An Open Letter to Jon Bon Jovi On What’s Really “Killing The Music Business” | iLounge Backstage

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An Open Letter to Jon Bon Jovi On What’s Really “Killing The Music Business”

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Monday, March 14, 2011
Backstage Categories:

Hi Jon,

When my wife—a huge and long-time Bon Jovi fan—asked me to spend over $300 for two floor seat tickets to your Valentine’s Day show in Toronto, there were two reasons that I said yes. First, I really love my wife, and would do almost anything for her. Second, I looked through my iTunes collection and realized that there were more good Bon Jovi songs inside than there were for most of the musicians I “love.” Once my wife assured me that your concerts focus mostly on the songs I liked, I plunked down the cash for the seats, and spent the next four months watching my wife smile every time we discussed Valentine’s Day.

To be totally honest with you, the concert was great. We both had a lot of fun, snapped pictures and video clips from the floor, and told our friends and family how much we enjoyed it.

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But now you’re putting our happy memories in jeopardy. For whatever reason, you told The Sunday Times Magazine during an interview that “Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.” I’m not going to try and tell you all of the ways that you’re deeply, profoundly wrong. Instead, I’m just going to focus on a few of them.

(1) My wife has carried around all of your albums (and many more) on Steve Jobs’ Apple devices since she bought her first iPod years ago. I know from personal experience that she taps into your collection at home, in the car, and on vacations—literally at the drop of a hat, whenever she wants. If she hadn’t, I would have forgotten about your band back in the 1980’s. No CD player or radio station would have changed that, I can guarantee you.

(2) When we got married, her music collection became mine and vice-versa. It’s because of her collection of Bon Jovi music—and her constant access to it on Apple’s devices—that I could look at my iTunes library and realize how many of your songs I liked.

(3) We attended your concert in Toronto a month ago. Photos from that concert were uploaded to Facebook using our iPhones, and from my digital camera using a Mac. And when I was testing the iPad 2, guess what I used as examples to show off how the new version of iMovie can edit videos from digital cameras? Sample concert footage. And it looked pretty great, too.

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Jon, you lead the world’s top-earning touring band, which made $146.5 million on its last tour alone. If the music business is being killed, you’re still doing exceptionally well, so it’s hard to understand why you’d be complaining about anything right now. But let me take a guess or two.

In the interview, you seem to be upset that kids no longer buy an entire album based on the cover, and suggest that people would be better off not knowing what it sounds like before they make a purchase. I’m sorry, but that’s just crazy. Yes, Apple lets people buy singles rather than entire albums. It also lets people preview tracks before buying albums, and recently extended those previews to 90 seconds per song. This way, potential customers can be sure they’re getting what they want before hitting the buy button—a good idea because those of us who aren’t making tens of millions of dollars a year don’t want to buy bad songs, or worse yet, entire albums full of junk. Singles and previewing let us pick out the tracks we like, rather than having to pay for filler. And there’s a lot of filler in the music business these days.

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Taken on an iPhone 4

During the concert in Toronto, and presumably many others you’ve performed over the years, the audience clearly wanted to hear your hits. Crowd noise dimmed significantly every time you said you were going to play “new stuff,” but the energy level went through the roof whenever a classic track started to play. As an aging rock star—granted, one who puts on a hell of a show—you must hate that each stadium full of people just wants to hear the songs you put out 20 years ago. You surely want to point fingers at the system that distributes your music, the way people consume music these days, other performers, and anything other than the music itself for not catching on. At one point in the concert, you knocked Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and seemingly Madonna and Justin Timberlake for not being real musicians. As talented as you may be, it’s obvious that you’re angry about popular music for some reason.

You shouldn’t be. If you don’t realize it already, iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac have given you a platform that would have been inconceivable when you were a kid. You constantly live in your fans’ pockets, on their computers, and inside their cameras. That attachment leads them, and in some cases their spouses, to keep listening to you, watching you, and paying you for more. The more good music you make, the more Apple has empowered you to make money on it in some way, and to spread the word to others. Like me. Like the friends we reached on Facebook. And so on.

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Steve Jobs isn’t the problem here. The music industry is the problem—too many bad songs are the problem. It’s the reason the audience doesn’t roar when you talk about playing a new track or two that were added for a re-release of your greatest hits. If your greatest hits were from the last three years, imagine how much money you’d be making on album sales even beyond your touring.

Speaking just for myself, the next Bon Jovi concert I’ll consider attending now will be one with a completely different set list of tracks that I like as much as the ones you released 20 years ago. All you have to do is start recording them, and I promise that my wife or I will purchase them. So will the rest of your fans. Until that happens, and other musicians start churning out great music by the album rather than the song, the industry’s going to be in trouble. And if it keeps blaming the system rather than itself, it will deserve its fate.

Best,

Jeremy

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Comments

1

Perfectly said Jeremy.

Posted by Alicia on March 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM (PDT)

2

Never ticked off someone with a pen (sword). His influence goes further and wider than you can imagine.

Posted by Howard on March 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM (PDT)

3

Thoughtful response and in every way correct! One of the best pieces I’ve ever read here on iLounge! My compliments Jeremy!

Posted by Lezz on March 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM (PDT)

4

Well done.

Can’t believe what an idiot Bon Jovi is acting like.  I hated hearing a great new song and the buying the album only to find that the rest of it sucked.  It happened far too often. 

He’s just too d$&@ greedy, just like the NFL owners and players who couldn’t reach an agreement on how to divide over $9b in revenue - again, greed gets in the way.

I was already upset that Bon Jovi came out supporting Obama in the last election.  Not that I don’t like OBama, I just believe Bon Jovi should stick to rock and not try to influence the election.

Posted by Steve on March 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM (PDT)

5

Being an aging rocker myself (from NJ even) I couldn’t agree more with your succinct observations and conclusions.
I have a ticket for Jon in Hyde Park in June and I hope I enjoy the live performance as much as I’ve enjoyed listening to the 18,000+ songs that I can keep in my pocket.
When I was a DJ in Philly in the 70’s lugging my own 50 or 70 albums in a suitcase into the station - believe me - I wish I had an iPod.

Posted by Doug Miller on March 14, 2011 at 3:14 PM (PDT)

6

Yeppers-most of the music just plain sucks. But I’m beginning to believe that ProTools is what’s REALLY killing the music business. At the bery least Jon and his band can play and sing-much more than I can say for many of pops top acts today. Probably the reason he’s doing so well on tour. Well put Jeremy.

Posted by Bobby on March 14, 2011 at 3:20 PM (PDT)

7

Well said, Jeremy.

I am so tired of “artists” complaining about this, fact is, make a descent album and people will buy the album. I think it is great for the industry, no more one hits that make consumers buy 9 filler songs.

Posted by Gary Kohlman on March 14, 2011 at 3:23 PM (PDT)

8

Well said ,as once was sung by john mellencamp “if your not part of the future then get out of the way” move over Bon jovi before you get run over by what you dislike.or you could just embrace it and learn something .

Posted by John on March 14, 2011 at 5:29 PM (PDT)

9

Great editorial ... and you didn’t even ‘go there’ with respect to $300 concert tickets, which IMO is what is killing the music experience for fans.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on March 14, 2011 at 5:43 PM (PDT)

10

This is just perfect. Practically the words that rolled across my internal monitor as I read the quote from JBJ. Thanks for articulating it so well.

Cheers.

Posted by Local Stain on March 14, 2011 at 6:03 PM (PDT)

11

The real sin is the quality of the recordings. Over compressed, digitized and cold. At least blue ray HD has will help alleviate that problem. Not so for I-Tunes. Its the root problem of mp-3s etc…

The prblem with music is that the revenue streams have changed to the extent that the only $$$ to be made is in chargin $300 for tickets. I remmebr when concerts were $5 for front row tickets and albums were put to use as de-seeders! Ah the good old days.

Posted by Rick on March 14, 2011 at 6:35 PM (PDT)

12

Jeremy,

  Your article is spot on. Bon Jovi is a fool for saying this. I am the last one person to defend Jobs or Apple for that matter, but when it comes to idiotic comments that Bon Jovi does not know what he is talking about I would go as far as to put him in that same category as what Jobs described the music industry leaders at the top labels as “technologically innocent”. iTunes saved whatever remnants of the music industry there was. It just so happens that every year music becomes more manufactured that the previous years. If you blame Steve Jobs, you should probably also blame, Youtube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Slacker Radio and the list can go on and on. I hate when people say stupid #### and don’t know the facts.

Posted by Ron Zeligzon on March 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM (PDT)

13

I suspect he might be a bit annoyed that you don’t need to buy the greatest hits as well if you already have the albums already or perhaps one of their earlier Greatest Hits.

Bon Jovi have an ‘Exclusive Download Only’ track if you buy their ‘new’ album. So he’s not against downloads… as long as you have to buy all the old songs again (from the label directly).

