les membres du groupe et leur univers

EMI

EMI Group était l’une des quatre majors du disque et la troisième en importance sur le marché musical mondial derrière Universal Music Group et Sony. Dirigée par Eric Nicoli, la maison de disque a été créée en mars 1931 sous le nom de Electric and Musical Industries, par la fusion de la filiale britannique de Columbia Records et de la Gramophone Company/HMV. Pendant presque 50 ans, EMI a été la plus importante compagnie de disques du monde.

 

En 1991, alors qu’On A Friday est encore vraiment un petit groupe,ils font une rencontre cruciale : Chris Hufford et bryce Edge, d’anciens musiciens, devenus producteurs d’un petit studio d’enregistrement (le Courtyard Studios). En 1991, les deux hommes aident le groupe à enregistrer une démo, et c’est de la que tout va partir.

The Courtyard recording sessions spawned the “Manic Hedgehog” tape, which was sold through the Oxford record shop of the same name. Around this time, EMI sales rep Keith Wozencroft heard the tape via Colin at Our Price. He was in the process of switching to A&R, and immediately took a keen interest in the group. He came down to their next Jericho Tavern gig at the end of October.
— novembre 1996

 

De nombreuses maisons de disques se déplacent pour les écouter, 25 ou 30 à lire les articles de l’époque !

At the end of October, Oxford’s thinnest band (The Wild Poppies split up ages ago), On A Friday, played the Jericho Tavern to a good sized crowd and there was a man from EMI there.

A mere two weeks later they are playing the tavern again and the place is heaving. There are 25 record company A&R men there and, what’s more, they have all paid to get in. To put it bluntly, On A Friday are happening.

— Curfew, novembre 1991

 

Within three months — after a gig to which more than 30 label reps made the trek — the band was signed by EMI in the U.K.
— Billboard, 15 mai 1993


C’est EMI qui a su faire à On A Friday en décembre 1991 l’offre la plus intéressante, un contrat pour 6 albums, chez  sa filiale Parlophone. Dès la signature du contrat, les choses sont claires : il faudra faire du chiffre…

“The day we signed to EMI the label MD walked in.” grins Colin. “He said, ‘You’ll never see me again until you sell 5000,000 units and then we’ll shake hands and take a photo. by the way, I really liked that song ‘Philippa Chicken’, that’s my favourite.’ And I said, ‘Oh we’ve dropped that one from the set,’ and there was just this silence as the pen wavered over the contract…”
Tune in to get turned on.
— Colin Greenwood NME, 30 mai 1992

 

Même anecdote racontée par Hufford :

EMI’s interest triggered an A&R scramble, and that autumn the group signed to Parlophone. “We went to their offices and had the obligatory glass of bubbly,” says Hufford. “Rupert Perry, the main man there at that time, popped his head around the door to say hello. He told Jonny his favourite track was ‘Phillipa Chicken’ [from the ‘Hedgehog’ tape]. Jonny said, that’s funny, because we’ve dropped it. It was an indication that the band were always going to do their own thing.”
— Record Collector, novembre 1996

 

Dès le départ, le groupe exprime régulièrement sa tristesse d’être sous la coupe d’un label, et son envie de rester assez indépendant…. Chez EMI, on croit dans le potentiel du groupe, et on promet d’essayer de le lancer dans un contexte « alternatif ».

« I was always interested in the way bands were set up, as much as in the music, » says O’Brien. « We wanted to stay in control, like, say R.E.M. For us, that’s paramount. We’re not rock’n’roll idiots or sad cases. »

The guitarist points to Radiohead’s active touring schedule (the band played more than 100 shows in the U.K. in 1992) as evidence of its commitment. Furthermore, Capitol intends to bring the group stateside this summer and fall in order to build the song’s buzz into a band-directed frenzy.

« We know this is a band with a future, not a one-hit wonder, » says Tom Curson, Capitol VP of artist development, who says the label plans to keep its focus on independent retail outlets and college radio.

« Our central challenge is breaking this band in an alternative context – one that stays true to their vision », says Curson

— Billboard 15 mai 1993

 

LE premier EP du groupe « Drill » n’est pas une réussite. Non seulement il est mal produit (même Hufford l’accordera), mais en plus Parlophone fait des erreurs de pressage… On trouve sur Joe Cocker à la place de Radiohead sur certains disques, d’autres sont perdus. Le groupe en plus a payé assez cher pour le design de la pochette, et bon, ils ont compris que c’était pas top… Cette mauvaise expérience est une leçon.

