9:28 a.m. - 1990-08-16
This morning or last night Moby wrote this essay about how cd's being burned and how music being made and sold over the internet is detrimenting the validity of the charts when the charts come out. When the charts come out the music that ends up being on them is the stupid music that no-one wants to listen to in real life thus driving MTV and the other's to try to convince people to buy the stupid music:
I just looked at a list of the top 200 selling albums in the United States, and I was reminded of a strange phenomenon that we're all living through. And I apologize if this update sounds contentious or snobby, but I do believe that the phenomenon that I'm going to describe is real. I would like to call this phenomenon the 'Pearl Jam phenomenon'. Now a band like Pearl Jam have a very technically savvy and computer literate fan base. So when a band like Pearl Jam (or anyone else who makes interesting, slightly left of center records) puts out a CD very few of their fans actually buy the CD. Instead they download it or burn it from their friends. As a result of this, Pearl Jam records haven't been doing well in the charts (along with other interesting, left of center bands). And as a result of this the charts are filled with records that are bought by people who aren't particularly computer literate or technically savvy. In other words, interesting and smart records don't do well in the charts because they're not being bought, they're being downloaded and copied. Which leaves the charts to records that are, more often than not, not very interesting and not very smart. I have nothing against CD burning and downloading music off of the internet. I've said many times that I'm flattered whenever anyone listens to my music regardless of the medium employed. But the ramifications of this 'Pearl Jam phenomenon' are vast. Radio stations and MTV look at the charts and see that smart and interesting music isn't selling well, so they gear their playlists towards records that do sell well, thus perpetuating the trend towards not so smart and not so interesting music. But the truth is that people are still listening to smart and interesting music, but there's no way to base a chart around it. I'm sure that if you were to start a chart of music that people OWN as opposed to BUY you would see that people still like smart and interesting music. It's just that there is no way to quantify the number of people who are downloading and burning cd's. And then, to make matters worse, record companies look at the album charts and they see that smart and interesting music doesn't sell, so they then go out and sign dumb and uninteresting music cos that's what they think that people want to hear. But if you look at concert ticket sales you'll see that people still want to hear smart and interesting music. Radiohead, for example. Their last two albums sold moderately well, but they can sell out really big concert venues. If you were to look at the number of people who OWN a Radiohead record as opposed to the number of people who BOUGHT a Radiohead record I think that you would see that the numbers might even be twice as much. And like I said, this is not a complaint about downloading or CD burning. It's just an observation on the way in which downloading and CD burning have impacted the music business. So the next time you hear something that's cliched and obvious and terrible and you ask yourself 'who likes this garbage and why do they play it?', perhaps my essay here might help to explain things a little bit. And, of course, I do respect the wonderful democratic tradition that allows people to listen to whatever music they so choose, be it dumb or smart, interesting or mundane.
(Moby is not human because he is so unvaried and he is consistent in his pursuits and views he does not constantly flagalate like the flagellum from one of those sea anomoe's but he stays consistent and his views are always blocked out like part and part and part then he says if part 1 part2 and part 1 part part2 then part 1 again.)