Posted by Andy Croll on March 14, 2011 at 7:14 PM (PDT)

14

“aging rocker”? Mick Jagger is an aging rocker. Jon Bon Jovi is some kid who came along after I graduated from college.

Posted by xf on March 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM (PDT)

15

Thanks for opening this discussion!

If Bon Jovi is lamenting something, it’s probably the death of the old model that was built around the pop star paradigm. I would probably point my finger at the groundwork laid by Napster et al & the portability of the mp3 format rather than the iTunes store or Steve Jobs specifically. I agree iTunes and Jobs make for an easy whipping boy.

It’s annoying, incidentally, that the most successful and famous music distribution system to date is also one of the most inflexible, closed, and artist-unfriendly systems out there, though they’ve made some improvements in recent years with pressure from users and probably artists…

Anyway - if iTunes is responsible, than Steve Jobs should be thanked! While this nebulous new music distribution model - some may argue that we’re learning to understand recorded music in an entirely new way because of the popularization of the portability of digital technology (not just iPods - generative music! RjDj, app-albums in iTunes store…) - is anything but clearly articulated now, the model that is emerging already clearly favors small ecosystems of music lovers and musicians that has very little room for super stars like Bon Jovi.

Listeners can easily discover music they had no idea they loved, and help an artist that may have a few hundred or a thousand fans make a living at what they do. There may be fewer Bon Jovi’s in the future, but there will probably be a space for that ancient music ensemble to live on their work, where that may have been absolutely impossible in the old system. Replace ancient music with anything - even rock and roll - and that’s where we seem to be headed.

Bon Jovi will do just fine under this emerging model.  Although he’ll probably just have to watch his insane profits settle into normalcy…

Posted by Erik Schoster on March 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM (PDT)

16

Oh, of course someone on Hacker News put it much better actually:

“We are in a temporary period that began with the invention of the phonograph and extended to the development of zero-cost copying of digital music. This temporary period enabled a few to become famous and rich off of the proceeds guaranteed by copyright law. We should not expect this period to last forever.” - from the comment page leading to this article. (I seem to be unable to link directly to it without my post being blocked.)

Posted by Erik Schoster on March 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM (PDT)

17

Somebody has to play devil’s advocate here.

While I don’t agree with Bon Jovi’s statement (especially as it pertains to Jobs), there is some truth to the implication that the digital age has “killed” the music business.  As disappointed I am in the dumbing down of the quality of recordings, what really bothers me is the lost concept of the album. In today’s world of downloading your favorite songs, there simply is little patience left for listening to 12 tracks in a row while to trying immerse oneself in whatever it is the artist is trying to convey.  And that’s a shame, as some of the best music experiences I’ve had involved listening to entire albums like Floyd’s the Wall or Radiohead’s OK Computer. Maybe that’s why the only medium that is actually growing for the music industry is vinyl (albeit incrementally).  Or maybe I’m just crazy…

Posted by Prestige Worldwide on March 14, 2011 at 9:14 PM (PDT)

18

To your great commentary, I add only this:

Bon Jovi doesn’t like that people can buy albums based on the music (previews) instead of just the cover art because he’s one of those crap musicians whose made a career of recording one hit song and then filling the album with 7 or 8 pieces of trip to go around it.

By the way, Jon, when I make fun of fake musicians like Madonna and Lady Gaga, I often include your name too.

Posted by Aaron on March 14, 2011 at 9:22 PM (PDT)

19

Bon Jovi? wtf! i hate him grin

good post anyway

Posted by nils on March 15, 2011 at 12:16 AM (PDT)

20

The Mac? Really? That’s too far.

Posted by Seth on March 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM (PDT)

21

On form of argument I hate is the straw man.

Don;t put words in other people’s mouths, man. If JBJ said things you dislike, quote them and respond. But forming entire arguments about what you THINK other people are thinking (one example: “you must hate that each stadium full of people just wants to hear the songs you put out 20 years ago”) isn’t cool.

You’d hate it if JBJ did it to you, so why do it to him?

(PS, I don’t actually care for JBJ’s music that much. I may not agree with his views, either. This isn’t about defending either of those things; it’s about simple fair play.)

Posted by Bryan on March 15, 2011 at 1:47 AM (PDT)

22

Just a stupid piece of opinion from apple-centric world.

Posted by Iecerything on March 15, 2011 at 3:01 AM (PDT)

23

I hate to say, but the truth is the Music Business Industry and to a certain extent, the artists wants you to buy the WHOLE ALBUM, not just a few hit songs, the WHOLE ALBUM.

The problem with this is you only LIKED A COUPLE SONGS from that album. The reason why they think Steve Jobs hurt them is because: On iTunes, you have the choice to buy JUST THOSE COUPLE OF SONGS. Also, Apple doesn’t care what you buy as long from iTunes or the iOS and Mac App Stores. They are just trying to sell iOS devices and Macs.

Posted by Gerald Shields on March 15, 2011 at 3:27 AM (PDT)

24

What JBJ doesn’t realise is that he’s profiting from the “Long Tail”, yet cursing the fact that he’s not in the short peak that preceded it. There’s actually more money to be made in the long tail that in the peak at the start. His label may not be promoting his music as much as more recent acts, because it’s an industry that focuses on the peak & focuses constantly on new acts. The fans love his old hits because they, like him, have grown up with his music. The old tracks speak to them of the times of their youth - when they met their spouses, parties, times when they had all that potential & excitement. The new tracks may be good but they’re just kinda more of the same & they don’t have the same associations. It’s the old stuff, the long tail stuff, that’ll pay for his retirement though.

Posted by Matt on March 15, 2011 at 3:42 AM (PDT)

25

Love your post Jeremy! Well written and, more importantly, absolutely spot on.

By the way, you can tell this post has had an impact…the trolls have finally shown up! grin

Again, thanks for a great blog!

Posted by bkahuna on March 15, 2011 at 3:44 AM (PDT)

26

Excellent words Jeremy! I am, and have been, a Bon Jovi Fan since the very first time I heard “Runaway” back in the early 80’s. But to come out and literally bite the hand that has more than helped keep him relevant over the past 9+ years (since that first iPod) is just plain dumb. iTunes has helped save the music industry from imploding into a black hole of greed and piracy.

Had it not been for iTunes, a lot of folks like me would just gravitate toward the Napster’s (of old) and LimeWire’s instead of paying roughly a dollar for a track or $10 for an album that has enough solid songs on it. While piracy is still prevalent, it is curbed to some extent by the legal, purchased download industy that Apple/Steve Jobs have revolutionized.

Maybe the aging rockers should call a meeting with Mr. Jobs to say thank you. Steve should simply quote the great Jack Nicholson, “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it.” It kind of makes me laugh to picture Steve delivering this line at his next keynote address…hahaha!

Posted by Mitch on March 15, 2011 at 4:13 AM (PDT)

27

He’s just being a talking head for the MPAA mafia.  The old, forced scarcity, you must purchase each song 50 times over as we release albums to get the one you want business model is long gone.  And so are the obscene profits that come from a guaranteed revenue stream of forced sales of “extras” just because a customer wants one or two good tracks.

In the “good old days” the mafia could bundle one to two good, popular, sell-able songs onto a plastic disk with 10-12 other fluff songs, and get $12-20 from each disk.  Effectively selling the one to two good songs for $12-20 and looking at the fluff as simply a loss leader.

Now, the customer gets to pay $0.99 for just the one to two good gongs, meaning the price of those one to two good songs has suddenly fallen from $6-10 each to $0.99 each, or a 600 to 1000% price decrease.

That kind of a price reduction can not support all the fat-cat middlemen that are the ones who historically take all the profits, leaving the artists with just enough to keep them coming back for more.  And that is what the MPAA mafia is frightened to death about.

And Jon is simply parroting what his “producers” have been stuffing into his ears as to why his income from album sales are down.

Posted by Anon on March 15, 2011 at 4:47 AM (PDT)

28

Couldn’t have said it any better! These old artists have to pay attention to stuff like this. Not just Bon Jovi, but all the old farts who keep spewing the same thing about album sleeves and the problems with digital music.

Another problem I have is with old artists or execs (music, film, tv included) not allowing products on iTunes. I’ll use Bon Jovi as an example. Let’s say he releases a new album. People say it’s good, and I hear a single on the radio and like it. I decide I might want to buy it, but it’s not available to purchase on iTunes (or any digital format). I don’t have a good record store in my town so my option is to try to go to some stores and hope I find it, or download it by some less than legal means. Guess which one I’m going to pick. It’s wrong, but most of people have done the same. Another example is the movie “I’m Still Here”. I’ve wanted to watch it for a couple of months, but I can’t rent it on iTunes and I’m not buying it before I rent it. I haven’t bothered to go in to a movie rental store in years, and still haven’t seen that movie because of it. Instead of letting me use a simple click to do what I want, they’ve just frustrated me. I’ll spend my $5 on something else, thanks.

iTunes isn’t killing the music industry, or any other industry, it’s the only thing that keeps me paying for media in a world where I can download a whole discography (or season or movie) in a couple of clicks for FREE.