Colin: « Yes, it’s very hard to get hold of. It was a big learning experience record in terms of artwork, and organising layout, picture design… »

Thom: « Absolutely. »

Colin: « And we paid a stupid amount of money to get a design company to do the sleeve, and… »

Thom: « The whole thing was like a big shock to the system. »

Colin: « Yeah. »

Thom: « And the best bit was, erm, they lost the first three thousand copies they’d pressed. They lost them. »

Colin: « Yes. »

Interviewer: « They lost them? »

Thom: « They lost them, and they had to delay the release by two weeks, it was like ‘this is getting really silly’… »

Colin: « Yes. »

Interviewer: « How do you lose that? »

Colin: « Ah, there was a warehouse with millions of Iron Maiden records… »

Thom: « Yeah, and it all went down. It was supposed to be automated. »

Colin: « Yes. »

Thom: « And they did press a… no, saying that though, the actual physical record was getting out… there was a promotional one going around that said ‘Radiohead Drill’ on it, but actually had Joe Cocker… »

Interviewer: « Joe Cocker? »

Colin: « Yeah. »

Interviewer: « Why? It just… »

Colin: « It was the wrong… because he’s on EMI, and they just pressed it wrongly. »

Thom: « Printed it, or whatever. »

Colin: « Yeah. »

Interviewer: « You didn’t have a good first experience there, did you? »

Thom: « It was quite spectacularly bad. »

Colin: « No, but it was a good learning experience, I suppose. I mean it sold quite well for England. I mean, if we’d have been in the independent chart, which is kind of like the alternative R&R chart here, it would have been top five. »

— Interview USA Parlophone, avril 1993

 

Contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait penser, EMI ne rend pas Radiohead riche… au contraire, le groupe contracte des prêts…

Interviewer: « Was money coming in, I mean, were you making a living doing this when you were selling that? »

Thom: « Oh, it never works like that. Record… the record business doesn’t work in terms of bands making money. »

Colin: « You’re paid money in anticipated future earnings. »

Thom: « Yep. Your life is offset against your loan. So it’s like taking out the most hideous mortgage of your life, creatively speaking. »

Colin: « It was put really well by this guy, Sean Slade, who co-produced the album, and said… and compared like getting a loan from a record company with getting a loan from a bank. So you get a loan from a bank, if you can persuade them to lend you, say, two hundred thousand dollars for a year, like a record company advance and they’d like charge twelve percent interest on the loan, or whatever. Once you’ve paid… if you pay the loan back, then you don’t have to pay any money after that, whereas if you’re like lent two hundred thousand pounds from a record company, then after that, the money that you earn is just the twelve percent, so you don’t actually (laughs), you know, make any profit. »

Thom: « Yeah, we’re a band of accountants. »

— Interview USA Parlophone, avril 1993

 

Mais en 1993, le succès vient avec Drill. On pourrait penser le label content… Pas Vraiment, il y a toujours une pression.

Nevertheless, having a major hit must have given the band a lot of confidence. ‘Not at all,’ claims Colin. ‘Things still look very different for us over here, while in America, you probably have to sell between one and three million records before anyone knows who you are. But at least it means we won’t be dropped straight away by EMI. I don’t think…
— Colin Greenwood Vox novembre 1993

 

Le groupe obéit alors aux exigences du label, comme faire de longues tournées, en notamment aux Etats-Unis. D’ailleurs, cette tournée va avoir une retombée paradoxale : alors que Radiohead connait le succès de l’Autre côté de l’Atlantique, il est boudé en Angleterre. C’est l’occasion pour Ed de comparer l’industrie de la musique dans ces deux pays, et d’expliquer qu’il serait bien que les groupes anglais pensent un peu différemment. Il défend même encore (un peu) à cette époque EMI :

« We had a live following here, but the music press hated us because we were signed with EMI, a major. We’ve never been considered NME or Melody Maker cover material because of it. When we first released Creep in Britain (in September 1992), an NME journalist said to me, ‘If you weren’t on EMI, you’d have had a cover by now.’ In America, they don’t have that kind of snobbishness about major labels, » remarks Radiohead’s guitarist, Ed O’Brien.

