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Elton John Says Internet is Destroying Music

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the mtv-already-did-it dept.

Music 709

Jared writes "Elton John says that the internet is destroying good music and "stopping people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff." He laments the way that the internet and the emerging industry of digital music has created a cold and impersonal world for artists to create new music in."

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Sucks to be you, Elton (0, Troll)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082031)

Try creating music that people like.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (0)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082071)

Try creating music that people like.

True, he hasn't done anything decent since Pinball Wizard.

Yes, I do know Who actually wrote it, but Eltons version wasn't all that bad.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (1)

LouisZepher (643097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082213)

Actually, Elton's cover of Pinball Wizard is, as far as I can recall, the only cover of a Who song that made the charts in the top ten.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082241)

Of course, making the top ten isn't exactly an indicator of "quality material."

Elton's never done anything even remotely of the quality of Tommy; he's an aging pop personality looking for air time, that's all.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (2, Funny)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082319)

Elton played the Pinball Wizard in Tommy -- all he asked in exchange for doing the role was getting to keep the shoes.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (4, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082185)

Try creating music that people like

And sadly like most SlashDot nerds, you still sign along to the Lion King even though it makes you want to cry.

Sadly kiddies on SlashDot have no clue of the impact Elton has on Music.

Let's see, hmm, a true music writer with perfect pitch, ya that just doesn't work in today's Britney, lipsync crowd. ;)

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082327)

"Sadly kiddies on SlashDot have no clue of the impact Elton has on Music."

I would say had an impact. But today his impact resonates the same message as, "Get off my lawn!".

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082335)

TLK is some of his best later work. While I don't care for his version of "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", Circle of Life and Can You Feel The Love Tonight are very good -- and the latter is very simple and easy to play but sounds fantastic, especially when he embellishes it in live performances.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (5, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082341)

today's Britney crowd
In my opinion, the new music world should be about choice The internet creates choice. And if that internet destroys the musicindustry(I'm talking about formatted music like britney's) GOOD: bring on all the new types of music!

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (3, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082281)

Hey, Elton's actually made music that isn't the same canned love-song crap. The songs he writes are autobiographical, about people important to him, about things important to his lyricist, etc. And he's an amazing live performer. Yep, I'm a big fan of his and I'm continually amazed by his live work.

But "close down the internet"? That's just ridiculous. Not happening, and I don't agree. Sure, sometimes you get a lot of "me too" art of all sorts (drawings, music, whatever) but I think the fact that anyone can publish and create anything they want more than makes up for that.

If it weren't for the big name behind this silliness, I doubt anyone would pay it any mind. And I think it's silly and not worth the electrons it's "printed" with.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (5, Informative)

sgant (178166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082503)

You mean Bernie Taupin writes songs that are autobiographical, about people that are important to him. It's Taupin that wrote all those love song lyrics of the past...usually written to his girlfriend at the time. Elton put them all to extremely beautiful music.

I know, you did say "things important to his lyricist"...but I just wanted to make sure Bernie Taupin's name got out there.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (2, Interesting)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082559)

Yep. Sorry about that; I should have credited him outright! You and I know all about him, fortunately.

Some of the songs are from Elton's perspective (Someone Saved My Life Tonight is an example) but yes, many are Bernie's, such as Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting, which is about Bernie's time in bars when he was younger.

Thanks for following up.

Re:Sucks to be you, Elton (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082577)

I wonder how much Elton John actually know about the subject .Did he ever buy music online , did he ever listen to a song on youtube ?

I fear someone's just telling him that saying ' internet is destroying the music industry ' will give him some attention . And for what i can tell , it's working : it made it to /.

Fuck! The Dude is, like, a 100 now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082307)

And gay! And even married a woman? Not to mention the head-in-the-oven -- with windows wide open -- suicide (attempt)... Elton, Elton, Elton - you died with Blue Moves. Island Girl? Island Turd is more like it. All downhill from there. You're weird, but we like you anyway, and as much as we won't admit it, you're right. THe internet does suck a lot.

Re:Fuck! The Dude is, like, a 100 now (2, Interesting)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082351)

People who "try" to commit suicide and fail that badly (can't gas themselves, don't cut their wrist in the right place, whatever) are generally doing it to try to get attention and try to get help with some issue they can't just outright tell people about, not to actually kill themselves.

Sadly, I've known people who cut themselves up for attention-whore purposes ... so I can't really jeer at it that easily.

I like a lot of his newer stuff, but then, musical tastes are very much an individual thing.

Wasn't he the guy who also claimed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082509)

...back in the '70s that consumer tape recorders and audio cassettes would destroy the music industry?

That;s Billy Joel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082545)

You may remember him from his roll on Welcome Back Kotter. He played Whoreshack.

Sure, Elton, sure. (5, Funny)

Kickstart70 (531316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082033)

And Video killed the Radio star too, eh?

Re:Sure, Elton, sure. (5, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082209)

Its the same old story. VHS killed hollywood (and betamax, lol :( ). Radio killed live music. Cassette tapes killed the music industry. So it goes.

Someone really should go show old elton Myspace music section. There are ALOT of young local bands who are finally getting some exposure due to the internet.

And thats from myspace, the most retarded site on the net. Put some money into something non retarded, and the possibilities are mind boggling.

Re:Sure, Elton, sure. (5, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082283)

Yes, and....
- No one ever listens to the radio now that albums are available.
- No one ever buys music now that audio cassettes can be dubbed.
- No one ever buys movies now that VHS cassettes can be dubbed.
- No one ever buys music now that CD's can be duplicated.
- No one ever buys movies now that DVD's can be duplicated.
- No one ever buys media now that they can download it on the internet.

