Why is there a prevailing notion that record companies don't cheat artists?

144000

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What is it about record companies that make some people see them as innocent? There are so many stories from artists, that are not happy stories for the artists. To be frank, I have yet to hear a happy one. And believe me, I'm searching. There's the notion that there's no such thing as a savvy artist who never screws up, financially, and the record company is always considered savvy..big..and smart, and never screws up. What is it? Is it the look? It somehow LOOKS like it's a business, with invisible faces..and, therefore, it cannot fail? Is it because the artist is seen , and, therefore it's easier to see the artist as prone to making financial mistakes? Why does it seem harder to accept that the big company might just be a big thief, and it's not just.....'doing business'? More often than not, it's assumed, more often, that the artist is more likely to make a financial mistake, than the company. Yes, I'm thinking about Michael, as a victim, but he's not the only one. I'm not going to even get into what is it about Michael that made some assume to see him as not able to manage his money, correctly. But, whoever is willing to discuss, what it is, in their opinion, about Michael, that made this notion prevail and that the big record company is assumed to be perfect, Im interested in your opinions. Here is a video of some other artists who have their own story, at about 13:07. I can name so many artists who have similar stories, but I won't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3ZYtfV50FA
 
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mj_frenzy

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In my opinion, the fact that record companies want to profit from their artists does not necessarily mean that they cheat them.

We should not forget that an artist is fully aware of all the prerequisites that a contract (with a record company) demands from the very beginning & he/she is about to sign on a voluntary basis.

Of course, a record company many times imposes rather strict, obligatory terms that an artist has to follow. For instance, it is not uncommon at all for such contracts to be signed on a long term base (because profits for record companies usually come in the long run). If that did not happen, then (new) artists would most of the time have broken their contract (with record companies) after their first one or two hit records. In that case, record companies would find it very difficult (if not impossible) not only to make profits but also to break even (considering the amount of money that had already been invested for these artists).

Also, many times contracts demand from artist to release certain type of material (hits rather than artistic quality) so as to appeal to more people, & this comes many times tied with a specific image that an artist strictly has to follow.

More over, record companies play a significant role in the selection of singles, which makes sense taking into account that they can understand clearer what the audience wants at certain periods (on this account, record companies consist by professional marketers, as well).

To sum up, I think these examples are indicative of the fact that record companies want to benefit from their artists (in terms of pecuniary profits). This does not necessarily mean that record companies have to be guilty of cheating them.
 

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Nobody knows what an audience likes. And often, a record company seeks out an artist after that artist established an audience. That record company has no idea how that artist established a relationship with that audience, yet the record company usually tries to change the trajectory of that relationship. That's like finding a girl for her certain qualities, then changing what made those qualities. Furthermore, art is art. It's not science. Record companies can't be boxing the abstractness of art to fit their practical criteria. Furthermore, the record company can't be imagining a certain expectation, because, in that case, it will never be met. Many times, the companies see time spent, crafting the art as an enemy, and they are never satisfied, so they keep money that they owe artists. That's stealing. You can't let the fact that your eyes are bigger than your stomach, dictate your business moves. This is why independence, from record companies is catching fire. Are we really going to call the two organists in that video, liars?
 

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As I said, artists under record companies do not probably enjoy the freedom they really want.

But, finding faults with everything that record companies do sounds to me more like a sweeping statement.

Quite often, record companies are able to foresee the direction of the market (trajectory of the relationship between artist & audience, in this case) for the interests of both of them (artist & record company).

We should not forget that an artist has to evolve (for the better), regardless of being independent or under a record company.

There are numerous examples that show that artists enjoy even more success thanks to that refreshing (or change) of their image/music.

I highly doubt that record companies consist of dunce people that on purpose try to eliminate any good, profitable potential that their artist can have.

Prior to all those technological advancements (Internet, etc), a strong relationship (between an artist & the audience) used to be established by means of the record company.

In other words, being independent was far from catching fire some years ago.

But even these days, artists are (more or less) in need of a professional guidance because they are not expected to know the ropes in that industry (so as to survive the stiff competition).

Art is art, but (whether we like it or not) it is undeniably linked at the same time with practical criteria & it can be measured.

For example, record companies provide all that essential know-how/equipment so as art to be communicated in the best possible way (professional studios, effective distribution, video clips, & so on).

Also, as long as companies invest in their artist(s), it is quite logical (for the companies) to expect a profitable return on their investment. So, a certain expectation not only it is not a wishful thinking but also makes a lot of sense.
 

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It's the same issue folks have with the 'media'. Most people believe if media claim X,Y and z, that somehow it must be true since the common belief is that media people are the only purveyors of truth.

My beef with recording companies is largely for artistic purposes. They seem to choke the life out of artist's' creativity, just to make the big bucks.
 

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Artists are able to do something they LOVE, every single day, for a LIVING.
Most of them are well aware of what they're getting into when they start out.
 

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As I said, artists under record companies do not probably enjoy the freedom they really want.

But, finding faults with everything that record companies do sounds to me more like a sweeping statement.

Quite often, record companies are able to foresee the direction of the market (trajectory of the relationship between artist & audience, in this case) for the interests of both of them (artist & record company).

We should not forget that an artist has to evolve (for the better), regardless of being independent or under a record company.

There are numerous examples that show that artists enjoy even more success thanks to that refreshing (or change) of their image/music.

I highly doubt that record companies consist of dunce people that on purpose try to eliminate any good, profitable potential that their artist can have.

Prior to all those technological advancements (Internet, etc), a strong relationship (between an artist & the audience) used to be established by means of the record company.