« We had knickers thrown at us in Detroit – we left’em to the guitar technicians – and girls were in the front row, screaming ‘We love you!’ It was really strange. »

Their Stateside success has finally got the ball rolling at home, in a smallish way. Sales of Pablo Honey have crept up to 60,000, and, in a Guardian questionnaire, Jason Donovan announced that he dug « the Radioheads » (their reply: « What can you say? You can’t be too choosy about who likes you. »)

Significantly, both bands blame the music press for their difficulties in Britain. Moreover, both invoke Suede as an example of what can happen when the press likes you too much. The wild hyping of Brett Anderson’s boys resulted in a No 1 album here and mass non-hysteria in America. The media and consumers there are deeply suspicious of sexually ambivalent English bands, anyway, and resented even more the idea of being force-fed this one. Ergo, Radiohead outsold Suede 15 to one over there.

« When you’re promoting your record there, you have to do things you don’t do here, like meet the people who distribute your record to shops, » says O’Brien. « Many English bands think they’re above all that, and they’re all po-faced when they do it. We went over with curiosity about the place, and combined it with a work ethic. »

The American music biz’s from-the-ground-up approach creates careers; the British ethic of build’em-up-knock’em-down creates one-hit-wonders. That’s the message the British industry is digesting.

For the moment, let’s disregard the fact that the American charts are choked with people who should have been consigned to the Rock Gentlefolks’ Home decades ago, and the fact that the ephemeral British attitude still produces the world’s best pop. The bottom line is that the UK industry is now hurting because of its failure to make long-term financial investments in talent five years ago.

The major labels’ objective is instant returns on money spent. Artists who require slow, careful nurturing are expected to have hits with their first release. American labels, on the other hand, are willing to support bands through four or five albums, allowing a following to develop organically.

As Ed O’Brien points out: « The big British labels are all owned by conglomerates now. Rupert Perry of EMI is answerable to the Thorn EMI board. Bands build up large debts touring – we did, but you build up a fanbase – but after the second record, the company could say, ‘You’re too expensive, we’re getting rid of you’. There are no visionaries in the British business any more. »

But the time has come when the UK record industry can’t afford not to be visionary.

— Ed O'Brien / The Guardian, 14 janvier 1994

 

Pour Select, en octobre 1994, Thom commente avec beaucoup d’ironie une photo qui montre à quel point il doit faire des « courbettes » aux gens de chez EMI :

THOM LOOKING COOL WITH SOME SUITS, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1993.
Thom: “The guy on the right is Jim Fifefield. He’s so powerful. He’s the worldwide head of EMI records. You can tell he’s powerful because nobody ever makes comments about his crocodile shoes. The other guy is from MTV. This was a meeting where we tried to persuade MTV to put ‘Stop Whispering’ on heavy rotation. They didn’t.”
— Thom Yorke /

 

 

Capture d’écran 2013-05-26 à 09.27.23

 

 

Le retour en Angleterre en 1994 permet à Radiohead de se ressourcer, aux têtes de se dégonfler…

When they returned to Oxford last year, they were a band reborn. They knew their strengths as a live band, which new songs were working.

They junked much of the earlier recordings and songs. The travails of touring and the personal traumas, the surreality of being the boys in the bubble – « You go from being a band that’s pretty inconsequential on EMI’s worldwide roster to being a priority up there alongside Pink Floyd » – poured from Thom Yorke.

— 29 octobre 1995

 

Le succès de The Bends, puis d’OK Computer permettra à Radiohead d’avoir cette liberté dont ils ont toujours rêvée :

That enthusiasm, that attention to detail, and that intra-band sensitivity, along with a large amount of imagination, talent, and skill, have helped bring Radiohead to an enviable point. After two albums that have sold in the millions worldwide (the second of which, 1995’s The Bends, also garnered critical raves by the truckload), they’ve become an Important Band in the eyes of their record company, EMI (Capitol in the U.S.). And so, for the followup to The Bends, they were granted the freedom to record wherever and however they liked, and take as long as they liked to do it. The band returned the favor with OK Computer, a self-produced collection of twelve songs that takes the daring sonic and structural experimentation of The Bends at least five steps further. It’s a thrill to listen to, but it doesn’t exactly sound like it’s going to knock the Spice Girls out of the Top Ten. Regardless, EMI welcomed it with open arms–or so we’ve been led to believe.
— 31 mai 1997

 

La filiale Anglaise d’EMI a reçu le message : il faut prendre des risques, signer des petits groupes.

Tony Wadsworth, President & CEO, EMI Records Group UK said: « The message is clear for UK record companies: take risks, ditch the formulae and support creative artist development because it pays off. »
— 21 octobre 2000

 

Liberté… et même du temps !

