more exclusive sales deals with non-CD shops

So, following on from Garth Brooks discraceful hook-up with WalMart, we’ve now got Bob Dylan following hot on Alanis and Elvis Costello’s heels by having a CD exclusively available in Starbucks.

OK, let’s get one thing clear, Dylan hasn’t been the counter-cultural icon he’s perceived as since about 1965. His view of the world is actually rather conservative (his comment at the original Live Aid that ‘it’d be nice to see some of this money going to American Farmers’ was pretty much par for the course), and he certainly hasn’t set out to lead any kind of counter-cultural revolution.

However, any musician who signs a deal with a shop that has NO interest whatsoever in nurturing new talent, in providing knowledgeable staff, broad selection, and a place for lesser known artists to be stocked alongside the biggies, is selling out their own roots in the industry.

Everybody needs a break. Starbucks, Walmart, Tescos, Sainsburys and any other shitty shop that only stocks a limited selection of music (top 40 at most, plus a bunch of low-priced compilations of 70s hits) are not going to do that, and those of us that care about the future of music, about seeing new talent emmerge, about seeing the back of low-rent karaoke bollocks getting into the charts should refuse to buy any CDs in any of those places.

It’s not often that I’ll speak up for chainstores, but you’re much better off shopping at HMV or Tower than you are at Starbucks or a supermarket. Better still, little indie shops, specialist shops, or online from the artist’s website, or CD Baby. Tower online even stock all the CD Baby catalogue!

So, boycott the new Dylan, Costello and Morrisette records, and lets see an end to Starbucks as CD-shop.

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