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The Influence of the Record Label--Your Thoughts

Posted by: Anton Djamoos (08/02/07)
Ethical and moral issues have always plagued the music industry. Whether it be infringing Eminemís freedom of speech on his albums, Ashlee Simpsonís lip-synching on SNL, or the never-ending dispute over file sharing, the music industry is a source of constant controversy. Earlier this week proved no exception, as a lengthy tirade against a certain record label president made its way around the Internet. While the claims remain unsubstantiated, the effect that theyíve had on the music community has been instantaneous.

Public outcry against record labels is nothing new. Midtown and Drive-Thru Records. Hawthorne Heights and Victory Records. Kelly Clarkson and RCA Records. Coldplay and EMI. Jesse Lacey of Brand New recently provided an intimate question/answer session at one of his acoustic shows and said, ďIf you sign to a label, youíre not going to make any money from record sales anyway. I donít; Iíve never have. Iíve never seen a cent from it. I see my money from touring and thatís it.Ē These are just a few examples of a seemingly endless amount of displeasure between record labels and their respective bands.

While it is overwhelmingly important to support bands by purchasing albums, certain actions made by the record label may thrust your purchasing decision into one of uncertainty. We at AbsolutePunk.net would like to know: does a label's actions influence your decision to purchase a band's music if you're a huge fan of a band? What if youíre not a huge fan of the band, and you are thinking of trying something new? Will an impression you receive from a certain record label have any effect on what you will purchase?

How much does a labelís actions dictate your purchasing habits?

Get InformedDave Conway's Record Label 101
How Royalties Work
Different Types of Music Royalties
25 Tips on Distribution
Explaining the Record Deal

Disclaimer: This subject matter does not reflect the views of AbsolutePunk.net and is being used solely as a hypothetical topic for discussion.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 95
12:26 AM on 08/02/07
#2
Adrian Villagomez
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I can't say that I think about record labels when purchasing new music. That being said, if I found out through a reliable source that the head of a label (or the label employees in general) practices business in a method I strongly disagree with, I'd find it difficult to support the label financially.
12:38 AM on 08/02/07
#3
vandalroyale
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I'm much too tired to effectively formulate my thoughts on this issue...I will sleep on it and get back to you
12:41 AM on 08/02/07
#4
underthetalking
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I love these.

I tell myself to not let a label's actions affect what albums I buy, but I find that if I'm in a store and I'm deciding on an album to buy, I randomly think to myself, "Oh this is good, but its not like they'll see any of it, I'll buy a T-shirt or something." But I don't think all labels are the embodiment of evil. I think its just a matter of bands finding a good fit and getting on the same page as a label they sign to. Artists need to be able to tell what promises are possible and what is too good to be true. If something sounds too good to be true, 99% of the time it is.
12:44 AM on 08/02/07
#5
Jason Tate
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The easy answer here (for me) - is yes, of course I do. There are a few record labels that I will not purchase music from based upon principle. I'll buy from the bands directly, and tip handily at shows, but I can't in good conscience give the record label any money.
12:44 AM on 08/02/07
#6
invincibleXL
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personally, i've always stuck with the music. if an artist I respect is makin moves, I tend to follow and support them, knowing their music justifies some of my actions. labels are after lots of things, so i'm not mad if they want to collect funds, just as long as they recognize the talent they have among them.
12:48 AM on 08/02/07
#7
cameltoe
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kenna wrote a pretty good commentary (albeit formatted in a slightly annoying way) on what goes down with labels, downloading, etc.


SO

WHEN IT LEAKS.

WHEN THE ALBUM COMES OUT TOO EARLY AND THE WORLD GETS IT BEFORE IT IS SET TO RELEASE

MAYHEM

CHAOS

RETARDS THE MOMENTUM OF THE MUSIC AND KILLS THE POTENTIAL FOR THE ARTIST

PEOPLE THINK ITS ONLY BECAUSE THE ARTIST LOSES SALES

ITS NOT THAT SIMPLE

FOR MOST ARTISTS WE DONT MAKE A GREAT DEAL OFF OF ALBUM SALES UNTIL THE RECORD MEETS THE NUMBER OF SALES TO REPAY ALL THE MONEY SPENT TO PROMOTE THE ALBUM I THE FIRST PLACE.