In other words, being independent was far from catching fire some years ago.

But even these days, artists are (more or less) in need of a professional guidance because they are not expected to know the ropes in that industry (so as to survive the stiff competition).

Art is art, but (whether we like it or not) it is undeniably linked at the same time with practical criteria & it can be measured.

For example, record companies provide all that essential know-how/equipment so as art to be communicated in the best possible way (professional studios, effective distribution, video clips, & so on).

Also, as long as companies invest in their artist(s), it is quite logical (for the companies) to expect a profitable return on their investment. So, a certain expectation not only it is not a wishful thinking but also makes a lot of sense.
I don't care how much money you invest. If you decide to determine your expectations by how much money you invested, you're in for a destructive outcome, because your ear won't be open to the art..it will be open to your anxiety about how much money you spent. And that has panned out a lot. Also, absolutely no one can predict the future and audience/artist relationships. Who could ever have predicted that a man who plays jazz piano could hit number 1 on the pop charts, for example..right in the middle of a trend that had nothing to do with that? The world is a big place, with people with many many different tastes. You never know which taste will prevail. And like I said, there has never been a record company that determined what tastes are out there. They waited for what artist seemed to cause the most buzz, then they went to sign that artist. Obviously, the artist demonstrated that successful relationship with an audience without the help of the record company's 'guidance'. So they really have no right to determine how that artist should operate. Indeed, speaking of evolution, the independent revolution is the result. Besides..even in the midst of the prime of record companies, there have always been more exceptions to the rule, than the 'rule'. There have been artists who got their own pro tools together, used a small budget, and got a big audience, and number 1 hit. And then there was the big ones...Billy Joel and Prince..those who had horror stories about how the record companies mistreated them They had to take drastic measures to let the companies know that the companies didn't know what they were doing. And, intentions are irrelevant. As soon as the companies see the big dollars coming in, the 'intentions' tend to go out the window. Money changes behavior..especially when it is a LOT of money. The word 'practical' has to take a role in evolution..no matter how frightening that sounds. Art is just a different animal. It just can't be measured like other occupations, businesswise. People just have to firm up and realize that.
 

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144 said:
I don't care how much money you invest. If you decide to determine your expectations by how much money you invested, you're in for a destructive outcome, because your ear won't be open to the art..it will be open to your anxiety about how much money you spent. And that has panned out a lot. Also, absolutely no one can predict the future and audience/artist relationships. Who could ever have predicted that a man who plays jazz piano could hit number 1 on the pop charts, for example..right in the middle of a trend that had nothing to do with that? The world is a big place, with people with many many different tastes. You never know which taste will prevail. And like I said, there has never been a record company that determined what tastes are out there. They waited for what artist seemed to cause the most buzz, then they went to sign that artist. Obviously, the artist demonstrated that successful relationship with an audience without the help of the record company's 'guidance'. So they really have no right to determine how that artist should operate. Indeed, speaking of evolution, the independent revolution is the result. Besides..even in the midst of the prime of record companies, there have always been more exceptions to the rule, than the 'rule'. There have been artists who got their own pro tools together, used a small budget, and got a big audience, and number 1 hit. And then there was the big ones...Billy Joel and Prince..those who had horror stories about how the record companies mistreated them They had to take drastic measures to let the companies know that the companies didn't know what they were doing. And, intentions are irrelevant. As soon as the companies see the big dollars coming in, the 'intentions' tend to go out the window. Money changes behavior..especially when it is a LOT of money. The word 'practical' has to take a role in evolution..no matter how frightening that sounds. Art is just a different animal. It just can't be measured like other occupations, businesswise. People just have to firm up and realize that.

Notice that artists themselves are also greatly interested in a lot of money &, because of that, many times they are willing to change their behavior/style.

I think, for the most part, artists are in need of the record companies’ funds, time & knowledge so as to effectively get the audience’s attention. This cannot be refuted by some cases in which artists happen to commercially succeed (whose one or two songs topped the charts out of the blue) by working independently & on a small budget.

Prince’s problem with his record company (Warner) had to do mainly with the fact that he wanted to release more albums than his contract demanded (during that period). Warner was against his desire (for fear of causing market saturation), which from a business point of view, makes sense for both of them. Also, note that Prince enjoyed significant artistic freedom at that time (for example, he had absolute control over the selection of the singles). So, by equating his relationship with Warner to a horror story sounds to me more like a prejudicial statement (against the record company).

I believe that major record companies can feel oncoming trends (or even create them).

You may think that companies are incapable of doing that (or, that artists cannot benefited from companies at all but only be manipulated) but I beg to differ.
 

