U.K.: Land of the Free ... Prince CDs
Besides still making relevant music, Prince has also continued to be creative in the way he gets that music out to the public. He bucked the major-label system and started his own label (with major distributors) before it was in vogue, enabling him to do his work without biz-related interference. He's also been ahead of the curve when it comes to Internet distribution and connectivity with his fans. A few years ago, fans got "free" copies of Musicology when they went to a concert on that tour, enabling Prince to flex his chart muscle as the given-away CDs counted in his SoundScan report, helping him chart at No. 3 on Billboard and pissing off a few industry folks along the way. That alone is reason enough to love him. He's ruffling some feathers again with the recent announcement that his new record, Planet Earth, will literally be given away for nothing. In England, newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, is giving away 2 million copies of the CD with its paper. In the U.K. that's what, quadruple platinum right out of the gate? Sony/BMG, which is distributing the album, has decided not to release Planet Earth in U.K. stores as a result. The album will still be distributed in the U.S.
-- unless The New York Times steps in or something. Don't be shocked if you soon hear, "Get the new album by Prince free ... inside specially marked packages of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles."
Next Up: Pete Seeger Goes Emo!
Although it's a bit like Phyllis Diller getting her nipples pierced, it appears that Bob Dylan is entering the wonderful world of remixes. Superstar producer Mark Ronson (who has worked with hot properties like Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen and has a new so-so solo album called Version) told clickmusic.com that Dylan has heard and approved of his rewiring of "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)," a song off of the seminal Blonde on Blonde album from 1966. Ronson said it marks the first time Dylan has given out master tapes for remix purposes. The mix is to appear on an extensive greatest hits collection due out later this year. Until then, of course, there's no telling what Ronson came up with -- tasteful understatement or, more likely, phat strobe-light beats with dancefloor and Hip Hop inspiration. That rumble you just felt was the sound of 2 million hardcore Dylan purists passing out at the same time.
A Meatless Disgrace!
You've let us down, people who vote for things in online polls. A few weeks ago, we wrote about PETA's search for this year's sexiest male and female vegetarian celebrity. The list of nominees was huge and contained a crap-ton of musicians (from superstar to obscure), so we were kind of hoping you'd vote for someone weird and somewhat obscure, like Hip Hop MC Jeru the Damaja or art punk Nina Hagen. Two musicians did win, but it was American Idol's Carrie Underwood (who also won in 2005) and Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks. Not that they're not both physically attractive, but we have some other issues. Underwood's first move after her Idol season was to sign up to be a pitchperson for Hershey's candy bars (no, they don't use animal by-products, but the vegan contingency should be outraged at their high milk content). Eubanks' win is even more suspicious. Is there anything less sexy than someone who loudly guffaws with unreasonable enthusiasm at every single bad Jay Leno joke?