The Man Can’t Bust Our Music Redux

On April 28, 1969 Columbia Records initiated their brief and ill-fated “The Man Can’t Bust our Music” campaign which was suppose to somehow ingratiate the label with the hippies at the time but instead just went to prove how out of the loop the mainstream record labels were at the time. Is history repeating itself? According to Warner’s tryst with bloggers hits sour note, Warner Brothers Records attempted to build interest around the excellent debut album by The Secret Machines by enlisting the help of some prominent MP3 blogs. That in itself is not much of a problem, at least to me personally. If a record company offers me access to a song or CD I will listen and decide for myself if it is worth posting about. No problem there. The problem with Warner’s campaign is that the company apparently posted pro-Warners messages to one of the MP3 blogs that featured the Secret Machines track but did so in a manner suggesting that they were ordinary music fans commenting on the music and not some Warners hack trying to generate an artificial “buzz.” The irony of all this is twofold. First, Warners didn’t have to bother with the messages, as the album is quite good. Second, they should have realized that in this day and age the ruse would be easily uncovered. MP3 blogs are a great resource for music fans and record labels should work with them as another outlet to spread their marketing word but really, cheap shenanigans like this only sour the public on the majors even more, something that I hope they are trying desperately to avoid. Try it again, this time with feeling. And if you doubt the potential of these MP3 blogs, check out Blogs Build Buzz, Raise Copyright Questions for some insight into what’s at stake. Believe it or not I was planning a feature on the Killers in the near future. Geez, I don’t want to sound like a hack now!