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-^ Like you said, Prince enjoyed a lot of freedom. That's rare. And that's after protest. He did a lot of unorthodox things. He experimented. That's rarely allowd. Stevie Wonder wanted to write the kind of material that didn't always sound commercial. Berry Gordy was worried about that. But, ultimately, Gordy relented. Stevie's a legend, and still standing. Money was NOT the issue with Stevie. Artists don't think about money first, contrary to what you say. If they did, their art would suffer. Michael Jackson stated, himself..he didn't think about money. He thought about ideas. In an interview with Lisa Robinson, he said that. Thinking about money gets in the way of the art. If the art is good enough, the artist will be ok. He or she will make a living. You can't go far if audiences throw up at the sound of your art, and it isn't real art. You need the audience. I mentioned the two organists in the video. I'd like to see you name some of the artists who share your opinion. Again, unless you are calling the two organists in the video liars, I will have a difficult time believing you're not being prejudicial to protect record companies. The day of the exec with a soft heart, seem to be gone. The Berry Gordy's don't seem to exist anymore. Those were the great execs, few and far between. Today, on mainstream radio, if I have the energy to listen to it, I only hear what the majority of execs are about, today. They borrow music created by unorthodox means and sample it to a singular beat that you need drugs to listen to. But notice..they don't seem to be able to live without the original music that was created on the bloody backs of artists they stole from. The audiences are fragmented, today. THe industry isn't as strong as it used to be, on the pop front. Record companies can't dominate the way they used to, and on Youtube, so many commenters say how they miss the old days, and music from yesterday. Mick Jagger said, after MJ died, that the starmaker vehicle won't work anymore. Apparently, Mick thinks that execs don't have what it takes to mold the artist that will truly appeal to the world, the way Michael did. I think Mick's experienced enough to know. Too many people think streaming is taking over and almost nobody wants to buy from itunes. And, of course there's a lot of illegal downloading. So, that means audiences aren't satisfied with the majority of execs out there, and don't think music is worth buying. Only in niche places, are audiences buying any material, and most think that you have to tour to make up that money. So I don't think most execs know what's up, these days.
 
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mj_frenzy

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I refuse to accept that a large majority of artists does not think about money first (by means of commercial success, mainly), & this applies also to the biggest names in the industry. On this account, many of them keep hiring the hottest producers (at given periods), or have their songs written by renowned songwriters, first & foremost for the sake of sales.

Of course, this does not come always at the expense of their art.

What is more, if artists think that their music is good enough for them (irrespective of its commercial performance), this does not necessarily mean that they are always contented. For example, MJ used to set quantitative goals before the releases of his studio albums. This means that even if his art was good enough (for him) but with lower sales, this would not have made him feel satisfied. Or, remember, Mariah Carey’s mental/emotional breakdown along with her seemingly suicidal behavior (in the summer of 2001) that was brought on mostly by her commercially disastrous projects at that time.

I do believe that artists themselves seek commercial success, & it is not unusual for them to become obsessed with it. So, they are also to blame for resorting to commercial sound, or to extensive use of samples in their records.
 

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mj_frenzy;4147716 said:
I refuse to accept that a large majority of artists does not think about money first (by means of commercial success, mainly), & this applies also to the biggest names in the industry. On this account, many of them keep hiring the hottest producers (at given periods), or have their songs written by renowned songwriters, first & foremost for the sake of sales.

Of course, this does not come always at the expense of their art.

What is more, if artists think that their music is good enough for them (irrespective of its commercial performance), this does not necessarily mean that they are always contented. For example, MJ used to set quantitative goals before the releases of his studio albums. This means that even if his art was good enough (for him) but with lower sales, this would not have made him feel satisfied. Or, remember, Mariah Carey’s mental/emotional breakdown along with her seemingly suicidal behavior (in the summer of 2001) that was brought on mostly by her commercially disastrous projects at that time.

I do believe that artists themselves seek commercial success, & it is not unusual for them to become obsessed with it. So, they are also to blame for resorting to commercial sound, or to extensive use of samples in their records.
You say you refuse to believe that there are a lot of artists out there that don't think about money, first, then the argument is lost with you because you won't listen to artists' quotes. That doesn't mean it's not true. If you're experiencing something a certain way, but someone else says they refuse to believe your experience is real...well that's how you're coming across. Artists are not responsible for the button pushing remixing tin ear execs that are out there with their ridiculous insecurities about the bottom line. That guy I showed you, in the video, playing tho organ...do you think there's room in this rave-music society for some guy playing his kind of music on a multi-hundred year-old instrument? You think an exec is going for that? Nope. But there IS an audience out there, looking for that. The musician just has to look for his/her audience. Imagine if that organist had the mind of today's exec? In that case, that organist would have to never play his organ again, and hope he knows how to push buttons on a computer, because...it's all about the money. That organist is doing ok, making a living, by the way, without worrying about the bottom line over his art.
 
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mj_frenzy

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You say you refuse to believe that there are a lot of artists out there that don't think about money, first, then the argument is lost with you because you won't listen to artists' quotes. That doesn't mean it's not true. If you're experiencing something a certain way, but someone else says they refuse to believe your experience is real...well that's how you're coming across. Artists are not responsible for the button pushing remixing tin ear execs that are out there with their ridiculous insecurities about the bottom line. That guy I showed you, in the video, playing tho organ...do you think there's room in this rave-music society for some guy playing his kind of music on a multi-hundred year-old instrument? You think an exec is going for that? Nope. But there IS an audience out there, looking for that. The musician just has to look for his/her audience. Imagine if that organist had the mind of today's exec? In that case, that organist would have to never play his organ again, and hope he knows how to push buttons on a computer, because...it's all about the money. That organist is doing ok, making a living, by the way, without worrying about the bottom line over his art.

I am firmly convinced that most artists (regardless of their field) do seek wide success, mainly for the sake of money.

To be more specific:

“Everybody thinks, you got a record, you gotta be rich! And we should be!” (Joey DeFrancesco, organist/vocalist)

“…I love doin’ it, I’m not gonna stop [playing jazz organs]…I’ve had some success with it too, so, but I hope someday I can sell millions records, and if I do I’ll burn a record company down if they don’t save me some money” (Joey DeFrancesco, organist/vocalist)

Also, Joey DeFrancesco seems to be against record companies unless they treat him fairly. We should keep in mind that when a contract is about to be signed, it has to be previously accepted by both of the involved parties.

