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Author: Subject: Whats the Deal with Record labels?

Peach Pit





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  posted on 8/30/2007 at 01:31 PM
As a Conisour of music, I can say as many people know the 60's ,70 's are the pinnical times for music, the best came out of the era it is. But if you look at today whats come out presently for music cant compare, I have a tough time listening to "New age rock" that is on the radio, but then if you goto a local venue theres a good chance theres a really good band with dynamics playing, you kinda wonder, why arent the good modern bands being signed, I even was following this one band form in 94 down in Vancouver, Canada that would do everything except they couldent get "Pigeon holed" into a Music category which apparently isnt what record labels want, and they disbanded in 03, those who dont know "pigeon holed" means, it is defined as, your playing one style of music then jump into a different style in a middle of a song, but that ads for a great show so what hell man.. Cozybones 4 eva

[Edited on 8/30/2007 by psycadelica]

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/30/2007 at 05:19 PM
What is a conisour?

I follow most of the rest of what you are saying. The answer is simple.

A record company wants to make money. If they feel they can do that than they will sign a band. Bands that are all over the map style-wise have a hard time building a following because people will like some songs and not others. Some bands will be able to do that and get a local following but getting dates out of town is somewhat harder. Clubs (just like companies) want to know what style of music you play. A blues club wants a blues band. A band that sells themselves as a classic, funk, metal, jazz blues band will have a hard time getting booked or signed by people who have not seen or heard them.

Something as simple as where a band gets placed in a music store can greatly affect sales. If the ABB is placed in a blues section, they will lose sales because some would-be buyers will not look there.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/30/2007 at 05:42 PM
greetings:

Just about every band I like from yesteryear wouldn't of mattered in todays music scene. If you don't go platinum right out the gate... a second project isn't gonna happen unless for some "insane" reason you by chance got a two record deal. Music is not the most important aspect of being a recording artist today. Go figure... If talent really matters...I'd be a rock star...really ! but I am bald and ugly

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/30/2007 at 06:05 PM
quote:
why arent the good modern bands being signed

What you mean, I think, is "signed to a major label." There are a lot of music companies out there, big and small, and I don't think it's fair to tar them all with the same brush. CanadianMule got the basic answer, of course - the labels are trying to make money, and as a result they are signing and promoting the people they think will make them the most money in a time when their business is really going to hell.

Why is that happening? Well, they'll tell you it's because people are stealing music online, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's because they're only going for grand slams and not developing artists gradually, ignoring a lot of markets, copycatting anything that works once, charging more and more for music, screwing their customers and putting out a lot of **** ty products. The industry is changing and the way people listen to music is changing, but rather than change with it, say by increasing musical diversity and reaching into niche markets, which might take some musical knowledge and experimenting, a lot of them are trying to bend the rules so things don't change. They probably won't go broke, but it won't work.

That's the big labels, of course. Largely they are reaping what they've sowed. Smaller labels are getting screwed, and as a result music listeners get fewer options.

Bands probably have to get smarter, too. A lot of them have. They don't need record labels as much as they used to; they can reach fans and potential fans through the 'Net, for example.

[Edited on 8/30/2007 by Marley]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/30/2007 at 06:46 PM
Smaller labels actually follow the example of the majors. They will just tell you that they are different. They focus on what the "big" boys leave behind. These labels will focus on a certain genre of music usually and again that is not very diverse musically.

Some labels will concentrate on metal for instance. But they still have to sell units to make any money. If a certain style of metal is popular at the time then they will sign bands like that. Are they copycat acts? Maybe or perhaps they were always similar. There were tons of metal acts on smaller labels that had an "operatic" female singer before Evanesence hit it big. All of a sudden these bands were viewed as "copycats" when in fact they preceded the one that hit large. Of course there will then also be a bunch of bands that will follow that lead. Eventually it bottoms out and you need something good.

Take a band like Govt Mule. There is hardly a bidding war amongst the companies to sign them. We all know that they are a great act and amazing musicians but that doesn't mean they are bringing in money selling discs. Why would a company want to sign a band to break even?

It would be like a store selling bread at cost. Great deal and people would love it but eventually the store would go bankrupt.

Smaller companies will shoot for a smaller piece of the pie but they still want some pie.

All companies regardless of size must cover their asses. Also the cost will always bounce back to the bands. Which is why some great bands also get in debt and break up. More rock & roll 101 later.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/31/2007 at 02:06 PM
quote:
Smaller labels actually follow the example of the majors. They will just tell you that they are different. They focus on what the "big" boys leave behind. These labels will focus on a certain genre of music usually and again that is not very diverse musically.

It makes sense for a small label to focus on one kind of music. What I was trying to comment on was the fact that the big labels, which are able to offer more diversity, don't necessarily do that.

quote:
Why would a company want to sign a band to break even?

I think the fact that a band can be as successful as Gov't Mule and still only "break even" for a label shows that the labels have a screwed-up view of their business. The Mule has made more money taking care of themselves than they would have if a label was doing it.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 8/31/2007 at 02:37 PM
With all the downloading available from, muletracks, itunes etc, Aren't the record labels a dying breed?

I have found some great music on myspace. I would think every band out there would make their music available on their sites or myspace. Quite a few bands already make it available.

It has been quite a while since I walked into a retail outlet and purchased a CD. Most of the music I obtain are from the bands sites, Hittin the note, itunes, myspace, bit torrents, trades, muletracks etc.

If I were Best Buy, Circuit City etc., I would be depleting my inventories on Audio Cd's.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/31/2007 at 02:46 PM
"I have a sneaking suspicion it's because they're only going for grand slams and not developing artists gradually, ignoring a lot of markets, copycatting anything that works once, charging more and more for music, screwing their customers and putting out a lot of **** ty products. The industry is changing and the way people listen to music is changing, but rather than change with it, say by increasing musical diversity and reaching into niche markets, which might take some musical knowledge and experimenting, a lot of them are trying to bend the rules so things don't change. They probably won't go broke, but it won't work."

I would like to add a few of the reasons why it came to this too...

First of all the massive merging of the major record companies (i.e. Polygram & Universal) in the 90's. These big companies all merged, raised their prices to pay for the merges and fired many of the old time people who were artist orientated and experienced with music and not just business.

There was also the fact that they universally decided to get rid of the "single", which was done entirely for greedy reasons. "If people can't get the song anywhere else, they'll buy the whole album even if it sucks". Well, unfortunately people always loved to get singles. And it screwed them in the end.

There are many many more reasons, and it's been a slow decline for a long time, but by the end of the 90's the industry had collapsed on itself and what we have is only a few major record distribution companies left out of the 6 or 7 majors we started with and they're trying to dig themselves out of the rubble.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/31/2007 at 09:28 PM
Good points PauliG. Funny no singles was good for classic rock and bad for pop. Probably because the albums by the "great" classic rock bands were solid from start to finish.

To touch on the Mule, it depends what you consider success. the vast majority of music listeners still have no clue who they are. Their albums sales are suprisingly low compared with the amount of people going to shows. People go buy their albums.

The trouble with bands going on small labels or independant is there is no support money which limits many bands from touring and getting seen. This affects album sales so it is a vicious circle of sorts.

As for stores depleteing the audio CDs, that has been happening for a while. Now they are full of DVDs and many stores are becoming Top 20 type stores. They sell the Top movies, Cds and books.

 
 


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