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The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy : Mailing List : 1995
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Date: Tue, 30 May 1995 09:53:00 -0400
From: bj835[at] (Tim Connors)
Subject: Promos & Cut-outs

Ed posited that the flood of UK promos now in the London Used
CD bins was a conspiracy by Creation to do Pat harm, inasmuch as
no London fan need buy a copy new.

This may well be the case... I wouldn't put much past record
company weasels, though I have no real beef with Creation in
particular. The funny thing is, the net effect may well be to
help Pat.

There is an interesting essay on this topic in a recent copy of
Jack Rabid's cool music zine, The Big Takeover. Rabid, an
indy musician himself, urges music buffs not to feel guilty
about buying used CDs, especially promo copies. As I recall, his
argument was that this is the best way to get those on the
"leading edge" of listenership to try something new, a
difficult task always but especially in the CD era when a
new album costs $12 to $17 instead of half that for an LP. His
argument about CD costs has even more force in the UK, where
CD prices are even more unconscionable in the US. (Remember how
the prices were going to come *down* once the economies of
scale took hold in the manufacture of CDs? Seems the labels
forgot about that promise.)

As proof of his proposition I submit myself. The first thing
I ever bought by the JBC was a cutout LP of _Distressed
Gentlefolk_ for $3.95 back in 1987. I have since
acquired everything of his I can get my hands on, spending
lots of money on Glass/Big Time/Creation product in the

Another argument for dispensing promos widely is the
Grateful Dead/Microsoft Word syndrome. By being widely
tape-traded/copied, whether willingly like the Dead or
unwillingly like Word, the respective product achieved
much greater sales of its legitimate product in the long

These arguments might have more force in the US, where
the JBC is little known, than in the UK, where silly
music weeklies have dubbed the JB uncool or washed up
or something. As should be clear from the wording of
that last sentence and my presence on this list, I do not
support this view, but I think we have to admit it
exists in the UK music rags.

So buy those used copies with a clear conscience and
while you're at it, tape a copy for a friend. Home
taping is *saving* music, not killing it, despite what
Garth Brooks and the big 6 labels would have you believe.
In fact, you are doing free advertising for them, even
after they've been gouging you for money all these years!

By the way, anyone going to the UK who wants to pick up
a used copy for me, I will gladly reimburse for cost
and postage! I'm waiting for the US release 'cause I won't
pay $22 for an import...

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