Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Eagles Album Available ONLY At Wal-Mart For One Year!!

My college friend Geoff Boucher has a nice chat with Don Henley in the LA Times. A famed environmentalist, Henley is naturally defensive about having the Eagles team up with Wal-Mart. Don insists that anyone who criticizes couldn't possibly know about all the green initiatives Wal-Mart is pursuing. Isn't it possible that people could just disagree with him? Anyway....

Putting aside all of that, this article contains a hum-dinger of a revelation. The new Eagles CD -- their first studio album since 1979 -- will be available ONLY at Wal-Mart for an entire year! That's a terrible, terrible thing to do. My complaint has nothing to do with Wal-Mart -- I think exclusive artist deals with Wal-Mart or Best Buy or Starbucks or ANYONE is a terrible disservice to the fans and bad for business. And for a YEAR? That's just an awful decision that doesn't help anyone but the chain that has exclusivity. It certainly doesn't help the Eagles. Henley's contention that it's a whole new world in the music business hardly applies to the Eagles. Their live album "Hell Freezes Over" (with four new tracks) sold eight million copies in the US, despite only two modest Top 40 hits. Does Henley really think the band with the best-selling CD in history wouldn't sell truckloads of CDs? Of course they would. But this exclusive deal just makes it that much harder for fans to get it and helps no one, certainly not the Eagles.

As an aside, I'd take mild issue with Boucher's description of the music of Garth Brooks as "predictably neutral." Brooks was pretty darn rebellious and liberal and controversial in the world of country music and delivered songs about spousal abuse and another with gay-friendly lyrics, to name just two that came to mind. He wasn't Dylan, but he didn't play it safe, either.

1 comment:

Geoff Boucher said...

Hey Michael, hope all is well. Good call on the "safeness" of Garth's my defense, I was referring to Garth's Wal-Mart era work, like "Double Live" and such. I should have been more specific...
Hope all is well!