Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rebel, rebel. Aisle three

I never expected to be writing Wal-Mart and AC/DC in the same sentence.

Then again, you'd hardly expect the band to give Wal-Mart an exclusive on Black Ice, their newest album. So much for rockers as rebels. But maybe the group that did Ain't No Fun (Waiting Around To Be A Millionaire) isn't a good example.

They're not the only one. Garth Brooks? Well, that's not a surprise. But Journey? Fleetwood Mac in negotiations? The EAGLES did it last year with Long Road Out of Eden. Granted, they're all 'legacy bands' (I think that's a nice way of saying Rocking Chair Rock) who need all the marketing help they can get, but there's a certain disappointment that they sold out.

Don Henley chirped some nonsense about how Green Wal-Mart was becoming. Get Over It, Don: Wal-Mart was the largest music retailer in the country last year. They put some promotion muscle behind their exclusive albums and give them a lot of shelf space.

The deals also cut out the middlemen: record companies take a hefty piece of the pie. Wal-Mart has been pressing the labels to lower prices so sales will increase, and it looks like they've found one way. The artists get more money and Wal-Mart gets its prices.

It shouldn't bother me, but I just don't like Wal-Mart's business model. I'll bust myself for hypocrisy before some one else does; I'd go there occasionally if there was a store on Saipan. Fat chance, they sniffed around Guam and turned it down. But I'd only be looking for items I couldn't find anywhere else.

Ah, well. It's not an issue here so this is hypothetical.

But I have a question. Where is the closest Wal-Mart to Saipan?


Lil' Hammerhead said...

There was a time when Walmart wouldn't even carry half of the rock albums. They were using some false corporate morality argument.

bigsoxfan said...

There was one in Busan, Korea back in '05. By the way, wasn't it David Bowie with the song "Rebel, Rebel"?

Jeff said...

Yes, Korea. Wal Mart is beyond ubiquitous back here when you're front row at the freak show.

KAP said...

Yep, Bowie. I wanted to slip Yellow Taxi into the title or story (They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot), but too many convolutions... and 'he was playing real good for free... well. Same with Henley's 'they called it paradise-I don't know why'

Besides, Bowie got stuck in my head-- and I never particularly liked the song.

It's great that the bands get more money. It's great that prices are lower. But that corporate morality thing... They're going for safe acts, and screw the newcomers. The New York Times suggested "In some ways, the arrangements that Wal-Mart has made with Journey and the Eagles represent the mainstream equivalent of the path that artists like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have taken by releasing albums on the Internet without a traditional label." Umm, no, but what else do you expect from the Times?

KAP said...

Long Road Out of Eden available only at Wal-Mart is beyond ironic.

Saipan Writer said...

And it would take a ton of fans complaining to make a band see this.

I don't think many people understand how Walmart actually ends up costing all of us more...

I used to shop at Walmart pretty much (there's one very close to my mom's house in the states). But I finally wised up (read one of my dad's AARP magazines on them).

But many people cannot look beyond today and how much they pay at the counter.