Metallica Still Doesn't Get It: Forces Early Reviews Of Latest Album Offline

from the have-they-ever-used-the-internet? dept

While Metallica has been trying to appear more internet friendly these days, it sounds like the band still has a lot to learn. Representatives of the band invited a bunch of music journalists and bloggers to a "listening party" last week to hear tracks off its upcoming album. Attendees weren't asked to sign any kind of embargo or non-disclosure form. So, as you might expect, some of them went home and wrote up quick reviews based on what they heard. And that was the point at which Metallica representatives went around demanding that these early reviewers take down the reviews, claiming that the songs they heard were an early mix of the album, rather than the final cut. If that's the case, then they shouldn't have played it for journalists -- or they should have at least required a non-disclosure agreement. To go around forcing journalists to remove their reviews of music played for them by a Metallica representative is simply ridiculous. Not only that, but it wasn't even as if the reviews were bad. Last time we wrote about Metallica, we noted that the band was still suffering from the hit its reputation took in 2000 when it sued Napster and various colleges. Pulling stunts like this only makes sure that its reputation will continue to slide.

Filed Under: internet, metallica, reviews, takedowns


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  1. identicon
    Jonas, 10 Jun 2008 @ 3:12pm

    To be honest, I think they got exactly what they wanted out of this stunt or whatever you want to call it: some publicity they wouldn't have got otherwise.

    I was big fan of theirs from "...and justice for all" and onwards, and still is a fan but not to the same extent as I used to be (the latest album was so bland and boring it could just as well have been released by a band with no name really).

    Still, I think they took a gamble and not a big one either. They most likely know they've lost some fans along the way. Some because of the Napster thing, some because they don't like the new direction of the band and some who is somewhere in between (not to mention competition from newer and "cooler" bands). Those long-time fans that still love their music will in all likelihood still buy the album and go to the concerts no matter what kind of behavior Hetfield, Ulrich et.al exhibit off-stage and out of the recording studio (their last concert in my neck of the woods was sold out in 20 minutes flat, just last year IIRC) so I don't think it is unreasonable for them to assume that their fan-base and the the check-book is mostly not affected by this or their stance on p2p.

    Do I, as a long time fan, find this behavior disappointing? Definately. I do not, however, think I'm representative of their fanbase. And according to album sales and ticket sales, I seem to be at least half-right on that account.

    The thing is, they have built up such a solid fanbase and reputation over the years that they can afford to trade the increased publicity against the possibility of a probably limited fan backlash.

    Further, from what I've read and seen - NIN and Radiohead (the poster children of the artists "embracing" p2p and the Internet revolution in terms of music) are rather ambivalent about it. They only differ from Metallica in that they have more or less grudingly accepted that they have no say in the matter and that forces they can not control decides how and when their music is shared (and how people talk about said music).

    If you don't want Metallica's old-fashioned (or whatever) ideas to succeed here's a hint: don't write about them and what they may or may not do right in your opinion. If you do, you just give them exactly what they want: publicity to those who are not die-hard fans (and the die-hard fans do not need to be told a new album is forthcoming or care about whether or not is sucks anyway).

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