According to a recent article in the Sun, Sir Elton John claimed the Internet is destroying good music. The article quotes the pop legend as saying:
"The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.
"Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesnít bode well for long-term artistic vision ... Itís just a means to an end.
"Weíre talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and thatís not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.
"I mean, get out there ó communicate.
"Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.
"Let's get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.
"I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.
"There's too much technology available.
"I'm sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today."
Perhaps he is right, maybe sites like InternetDJ are destroying good... no scratch that... pop music; you know, the kind of music that makes lawyers and copyright holders rich beyond their wildest dreams; the kind of music that enables conglomerates to go public and push profits into the hands of the people furthest away from the creation process as possible.
For me, it is quite simple. The internet has destroyed my opinion and cash investment into the traditional music machine. I make mix CDs of free, legal, music uploaded by InternetDJ members, and financially support those who choose to sell their songs independently on our store. I listen to this music in my car, on my ipod and laptop. I'm sure there are countless others like me, maybe even all of the 45,000 members of this site. (Hey that's almost HALF the total number of people who bought Sir Elton John's last album!)
The internet enables musicians to share in the 'wealth' that the industry has enjoyed for decades. While not many 'underground' artists will make enough dough to pay the rent by selling their independent music downloads on the net, many more people will experience the satisfaction, however, when a visitor digs in his wallet and chooses to give his money directly to you, the artist, where it solely and completely belongs.
It is solely and completely about money. Sir Elton John (and probably his label even more so) is complaining that his latest album sold only 100,000 copies; a paltry sum given his history. Perhaps the internet has honed the taste of the masses, enabling people to experience a full range of sounds never before imagined. Perhaps the internet has enabled software developers to put phenomenal synthesizers into the hands of bedroom composers. Perhaps we're making, listening to and enjoying our own music, and sharing it with others.