by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 27th 2009 7:20pm
Reader Ima Fish alerts us to a column that mostly bemoans the death of the big "live album" that helped some bands break through, with the article blaming YouTube for the loss. The idea is that, since everyone's going to these shows, taping them and putting them online, it's killing any incentive to put out official live albums. Of course, it's not clear if that's really true. For years, the Grateful Dead allowed taping and swapping of the bootlegs -- and yet still did amazingly well by selling live albums. Also, I still know plenty of bands that put out live albums. Perhaps the bigger issue is just that the whole concept of "breakthrough albums," whether live or not, isn't as big a deal as it used to be. Either way, the bigger question might be whether or not this even matters. As the author of the article finally notes at the end: "As I type this, I've been listening to more than a dozen bootlegged clips of that Yeah Yeah Yeahs show from Coachella off of YouTube. Having witnessed the show live, I am now able to relive it, albeit from the slightly disjointed perspective of someone else's handheld gadget. And guess what? It makes me want to see the band again--and buy their music."
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