anything and everything music.

Behind-the-Scenes of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida! June 27, 2008

With the release of perhaps one of the most anticipated albums of the summer, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida last week, its no wonder the rock group has been breaking sales records! The album had the best advance sales of any album in the five-year history of iTunes according to an article on NYTimes.com. And as if that’s not enough it was also the best first week sales of any album as well.

The secret to their success? Releasing their first single of the album, “Violet Hill”, for free on their website for a week and celebrating the release of the album with free shows in New York, London and Barcelona.

The UK band is the cover story for the July issue of Spin magazine. The feature gives a peek behind-the-scenes of the band’s latest album and includes interesting facts about the group. Example? They went by the name Starfish for their first gig, but then right before their second gig decided to change their name to Coldplay, which alludes to a poetry book, Child’s Reflection: Cold play. Had another band not rejected the name, it could have been a band named Starfish releasing one of the biggest albums of the summer last week! Whether you’re a die-hard fan or not, it is definitely worth reading the article which is posted on Spin.com.

Still can’t get enough of these guys? For more behind-the-scenes 411 on Viva La Vida check out MTV.com, where the band themselves give a track-by-track commentary on making the songs for the album. Find out everything from why the band decided to have an instrumental song as the opening track, which was one of the first songs they started to work on and which songs featured the band’s first use of hand-claps on an album.

And finally, to hear Coldplay’s new single, “Violet Hill”, head over to the band’s Myspace page.


Goodbye Record Labels, Hello Walmart. June 23, 2008

Filed under: Music News — iblogformusic @ 2:43 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently stumbled across an interesting article at NYTimes.com about major artists releasing records through deals made with Walmart. I never really realized something as simple as this could have consequences for the industry. When The Eagles released their new two-disc album,Long Road Out of Eden, exclusively with the retailer this past fall for the low-price of $11.98 I though it was a great way to hinder people from downloading the music for free.

Now others from the classic rock band Journey to teen country sensation Taylor Swift have followed suite, negotiating deals exclusively with Walmart. Journey’s 3-disc set Revelation includes two CDs with 11 songs each and a DVD. Like The Eagles CD it also sells for $11.98. An amazing price, considering that’s cheaper than some one disc albums go for at other retailers. I think this definitely helps to increase CD sales, I’d expect an album containing 2 discs and a DVD to sell for double that price or more. The low price and multiple disc approach worked well for The Eagles, who sold 711,000 copies of their album within the first week of its release.

However, such deals have a negative effect, unforeseen to me before I read the article “For Some Music, It Has to be Walmart and Nowhere Else” by Robert Levine. When artists release albums exclusively through Walmart they no longer have to deal with record labels. This is good for artists, who end up making more money off their record sales (which probably makes this option a more tempting one for them). Afterall, other artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have taken a similar approach, releasing albums themselves online without the help of labels. With the industry and power of record labels already declining because of digital downloads I wonder what kind of effect this will have on the industry. Do you think high CD sales are good for the music industry even if it means cutting traditional record labels out of the picture? Or do you think these exclusive Walmart deals (or artists self-releasing albums themselves for that matter) will only lead to further decline in the industry? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!