"Napster is bad, mm'kay?" The South Park
charicature of Metallica's Lars Ulrich is probably one of the most memorable of the show's skits, and it was right on the mark. The band, which became popular largely on the back of bootlegged recordings of their shows, has always had a thing against digital downloads, much like the industry execs of the RIAA that represents them.
Oh, how times must have changed for them, because they've now signed a deal with iTunes for distribution. This isn't the first time the heavy-metal group has sold online, but previous to this the band would only release full albums, an act that is against the iTunes business model. Now, it seems, they're finally willing to play it Apple's way.
Of course, they're not without a sense of humour about it all. A statement from the band said they would be signing with an "upstart outfit who we feel may very well have a bright future."
To be fair, Metallica is far from the only group who has not wanted music sold in non-album form, they're just the only ones who claimed financial motivation for it. Other artists such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead have had issue with selling only songs because of their artistic views on an album being a complete work. In their minds, to sell an album piecemeal is like selling a painting with only one or two of the colors.
Of course, Metallica has found a new motivation, perhaps somewhere in the 1 billion songs sold on the online merchant. Their albums, along with a few rarities and a bunch of live tracks, will now help add to that figure.
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and crank it up. Now if only we could get them to say "The RIAA is bad, mm'kay?"