Entertainment industry people need to get off their high horses and distribute their material in as many ways as they can, and cater to the people who are still willing to pay for things at all.

Posted by Mark on March 15, 2011 at 5:08 AM (PDT)

29

Remember seeing Aerosmith in El Paso 1980 something…with Joe perry BTW…$17.50…yep.

Posted by TSD on March 15, 2011 at 7:42 AM (PDT)

30

amen.

Posted by The CW on March 15, 2011 at 7:58 AM (PDT)

31

Well written response to his comments. If anything, Apple, iTunes, and Steve Jobs and extended the lifetime of aging musicians.

Posted by Jerry on March 15, 2011 at 8:25 AM (PDT)

32

If you think that Jon has time to waste on this ########, you are sorely mistaken. He has more to do and not even know you exist. Poor guy.

Posted by Patricia on March 15, 2011 at 8:26 AM (PDT)

33

Totally agreed. I think when fans plunk down more than $300 for a pair of tickets, Jon Bon Jovi should break even when fans don’t buy every track off the new album.

So well done. This is why I love this web site.

Posted by Nancy on March 15, 2011 at 8:31 AM (PDT)

34

Well said Jeremy.  I’m not a Bon Jovi fan but my problem with reducing the amount of albums I buy is the bad music on them. I don’t find it to be worth the money anymore. The music has gotten worse over the years. The reduction in album sales is the artist fault and they refuse to put blame where blame is due.

I use to spend hundreds of dollars on albums but now I’ve reduced that to only purchasing what I like. Previews help determine what I’ll buy and not buy.

Great article. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Audrey McGirt on March 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM (PDT)

35

Totally agree with you Jeremy. Thanks for posting.  And, Jon, things change, get over it!

Posted by Tami on March 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM (PDT)

36

Dear Jon (Bon Jovi),

I would like to just add, I bought all of your songs, albums and even one of the latest collections from the iTunes Store. 

And I did not even need to hear a short preview of any of your song etc, simply because you and your band make good music, I just bought them with a click, without a single nano second of hesitation.

So now you blame Steve Jobs, and probably the entire Apple inc, for this?!

Case closed.  I have nothing else to say.

Posted by H W Tan on March 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

37

Oh, bravo, Jeremy. Well done.

Posted by Linda Buthmann on March 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM (PDT)

38

Great post and great comments.  To Prestige Worldwide: I disagree that the digital age has killed the music business.  Some musicians and music company executives are stuck in the past. Originally songs were singles, and short tunes, because that’s all you could do with the available technology.  But today there is nothing that demands that music be compiled into “albums.”  And digital technology creates room for singles, long form works, and multi-media works that combine video and music.

Posted by Singlestick on March 15, 2011 at 10:41 AM (PDT)

39

Bon Jovi should have said it in another way.

itunes is just a tool for delaying the music revolution. The Internet should eliminate all intermediaries, not preserve them. iTunes only works for the majors. iTunes is an intermediary, and on top of that it’s completely proprietary. itunes is like a music store controlled by big major record labels and that only works on one type of music player sold by only one company.

Mp3.com back in 1999 was the revolution we should have had. Napster back in 1999 was the revolution we should have had. Sadly there was nobody in any Governments courageous enough to come forward and demand the systems like Michael Robertson’s Mp3.com and Napster to become standard way to distribute music without intermediaries, give 100% of the profits to the artists directly, eliminate consumerism, let people pay a blanket monthly fee for unlimited access to all music and redistribute the money simply by quality, popularity of each second of each song.

Posted by Charbax on March 15, 2011 at 11:08 AM (PDT)

40

If the entire Bon Jovi catalog is not gone from iTunes by the end of the day - no, let’s be generous and give them until the end of the week - then we’ll know that JBJ is just a lying hypocrite.
There’s something wrong with the business model if it relies on people blindly buying stuff in a package that they don’t know what they’ll actually get. Music albums have already fallen, cable TV packages are on the brink. The more I read from millionaire rock stars about how tough their industry is (JBJ and Bono spring to mind) and about how their customers are doing them a dis-service, the more I make an effort to buy music DIRECTLY from unknown, or little known artists. They are the future. Dinosaurs like Bon Jovi should have faded into history long ago and it’s probably only the fact that you can carry all your 80’s CD around with you in a pocket-sized device that keeps people going to their concerts.

Posted by GadgetGav on March 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM (PDT)

41

A little Time Machine trip here.  I remember when CDs came out, there was much to-do about the fact that musicians could now record albums up to 74 (now 80) minutes, instead of the standard 22-24 minutes per LP side.  This was supposed to really open the “creativity” that wasn’t possible on a standard LP.

So what did the record companies do?  They just re-released the standard LP, with no extras, no bonus 12-inch tracks, no outtakes, nothing that would just the then-steep price of $15.  Just a shiny disc that promised no scratches or pops (but stuttering it did!).

I tired of buying a new CD by Depeche Mode or Erasure, hoping to find the 12-inch remixes included on CD (since they had 35 minutes to play with new material).  Instead, nothing.  They packaged those remixes years later, and there you go, buying the whole collection again just for one or two songs you didn’t have in your collection.

I for one welcomed iTunes “buy this song” plan.  I resented paying $15-20 for a CD that only had one 3-minute hit song on it; the rest was filler.

And there was a time when singles outsold albums.  And that was back in the heyday of rock-n-roll.  Singles always drove the albums, which were made up of filler.  Everyone knew it, even the artists.  Motown was especially notoriously for having Supremes sing songs by the Temptations, vice-versa.

Many, if not most, of the Beatles hit singles never appeared on albums.  You had to buy the single if you wanted “Lady Madonna.”  Years later, compilations would fill in that gap, but until then, there were many songs (“Yesterday”) that were singles only or tacked on the end of a variety of Beatles’ albums (it ended up on the “Help!” soundtrack, of all places!)

Also, iTunes has exposed me to other artists who I might otherwise have missed.  My only knowledge of Bon Jon Jovi was a guest appearance on the TV Series of “Sex and the City”—so I guess he really knew how to reach my demographic corner!  wink

Posted by jimmyBobSmith on March 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM (PDT)

42

only 21 is making any sense.

and this:

“make a descent [sic] album and people will buy the album.”

LOL are you kidding? more than decent albums have been made and no one bought them. that’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.

Posted by Loner on March 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

43

I do think downloads destroyed the music industry on all levels. My family owned a record store for years and as soon as these sites on the web emerged, we had to close our store. But, also…having an ipod with 1000+ songs is very convenient, too! With that said….What I think Jon is saying, is that there are so many good songs on albums, that are more than “fillers” and those songs never get listened to because everyone rushes to download the “hit” songs.  What is a hit?? The song that the radio plays 100+ times a week.  It gets pounded into our heads and we must go get it!! So many songs on albums are amazing if you just listen to them. To me some B side tracks were better than the “hit” songs, as are so many that never make it to the actual album and just get sent into the “vault”, but need a chance to be heard a few times. Without having the whole album, you don’t get the opportunity to listen to those “filler” songs and make your own opinion as to whether you like it or not. Some songs you may have to listen to a few times to decide.  As for the staduim wanting to hear songs 20 years old….Yes, cause they are fun and bring us back to a time when most of us were care free! To knock the newer songs Bon Jovi is singing is wrong. I guess that may just define a true fan of a band… one who is waiting/wanting to hear new songs as the years go by, vs. a person who likes the songs that are familiar to them. What you call new today, will be in a few years, older and then will you want to hear the song in a concert?? A prime example is It’s My Life by Bon Jovi. Is it new..No…is it 20 yrs old…No…is it one people go crazy over when he sings it during a concert….Yes.  As far as Bon Jovi songs being in itunes, he’d be crazy not to have them there, money is money, but….it doesn’t mean he is happy about the way the industry has changed since he started in 1983. As for the comment made about buying from the unknown artist, Jon has had hometown “nobody” bands open for a majority of his concerts this tour, to give these artists a chance in this industry, cause very few people will by a song unless the DJ tells us to these days!!! Jon.(as if you’ll ever read this, lol)....you have an opinion, (as a man who worked his ### off to get to where you are today, still making albums and touring almost three decades later and selling out huge venues over and over worldwide, as well as playing close to 3 hours per show…non-stop), and it is sad that people who know nothing, but think they do, have to disect it.  Just keep doing what your doing, and until people can walk in your shoes and truly know where your coming from, it really doesn’t matter what they think.  Your true fans get it!!, and love what you do and look forward to your new songs and awesome concerts in the years to come!!!
Oh, and Jeremy…..if your wife is the long time die hard Bon Jovi fan you described in your article….. she had to know that the concert was not just focused on “older” songs you would like. Perhaps she “told” you that so you would take her? For her next concert, she should go without you, meet up with real devoted fans, like herself, and I’m sure she’ll be singing and truly enjoying songs from Runaway (1883) thru What Do You Got? (2010) and have the time of her life doing it!! winkIt is a lot better to go alone than to go with someone who is only there for songs like Runaway, Bad Medicine, Wanted, and Prayer…..

