Thursday, 12 April 2012
Unleashing your music on the world
Stevie Wonder had the right idea. In 1976 he flew over 200 journalists to Long View Farm Studios in Massachusetts to listen to his new album 'Songs in the Key of Life.' Watching the film it's hard to believe the effort that went into this single event to say nothing of the cost. But for an artist at the height of his powers, his 18th album and the first released under a new $37 million contract maybe it was worth doing it with a bit of pizazz.
In slightly less salubrious, though no less iconic circumstances Pink Floyd held their press preview for 'Animals' at the Sports and Social Club of Battersea Power Station in London a year after Wonder's shindig. Battersea was still a working power station at the time and was featured on the albums cover though it still doesn't strike me as the logical choice for a an album launch!
In the here and now there are myriad ways to promote your new record without the hassle of chartering a plane, arranging a party or even turning up, but that doesn't mean the album launch event is a thing of the past. Norah Jones recently unveiled her new record 'Little Broken Hearts' live in full at SXSW. The Foo Fighter's did something similar for 'Wasting Light', broadcasting live from their studio (in 3D no less) but they went on to top that by playing a series of gigs in fan's garages, tying the live experience of the album with it's recording which took place in Grohl's own garage.
The Wrens went in a slightly different direction with the release of 'The Meadowlands.' To celebrate the albums completion (and in all likelihood to ensure against further tweaking) they decided the only way to truly finish the album was to have a party and erase the master tapes. They then released a limited edition of the album, screen printing all 1000 covers themselves. No planes, champagne, or flying pigs in sight. I reckon they're saving all that for the next one!
Song's in the Key of Life video via 33 1/3
Dave Grohl video via NMETV