EMI HAS SAID OF THE NEXT album that “the band are not in a rush” – and they’re not kidding.
— novembre 1999

 

Avec KID A, le groupe continue à ne pas jouer le jeu de la promotion et des courbettes, et chez EMI, on ne trouve rien à en redire :

Defying record-industry conventional wisdom, the band’s current European tour will be all but over before the album’s release, and there will be no American tour at all. Radiohead will appear on « Saturday Night Live » on Oct. 14, and play one concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles later in the month. The only radio show the band will visit is « Morning Becomes Eclectic, » the art-pop drive-time show on the Santa Monica public-station KCRW. Radiohead’s renunciation of the standard album-release strategy is talked about by industry people as the most understatedly ingenious publicity ploy since the Beatles’ cover for the « white album. »

Tony Wadsworth, president and C.E.O. of EMI, caught himself when he began to tell me recently about how commercially savvy the band is. But he did venture: « These five guys are at a point where they are not going to do a thing they don’t want to do — they’re not going to be traveling salesmen. They want to find other ways of doing what has to be done to get their records into as many hands as possible. »

— 1er octobre 2000


 

Radiohead prenant de la distance avec la distribution « classique », on commence à se dire que peut-être, le groupe n’est pas en phase avec les labels. En 2001, Colin confirme que le groupe n’a pas l’intention de casser son contrat avec EMI. Radiohead reste fidèle à une équipe qui l’entoure depuis bien longtemps :

MT: To reach the fans more directly and maybe use more independent means of distribution, perhaps via the internet.

CG: I don’t know. I mean, personally, I’m really disappointed with the lack of bandwith in this country and it’s proved very difficult to build these castles that are all connected by country lanes. So, it’s sort of a bit annoying, really. There’s this big article in the paper today by the former head of technology at BT – and they’ve got a shocking record anyway – but basically there’s too much copper and not enough fibre. But what is still cool is the basic, community-based intranet outside of the corporate structure, whether you talk about Gnutella or Napster or stuff like that. So that’s cool. It’s just one of the things to get across to people.

MT: But would you be looking at maybe breaking out the deal?

CG: Well, we’re sort of reaching the end of over the next year, quite soon. So, um, it’s going to be a balancing act between what we want to do as a group and as individuals and also the working relationship we have with the record company. One of the lucky things we’ve had is that we’ve continued to work with the same people at EMI. You know, there are people at EMI now who have worked with us since 1991, who obviously understand us very well, and it would be crazy to not consider that part of the equation. But it will just come down to what we want to as five people, first.

— Colin Greenwood The Georgia Straight, 21 juin 2001

 

Idem pour Thom, qui déclare qu’il est trop attaché à l’artwork pour envisager des sorties uniquement digitale des albums…

Amnesiac is your fifth album for EMI. After your sixth, you’re free. Are you planning for future internet distribution?
Thom: No. We still want an excuse to print all the packaging. For me, it’s an integral part of what’s going on with the record itself. I know this sounds wanky but it’s true: if the music’s not inspiring the pictures, then I’m not comfortable. Amnesiac is packaged like a closed book.

Could you be more precise?
Thom: No, that’s it (bursts out laughing). We had this whole thing about Amnesiac being like getting into someone’s attic, opening the chest and finding their notes from a journey that they’d been on. There’s a story but no literal plot, so you have to keep picking out fragments. You know something really important has happened to this person that’s ended up completely changing them but you’re never told exactly what it is.

— Thom Yorke / Mojo, juin 2001

 

La sortie de Hail to the Thief  marque la séparation entre Radiohead et  EMI. Pourtant, en 2003, EMI soutient toujours Radiohead. En effet, quelques semaines avant la date officielle de sortie de l’album, des démos des futures chansons ont fuité sur le net. Certaines radios les ont même diffusées. Le groupe, et son label, étaient furieux.