Posted by Deb on March 15, 2011 at 1:19 PM (PDT)

44

Mick Jagger, when asked once how to have a hit single, answered “repetition”.  Back in the late ‘80s, one couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing “Livin’ on a Prayer”—yes, the song was catchy, but it was also heard a lot—on the radio, on MTV, and millions of albums later, heard on everyone’s boombox.  In the 1980s, that was how you had a hit, how you became a rock star, and how you got rich.  These days, the only new music you will hear on FM radio (where people still hear the most new music) is on the pop station.  Guess what is not played on the pop station?  Rock music.  So even if Jon Bon Jovi did put out a great rock record, I doubt he would have the hit record he did in the ‘80s.  The system isn’t set up that way anymore.  I don’t think that’s Steve Jobs’s fault, but with the rise of the single and the decline of the album, this is the reality for the music industry.  Simple math tells us that a single costs 1/10th to 1/15th the price of an album.  You can’t deny that iTunes (which was a response to Napster) ushered in the Era of the Single, and a once rich powerful industry has been cut in half with more decline coming in the future.  That’s what Jon is lamenting.  Maybe he has the wrong villain in mind, but his sense of frustration is borne from a legitimate concern.

Posted by beachmom on March 15, 2011 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

45

GadgetGav,

You’re wrong when you say that Bon Jovi should have ended long ago. I have the complete collection of the band and the solo albums of Jon Bon Jovi - all original factory. Jon’s songs seem to have a spiritual connection with me, makes me feel good to hear him sing. The lyrics of his songs say a lot to me. If the band is not important to you, make sure it is for millions of fans around the world.

Posted by JBJ fan on March 15, 2011 at 1:34 PM (PDT)

46

Everything you list here as interesting and fun associated with your Apple products and Bon Jovi is expressly prohibited by copyright law and concert venue ticketholder rights.

Everything you list here as something they should embrace they are working twice as hard at stopping you from doing.

They don’t want you taking pictures at concerts, they don’t want you shooting videos at concerts (both are in violation of copyright laws) and they certainly don’t want you sharing either on Facebook or YouTube. They also don’t want you sharing music collections with others and if they can they don’t want you sharing music collections on different devices you own without repurchase.

If you disagree with this don’t write open letters to Bon Jovi, help change copyright law so he doesn’t have the legal right to complain about it.

Posted by Adam Turetzky on March 15, 2011 at 1:36 PM (PDT)

47

Oh, and to Mark at 5:08 PDT, all of Bon Jovi’s albums are available on iTunes, and you can buy songs individually.  Almost any song or album you want is there—there are only a few holdouts like AC/DC and Kid Rock.

Posted by beachmom on March 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM (PDT)

48

Right on.

Posted by Cereal in Japan on March 15, 2011 at 4:30 PM (PDT)

49

Here is my take on the whole thing.  Maybe both are right (Bon Jovi and Jeremy).  However, what I have to ask is is this the death of the music INDUSTRY or of music itself?  Maybe the big labels can’t sell the billions of records like they did before (I guess they have to settle for the hundreds of millions now - oh the horrors).  However, if one is willing to actually take advantage of the internet and even iTunes itself and actually DISCOVER some music on their own and not rely what is played on the radio, they may find that there is actual, real, quality music being produced by artists that actually care about the craft and not just trying to make as much money off of a couple of hit singles.  I’ve bought far more music (and attended far more shows) in the past 8 years or so than I’ve ever had.  However, nearly all of my music and shows are from/of underground, independent power/progressive metal bands.  I am still amazed at just how awesome much of this underground “unknown” music really is and just how incredibly talented these musicians are.  Just because they may not get played on the radio does not mean jack squat to somebody that actually appreciates real music produced by real artists.  Admittedly, for the record, I am firmly in the camp that thinks the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, and just about anything from the rap/hip-hop world pretty much sucks.  I’ve also not listened to the radio in over 10 years now and what few times that I had to suffer through, I was not the least impressed with what I’ve heard anyway.  I won’t even waste my time with the likes of American Idol either.  I don’t need the big commercial entities that somehow thinks they know what we all need to be listening to to tell me what is considered “good” or not.  I can make my own decision, thank-you-very-much.  Maybe THAT is going to be the ultimate downfall of the music industry, as more and more people realize that there really is some excellent music out there and it is not coming from the major labels or the big media. 

Also, as for the albums, again, coming from the small independent, underground scene, when these guys actually takes the time to craft a complete album that is actually worth listening to from beginning to end and not just that one song that is beaten into everybody’s head a 100+ times a day.  I have a whole wall full of CDs, any one of which I can stick in the player and listen to from beginning to end and love every not of it.  Another word’s, all killer and no filler.  In addition, some of these albums, it is the only way to listen to get the full effect of what the artist is intending.  Case in point - Savior Machine’s “The Legend” trilogy.  We are talking some 4 HOURS of music here and all of it totally kicks ###.  In the end, I have to agree with #43 above for the most part.

And before anybody says it, I am not buying the tired old “well if they are not on the radio, they must not be any good” line.  On that, I call bull$#!+.  I’ll easily put up the likes of Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Serenity, Darkwater, DGM, and Eldritch (and many more) up against any of the so-called “Top 40” artists, and we’ll find out real quick who actually has real talent and musicianship (clue - you ain’t hearing it in the Top 40 on the radio).

Yeah, the mainstream sucks royally and that may be where the “one hit and rest filler” album exists.  However, open your eyes and ears and try to explore a bit farther beyond just what the major labels, MTV, American Idol or the commercial FM radio plays.  Heck, because of iTunes and being able to preview make is that much easier, especially if you also take advantage of things like Pandora Radio and Last.FM as well.  You may just discover that there really is a vast world of really good music out there that is just simply not being heard simply because it is not being played on MTV or the radio.  So, maybe the music INDUSTRY is dying (and it is not because of Apple or Steve Jobs, if anything, Apple maybe actually saving it), but MUSIC itself will ALWAYS be alive and well.  There will ALWAYS be people that want to create it and simply be heard, regardless of what the record executives and the like may think.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on March 15, 2011 at 8:24 PM (PDT)

50

If anything, iTunes saved music.

Illegal downloading and filesharing was severely damaging music. The iTunes store came along and provided a cheap service that was as easy if not easier to find good music than getting it illegally.

It has not stopped piracy, but I believe music would be in a far worse state right now if iTunes hadn’t taken hold.

Posted by BeefJerky on March 16, 2011 at 2:51 AM (PDT)

51

I can remember the last album that hit me.  The whole album, as an entity, rather than most of the tracks being “not bad”. That was 1996.  In my 34 years, only 3 albums really nailed it as an experience. 

JBJ and others complain because filler justifies the album price.  The idea that there was anything magical in buying something and nt knowing if it’s good or not is ludicrous.  I mean, are car manufacturers going “man, remember the days when buyers would purchase a car and THEN test drive it.  Magical.”

Look, I love all my Mac stuff (2MBPs, 2 iPods, 4 iPhones, 2 iPads, and a new apple TV in my house right now), but the point is beyond who is killing music.  Look at the top music purchases as CDs and the top downloads from iTunes and amazon.  It’s all mass produced pop.  And you know what?  People want to buy it!  And JBJ was part of that 20+ years ago and is mad that he’s been replaced by Lady Gaga.  ILounge nailed it: go write some new songs that equal your old ones, then we’ll give you more money.

Posted by DP on March 16, 2011 at 4:03 AM (PDT)

52

Great read. A lot of great points here. One forgotten point that Jon and the rest of today’s artists of yesteryear need to remember is that the music industry was built on singles, not full albums. When you heard a song on the radio during the Motown era, you went to the record store and purchased a vinyl copy of that song. That vinyl may have had one more track on it but not the entire album. Music would be great if the artists continued (or shall I say, the record company permits the artist to continue) to make great music.

Posted by TT on March 16, 2011 at 5:28 AM (PDT)

53

Bon Jovis rant is as wrong headed as your response. It is obviously not Steve Jobs fault that file sharing happened but to think that the recording industry is in trouble because there are not enough great songs is amazingly ignorant as well.

Posted by Michael Dingus on March 16, 2011 at 6:53 AM (PDT)

54

Prestige Worldwide @ 17,

People do still listen to albums. I’ve given elbow’s new one a good few solid all-the-way-through listens over the last week. I did the same, and continue to do so, for Radiohead’s sublime “In Rainbows”. (The new one hasn’t grabbed me, yet.)

The problem is that artists aren’t turning out decent albums! Don’t blame the listening public for not listening to turgid dross. It’s not our fault. We have not changed.

Build it, and they will come. I suggest starting with a rocket, boys.

