Elvis Costello Tells His Fans 'Steal This Record'
from the this-price-is-crazy dept
The price at which labels want to sell music and the price customers are willing to pay are often two totally different things. Yet, as we talk about this price disparity, we very rarely consider the price at which the artist wants to sell the music. This point of contention has come to a head with the release of Elvis Costello’s latest music collection. In a post titled “Steal This Record”, Costello states his album, “The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook”, just plain costs too much.
Unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire.
Yeah, I would say that $202.66 is a joke. For that price you get 1 CD, 1 DVD and 1 Vinyl EP
. That’s it. You would think that for that price you would get a lot more, but no. along with other memorabilia including a coffe table book and autographed commemoration card. But still, if the artist thinks even with those extras the price is just way too high, then perhaps he is right. I can imagine how frustrating it must be for Costello to try and get the price changed with no luck. This is one of the downsides of working with a label.
After hitting a brick wall with his label, Costello has decided to take drastic measures to get his point heard. He is suggesting that his fans avoid buying the album and instead buy something he feels is far superior and cheaper to boot:
All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping – when there are really bigger fish to filet these days – we are taking the following unusual step.
If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” – a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.
The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.
That is quite a show of humility. Not only does he suggest Armstrong’s album as a better buy for the money, he also gives Armstrong props for making better music. This is a pretty good endorsement and according to Amazon, “Ambassador of Jazz” is already sold out. So people are listening. Perhaps the end goal here is to get the label to admit that it screwed up the pricing and to soon change it. However, if even the artist cannot get the price changed, what hope is there for a consumer boycott?
We talk a lot about the need for artists to connect with fans as a way to give them a reason to buy. Here, we have an artist connecting with fans and asking them to avoid buying. You would think that this would be counter productive for the artist but this move shows that Costello has the best interests of his fans in mind and will do anything to protect them from unscrupulous business moves. That is certainly a reason to support an artist.
If you really want to support him, Costello gives his fans other options if they really want this album but don’t want to pay the current asking price:
If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.