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Jon Bon Jovi says iTunes is a prison and he can't break free. He says that the music business has been shot to the heart and Apple CEO Steve Jobs is to blame.
Rock superstar says Steve Jobs is killing music with iTunes

Apple, Inc., owner of the world's largest online music store, today yields tremendous power in the music business and is able to make or break musicians.  Even major record labels who are used to abusing customers and musicians alike find themselves victims of the power of iTunes.  Apple can essentially name its own terms, and refusing to comply is essentially business suicide, given the amount of revenue that iTunes generates.

That situation is very bad news according to rock legend Jon Bon Jovi.  The front man for the iconic 80s group Bon Jovi, he says that Steve Jobs promises musicians heaven, but puts them through hell.  

He says that because of Apple, independent music stores are going out of business.  He says record storeowners should hold on to what they've got -- it doesn't make a difference if they make it or not.  But he admits there's likely no one to save them, the damage is done.

In his interview with The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, Mr. Bon Jovi states, "Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it."

Now such stores are living on a prayer, thanks to Steve Jobs.  He comments, "God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business."

Mr. Bon Jovi has always prided himself on doing things his way.  But Steve Jobs is making it hard for him to live while he's alive.  

On the other hand, iTunes has made superstars out of some obscure independent artists, even as big time artists like Bon Jovi and brick and mortar stores find themselves down on their luck.  In other words, Apple offers artists great visibility, but is merciless in its pricing demands.

Ultimately, the industry might be halfway there to bucking the Apple beast.  Google is reportedly preparing to launch a major streaming music service.  That could mean an end to the era of Apple being able to list its demands to the music industry.

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RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By icrf on 3/15/2011 1:36:36 AM , Rating: 5
Not all music is so manufactured. Some artists really do create albums meant to be listened as a whole, not two marketable songs that the label demands they fill out to make more coin. I think that's the real casualty in all this.

And to his point, knowing what you're buying isn't necessarily wrong, it's just that people make judgments based on 20 second random samples and buy each track individually. Without the context of the rest of the album, a snippet may not be a fair representation.

I absolutely see where he's coming from. The problem is the album as an art form was abused by music as a business and created the problem that iTunes fixed.

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By Aloonatic on 3/15/2011 5:23:56 AM , Rating: 4
I quite agree. The album making art is a dying one. The music industry would have been better off somehow differentiating more clearly between it's junk food* like acts who are just on the tread mill, to be abused and milked until they are dumped in the nearest night club, singing their greatest hits when their hair style is no longer cool. And those who are in it to produce an album to get a message over which will take a lot more investment in time from the consumer, slowly growing in popularity.

Sadly, the industry keeps on trying to make out that every second of music that they produce is written on parchment hand rolled on the thighs of virgins, performed by skilled artisans, so they should all be paid top dollar to protect the artists "investment". Whereas the reality is that the majority of music (as seen on all the "talent" shows) is nothing that vast swathes of the population could not reproduce, and they only sing the stuff that they are told to sing, written by music-tron 2000, or some bloke with a dodgy come-over who really shouldn't be writing about how much he loves his new high school sweet heart, and mean it.

*I have nothing against junk food, but everything in moderation, I enjoy indulge in it from time to time, I'm just not going to pay Michelin start prices for it.

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By torpor on 3/15/2011 10:07:52 AM , Rating: 3
True, there are albums created out there to be single pieces of art. And Jon Bon Jovi is one of the best. He's avoided the commercial temptation of rolling out singles that teenagers will throw their allowance money at and been true to the craft.

When I think of the total work of artistry that is, for example, Slippery When Wet, I think of how I used to be impressed with Dark Side of the Moon. Now I've lost all respect for Pink Floyd; they need to study what this man did. There wasn't a single hit single on SWW, it succeeded on the strength of the whole as a rock Magnum Opus.

Oh, wait....

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By maven81 on 3/15/2011 1:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize they sued to be able to sell their music only in album form exactly because they did not want to chop it up right?

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By maven81 on 3/15/2011 1:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, I see what you did there ;)

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By theapparition on 3/15/2011 10:24:09 AM , Rating: 2
Just wanted to second that opinion.

I can name numerous albums with tracks that taken individually are completely lost without the other works. Gone is the art of listening to a whole album, where some songs that may not be radio friendly super hits would never be heard otherwise.

Now, it's either a megahit iTunes download or is quickly forgotten by the newest generation.

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By rennya on 3/15/2011 10:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty damn sure none is produced by Bon Jovi though.

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By dgingeri on 3/15/2011 11:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
I definitely agree with this. I know it's not regular in the pop/r&b world, but in the country world, the whole album is more likely to fit together into one big performance. Taylor Swift, Rascal Flats, Trace Adkins, Shedaisy, and Garth Brooks have all done albums like that. When I buy country these days, I'm more likely to buy the CD and rip it to mp3, but when I buy pop/rock/r&b, I tend to buy just one song at a time in mp3 format. pop/rock/r&b seem to artificial lately.

RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By Maiyr on 3/15/2011 12:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
agreed ! Can you imagine listening to a snippet of Dark Side of the Moon. You would think it was utter crap. Only listening to the whole album shows its genius.


RE: More like shot in the wallet!
By Azethoth on 3/15/2011 10:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
I like "Money" but it does not belong on the dark side of the moon. Complete failure of the vision.

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