Was out doing the street thing at Bakers Hill the other day and had an interesting conversation with someone that had only been buying independently released music for the last two years. He wasn't particularly young or hip or knowledgable about the ins and outs of the music industry, but he had a number of interesting things to say on the subject.
In the past he had been happy to let the gatekeepers (my word not his) of the major label system and commercial radio to vet and choose for him to a certain extent the records that he listened to and bought. He had become increasingly dissatisfied with generic newer records that seemed to be designed by committee. Trying to please everybody and spectacularly succeeding in coming up with a record that nobody likes (his words not mine).
The type of record he was referring too was "Insert Reality TV Star HERE" sings the past hits of "Insert Popular Genre HERE" being marketed in association with "Insert Popular Fad HERE". The example he gave was "Susan Boyle sings the Hits of Motown Gangnam Style".
Well I'd like to think that a record like that hasn't been made. Yet. It makes me wonder though, how safe is too safe. Yes the major record label system is still valid and they have to make a quid but if its getting to the stage where people with only a passing interest can see what is going on maybe its time for a rethink.
Anyway, as I said, the gentleman had been happily buying independent music only over the last two years, mainly from artists that he saw live at festivals and on the street. He ended up buying one of my records, so then we were both happy.