Funny thing about bands releasing new albums, everybody has already heard it before it comes out. Bootleggers and engineering interns all over the world spread the album around as soon as a final mix is delivered, and UK sensation Belle and Sebastian is no exception.
In expectation of their new album, The Life Pursuit, the band has released a single called “Funny Little Frog”. Incedentally, I know a number of people who have heard not just the single but the entire album. They downloaded it off of some P2P site, and they have already reviewed it and told their friends its merits and misgivings. What I like is the preemptive response they posted on the front page of their official website:
IF you happen to be going to one of our UK shows, AND you happen to stumble over our lp somewhere on the net, you MAY have a listen… we wouldn’t want you to arrive COMPLETELY unprepared! You’ll want to own it when it comes out anyway. Wont you?
This is a pretty modern outlook on a potentially harmful situation. Here we have the talent, who doesn’t make much money on the record sales anyway, saying, “If it will enhance your experience seeing us live, we are ok with you SAMPLING our work, but please be first in line on release day, OK? If you’re not going to support us in concert, kindly wait your turn like a good lad or lass.” That’s a good way to put it. They make a lot more money off of concerts and merchandise than they really do off of record sales, so let them sample it while it’s not in stores, especially if it means they will share it with their friends and get more tails in the concert hall.
I think this is why lots of artists have a live taping policy. If people percieve the live shows to be entertaining, they’re more likely to shell out the cash when the band comes around. You also get to download a little souvenir of the band’s visit to your humble borough. What could be a better keepsake? (except of course a show poster)
I’m sorry that piracy is so abundant. I don’t understand why people can’t wait until the album is released. What’s the rush? If you work for the press, shouldn’t you be able to get an advance copy anyway? Seriously. I don’t want to hear any complaints. I buy my albums, especially for bands I want to see stick around, and Belle and Sebastian falls into that category. Totally.
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