In spite of the fact that there was an audience that came to DeFrancesco’s gigs, I cannot tell for sure if he would have made a killing (with or without record companies’ help), considering the generally unfavourable circumstances for his field at that time.

“…There is so few jazz stations anymore and it is just very difficult…” (Joey DeFrancesco, organist/vocalist)

Moreover, it does make absolute business sense for record companies to push records that “could have been big, big,big, major hits”. So, what Jimmy McGriff claimed at that interview, sounds strange to me.

“…records I put out could have been big, big,big, major hits but the record companies they didn’t push it…” (Jimmy McGriff, organist)

All these quotes come from the video you posted.
 

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I wouldn't have posted that video if it didn't agree with what I was saying. Joey said he hoped to sell a million, but he also admitted that he has some success. Is he quitting his art? No. Like you said..he found an audience. Nuff said. And, you're making my point..of course execs would not think that Joey's art would sell much. The fact that Joey is making a living, makes them execs look bad. He's not starving. He said he's STRUGGLING..but..it's worth it. He's not starving. Better to struggle than to steal. People who have the attitude that you refuse to believe some artists don't share with you, tend to end up stealing money from their artists, because since they got a rich man's mentality..since they need the money to come in at breakneck speed, if it doesn't come in at breakneck speed..if they don't have patience, then they'll steal from the artists. It's their nature. I know it's impossible to get you to believe that Michael Jackson wasn't about money, because he made a lot of money. But he said he's not about money...he's about ideas. That's why he gave three hundred million dollars to charity, at least..and why the proceeds from his very first concert tour as an adult with his brothers, and also his first solo tour were given to charity. Who does that? Michael and Joey are proof that you can put your art over the money and do ok. My overall point is, if you put money first, you'll steal. You have to have courage not to put money first. Put your art first. Michael's enemies put money first. They were offended by his charitable ways, and referred to it as 'overspending'. And they slandered him as a result. As far as McGriff goes, he believes in his art. He believes it can be big. But the exec sees it as organ playing doesn't make money. That's the problem. How can an exec say that, while looking at McGriff playing before sold out houses? The execs are blinded by their love of money. And that makes them dangerous. And, non beneficial to artists.
 
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DeFrancesco’s inner desire for “millions of records” (as opposed to just earning a living) is feasible normally by means of a (major) record company’s benefits (such as, effective media accessibility, global distribution).

But even in this case, this does not automatically mean that he is going to achieve such huge commercial success because of other reasons (for example, many times musicians tend to overestimate their art’s potential in terms of sales). The same applies to Jimmy McGriff for “big, big, big, major hits” at that time.

Finally, note that artists themselves, quite often, are also the ones who have no patience (with money). I mean, many of them tend to become overly impatient with it, especially when they achieve big commercial success. I suppose this does not make them necessarily steal.

I think we have to agree to differ.
 

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Everybody's tempted to 'make millions' This is clearly YOUR view, that people can't be satisfied with making a living because YOU added the word 'just' make a living'. So..just because Joey stated a desire for millions, doesn't mean he's dissatisfied with making a living, because he, himself, acknowledged that he has some success. If he was obsessed with millions, he would not have acknowledged the success he has. And, as far as artists being impatient with money..like I said, Michael donated much of his money to charity before he received any. That's patience at its pinnacle. You can't have impatience with money and put charity first at the same time. It's impossible. I have provided proof of my statements. You have not. The record company over Michael stole his money. Michael stated he had to have his books audited. Plus there has been no report of charitable contributions, since MJ died. It's hard to give to charity..true charity, if you're obsessed with money. Again, I'm providing statements of proof. You are not. You're right. We have to agree to differ. Record companies do steal.
 

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Joey DeFrancesco’s acknowledgment of his (up to that point) some success does not necessarily run counter to his desire for “millions of records”.

It is abundantly clear that most artists are tempted to make a lot of money, & I highly doubt that DeFrancesco can be considered an exception to this rule.

Additionally, note that artists (apart from royalties that come in due course) receive also advances which are fixed payments given to artists mostly prior to any potential success (for example at the time of signing with the record company). I assume this does not indicate an act of impatience (or even theft) on the part of record companies.

Moreover, donating a good deal of money is not necessarily indicative of the artists’ patience. You should keep in mind that it is not uncommon at all for artists, especially the biggest names, to donate a lot of money for other reasons (such as, in order to enhance their charitable image, to reduce their income tax, & so on).

Lastly, note that MJ had already been rich before he took the decision to donate his share (from the earnings of the Victory Tour) to charity organizations. For example, you should not forget his album royalties in the early ‘80s (most likely the biggest ones in the music industry in those days), the huge commercial success of his two, adult solo albums (especially ‘Thriller’), not to mention the pretty lucrative deal that was signed (along with his brothers) with Pepsi several months before the launch of the tour.
 

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Nobody enhances a charitable image. Why isn't the record company after MJ's death 'enhancing a charitable image'? They're making no bones about not having room for charity, as they are in the business of profiting, and for them, charity gets in the way of that. Furthermore, Michael always gave, from his youth. Before he accepted for himself, he gave to others. There's no guarantee, in all practicality, you're going to profit from that, and many, including his father advised against it. So MJ was not about money. He was doing that big work as a little kid, getting a small allowance and spending it on candy, and...giving it to other kids, instead of to himself. That obvious giving pattern, and not caring about money pattern is undeniable, unless the objective is arguing just for the sake of arguing. The fact that he succeeded, does not get in the way of that. Like I said, nobody's immune to temptation. It's what you do with that temptation that makes the difference, and Michael overcame any temptation, according to his spiritual beliefs. And most record companies don't think that way. They think profit, and that's it. And, as Michael indicated, as I said, he had to audit the books. So, apparently, an advance wasn't enough for his record company. Hence, the theft of his profits, by the record company. He was constantly threatened for his giving ways, and accused of 'overspending'(usually equated with not caring about money). His record company thought of his lack of caring about getting rich, as bad business, and overspending. And, like I stated, most record companies don't see an organist such as Joey, as a good investment for profit, despite the fact that he continuously sells out venues. So, if Joey had the greedy mentality of the record companies, he'd feel he'd have to quit the organ, for another venture, that represented what the record companies considered as more profitable. But, he hasn't quit his art. Temptation does not necessarily denote greed, or a thirst for a lot of money. The two are mutually exclusive. But record companies beg to differ. And, for them, they are not mutually exclusive.
 