Posted by John Noble on March 16, 2011 at 7:19 AM (PDT)

55

#53 - “Music would be great if the artists continued (or shall I say, the record company permits the artist to continue) to make great music. “

Artists are still making great music, but you have to actually go out and look for it.  There are still some incredibly talented artists out there producing some excellent music, but you are not going to find it on the mainstream via the “big media”. 

People have to keep in mind that the mainstream caters to the “lowest common denominator”, thus making it “most accessible”.  They are only interested in how many records they can sell to the most people.  At the risk of sounding snooty, to me that also translates to “most boring” and “banal and vapid”.  True music fans have eschewed the mainstream years ago to find music far more engaging and interesting to listen to by artists that actually seem to care about the music itself and not just how many records can be sold to the most people in the shortest amount of time.  I honestly think simply because of the internet and the likes of iTunes, it makes it much easier for people to find all this music, at the expense to the major labels and artists. 

Another angle that doesn’t seem to be brought up is the much more prevalent other forms of entertainment has become.  With movies, TV programs and video games also being just as easily accessed (and in many cases, just as cheaply), perhaps people are spending more of their money on those forms of entertainment as well, also at the expense of the music industry.

Thirdly, perhaps we are also finally seeing what music is actually worth, since it is possible to obtain it from so many different sources.  In the past, if you wanted music, you either had to listen to it on the radio, or go the local record store.  Now, with the likes of iTunes, eMusic, Amazon MP3 as well as many artists just up and selling their records directly to the fans, it is so much easier to obtain the music you want, and often far more cheaply than in the past.  Look at how many full albums are now going for $10 or less, compared to in the past when you had to pay $15 - $20 or more for an album (even if you just wanted the one track you heard on the radio, as so many has been complaining about here).  And of course, being able to just get the couple of tracks you wanted for around 50 cents (eMusic) to $1.30 (iTunes) instead of $10 or more, and there you go.  Of course people are going to now spend less for pretty much the same music these days, as much as 50% less (or more) in many cases.

Like I said previously, music is going to still be around as long as there are humans.  It is how it is being sold and monetized is where we are seeing the huge changes, much to the detriment of the major labels and artists.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on March 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM (PDT)

56

Thanks for the great read. I feel exactly the same way as you do. My husband and I actually had the same experience when we saw them at the United Center last week. I was way excited to go but then the show was disappointing because of the set list. We left before the show was even over, because they appeared to be going through the motions, rather than creating an atmosphere of excitement. However, the next night’s (we didn’t attend) reviews were completely the opposite of what we experienced. Go figure. I don’t know why he’s so opposed to playing what the fans want to hear from his old albums considering that the age of the crowd was from that era. Heck, even Tom Petty broke out the old old stuff last year on his Mojo tour. For what it’s worth that show was a zillion times better than Bon Jovi.

Posted by Susan on March 16, 2011 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

57

its really quite simple, Jon and Bon Jovi SUCK ###

Posted by John W on March 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM (PDT)

58

I read Jeremy’s response to Jon Bon Jovi’s claim that Steve Job’s with iTunes killed the music industry and I think both of them have valid points. Jeremy is right; iTunes has done both users and artists a favor as it has made music so much more accessible to all of us. In the past I used to have to record songs I liked from either the radio or my albums and create a tape that I could play in my Walkman so I could ski to my favorite music. Thx to Steve Jobs, my favorite music, including all my Bon Jovi albums, go everywhere with me: while running, on the plane, in the car, on the beach and the slopes because I have them in my iTunes, ipod and itouch. And I also agree with Jeremy that it helps spreading those songs and have other people appreciate them who would not have heard of them else. If it wasn’t for my phone and my iTouch, how would my 4 year old “god-daughter” ever have discovered Bon Jovi: she heard “It’s my life” as it was my ring tone on my phone but I had never even knew until the day she sat in the back of my car and asked “can you do it’s my life” that she had actually started to like the song. So I searched my iTouch and played “it’s my life” for her. She asked me “who is singing this and I told her “Bon Jovi”. From then on, every time she is in my car she will ask “hey, can we do Bon Jovi?” A couple of months later she was staying with me for the weekend and as I didn’t have any kids movies for bedtime, she grabbed my iTouch searching for something she liked and she found the Bon Jovi concert from MSG 2008 that I had just bought and downloaded (yes I am one of those dinosaurs who still buys CD’s and DVD’s and then download them, but I will get to that)….. She started watching it, recognized it and said delighted, “that’s Bon Jovi “can I watch it?”. She was 3 at that time….She fell at asleep when he was singing Always with her cheek on the iTouch, Since then whenever she can she asks me if she can watch Bon Jovi on “my black phone” and she must have seen that concert more than anybody in the world. She knows all the songs and sings along with them. She tells us that he is singing “keep the faith” and that “Raise your hands” is next. When she hears the first note of “it’s my life” she tells us “he is singing my song” and she will fast forward when she wants to listen to Hallelujah. Without the digital age and the likes of the ipod this would never have happened; a new generation is born that enjoys the music like we used to.

But I really disagree with Jeremy when he says people only like Bon Jovi for their early songs. These guys have been around for almost 30 years, have sold over 125 million albums. Maybe they started as your typical eighties band, but they have long outgrown that. And I also have to disagree about your comment that the audience is only interested and gets excited about the old songs. I have been to 3 concerts this year and yes the audience loves to sing along to the good old songs, but they go wild when they do “We got it going on” from the Lost Hwy album that was only released in 2008, “We weren’t born to follow” from the “Circle” and even some of the new songs from greatest hits. I was in New York for the February 25th concert, and it was a party of old and new, young and old. It was celebrating music and that is where I am with Jon: “are we killing the music industry?”

It’s not Steve Jobs but the internet and the infrastructure , or lack of it, that is bringing it down. The whole experience and joy of music seems to have disappeared with the digital age. I remember that 2 years ago I gave my niece and nephew an iTunes gift card for Christmas and they looked at me, confused, saying “why do we need this?” and I said “to buy music.” Their response was “why would we buy music, we can download it for free…..” I tried to tell them that unless you pay the artists, the band for what they create, it won’t be long before there will not be any new music, but they had moved on. The next day I tried to explain it to them again and told them the same thing Jon talks about: the excitement and anticipation of a new album coming out from a band that I liked, saving money or getting it for a birthday or Christmas present and locking myself in my room, headsets on, volume up and emerging myself for the first time as I was listening to the new songs for the first time and then over and over again until I knew all the words. Of course there were songs you liked less, but that was just part of the package, but I think we have to be realistic. Times have changed and MP3’s and the internet are here and they have changed the way people experience music. But if we want to continue to enjoy great musicians and bands, some things need to be fixed. Artists need to somehow get paid for the music they make and we have to be realistic, not every song they write will be a monster hit. If 2-3 songs from an album become a big hit, that is pretty darn good accomplishment. And to expect that a musician or a band will make their money mostly of their tours, not of selling their music is not right answer either. Tours are expensive and only well-known bands can afford major tours. It will also drive ticket cost even higher than they already are today making it again not accessible to a lot of people. So the question is how in this internet age can we still create a better music experience that works for the artists as well as the end users.

Posted by Mariel on March 16, 2011 at 6:54 PM (PDT)

59

As a lifelong Bon Jovi fan Jon’s remarks sadden me. I always considered Jon to be an intelligent musician who adapted with the changing face of the music industry but recently this image appears to be wrong. The industry itself is in a difficult situation. Labels are not willing to accept that times have changed and consumers seem to be hell-bent on getting their music for free. A balance needs to be found and Steve Jobs is trying to find it (although make no mistake he is making a lot of money out of it too).

If Jon is such a music purist (and this really upsets me) why last summer when Bon Jovi played a whole month of shows at the O2 arena in London were they charging £500 a ticket? That’s not being true to fans and the spirit of their music. What kid can as that much pocket money? Justin Bieber perhaps?

Posted by David on March 17, 2011 at 3:41 AM (PDT)

60

(I think only 1 picture was really necessary)

I agree with you. It is the industry’s problem.

1) BIG RADIO - Radio likes to have very few stars. They have bought up all of the radio stations, homogenized the product across the country, and shut the door on exposure for any artist that isn’t hand-picked by the labels’ A&R teams.

2) DRINKING AGE - In the mid 1980’s the federal government began denying highway funds to states that didn’t changing their minimum drinking age to 21. Since then, bars in college towns and downtowns have somewhat languished. By the time potential artists find themselves into that setting, they have already committed to other career paths. Therefore there is less product than there used to be.

3) THE INTERNET - In the 70’s and 80’s, we had radio, records/cds, VHS movies, and perhaps 35 cable channels to watch. Now we have many, many more entertainment outlets. Game systems, the internet, hundreds of cable channels, and smartphones/tablets all compete for our disposable time. I used to thrill at lying in the floor with headphones to listen to music. Now I just don’t have time for that passive entertainment.

