Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow’s first solo album was recorded in 1992 and was rejected by her record label prior to its planned release, but has since been found and shared countless times online by fans. In 1993, she joined a group of musicians called Tuesday Music Club and her success took off, winning three Grammy Awards in 1995 alone. She has since sold over 35 million albums worldwide and been a face for many causes including the Recording Artists’ Coalition, an industry organization aimed towards preserving the rights of the artist. As for her thoughts on the impact of filesharing in the musical world:

If nobody pays for it, how do the musicians, singers, arrangers, engineers, producers and songwriters get paid? How about the people who create the CD and DVD artwork and photography? What about the people who work in the plants that manufacture the CDs and DVDs or the people who work in music stores. Their livelihoods depend on people paying for the music that is created. If these people are not paid, how do they pay their rent and the utility bills? How can they afford transportation or groceries? The highly visible “stars” who we hear on the radio and see on TV represent less than 5% of the music world. The rest of that world consists of ordinary people who work hard to support themselves and their families and who often struggle just to make ends meet. The musicians, the singers and songwriters among them, are all dreaming of that big break, but few of them will get it.

Read the commentary in full [here].

[Sheryl Crow]
[Recording Artists’ Coalition]


One response to “Sheryl Crow

  1. Vim Vendors

    The problem with this argument is that it confuses music downloading with piracy. There has been a paradigm shift in the music industry from physical product (CDs) to data (mp3, AAC ,FLAC) and much of this is through completely legal alternatives to record stores like iTunes, Amazon,, We7, Spotify.

    The fact that these new legal alternatives to buying physical product is probably the root cause for the downsizing of the product manufacturing services (CD plants, artwork printing, distribution, high street stores) is conveniently overlooked by pointing some finger of ‘blame’ at ‘pirates’. That the record companies are making money from these new distribution methods at the expense of their former manufacturing workers is also handily framed out of the discussion.

    So if the record companies choosing to use these new services to cheaply get their artist rota’s ‘product’ out isn’t killing the back-end industry I don’t know what is. Perhaps Sheryl really needs to factor this into her worldview of the music industry, along with the current global economic recession, and stop trying to blame college kids.

    As a musician myself I can say, along with any other true musician, that making money is NOT the reason I started to play music in the first place. It’s not the reason I gig. It’s not the reason I self-record/distribute. The music itself is the primary driving factor and having it heard is an added motivation. If I can have it heard by thousands or even millions rather than a handful of people locally then it’s a huge bonus, because the traditional record company model has both denied musicians the chance to have their music spread widely and denied the potential audience the chance to hear it. The old way stifled the musical landscape and meant that very few got that big break, but things have changed THANKS to both new distribution methods and also to filesharing. No longer is it expensive to make an album, and you no longer have to make expensive physical copies and/or fight to have them stocked in anything other than very small specialist indie record shops with the accompanying long hauls driving around the country to drop copies off yourself. No longer are you denied the opportunity to be heard by wider audiences.

    Thanks to the internet and sites like MySpace I’ve managed to network with likeminded musicians across the world and have been both invited to gig in other countries and also hosted artists from other countries to come and gig here… chances we would NEVER have had before the spirit of sharing overcame the selfishness of ‘the business’.

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