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There is no question that DeFrancesco & McGriff want to be more accessible to the general public. So, despite jazz having a rather cult (small but devoted) following, both of them acknowledge the importance of the record companies/labels in popularizing certain jazz sounds (obviously, in the interests of those two artists, too):

“…a very popular name like Blue Note [Records] was at that time and they brought it [Hammnond organ] out…and they made it sound better…” (Jimmy McGriff)

“…a major jazz label at that time [Blue Note Records] and that’s how everybody heard the sound and they liked it so much, so, I think they deserve some credit for that…” (Joey DeFrancesco)

“Right, right, right” (Jimmy McGriff)

Notice that in such cases, both parties (record companies & artists) can benefit a lot:

“…the organ [Hammond] got so popular… Blue Note Records got even bigger because of the Hammond too…” (Joey DeFrancesco)

“because of the Hammond” (Jimmy McGriff)

It does really amaze me that all these artists’ quotes come from your video that was supposed to be vehemently against record companies in general.

Also, you should keep in mind that McGriff’s disagreement came down to specific issues, rather than to record companies in general (for example, his disagreement about how Sue Records handled certain issues).

Also, unlike non-profit organizations, record companies do seek profits & I see no reason why they have to give their money away for the sake of philanthropic matters.

Finally, I do not intend to judge at length MJ’s spending habits. But, very broadly speaking, I think that profligacy was not foreign to him at all, which means that (very often) he seemed to spend/waste his money as easily as he used to earn it.
 

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You're picking and choosing your quotes. You're being selective. You're pretending like the quotes that I mentioned in the video, do not exist. You also misquoted me. I didn't say record labels shouldn't exist. I said they steal. I never denied the success of the artists. I just said record companies take advantage. Charity is a good practice. It teaches discipline, selflessness, and lessens the likelihood that a person won't be so impatient regarding money, that they'll steal from others and not see themselves as doing that. And while you said that you wouldn't judge Michael's spending habits, you accused him of wasting money. You're clearly expressing your own views about money, so naturally you're not going to do anything but make my original point for me...that record companies are viewed as innocent(no matter what they do).
 

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144 said:
You're picking and choosing your quotes. You're being selective. You're pretending like the quotes that I mentioned in the video, do not exist. You also misquoted me. I didn't say record labels shouldn't exist. I said they steal. I never denied the success of the artists. I just said record companies take advantage. Charity is a good practice. It teaches discipline, selflessness, and lessens the likelihood that a person won't be so impatient regarding money, that they'll steal from others and not see themselves as doing that. And while you said that you wouldn't judge Michael's spending habits, you accused him of wasting money. You're clearly expressing your own views about money, so naturally you're not going to do anything but make my original point for me...that record companies are viewed as innocent(no matter what they do).

Instead of being selective, I referred to both sides of the story (for example, different ways of handling certain issues between Blue Note & Sue Records).

Unlike you, these two organists do not draw general conclusions (such as, all record companies are dangerous due to their love of money), neither do they blame them for stealing. On the contrary, they acknowledge companies’ role in making their music more accessible, meaning bigger commercial success for these two organists, as well.

What is more, if you take a look at many artists, you will realize that charity comes after they become rich. So, I would say without exaggeration that charity, most of the time, has nothing to do with selflessness, or discipline, or patience with money, on the part of the artists.

Not all record companies are unimpeachable & I do know that. I expected from you to address (at least) few benefits that (major) record companies/labels offer. The fact that you still have not done it (& you will never do it) shows your deep-seated partiality against them.
 

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Again, you're being selective. You state that artists are charitable AFTER they are rich. And you state that AFTER I mention that Michael Jackson was charitable from his youth before anything happened, musically, with no guarantee of a continued career. He was getting, as I mentioned, before your selective reasoning, a small allowance, and putting others before himself, his whole life. His earnings had nothing to do with it. Your view of people being charitable after being riched is skewed. If a person wants to wait till they get rich to be charitable, they're not going to be charitable after they are rich, because they don't know if they're going to be rich, during the journey..they're always saving for a 'rainy day'. And you're wrong about me not admitting success after a record deal. I mentioned the Berry Gordy's of the world at the beginning of my thread. So you do see only what you want to see from my writings, to help your argument. You don't admit to what won't help your argument, that I displayed. And, just because a record label contributes to success that doesn't give them the right to steal. That's like saying 'I'm your parent..I brought you into this world, and I have a right to abuse you because of that', to their child. And you're wrong about the organist not saying record companies stole from them. They mentioned Sue records. And McGriff stated he had a hit that should have paid him strongly, but it didn't. That's the company keeping his earnings, beyond what they should. Look you can't deny the independent movement. it's there for a reason..because a lot of record companies cheat and steal. However..at least you are willing to admit that not every record company's innocent. In their youth, every artist dreamed of being signed by a record company. But because of theft, the artists had to forge new dreams..dreams of being independent. The fact is, the first dream is not as attractive as it used to be. Why should any artist have to wait to be dead to be truly appreciated by the company? And even then..in a sloppy manner? By the way, I don't think that everything that Jimmy McGriff was saying about Sue records,, was..positive.
 
