old records!!!

The reasons why the music business is in about as much trouble as the publishing business is right now is not rocket science. This is very basic marketing we're talking about here folks. There are times when I really do wonder what business the major music labels are in. It can't be selling records.

On a totally unrelated topic, I hear Springsteen's new record, much of it recorded in Atlanta, is finished. Sony has certainly managed to keep a lid on this one. I hear the material on it is classic E Street Band rockers with some soft Bruce solo stuff thrown in. Slated for a fall release, look out for a promotional tsunami to come crashing down soon. It couldn’t come at a better time for the biz. It really needs a solid Bruce record right now; something that might generate some enthusiasm, create some sales.

Tony's picture

I'm not a fan of Bruce. I just like the space between the songs.