4) HOSTILITY BY THE MUSIC INDUSTRY - The role that Jobs DID play was inventing a large-storage music device and marketing it well. One Napster allowed us to get songs for free, music was devalued. If anything, Steve Jobs has TAUGHT Americans to spend money again on music. Ever since the Napster craze, however, the music industry has treated its customers all as thieves. Absurd lawsuits put a very bad taste in our mouths and tilted our decision trees regarding competing entertainment options.

5) RETREADS - Back when Jon Bon Jovi was breaking big, the record/radio industry wasn’t so intent on cramming the same old music down our throats. To make it clear: WE ARE TIRED OF BTO, BOSTON, AC/DC, ETC. When JBJ was coming along, music that was 20-40 years old was called “Oldies”. Now radio is still cramming the same old classic rock down our throats, and we’ve lost interest.

Music will come back, however that day will be sooner if the record company acts like it gives a rat’s _____ about what the PEOPLE want.

Posted by Dana on March 17, 2011 at 5:38 AM (PDT)

61

American Idol has killed a good portion of the music industry, and YOU Mr. Bon Jovi contributed to that.  By appearing on that show, you endorse the “musicians” that appear on that show.  I lost ALL respect for you when I heard you did so and would never pay another penny to your music or act ever again.

Posted by Ed on March 17, 2011 at 6:49 AM (PDT)

62

Dear all,

Id like to share with u guys about HUMANS & TECHNOLOGY. Everything in this world is all humans creation including the technological & magical world of APPLE new REVOLUTION, iPad 2. Even if I’m in Singapore that couldn’t enjoy those who tried it in U.S., can I say APPLE is too SELLFISH to distribute it worldwide at once? Well, I only know the bible says: Humans have no rights to JUDGE but only God. Dear Bon Jovi sir, don’t forget if this world without TECHNOLOGY and Mr. genius like Steve Job, I can say that nobody will be able to know more about you and the rest of the worlds famous people worldwide.

This is only my very own personal point of view and hope it not making any misunderstanding to any of you people out there.

Thank you & God bless us all.

Cheers.

Posted by Alexis Loh on March 17, 2011 at 9:01 AM (PDT)

63

Jon uses an iPhone and his oldest child is 17. While he obviously misses the days when young people bought albums, I would be surprised if he was not taken out of context (how many people have even seen the ORIGINAL article, let alone the interview?) or possibly even misquoted.

Posted by wil on March 17, 2011 at 9:01 AM (PDT)

64

Well written.

Posted by Desimaniac on March 17, 2011 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

65

I agree with Deb’s comment on March 17th.
I heard You want to make a Memory on the radio back in 2007.  If I had downloaded only this song I would have never heard the rest of the great songs on this CD.  I was at the Toronto concert on the 15th and I have to say that every song they played had a huge reaction from the audience.  Naturally the classics had the biggest cheers….everybody knows them from the days of buying albums in the record stores.

Posted by Anna on March 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM (PDT)

66

Bon Jovi - what can you say about this very well said comment about you saying Steve Jobs Killing The Music Business huh???  I bet you are just going to shut up and just eat this huh…Without this digital age who is going to know you huh…my kids knows the beatles because of the iphone/itouch and ipads…and without it we are not playing your song (i am in a band) and we are just playing it because i have it on my ipad…lyrics, tabs and all the #### in your songs…it ends here…i believe…

Posted by jOjOgIzMoRoCkO on March 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM (PDT)

67

Paying for an artist top hits would be like your boss paying you for only your best work. Doesn’t seem fair.

Posted by YourCrazy on March 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM (PDT)

68

Wil, I also believe that some statements attributed to Jon may have been taken out of context to draw the reader’s attention - this happens a lot in the press. We did not have access to the original article, which is restricted to subscribers of the newspaper, so we do not know if there is truth in what we read in the sources that ensued. I share the same opinion about the future of music and the way that young people are relating to content downloaded from the web.

Posted by Camila on March 17, 2011 at 1:41 PM (PDT)

69

Just to point out something.  Bon Jovi was not the world’s largest touring band last year. U2’s tour was much much larger.

Posted by remiel20 on March 17, 2011 at 2:53 PM (PDT)

70

You are wrong though. JBJ only stands to benefit from this, because he can just sit back and collect on all those songs he wrote 20 years ago. he is established, and can command those 300 dollar a seat concerts. New music is going to have to face tremndous competition just to live in semi-obscurity.

In articles like this people completely ignore the struggling band or artist that wants to try to make a living off their art. You simply cannot do it in a culture which will pay 99 cents for one of your songs when they don’t pirate the rest. This long tail model benefits already established people who have realized the cost of their media long before.

Posted by Dave D. on March 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM (PDT)

71

I do miss buying albums. Back in the day getting Darkside of the Moon and getting the posters and stickers. Or how about In Through the Outdoor and painting the cover. Art, they were pieces of art. But Jobs didn’t kill the album cover, the industry did with cd’s.

Posted by Jeff on March 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM (PDT)

72

I LOVE the new Bon Jovi music as much as the old….. some even more!!  so I never get quiet when new songs are played…  People get quiet because they don’t know the song yet… .. The new songs are what keeps me excited about the band and one of the things I look forward to at the concerts.  Just because the songs aren’t on the radio, doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Listen to them, give them a chance and you may like them too.

Posted by crispi2 on March 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM (PDT)

73

some people going crazy when their money getting low and low… work harder Jon!

Posted by sang6iru on March 17, 2011 at 8:34 PM (PDT)

74

I totally agree with you. The new songs are even better than the old ones.

Posted by Camila on March 17, 2011 at 8:56 PM (PDT)

75

#70 - “In articles like this people completely ignore the struggling band or artist that wants to try to make a living off their art.”

I’ve been finding that nearly all of my music in the past 10 years or so has been coming from the small independent band/artists.  In fact, I’ve personally befriended quite a few of them as well, including owners of several small, independent record labels as well (such as Lance King of Nightmare Records).  In fact, I’ve even been helping to sponsor a heavy metal festival that is held in Atlanta, GA every year (ProgPower USA).  The reason being is that is where I am finding the true talent as well as finding the music itself to be much more engaging and enjoyable to listen to, compared to the crap that keeps getting shoveled out on the radio or American Idol.  These small artists still seem to treat music as the true artform that it is as well as being free to pretty much create the music they want, not pressured to create that “hit” that can be played on the radio or try to “dumb down” their music to make it “more accessible” to appease the “lowest common denominator”.  To quote from the bio of Mindwarp Chamber, an excellent progressive metal band - “Fed up with the music scene, all members left their other bands to form a band that they could do the music they love most. Heavy and progressive without any rules not trying to please anyone except those who enjoy the same. There was no reason to waste the talent of these musicians anymore in the mainstream music world that floods the market today. The way MWC looks at it, if you enjoy our music great, if not, don’t listen!”  All I can say to that is “Amen!”.

And as far as to the original topic as to whether Steve Jobs/Apple/iTunes is “killing the music industry”.  I still think, if anything, they probably did much more to save it than kill it.  As was already mentioned, look at how successful the sales of Beatles albums where!  I would be many of these artists that have nearly been forgotten (although The Beatles certainly are not forgotten) probably has found new audiences because of the likes of iTunes.  I personally don’t get my music through iTunes, instead preferring Amazon MP3 and eMusic (or if possible, even getting it directly from the artist themselves, ala the case of Voyager albums or Silent Lapse (whom, BTW was actually GIVING AWAY their album for free!).

Posted by SkiBumMSP on March 17, 2011 at 9:19 PM (PDT)

76

sang6iru, Jon Bon Jovi is a member of one of the biggest bands in the world and making lots of money from touring.

Posted by Camila on March 17, 2011 at 9:23 PM (PDT)

77

In the late ‘60s the smell of money brought professional managers into the music business. When The Beatles showed that 4 guys could ignite a global buying frenzy the tone of the business changed dramatically. Allen Klein was only the first aggressive operator motivated solely by greed. The structural changes wrought by the digital revolution will completely dissolve the foundation the current business is built on. It is no accident that the greatest music was made when concert tickets sold for one day’s working wage. When the Allen Kleins of the business can no longer extract huge sums from the efforts of creative musicians they will disappear. Musicians will always write and perform new songs and the networked world is thirsty for musical entertainment. It’s not there yet, but with iTunes, I think we can imagine a new possibility that makes the traditional music business irrelevant.

Posted by Greg on March 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM (PDT)

78

all Apple has done is give back to lifestyle with everything they may have removed - improvement, progression, innovation - something Bon Jovi obviously lack - having only really done one killer album with back to back listenable tracks - Slippery When Wet was there best work to date - seems a lot of hairspray causes brain damage, unable to make sensible comments or songs anymore Jon? At least when Steve tells it - he acts like he cares, unlike your acting….. because your living on a prayer doesn’t mean your a preacher.

Posted by sime on March 17, 2011 at 11:31 PM (PDT)

79

Way to miss the point of what he was saying. Apple tech is great(if preposterously over-priced), Apple marketing and business practices stink.

