Mick Jagger is quite right about this: look at the finances of Muddy Waters, or Blind Lemon Jefferson, or The Carter Family, or even someone like Fats Domino. Being a career musician was about being a live musician, because that’s what paid the bills. The records themselves were not how most musicians paid their bar bills.
In an interview with the BBC, Jagger is asked if he is worried about sales of his back catalog in the days of internet downloading
Music has been aligned with technology for a long time. The model of records and record selling is a very complex subject and quite boring, to be honest.
BBC: But your view is valid because you have a huge catalogue, which is worth a lot of money, and you’ve been in the business a long time, so you have perspective.
Well, it’s all changed in the last couple of years. We’ve gone through a period where everyone downloaded everything for nothing and we’ve gone into a grey period it’s much easier to pay for things – assuming you’ve got any money.
I am quite relaxed about it. But, you know, it is a massive change and it does alter the fact that people don’t make as much money out of records. But I have a take on that – people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone! Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone. So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn’t.
(click to continue reading BBC News – Sir Mick Jagger goes back to Exile.)
Exile On Main Street has long been a favorite album of mine, probably the last Rolling Stones LP (chronologically speaking) that I really like. The re-issue is currently a bit too pricey for my taste, I’m more interested in the remastered version of the original album, presumedly this will be available eventually by itself.