THE REAL PROBLEM ISNT THAT, BECAUSE LESS THAN HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF THE ARTISTS SIGNED TO A MAJOR LABEL ARE EVER ABLE TO REPAY THAT AMOUNT.

THE REAL PROBLEM IS THE RESIDUAL EFFECT OF A FAILED RELEASE... OR WHEN IT LEAKS

CONFUSION, THE LABEL DOESNT HAVE A HANDLE ON WHAT THE POTENTIAL SALES OF THE RECORD MIGHT HAVE BEEN

PRESS, GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ARTIST LESSEN CONSIDERABLY

THE LONG TERM EFFECT ON YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST COULD MEAN THE END OF WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A SUCCESSFUL CAREER.

NEW SACRED COW SOLD 50-60K RECORDS BUT WAS DOWNLOADED MILLIONS OF TIMES.

IT MADE IT DIFFICULT TO GET THE FINANCING TO MAKE FACE.

IT MADE YEARS GO BY WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO MAKE NEW MUSIC AND DISTRIBUTE IT.

IT MADE IT DIFFICULT TO GET TOUR SUPPORT FINANCES TO GET ON THE ROAD (IE. ARTISTS LIKE MYSELF HAVE TO HIRE BAND AND CREW TO TOUR WITH BECAUSE WE MAKE ALL THE MUSIC WITH PRODUCERS IN THE STUDIO)

IT MADE IT TAKE FOREVER TO GET BACK OUT THERE TO YOU

SO

WHEN IT LEAKS

IT KEEPS US APART

IF YOU GET IT... KEEP IT TO YOURSELF

IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS IT AND IS SHARING

TELL THEM TO... KEEP IT TO THEMSELVES

IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

LIKE MY RELEASE DATE

IT HAS CHANGED

I WILL TELL YOU WHEN TO

7/16/07
12:49 AM on 08/02/07
#8
Yes. And?
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I'm much too tired to effectively formulate my thoughts on this issue...I will sleep on it and get back to you
Haha, me too.
12:56 AM on 08/02/07
#9
JohnnyTruant
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If it's a label like Victory Records, I'm way quicker to download but let's face it, who would even want to download one of their albums?

I usually don't think about a record label when purchasing a new cd but if it's an Equal Vision release I'm quicker to buy it than I usually would be.
01:11 AM on 08/02/07
genericmadness
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I've never bought a cd from a questionable label, though I rarely know much about the labels if the band is the only one I enjoy from it. How much responsibility do we have to look into a record label before buying a cd?
01:17 AM on 08/02/07
captainamazing4
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the answer is fairly simple for me too. i basically follow jason's idea, where i just simply cannot buy from certain labels be it for stupidity, or greed. or whatever. My money should only go to the band i'm buying from, and it's not fair what labels do to bands. the world may never be rid of them though, so what can we do? :/
01:19 AM on 08/02/07
SoDakValerie
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I'm more apt to listen to a newer band if they're on a certain label. But other than that, they don't really make an impact on what I purchase.
01:34 AM on 08/02/07
bubonic311
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personally, i've always stuck with the music.
Same here. I don't have enough time to read info on labels' business moves and tactics, let alone stay abreast with all the new music from bands. Label-wise, I've found that I'm usually on board with almost every act that Drive-Thru, Fueled by Ramen, Hopeless, and Vagrant put out. When these labels put out a release, I usually look at the logo as a seal of approval. When I see a certain label's dog as a logo, I ask myself if this CD is dog shit.
01:44 AM on 08/02/07
splat out path
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I just buy records by bands I enjoy. I don't really care about the politics.
01:46 AM on 08/02/07
TheBaroness
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There are certain labels where I'll immediately check out/buy every record they put out (e.g. Level Plane, TRL, Deep Elm pre-2003), mostly because of the strength of their existing roster, or the fact that they cater towards a style of music I love. Business practices also come into it. Obviously I'm going to be more happy to drop $100 on stuff from a label who are good to their bands and the scene, and who treat their customers well.

Furthermore, there comes a point where a label's actions are so abhorant that one could certainly never think of supporting them. I think Victory Records' recent attempts to gag our freedom of speech by way of threatening spurious legal action against those who would dare to criticize their business practices is a perect example of this. In such situations I would encourage everyone to really THINK about the type of people you are sending you money to, and the implications of this.
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