Apple are getting very greedy and it can’t be long now until a consumer backlash starts; unless people really are happy to hand over money for nothing.

Posted by zer0 on March 18, 2011 at 3:14 AM (PDT)

80

Bon Jovi is totally @$$-backwards.  The music industry is dying because these days, plain and simply, MUSIC SUCKS.  All of it is recycled garbage and Bon Jovi is no exception.  Hell, he’s sucked for decades.  Granted, I hate pop music, but I REALLY hate pop ROCK.  He’s complaining because he was one of those artist back in the 80’s that was NOTORIOUS for having a cool album cover that you had to buy.  Things changed when you actually PLAYED the albums, however.  Because they sucked.  Hard.  A lot of other bands are guilty of this as well.  Also, albums and concert tickets have been overpriced since before Bon Jovi even started.  He really needs to stop scapegoating the one thing keeping him a millionaire.  If I made that much money, I sure as Hell wouldn’t be complaining.

Posted by Wyckid on March 18, 2011 at 8:25 AM (PDT)

81

First to clear the palette, my personal opinion, a list of bands/music that suck.

Bon Jovi
Nickleback
all country music
the new pop era

JBJ comments about killing the music business sounds coached or a least the outcome of a church revival meeting. “Hi I’m JBJ and I’m mad” “what are you made about JBJ?” “Computers”

I don’t think the digital era had started anything that was already in motion going all the way back to the 45rpm disk. I remember buying 45’s when all I wanted was to have a copy of “that song I heard” on the radio. And sometimes that 45 was all you had available before the album came out or was shipped to your local record store. SO the buying music as a single or sampling it first is nothing new. I don’t know about everyone else but pretty much EVERY record store that existed back in the day had a listening room or lazy-boy and headphones to hear an album or single BEFORE you decided to buy. Tower Records (RIP) and Virgin Mega store still do this to some level.

I think the tipping point started way back when music become portable. Starting with the transistor radio but really hit with the cassette tape/walkman device. Now your music could move with you. You didn’t have to consume Pink Floyd in your Hi-Fi stereo room with your sunglasses and headphones. Our lives were changing and mobility was the need. You could still enjoy albums on cassette and if your walkman device had auto reverse you could run it until the batteries wore down or the tape wore out.

I think the container for music is not the problem. Yes we can argue about quality of signal verses compression ratios, blah blah blah. The problem is, we don’t enjoy albums at length as much because;

1. most albums today SUCK, big time. As said before, one maybe two songs worth a listen then endless crap to fill the remaining tracks. And you can only go back to the wood shed and enjoy your classic collection so much before losing interest.

2. we don’t have the time to absorb an album at one sitting. Unless you are in high school, living in your parents basement with no job, still cleaning your “weed”. I may still consume an album while working on the computer or a long trip but those are few and far between.

3. we live in an age that has grown too complex. Information everywhere, specifically the internet, 24hr TV, shopping, you fill in the blank. What little world an album listen opened up to us when we were younger doesn’t really have the same effect 20-30 years later. We may still enjoy the music but our needs have changed and especially our responsibilities.

To blame a device that allows me to carry just about every song/album I own, interested in or plan to own that fits in my pocket is ignorant. If anything, it has allowed me to consume and own more music than I would have ever imagined with the old media. The infrastructure of digital music also allows me to experience new music anywhere compared to having to visit the local music store (the local music store is still needed when you want to get out of the house) to search and sample thousands of tracks.

Its not the container JBJ, it the contents. Artists that create good music prevail no matter the media. -Artists that don’t, blame the system or systems.

Posted by optimusa4 on March 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM (PDT)

82

I could’t agree more with this column. Well put, and well written. I am a huge Bon Jovi Fan, but just like many of his fans, I’m tired of the re-labeling albums with 8 of the classics, and two or 3 crappy new songs. Or albums with 2-3 great songs on it, with 8-9 songs that should not have made the cut.

One of my favorite albums was his This Left feels Right album were he did a different take on his greatest hits. Great album, and I bought the whole thing right away.

The time were people just willingly buy a full album to get some fairy tale experience is gone. We don’t have the money… you do. When we want 1 great song, we can now buy it! The people are empowered, and as long as you keep making great SONGS, people will buy all of them.

CD’s that tell stories all the way through their tracks, are very few and far between. There are only a handful of artists that can do that these days.

Also to point out… after installing iTunes, the first album I actually bought through it, was a Bon Jovi album… his “Have a Nice Day” album. Play count as given by iTunes: 4 out of 13 songs have over 100 plays, one with over 250. 9 out of 13 have less than 10 plays.

Make better songs, and you’ll inherently have better albums.

Next, he’ll be saying, Steve Jobs killed Big Hair!!! No Positive Evolution did, just like it did, and will continue to do for the Music Business.

Posted by Brian on March 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM (PDT)

83

Is this a free country? Why can’t people make comments without the whole world condemning what was said. I believe Jon Bon Jovi was just expressing how he feels. It doesn’t mean he is accurate. But he doesn’t deserve the backlash. You are allowed to voice your opinion as well. But you do not speak for me. I love every song Bon Jovi has ever made. The music and lyrics speak to me. But I do not expect everyone else in the world to agree. Saying fans do not want the new material at their concerts is not true for many of us. I am sure there are many like you who go to concerts for the old favorites. However, could you imagine how stifling that would be to an artist? Who would want to perform only the top ten favorites for the rest of their career? I love Bon Jovi and would love to see them a hundred times if I could. Just because you disagree with his opinion though, doesn’t mean you should go on this diatribe about him. It is an unfair assessment. Just my two cents.

Posted by Amanda on March 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM (PDT)

84

Get with the times Jon Bon Jovi otherwise you really will be Livin’ on a Prayer…...

Posted by Paul W on March 18, 2011 at 8:37 PM (PDT)

85

@Amanda:  Yes, this is a free country—but that freedom includes the right to say, “What so-and-so just said is stupid!”

Bon Jovi doesn’t have to perform his old songs if he doesn’t want to.  As the article mentioned, his last tour made over $146 million.  He could live perfectly comfortably for the rest of his life off the money he’s already made.  He could do what David Bowie has done, and simply say, “I’m no longer going to play anything from before the year X.”  He doesn’t need the money.

He does have a bit of a point, in that every once in a while, in the old days, you’d buy an album based on the cover art and be pleasantly surprised, and discover some new band that was good.  However, you can still have that experience with iTunes—just go and sample music that you normally wouldn’t buy.

I’ve done it, and while a lot of it I listened to once and said ‘eh’, I’ve found a few artists that I liked, and proceeded to buy their music—artists I never would have listened to otherwise, since they weren’t being played on the radio.

And that’s the biggest thing digital music downloads bring—the accessibility of a wide variety of music.  For those of us who don’t live in a major city, often there are only a half dozen stations playing music that we can get, and some of those will be essentially the same.  Record stores would carry the current “biggies” and a selection of older stuff… and that would be it.

Now, we have access to a far greater variety of music… and I for one am glad!

Posted by Travis on March 19, 2011 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

86

Most people who download digital files via iTunes does not have the patience to look for something new or hear a full album. Most of them opt for what is in evidence at the moment, the music dictated by the media. There hopt for what is in evidence as been no time for the artist to establish his career. Jon misses the involvement that music fans were at that time, not necessarily the model adopted in that period. The relationship with the music was different.

Posted by Camila on March 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM (PDT)

87

Most people who download digital files via iTunes does not have the patience to look for something new or hear a full album. Most of them opt for what is in evidence at the moment, the music dictated by the media. There has been no time for the artist to establish his career. Jon misses the involvement that music fans were at that time, not necessarily the model adopted in that period. The relationship with the music was different.

Posted by Camila on March 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM (PDT)

88

convenience + superficiality = itunes

Posted by JBJ is right on March 19, 2011 at 4:56 PM (PDT)

89

It seems that Mr. Bon Jovi is forgetting completely that when Slippery When Wet came out - 1986 - consumers could buy singles of each song they wanted. In fact his single sales outstripped his album sales until something like 1988, by which time Bon Jovi released New Jersey. Singles had always been a big seller for every artist that released them. The major labels did away with singles as a format in 1989 / 1990. That meant you *had* to buy the full album, and eventually that also meant it had to be on CD only.

Cassette Singles took over for 45’s in 1989, 45’s were abandoned completely in 1989 as were LP’s. I don’t care as much about that, but consumers most definitely still wanted to buy individual tracks, and labels didn’t want that to happen.

Apple and iTunes did not cause this issue he has. 45’s were the most frequently-purchased item for all artists for decades. Albums as a format didn’t even exist until the 1950’s. They originally were created to put a series of top-selling singles on one product.

What’s killing the music industry? Easy! It’s what’s always been killing it: the music industry.

