Former GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell has lamented the death of the album format in light of how comprehensively streaming music services are decimating record sales.
Speaking about the widespread belief that the current generation of music fans doesn’t understand that artists are not being properly compensated by industry giants like Spotify and Apple Music, Jack told Daily Boom in a recent interview: “Oh, we get paid nothing on those things really at all. You can go on YouTube and see that we have a million views, but it’s not even worth a cup of coffee in terms of getting paid. People wonder why their favorite bands break up, and maybe it’s because everyone steals their music and doesn’t go to the live shows, so they couldn’t afford to feed their families. Artists need people to buy the albums and buy the CDs, and then even when they want to, there are very few outlets left actually selling them in person. So many people want the instant gratification and they don’t want to wait for their music to come in the mail. They don’t care about the cover art, the liner notes or the lyrics, and it’s so sad.”
He continued: “When I was a teenager growing up, I was listening to bands like AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE and we would literally go down to the record store with blankets and stuff and wait for it to open. We wanted to be the first ones to race back to the display and get that brand-new, just-released album. I’d race home on my bike and take a razor blade and gently remove the shrink wrap from the record and pull the vinyl out with reverence. I’d pull out the sleeve and read every single liner note and credit. Even though I didn’t know who any of these people that wrote it or produced it were, I still wanted to know who did it. The album covers were beautiful works of art and I used to have this little shelf on my wall that held an album cover and it said ‘now playing’ on it. I used to put the album cover up of whatever I was listening to at the time. There was a ritual to music that has been lost in the age of streaming and you had something tangible. You could hold it in your hands and it made the music physically real too.”
Jack added: “The technology is great, but it’s also a curse, depending on the moment or the situation. I believe it’ll eventually be our undoing, because we’ve become so reliant on it and eventually it’s going to fail. Then what? We’re not going to know what to do. People are streaming their whole lives and what’s going to happen when they can’t? How will they deal with it? It’s a whole different world now. Some of it’s cool and some of it is ridiculous. Music, though, that’ll always be there. The kind of music that we grew up on and the kind of music that I still make will always have a place in the world, even long after I’m gone. I want to leave that as my legacy and to have people be able to say, ‘Yeah that Jack Russell was a great singer while he was alive.’ What more can I ask for?”