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barbee0715

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Again, you're being selective. You state that artists are charitable AFTER they are rich. And you state that AFTER I mention that Michael Jackson was charitable from his youth before anything happened, musically, with no guarantee of a continued career. He was getting, as I mentioned, before your selective reasoning, a small allowance, and putting others before himself, his whole life. His earnings had nothing to do with it. Your view of people being charitable after being riched is skewed. If a person wants to wait till they get rich to be charitable, they're not going to be charitable after they are rich, because they don't know if they're going to be rich, during the journey..they're always saving for a 'rainy day'. And you're wrong about me not admitting success after a record deal. I mentioned the Berry Gordy's of the world at the beginning of my thread. So you do see only what you want to see from my writings, to help your argument. You don't admit to what won't help your argument, that I displayed. And, just because a record label contributes to success that doesn't give them the right to steal. That's like saying 'I'm your parent..I brought you into this world, and I have a right to abuse you because of that', to their child. And you're wrong about the organist not saying record companies stole from them. They mentioned Sue records. And McGriff stated he had a hit that should have paid him strongly, but it didn't. That's the company keeping his earnings, beyond what they should. Look you can't deny the independent movement. it's there for a reason..because a lot of record companies cheat and steal. However..at least you are willing to admit that not every record company's innocent. In their youth, every artist dreamed of being signed by a record company. But because of theft, the artists had to forge new dreams..dreams of being independent. The fact is, the first dream is not as attractive as it used to be. Why should any artist have to wait to be dead to be truly appreciated by the company? And even then..in a sloppy manner?
I read what you wrote about Berry when this thread started and yes, even though I love Berry, he's not the benevolent generous charitable record label owner you described. You're re-writing history.
They may have had that old family feeling there at Motown, but their contracts were ruthless and most of his employees had to leave or sue. The Funk Brothers all ended up penniless. So did many others.
It wasn't just Motown-this has been going on since record labels started-Look at Jackie Wilson. Look at Elvis Presley. Look at the Beatles-signing away their publishing for nothing. The Beach Boys work was sold away by their father. If it wasn't a record label, it was a manager.

Record labels are trying to make money. And they're also trying to make money to invest in the artist. Artists NEED them because very few of them have the funds to get their music heard. It's really a two way street. But because of the things that happened in the past, contracts are now geared to be more fair to artists than they ever were.
 

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I read what you wrote about Berry when this thread started and yes, even though I love Berry, he's not the benevolent generous charitable record label owner you described. You're re-writing history.
They may have had that old family feeling there at Motown, but their contracts were ruthless and most of his employees had to leave or sue. The Funk Brothers all ended up penniless. So did many others.
It wasn't just Motown-this has been going on since record labels started-Look at Jackie Wilson. Look at Elvis Presley. Look at the Beatles-signing away their publishing for nothing. The Beach Boys work was sold away by their father. If it wasn't a record label, it was a manager.

Record labels are trying to make money. And they're also trying to make money to invest in the artist. Artists NEED them because very few of them have the funds to get their music heard. It's really a two way street. But because of the things that happened in the past, contracts are now geared to be more fair to artists than they ever were.
I never said Gordy was benevolent. I was trying to point out to the other poster, that I wasn't totally bashing record labels. To be honest, you're making my point and agreeing with me. I'm just getting frazzled and not always able to get out all the info that I want. But to the other poster....I feel as if he/she's making me feel guilty about my stance against record companies. The truth is, if I get hardcore and am totally against them, I'm justified. Artists don't NEED labels. It's a choice. There are so many neo new age and other artists that are totally independent, and are living just fine. It depends on the audience you want. Music is too big to be limited to record labels. For someone to try to convince me to not be totally against labels, after trust was violated, is to say if my house is robbed, maybe I shouldn't use a lock and alarm..and I shouldn't change my demeanor, and I should leave things as they were. After what I saw Michael go through, my lesson is learned. Record companies..many of them, are tarnished. I don't look at them the same way I used to. The idea from history is to learn from it, so it won't be repeated if it was negative. By the way, if I said Gordy was benevolent and charitable, it wasn't my intent. I was under the impression that I was only mentioning artists as the charitable ones.
 
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mj_frenzy

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144 said:
Again, you're being selective. You state that artists are charitable AFTER they are rich. And you state that AFTER I mention that Michael Jackson was charitable from his youth before anything happened, musically, with no guarantee of a continued career. He was getting, as I mentioned, before your selective reasoning, a small allowance, and putting others before himself, his whole life. His earnings had nothing to do with it. Your view of people being charitable after being riched is skewed. If a person wants to wait till they get rich to be charitable, they're not going to be charitable after they are rich, because they don't know if they're going to be rich, during the journey..they're always saving for a 'rainy day'. And you're wrong about me not admitting success after a record deal. I mentioned the Berry Gordy's of the world at the beginning of my thread. So you do see only what you want to see from my writings, to help your argument. You don't admit to what won't help your argument, that I displayed. And, just because a record label contributes to success that doesn't give them the right to steal. That's like saying 'I'm your parent..I brought you into this world, and I have a right to abuse you because of that', to their child. And you're wrong about the organist not saying record companies stole from them. They mentioned Sue records. And McGriff stated he had a hit that should have paid him strongly, but it didn't. That's the company keeping his earnings, beyond what they should. Look you can't deny the independent movement. it's there for a reason..because a lot of record companies cheat and steal. However..at least you are willing to admit that not every record company's innocent. In their youth, every artist dreamed of being signed by a record company. But because of theft, the artists had to forge new dreams..dreams of being independent. The fact is, the first dream is not as attractive as it used to be. Why should any artist have to wait to be dead to be truly appreciated by the company? And even then..in a sloppy manner? By the way, I don't think that everything that Jimmy McGriff was saying about Sue records,, was..positive.

