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The way the music died: David Crosby interview

In the excellent documentary the way the music died broadcasted in The States on PBS and available online on saturday 29th, there is also a impressive David Crosby interview who says exactly what he thinks about music industry and its decline:

"At the point when the overall take from the music business probably passes, let's say, a billion dollars -- now it's off the top of my head, the actual number you'd have to ascertain -- but there was a certain point at which the take got big enough to where the big boys got interested. They said, "Oh, wait a minute, that's some serious cash. I better go over there and rake off some of that."

When it all started, record companies -- and there were many of them, and this was a good thing -- were run by people who loved records, people like Ahmet Ertegun, who ran Atlantic Records, who were record collectors. They got in it because they loved music. …

Now record companies are run by lawyers and accountants. The shift from the one to the other was definitely related to when the takes started to get big. Somebody [in] a forensic accounting job could probably establish the exact moment at which it reached the level that brought in the sharks.


When was the last time you went to the record store? Ah-hah! That's, that's how it works, buddy. It's the kids go to the record store, and the kids are -- I was going to say "stupid," but they're not. They're just ignorant. And many of them will evolve, you know, from really dumb stuff, because the dumb music is sort of like a joke that's only funny once. And you can only go to a Justin Timberlake concert once. You go a second time, you see the same thing -- maybe they got new fireworks, but Justin ain't got nothing new to say, okay?

And, so, then you start to evolve up. And maybe you wind up at Bruce Hornsby, maybe you wind up at Willie Nelson, maybe you wind up at Randy Newman, maybe you wind up at Joni Mitchell, maybe wind up at James Taylor for God's sake. But somewhere in there, you wind up loving music, and you evolve up to a level where you go after somebody who can really do it -- Shawn Colvin, Mark Cohn, people who can really do it. And some of those kids are going to evolve to there, and that'll be great. But I don't see success for singer-songwriters. I don't see it."


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