By the way there are plenty of solid full-release albums out there, and you don’t have to dig that deep. Phoenix “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”, recent releases by LCD Soundsystem, Metric, Sarah Bareilles and many others. Radiohead still releases fairly consistently good full-length releases. They’re not completely gone. It’s just that many artists are launched on one single, and there often just isn’t the same calibre of material for the entire album. How is that Steve Jobs’ fault?

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Posted by Adam D. on March 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM (PDT)

90

First, JBJ has some great tracks, but as a singer, he’s just ok.  Did you listen to “Unplugged?”  I had to turn it off.  But, there is no doubt that MP3’s and the Apple I-Tunes business model are radically changing the music industry.  The main issue is that in the new paradigm there is no room for the label - and without the label who takes the risk on new artist developement? 

In the short run, this change can, in fact, “ruin” the music industry because no-one is investing in the artists.  But, over time, this problem will deminish because the need for investing will diminish as new ways evolve for artists to connect with and get discovered by the public.  Already we are seeing music discovery sites and social media in use as ways for artists to get noticed.  And this type of discovery is more real than the former “label” centric model. 

So JBJ can’t sing all that well (but he does throw a great concert) and he’s is right and wrong about the death of the music industry.

Posted by J Mini on March 20, 2011 at 12:32 AM (PDT)

91

Bon Jovi’s show is amazing. Many guys with half his age do not have the energy he spends on stage. Three-hour show, supporting the voice, and you leave the stadium wanting more. His music is in agreement with the moment in which we live. Jon does not live on past glories! He has won new generations of fans with a work of higher quality than we’ve seen out there. Do not overlook an artist who has been in business for 28 years and is part of one of the biggest bands in the world. He knows what he’s talking.

Posted by Camila on March 20, 2011 at 7:36 AM (PDT)

92

I can safely say that i have purchased just as much if not more music, with the majority being albums, in the past couple of years than ever before (mostly downloaded). There is still great music being made, but you will never hear it on top 40 radio and it’s always been like that. Most of what is played on commercial radio is boring ovedone crap, smoothed of any offending sharp edges so it will be deemed safe by the largest amount of people (sounds like any bon jovi lp). It is fast food.
Every once and awhile something good sneaks in and i’m sure it’s harder now than before. And i am not equating being a great musician with great music. give me passion, give me daring, give me a sense of danger over another boring guitar solo. I’d rather listen to capt. beefheart than bon jovi because the good captain is never boring and whether or not i ever listen to it or not it will be made because he was an artist and had to must express himself unlike mr jovi who is upset that people are missing his hidden “gems” by buying only the single.
As soon as jon gets around to making his White album or Kid A or London Calling, ect… i’ll plunk down my hard earned cash to support it but until that happens stop with the ridiculous theories. He has enough money to fund his own label and do things his way if it’s really bothering him. Better yet, why not get together with other like minded musicians and try to create a system that you like. There is strength in numbers mr jovi. 
In the eighties kids created great music and established scenes without the interference of the music industries (also because the music industry was way too big to take a chance one something different). Look at Merge records and Arcade Fire - THEY WON ALBUM OF THE YEAR. This is Merge, a label that was started to release Superchunk’s music back in the late eighties. I only hope that the major labels take a hint and start releasing music that is good and that they like to listen to instead of something they think will make the most money. 
I’m sure his argument has some weight but this just sounds like another rant by another boring mainstream artist who is frustrated that the car is running out of gas and there’s not enough money to fill it back up. Relax jon. 

p.s. i agree with others on compressed music. also beginning with cds the reproduction of visual art has gone downhill. I have vinyl and cd copies of the same album and the cds artwork is printed with a color cast and always looks of lesser quality. 

SORRY FOR THE MEANDERING RANT.

Posted by rcommand on March 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM (PDT)

93

Open your mind and ears. Bon Jovi has shown throughout his successful career that can make quality music being in the mainstream. Jon Bon Jovi won millions of fans around the world with his music. Respect the taste of others!

Posted by Camila on March 21, 2011 at 6:04 AM (PDT)

94

At least we agree on something: the Bon Jovi concerts are great.

Posted by JBJ is right on March 21, 2011 at 4:10 PM (PDT)

95

I believe Jon Bon Jovi is referring to pirated copies of music. Many people download the copies and they don’t get it from iTunes.

Posted by Raymond Suen on March 21, 2011 at 6:20 PM (PDT)

96

Bon Jovi is narrow minded, and frankly his comment guarantees I will no longer purchase any of his music.  It’s demeaning and demonstrably inaccurate.

Posted by Another Comment on March 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM (PDT)

97

#92 - “I can safely say that i have purchased just as much if not more music, with the majority being albums, in the past couple of years than ever before (mostly downloaded). There is still great music being made, but you will never hear it on top 40 radio and it’s always been like that. Most of what is played on commercial radio is boring ovedone crap, smoothed of any offending sharp edges so it will be deemed safe by the largest amount of people (sounds like any bon jovi lp). It is fast food.”

A-friggan-men!  I am actually in the same boat as you.  I’ve found that I’ve have bought many a complete album (nearly all my music purchases have been complete album), but practically none of it from any of the mainstream.  The closest thing was the new Iron Maiden album, as well as the latest Disturbed album. 

I was thinking the same thing about it being “fast food”.  Yeah, you could still find a decent meal from time to time at the big chains (for example, I really do like the burgers at Wendy’s), but if you really want to find the good, and truly unique, food, it seems you have to go to the out-the-way, hole-in-the-wall places. (just watch “Extreme Fast Food” program or “Diners and Dives”).  Just like the music.  Yeah, there is occasionally some decent stuff to be heard on the mainstream (and for the record, I have been a fan of Bon Jovi myself, although I’ve grown tired of them in recent years), but to find the really good, unique, and fresh sounding stuff, I found it is necessary to get off the mainstream and start exploring some of these so-called “no-name” artists.  You’d be surprised at just how good many of those guys are.  The likes of iTunes and the internet in general make it so much easier.

That is why I think Jon Bon Jovi is full of himself in making that comment.  I still stand by my own opinion that Steve Jobs and Apple probably did more to save the music industry than to kill it with iTunes.  At least they prove that it is possible to legitimately sell digital downloads and make still make a nice mint at it in the process.  Unfortunately, Piracy is going to be with us regardless.  At least instead of attempting to criminalize the legitimate paying customer (i.e., saddling everything with ridicules DRM schemes and what not), attempt to provide a compelling, quality product for a reasonable price that is more convenient than having to deal with the crap-shoot of downloading something illegally (which could be poor quality and/or malware laden).  Even though there will always be that element that thinks everything should be free, there are still quite a few folks that are willing to the right thing and pay what they feel the music is worth and support their favorite artist(s).  As I’ve said time and time again, regardless what happens to the music industry itself, there will always be people that will want to create music and get heard.  Maybe we will no longer have the megabuck artist that got big off of that one or two radio hits that was marketed to no end anymore (the old “one-hit wonder”), but there will always be music to be heard and the artist that can put out quality music that people find engaging and enjoyable to listen to will be the one to find some success.

As to the comment in another post about “respect the taste of others”.  As far as I am concerned, people are free to listen to and enjoy whatever style of music from whatever artist/bands that floats their boat.  However, I also have no qualms of stating the obvious that the current state of mainstream music just plain sucks.  Period, Paragraph, End of Story!  For example, some idiot decides to blast their rap crap at me while sitting at a stoplight, and I’ll let them know what I think of their piss-poor taste in music real quick by giving them an earful of power metal from my own more than capable car system.  I’ll call a spade a spade, and if somebody doesn’t like that? Well - TFB.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on March 22, 2011 at 8:56 PM (PDT)

98

ITunes is dependent on major record labels to survive. They generate the content found on the iTunes Store. Download digital files to an mp3 player does not compare to the feeling described by Jon Bon Jovi in his interview to The Sunday Times. This causes the listener to deepen its relationship with the artist’s work and win new fans.

Posted by JBJ is right on March 23, 2011 at 8:11 AM (PDT)

99

Here it is in context

“Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.

“God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business”.

Posted by Jules on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM (PDT)

100

At 56 years of age, I’ve experienced nearly every method of delivery popular music has been “served” on. Yep, even have a few Chuck Berry 78RPMs. The medium is transparent if the material is good.

Kids today have their own experience, they’ve missed nothing. They will equally rhapsodize about their faves 20 years from now.

Bon Jovi additionally misses the point because he forgets that buying individual tracks was how the message of Rock was first delivered. The 45RPM - “single” - was something we fell in love with on Top Forty AM radio, plunked down 69 cents for, stacked ten high on a spindle and danced to. We do the same thing now with an iPod.

Jon has had the fortunate ability to sustain a career based on a few “evergreen” tunes, the aural death-grip of classic rock radio, and a very loyal audience he cultivated 30 years ago. Why he would begrudge a talented new group of musicians “their time” or take a misguided shot at Steve Jobs is beyond comprehension.

Posted by Skeletonpete on April 1, 2011 at 11:48 PM (PDT)

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