When it comes to artists, I firmly believe that (for the most part) charity does not take precedence over their wealth. Also, as I explained succinctly, MJ had already become rich (along with an auspicious future in terms of monetary benefits) before starting to donate some of his earnings. So, my opinion (regarding that matter) should not be open to different interpretations, nor does it change depending on when you bring up MJ.

In addition to this, the fact that acknowledge record companies’ crucial role (in promoting effectively an artist) does not mean that I am going to justify any improper/illegal behavior they (evidently) may exhibit. This is too silly to believe it!

Finally, although Jimmy McGriff expressed his disagreement about how Sue Records dealt with certain matters, yet I cannot take what he claimed (on that matter) for granted, especially without knowing the other’s side point of view.
 

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Finally, although Jimmy McGriff expressed his disagreement about how Sue Records dealt with certain matters, yet I cannot take what he claimed (on that matter) for granted, especially without knowing the other’s side point of view.

As far as that quote of yours, above, is concerned, once you hear the other side's point of view, you're going to accept that above McGriffs, no matter what. That's where you're at.

And Michael Jackson was NOT rich, when he began his charitable ways. He has had a Salvation Army attitude, all his life. You have to have a certain upbringing in order to behave that way. That's why people always assumed MJ was in debt. He could have Neverland, and people still underestimated his earnings, because of his behavior. You grossly underestimate artists' attitudes towards money and charity. And nobody can change your attitude about that, no matter the fact that you are wrong. You also overestimate the value of a record company, when it comes to promotion. Today, with the internet, with iTunes, with discerning audiences, and the savvy new ways of aritsts' ability to connect, a record company is NOT nearly as necessary as you make it out to be. If an artist is willing to go out and perform, you can't possibly imagine the possibilities. There are venues that broadcast their concerts online. It's a different era, than when there were just CD's and vinyl. There are way too many artists out there who are protesting what record companies deem as 'relevant', in favor of thier craft and their art. You mistakingly give too much creedence to the idea of every artist wanting to be rich. There are artists out there, who purposefully do not seek out world fame.they just seek a comfortable living, figuring that the greater their paycheck, the more likely the sharks will circle. IT's wrong of you to blanket all artists as lusting after billions of dollars, or even millions. There are way too many artists out there, who do not want to sacrifice their art, in favor of millions of dollars. It is more likely that an artist will make a better living, making less money, enjoying their true art, than selling their soul for the word 'million', and end up not dedicating themselves to their true art. There are some artists who are about the money..and they tend to show off their cars and jewelry and so on, but there are more artists who are more about a work ethic and their art, and will NOT sacrifice who they really are, even if everybody tells them, they won't make millions of dollars. It's always unwise to blanket all artists as the same. They are not. It's like you are saying that if you went up to someone and asked what their occupation was, and they said 'musician' you would assume that they want to be a millionaire. That's a form of prejudice. It sounds wildly offbase for you to make that assumption.

 
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Some are worse than others but it's a business... There is NO one that works and the company does not make a MUCH larger share of what that person brings in.. Otherwise there would be no reason to have that employee.. Simple!
 

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144 said:
Finally, although Jimmy McGriff expressed his disagreement about how Sue Records dealt with certain matters, yet I cannot take what he claimed (on that matter) for granted, especially without knowing the other’s side point of view.

As far as that quote of yours, above, is concerned, once you hear the other side's point of view, you're going to accept that above McGriffs, no matter what. That's where you're at.


And Michael Jackson was NOT rich, when he began his charitable ways. He has had a Salvation Army attitude, all his life. You have to have a certain upbringing in order to behave that way. That's why people always assumed MJ was in debt. He could have Neverland, and people still underestimated his earnings, because of his behavior. You grossly underestimate artists' attitudes towards money and charity. And nobody can change your attitude about that, no matter the fact that you are wrong. You also overestimate the value of a record company, when it comes to promotion. Today, with the internet, with iTunes, with discerning audiences, and the savvy new ways of aritsts' ability to connect, a record company is NOT nearly as necessary as you make it out to be. If an artist is willing to go out and perform, you can't possibly imagine the possibilities. There are venues that broadcast their concerts online. It's a different era, than when there were just CD's and vinyl. There are way too many artists out there who are protesting what record companies deem as 'relevant', in favor of thier craft and their art. You mistakingly give too much creedence to the idea of every artist wanting to be rich. There are artists out there, who purposefully do not seek out world fame.they just seek a comfortable living, figuring that the greater their paycheck, the more likely the sharks will circle. IT's wrong of you to blanket all artists as lusting after billions of dollars, or even millions. There are way too many artists out there, who do not want to sacrifice their art, in favor of millions of dollars. It is more likely that an artist will make a better living, making less money, enjoying their true art, than selling their soul for the word 'million', and end up not dedicating themselves to their true art. There are some artists who are about the money..and they tend to show off their cars and jewelry and so on, but there are more artists who are more about a work ethic and their art, and will NOT sacrifice who they really are, even if everybody tells them, they won't make millions of dollars. It's always unwise to blanket all artists as the same. They are not. It's like you are saying that if you went up to someone and asked what their occupation was, and they said 'musician' you would assume that they want to be a millionaire. That's a form of prejudice. It sounds wildly offbase for you to make that assumption.


