Apple's new "Apple Music" (streaming anything you can wrap your ears around for $9.99 per month) and the whole concept of streaming music is another nail in the coffin of music itself.
I thought I'd stream, via Apple Music, Elton John and Bernie Taupin's latest (33rd!) WONDERFUL CRAZY WORLD. Back in the day, I would've run to the nearest store carrying the latest releases at my first opportunity and "just buy it." That's what we ALL did. We just BOUGHT it. No leaked tunes. No piracy. No teasers, and no videos either. Most of the time, we didn't even know what an artist looked like unless they were on AMERICAN BANDSTAND, SOUL TRAIN, or DON KIRSCHNER'S ROCK CONCERT (at midnight on Saturdays). If we were lucky, maybe we had a friend who let us hear the 45rpm of the first single, and we'd mutter that it wasn't as good as this or that, and just hope the album, for which the 45rpm set the tone, was better.
But when we bought the vinyl, cassette or 8-trak, we BOUGHT it and OWNED it. Couldn't say "I don't like this, please refund my money." It just collected dust very quickly, and after a summer, it was relegated to the back of the stacks.
And, sad to say, Apple Music nips that right in the bud. I'm listening to it, and probably the only good song is LOOKING UP, but it's got that carnival "write me a hit in five minutes" sound. And truly, Elton could write a brilliant song set to Bernie's lyrics in ten minutes, 15 minutes if it was complicated. But he wrote HARMONY in about 5 minutes. I'VE SEEN THAT MOVIE TOO in 10 minutes. Elton himself has said "if I had to spend more than 20 minutes working on it (music set to new lyrics), I would put it aside, and that was it." NOTE: I'd love to read Bernie's cast-off lyrics!
So now it's worse than internet porn. When I was studying for my Masters in e-media, porn was the first industry which could get the money out of the horny customers' pockets, and deliver AFTER it was paid for.
Now, we can find anything we want, anywhere, anytime. Missed that concert at Madison Square Garden? Don't worry. It'll be on YouTube before the next sunrise. Did you miss Grace Jones' last show at The Roseland before it was torn down? Most of it's on YouTube.
Did you see Depeche Mode's PLAYING THE ANGEL at Madison Square Garden? Aww. Shit. Had to go to work? Well, within the year, PLAYING THE ANGEL will be available in any number of formats: Super Deluxe Box, Super Deluxe, Digipak DVD/CD with Auto-Rip.
Don't want to pay? Scour the net, and you'll find it in five minutes. If you're slow.
So, I listened to Elton & Bernie's latest WONDERFUL, CRAZY WORLD, and guess what? I don't like it. So I'm not going to buy it. Apple's got the $9.99, but that's just one album they'll play, I won't buy, and DIEHARDS will get the Super Deluxe Box with VINYL....which is making a serious comeback. Strange. CDs killed VINYL and now streaming digital is killing actual in-store purchases, and we'll buy our favourite stuff on vinyl, and the REALLY good stuff in the Super Deluxe Box.
It really is a wonderful, crazy world, Elton.
I'm just not in the mood to pay for this one.
I'll take yet another trip down the Yellow Brick Road where people have knives in their eyes.