Paul McCartney is leaving Capitol Records for Starbucks. Good heavens. Clearly, there are no more rules in the record industry. I recently interviewed Chuck Taylor of Billboard who said, "I just think we’re at a point where the major label machine is broken and when you have an artist who has a background like this and a name and brand recognition – he obviously has the resources to make the album he wants to make and to be able to hire the people to promote it independently. I see no reason why he’s not going to get the music out there."
He was talking about Darren Hayes of Savage Garden going the independent route, but he certainly could say the same thing about McCartney. He's a great fit with Starbucks, but I just HATE it when albums are only available at one store or one chain. Today, albums should be easier than ever to find online or in any store. Instead, you're having to figure out whether Garth Brooks is still signed to Wal-Mart and McCartney's album comes with a free mochachino and so on. It's annoying.
Capitol must be devastated since McCartney is taking his invaluable back catalog with him. But they certainly did a poor job with "Chaos & Creation," Macca's best solo album since "Tug Of War." Still, the Evening Standard implies the main reason McCartney made the jump was to avoid making more of his future income available to his ex-wife in their divorce settlement. That really doesn't make sense since if McCartney didn't want a lump sum upfront, Capitol would have been happy to oblige.
UPDATE: Starbucks says the record label its building will have releases available via other retailers, so perhaps McCartney's new albums won't be for sale only at Starbucks after all.