Generally speaking, I am not accustomed to accepting or denying a priori people's accusations (Jimmy McGriff, here) without first having both sides’ arguments in juxtaposition.

Also, I think you are putting words into my mouth. I am clearly saying that a very large majority of artists think about money first, but not all of them. Note that even Joey DeFrancesco (in your video) has in the back of his mind millions of records.

The plain fact of the matter is that record companies’ great contribution cannot be denied. For example, independent artists will have to do without mainstream success (mostly through radio airplay) & being deprived of that is not of no consequence to most of them. Also, connections/musical collaborations (that typically take place between artists who have contracts with record companies) are of crucial importance, particularly when it comes to the longevity of the artists’ commercial success. Mark, also, that for independent artists getting involved in the practical aspect (that mostly has to do with ways of self-promoting) can significantly distract them from more important things (such as, the creative aspect).

Also, you should not forget that people/artists who desperately seek money are not only the ones who flaunt their belongings.

Finally, I do believe that in show business (almost) every move has to make business sense, & charity quite often seems to serve that purpose.
 
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i didn't put words in your mouth. i had to check you before you made the distinction about artists wanting millions, that not all of them are that way. Many of them are not that way. Mainstream success is far from what many artists are seeking. I could name a lot of artists who avoid the mainstream. Furthermore there's no big practical blockade from artistry in today's market. Just perform and put your stuff on itunes. That's easy. No deadlines. Nobody looking over your shoulder. The only barrier is simply not getting yourself out there. Charity being about business sense? You have to explain that. What charity will do, is assure you that you will also be the focus of charity. I'm not focusing on doing well in life. What you put out will come back to you. The only thing I am focusing on is being obsessed with money. There's a difference between living well and being money-obsessed. When one gets obsessed, the art suffers, and too much, too fast, is not enough, and then, the stealing occurs. A lot of times, if you think mainstream success is the only kind of success, that person can never be satisfied, and that can be troublesome. Those who happen to find mainstream success and can handle it, weren't looking for it. I doubt that if Joey was obsessed with money, that he'd keep playing the organ. He'd be too busy hearing all the naysayers who say organ is not mainstream. The majority who think mainstream, are looking at what's trending and won''t take the dare of something different. If a n organ song hits mainstream, that artist was already satisfied with the success he had before the mainstream hit came along.
 

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144 said:
i didn't put words in your mouth. i had to check you before you made the distinction about artists wanting millions, that not all of them are that way. Many of them are not that way. Mainstream success is far from what many artists are seeking. I could name a lot of artists who avoid the mainstream. Furthermore there's no big practical blockade from artistry in today's market. Just perform and put your stuff on itunes. That's easy. No deadlines. Nobody looking over your shoulder. The only barrier is simply not getting yourself out there. Charity being about business sense? You have to explain that. What charity will do, is assure you that you will also be the focus of charity. I'm not focusing on doing well in life. What you put out will come back to you. The only thing I am focusing on is being obsessed with money. There's a difference between living well and being money-obsessed. When one gets obsessed, the art suffers, and too much, too fast, is not enough, and then, the stealing occurs. A lot of times, if you think mainstream success is the only kind of success, that person can never be satisfied, and that can be troublesome. Those who happen to find mainstream success and can handle it, weren't looking for it. I doubt that if Joey was obsessed with money, that he'd keep playing the organ. He'd be too busy hearing all the naysayers who say organ is not mainstream. The majority who think mainstream, are looking at what's trending and won''t take the dare of something different. If a n organ song hits mainstream, that artist was already satisfied with the success he had before the mainstream hit came along.

Charity is part & parcel of the artists’ good public relations & it can offer to them huge, positive public exposure. Also, this connection (between success & charity) tends to be so strong that people expect from successful artists to behave in such a benevolent way. As a result, charity (for the most part) tends to be a forced, induced by commercial incentives behavior, rather than being driven by pure intentions.

On the contrary, I consider charity in its purest form the one that never comes to light, let alone being in the spotlight.

Also, let me say that you sound contradictory at times. For instance, you claim that almost nobody wants to buy from iTunes when, at the same time, you state that one of the greatest weapons nowadays (for independent artists) is streaming services like iTunes!

Lastly, you should take into account that (many times) the lines between living well & being money-obsessed are blurred. It is not unusual at all for artists (after earning a living from their art/music) to seek even more money, especially when they realize how easily it can be earned in their field.
 

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People do buy from itunes or it would be out of business. Charity getting noticed isn't necessarily the intent of the artist. In Michael's case, he was being slandered, so his friends defended him by mentioning charity. His intentions were pure, but in order to defend his image, he had to fight the slanderous accusations. His charity getting mentioned doesn't take from the purity of it. Thirdly, you're arguing for the sake of argument. Like I said, I could name artists who are living well without being money obsessed. There is no blurred line, between contentment and money obsession. That line is clearly distinctive. You keep blanketing people, then when I mention it, you deny it. You say more money can easily be obtained, yet you say a record label is paramount. Well, if money's easily obtained, for obsessive purposes, who needs the help of a record label? Joey said his profession can be a struggle. Doesn't sound easy to me. Yet he's not selling out. He enjoys his craft. He stated he has success. If he was truly money-obsessed, he would never admit to any success at the present moment.
 
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