Although initially outraged (« It’s stolen work for fuck’s sake, » was guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s reaction), the band have now calmed down. Colin Greenwood even expressed dismay at the stern cease-and- desist letters sent by record label EMI to radio stations playing the tracks, as well as any fansite hosting illegal MP3 files.
« Don’t record companies usually pay thousands of dollars to get stations to play their records? » he says. « Now they’re paying money to stations not to play them. »
Listeners to those stations would have heard enough to realise that Radiohead have relaxed slightly.
— Q#203, juin 2003

 

Le souci en fait, et la presse le sait, c’est que le deal initial, 6 albums, est rempli… que va faire Radiohead ? Thom se voit bien empocher le pognon des majors et se reposer…


Given his newly zen-like attitude, it seems strange that Yorke cares very much when people steal his work. When Hail to the Thief appeared on the internet in March, he was angry. “My feeling was, it’s all fucked. It’s all going down the tubes,” he says.
Strange, too, that the anti-corporate agitator who discards his work at the moment of its creation actually bothers recording for a mass market. Radiohead’s six-album deal with EMI is now over. If Thom Yorke leaned against the cage door he would now find it unlocked.
Will you re-sign to EMI?
Yorke: “Maybe we should do a Robbie Williams (in cod Mancunian accent) I’m oop for it. Fuck it, I’d take 80 million and not make any records. That’s how you do it. Free money. That’s what I want. A wheelbarrow of cash for no work. Marvellous.”
— Q#204, juillet 2003

 

Le NME résume bien la situation :

As of now, Radiohead’s future is uncertain. Their contract with EMI reportedly expired with ‘Hail To The Thief », and Yorke has long expressed misgivings about major labels. He also claimed in 2003 that the band he fronts will be « unrecognisable » two years from now. Meanwhile, bassist Colin Greenwood has insisted “having fun » will be a key factor in future recording sessions.
— 6 décembre 2003

 

La situation reste dans le statut quo un moment : Radiohead ne renouvelle pas son contrat avec EMI, mais n’est pas non plus parti pour une autre maison de disque… La sortie de l’album suivante sera donc cruciale.

Richard: « OK, so would you look at maybe going back into the studio sometime this year to try to put another record together? »

Thom: « I really don’t… I… I don’t know how that’s gonna to work enough to say yes or no, to be honest, ’cause I don’t really… it depends on if everybody’s happy to start up again, you know, ’cause… ’cause we’ve never really stopped, properly stopped before, I mean we’re not even doing it now, but you know, some people sort of… they really, you know, they wanna switch off for a while. I mean, I wanna switch off for a while, erm, and I think it’s because… because, you know, we finished our contract with EMI and stuff as well. I mean, that’s, you know… that’s at the end of it, we’ve complete… we’ve fulfilled our obligations. Erm, so it’s kind of a really good time to sort of switch off and… and not… not concern ourselves with having a plan or anything. And it’s a good time to step out of the music business generally anyway, I think. It’s a good time to sort of just watch what’s happening and not get involved for a while, I think. »

Richard: « Would you like to re-direct, if the contract is up with EMI, would you like to change the format in which a band operates in this day and age? »

Thom: « I think it should be changed, yes. (laughs) »

Richard: « And do you think you’re in a position now to try to achieve that? »

Thom: « I’ve really no idea. I mean, you know, when a record company decides to cull so much of its work force and so on, like they’re just doing, and then the share holders get all happy about it and decide that’s a really good idea and now the’re going to suddenly make more money, and you know, I’m not so sure that.. I wasn’t very impressed by that. I don’t think it’s necessarily the way forward for music, is it really, all those big corporate entities? They’re kind of useful for some things and very not useful for others. So we’re very much keeping an open mind about how we get music out at all. You know, obviously it would be nice if, uh, it wasn’t just stolen. (laughs) »

— Thom Yorke / Triple J, 22 août 2004

 

En 2006, Thom sort son album « The Eraser » chez un petit label indépendant, XL Recordings. On comprend tous que Radiohead ne reviendra pas chez EMI, pour des raisons d’ordres artistiques :

T: That’s cause they have half the staff they did have 5 years ago. And they have to rationalise the budgets. I assume that’s the way EMI works. Universal as well. You just wonder why would you get involved with it? But that’s just me right now. It’s one of those weird things – we have lots of mates at EMI that we get on with. It’s a bit of a strange situation. But you see the way the companies are morphing into – it’s like they’re self-imploding thing. Doesn’t seem to be a very creative environment at all. They have been in the past. When we first signed with Parlophone it was incredibly creative environment. Much like this. The offices weren’t flashy. It was mayhem. Tony who run it was great, inspiring, and lots of shit came out at the time as well. It goes in phases, I guess. But they weren’t doing what you were saying. Everyone on the label was on the label for a reason.
— Thom Yorke / 10 août 2006

 

En 2007, dans un article paru récemment dans Le Times, on peut lire que, selon Guy Hands le nouveau patron d’EMI (tout juste rachetée par sa firme Terra Firma) , les raisons qui seraient à la base du départ de Radiohead d’EMI seraient essentiellement d’ordre financières et non artistiques ou d’un autre ordre comme il est fréquent de l’entendre ou de le lire. Au cours des négociations avec la maison de disques, le groupe aurait réclamé dix millions de livres pour le nouveau contrat, un budget marketing mondial de trois millions de livres pour la distribution du nouvel album et la rétrocession des droits sur leur back catalogue.

“Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidise their gains.”

 

Bryce Edge, manager du groupe nie en bloc. Il explique que les négociations ont cessé parce que EMI ne voulait pas discuter du rachat du back catalogue :

“We couldn’t move ahead with EMI because (label boss) Guy Hands irrevocably refused to discuss the catalogue in any meaningful way. We sold 25 million records and we have the moral rights over those six albums. We wanted a say in how they are exploited in the future. We were not seeking a big advance payment, or a guaranteed marketing spend as discussions never got that far.”

Cf news du NME : http://www.nme.com/news/radiohead/33382

 

Tel un pied de nez, EMI sort sans l’avis du groupe un best of Radiohead pour noël 2007.

Cf News de Numerama : http://www.numerama.com/magazine/5563-et-maintenant-emi-propose-le-catalogue-complet-de-radiohead.html

 

Thom Yorke est furax et répond directement sur le Dead Air Space en décembre 2007 :

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Le divorce est entier. Radiohead et le nouvel EMI ne peuvent plus s’entendre. Pourtant, leur ancienne équipe leur manque…

John: « And now effectively owns EMI, has brought in the ex director general of the BBC, John Burt to do a survey of the artists, and the relationship between artists and the company, and it’s suggested that Terra Firma, EMI want the artists to do a bit more work promoting albums in the future, you need to pull your socks up. Looking at that possible relationship, and the power structure there, are you glad to be out of that deal with EMI?

Ed: « We…….I tell you what, we miss the people that we worked with on a day to day….

Thom: « Yeah

Ed: « All the people at Parlophone, those are the people we really miss. The rest of the stuff, about not understanding maybe about the music industry….Terra Firma don’t fully understand…..because one of the great things about the music industry is it’s not an industry, it’s just a collective of a series of relationships between people…..

John: « But Terra Firma are a private equity firm

Ed: « Exactly

John: « Did you know about that take over deal?

Ed: « Yeah, we did

John: « Was that the root of the discontent? Was that why you didn’t sign a new deal, do you think?

Ed: « No, because we just didn’t get what we wanted, so it couldn’t be offered……

Thom: « They just didn’t seem very interested, and neither were we

Ed: « No. It just wasn’t….I think it was at too early a stage. They didn’t understand where a band like us sat on a label like EMI, so they weren’t able to give us what we needed

Thom: « The interesting thing was that it made us realise that we’d been, to EMI’s credit, the old EMI at least, they had us on a very very long leash for a very long time, and that was because they have had a series of artists that they’ve allowed to do that, like the Floyd, and Queen and everybody, and it’s really worked, and now, when you’re in a situation like Ed said, with whatever the business model, with like shareholders, etc etc, private equity firms, it looks at music as something to buy and then sell on, that it’s inorganic, that it’s something that can be valued or devalued, which……

John: « And you don’t accept that’s the new reality of the record business?

Thom: « No, the reality of music is that it will always be valued, because we all need it. Companies buying and selling themselves and seeing the artists work as simply just part of their stock is devaluing music, and if anybody’s responsible for devaluing music, it’s them (plays Bodysnatchers)

— Thom Yorke / BBC Radio 4 'Front Row', 14 décembre 2007

 

En janvier 2008, dans le Financial Times, Guy Hands fait une déclaration vraiment étonnante : il donne raison à Radiohead… c’est à n’y rien comprendre !

Surprisingly, he says that Radiohead, the band that ditched EMI last year to launch their latest album online, made the right choice. « Radiohead had the right idea. They understand their fans. They realise some of them want the premium box set. I’m one who bought one, and paid the full price. What Radiohead showed the industry was that it isn’t one answer for all artists or indeed for every customer.
Financial Times

 

EMI Group est racheté en novembre 2011 par son concurrent français Universal Music (filiale de Vivendi), son activité d’édition étant revendue à un consortium régi par Sony.

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