Canadians React To Free-Music Epidemic By Making Their Music Way More Expensive

thurston.jpgThe Guardian points us to the Thurston Revival, a sleepy indiepop Canadian outfit that’s responding to the trend of free music by offering its debut single, “Somewhere There’s An Angel,” as a £100, limited-to-100-copies 12-inch record, complete with your choice of artwork by 10 different artists. (Pictures here; MySpace login required.) The single comes out Aug. 28, and Guardian writer Eamonn Forde is hailing the move as “a necessary antidote to an age when complete albums are being given away free with your Sunday newspaper.”

The argument in favor of making records collectible, tangible pieces is a compelling one–although I’d say that the 100-pound price point is a wee bit high, considering that I didn’t even pay that much for my German copy of Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls–and it’s interesting to me that the Thurston Revival’s top friends include Stars, whose strategy for their new album, In Our Bedroom After The War, has tried to go against the “free music” trend in a different way. (They pre-released Bedroom on digital-music sites last month in an effort to combat piracy, and it’s already sold 10,000 copies in the five weeks since it’s been out.) I suspect that the low press run on this record will make the experiment a success almost by default, although it’s pretty obvious to me that there’s going to be some doofus who rips the vinyl and uploads the thing to OiNK as soon as he gets it in the mail. But if that doesn’t somehow happen, then one thing is clear: The time is right for Marissa Marchant to come out of hiding and try and sell her thousand-dollar CDs again.

Would you pay £100 for a single? [Guardian]

  • Nicolars

    I always knew Melissa was a visionary.

  • Ned Raggett

    Now imagine if she asks for commenter privileges. (And the debates between her and Aquemini.)

  • Jon W

    Don’t say THE NAME three times.

  • nonce

    Coil has/had been doing this for years, though not at those prices….and it prevented me from buying a lot of their stuff–or hearing it–because as much as Coil is great, etc., I’m not going to pay hundreds of dollars for a 5-CD set of sine wave drones.

    But if I have a point, here, it’s that the band asked fans politely not to digitize and share, and they mostly complied. But the Thurston Revival and Coil fanbases probably don’t overlap too well.

  • Embot

    Only if fake Robert Smith will actually sit in my tub and sing the song to me three or four times. Have to preview the merchandise.

  • pixpix

    The song that he is selling for £100 is also available to listen to for free on his myspace.