Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Thu Feb 15 07:31:06 MST 2001

(Disclaimer: Please excuse any hostility I show. I am
a musician, and I am nothing short of appalled when
people [usually non-musicians] get the impression that
record companies do anything "in good faith").

--- Maryann Bowers <maryannbowers at>
> It's important to remember
> the only means of offsetting the costs of recording,
> distribution, and
> promotion of music is income from record sales.

It's also important to remember that just about all of
that income goes to the record companies, not the
artists. There are more than a few cases of artists
who have #1 albums who then promptly go broke.

> Record companies front an
> obscene amount of money, in good faith,

NO. Not in good faith *at all*. #1, more often than
not they charge an obscene amount of interest. #2,
they use this "loan" as leverage to keep the artist
affiliated with said label. #3, as the record company
gets the entire income (since the musician does have
to pay the record company back), this is merely a
business investment on their part.

>Royalties from sales, on or off the net,
> are the average,
> non-DietCoke-sponsored artist's only income as well.

This is incorrect. Most artists (signed and unsigned)
make the majority of their money from stage
performances. After the record companies are done
inserting their various charges, fees, and loan
repayments, more often than not the artist winds up
being in debt from selling albums.

Make no mistake about it - the record industry is not
a bunch of do-gooders who are trying to help local
bands make it big. It's one big racket, and nothing
else but.

Courtney Love, of all people, actually did a fairly
good run-down of the math involved at:


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