Universal Offers Entire Back Catalogue For Free Download

Okay, this is big news.  It’s like this:

Vivendi-Universal, the largest of the four remaining dinosaur media corporations,  has signed a deal with a company called SpiralFrog (yeah, whatever) to distribute their music online for FREE.  Yes, FOR FREE.  The catch, of course, is advertising.  Also, they saee this as a way of getting people hooked on the service, and then charging, as if kids who’ve spent their first decade geting stuff for free will suddenly want to pay for it.  Anyway, the news stories are here, here, and here.

All of these news stories mention current artists who are with Universal, but let’s face it, the REAL news is the back catalogue.  This is UNIVERSAL, the company founded by mobsters which has now become the single biggest manufacturer of wack-ass pop on EARTH.  In the big industry bloodbath in the late 1990s, Universal made out like bandits (natch), buying up everything that wasn’t properly nailed down.  Let’s see how many artists in Universal’s back catalogue I can come up with off the top of my head:

The Who, Elton John, the Ohio Players, Parliament, Kiss, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Osibisa, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Brook Benton, Leslie Gore, Jackie Wilson, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bohannon, War, Tears For Fears, Cameo, Tyrone Davis, Golden Earring, Phil Phillips, The Diamonds, James Brown, Gloria Gaynor, the Village People, The Jam, Charles Earland, Sonic Youth, Steel Pulse, the Animals, Rufus, Third World, the Bar-Kays, Con-Funk-Shun, and of course, MOTOWN.   Not to mention TONS of lesser-known stuff by such people as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ramsey Lewis, and Issac Hayes.
(I would’ve added Nina Simone in there, but somehow, even though she recorded for Phillips, her reissues come out on Verve, which is now part of Blue Note, which was a subsidiary of Capitol when Capitol got bought out by EMI, whch is now part of Time-Warner/EMI.  See, kiddies?  Simple.)

That’s just what I rattled off in my head as fast as I could type it.  All that music.  For free.   It’s coming.  You know what to do.


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