Is there a trend here or is it just me?

Re:Sure, Elton, sure. (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082441)

Elton at least admits he is a Luddite. He's entitled to his opinions, I guess. Anyhow, not all artists are like him; for example, Therapy? bandmembers live in different countries, and much of their collaboration is done by utilizing the internet: sending each other MP3s of song ideas. Then they meet physically for a few weeks and record the stuff (see interview here [] ).

Considering that "One Cure Fits All" (2006) was among their better albums ever IMHO (and I have been listening to them since they got started around 1990), apparently this 'interweb' thing isn't necessarily as detrimental as Sir Elton believes.

Re:Sure, Elton, sure. (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082481)

More appropriately, Internet Killed the Video Star []

wait what? (0, Troll)

ZachMG (1122511) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082035)

now we are taking internet advice from a old gay guy, what has happened to this world?

Gay guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082473)

Don't you mean trisexual? Three things that he likes: Men, women, being ignorant! Wait, that just makes him be gay again, so I guess that you're right...

Nick Burns (2, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082039)

"Oh, it's the Internet that sucks, and not you, right? RIGHT?"

Re:Nick Burns (2, Funny)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082305)

the internet's alright for fighting, the internet's alright alright ALRIGHT?!

This states it better... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082041)

In other news Music has stated that Elton John is destroying it.

Sir Elton may be right, but who cares? (5, Insightful)

laddiebuck (868690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082049)

Sir Elton may be right, but fundamentally, the Internet is far more valuable than the transient phenomenon of pop music. Most of yesterday's tastes are outdated now, and as for what survives, it's enough to tide us over until the Internet and the creative classes evolve to a more beneficial relationship with each other.

Re:Sir Elton may be right, but who cares? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082105)

He is right. Where were the Spice Girls and Britney Spears before the Internet? Oh yeah, they didn't exist! And what happened as ARPANet was getting popular? John Lennon got shot! I think the cause is obvious.

He's not even right (4, Interesting)

abb3w (696381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082353)

Check the Sun article

"In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. [...] Now you're lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality."

Now, where did I hear something like that before? Oh, yes: Spider Robinson's 1983 Hugo Winning Short Story, "The Melancholy Elephants" []

"I do not know the figure for the maximum number of discretely appreciable melodies, and again I'm certain it is quite high, and again I am certain that it is not infinity. There are sixteen billion of us alive, Senator, more than all the people that have ever lived. Thanks to our technology, better than half of us have no meaningful work to do; fifty-four percent of our population is entered on the tax rolls as artists. Because the synthesizer is so cheap and versatile, a majority of those artists are musicians, and a great many are composers. Do you know what it is like to be a composer these days, Senator?"
"I know a few composers."
"Who are still working?"
"Well . . . three of 'em."
"How often do they bring out a new piece?"
Pause. "I would say once every five years on the average. Hmmm. Never thought of it before, but--"
" Did you know that at present two out of every five copyright submissions to the Music Division are rejected on the first computer search?"
The old man's face had stopped registering surprise, other than for histrionic purposes, more than a century before; nonetheless, she knew she had rocked him. "No, I did not."
"Why would you know? Who would talk about it? But it is a fact nonetheless. Another fact is that, when the increase in number of working composers is taken into account, the rate of submissions to the Copyright Office is decreasing significantly. There are more composers than ever, but their individual productivity is declining. Who is the most popular composer alive?"
"Uh . . . I suppose that Vachandra fellow."
"Correct. He has been working for a little over fifty years. If you began now to play every note he ever wrote, in succession, you would be done in twelve hours. Wagner wrote well over sixty hours of music--the Ring alone runs twenty-one hours. The Beatles--essentially two composers--produced over twelve hours of original music in less than ten years. Why were the greats of yesteryear so much more prolific?
"There were more enjoyable permutations of eighty-eight notes for them to find."

Sir Elton John's musical talent may be argued either way, but it doesn't change that he still is an Ignorant Idiot [] .

Elton John ..Music Called (0, Redundant)

wizardguy (245100) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082057)

They want it back (not that you ever had it)

Re:Elton John ..Music Called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082439)

Wanted what back? If you're going to use a tired old meme like that, at least get the format right.

Oh no! (4, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082059)

Are we not fawning over "celebs" enough? Not constructing enough temple record stores, to be preached to in a condescending manner if we pick up the wrong album? Are we actually daring to put their music in the same store as a lesser known artist? Or, perhaps his music might even be sharing the same server on itunes as one of us common ruffians?

What's been lost is trivial to what's been gained. I had a grin a mile wide when I realized that some of my favorite artists, talented but not at all well known or mainstream enough to get a label's attention, could be purchased from the same itunes interface as the latest plastic pop idol.

Re:Oh no! (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082381)

While Elton is hardly "the latest plastic pop idol", I agree; see #20082281 [] above. The "anyone can be heard/seen/whatever" aspect of the Internet is one of the best things about it. Until the Net came along (and cdbaby, etc) it was often difficult to get heard if you were a smaller band. Now, indie bands can be on emusic, itunes, whatever they want to expand into.

I read the article (I know, I know) and Elton admits he doesn't have a cell phone, etc. etc. etc., and it's been my (personal) experience that people who don't find it easy to bring technology into their lives often don't really appreciate what that technology can offer to those who do appreciate it.

I've bought every one of Elton's albums on hardcopy CD (and he's the only artist I do that for, and otherwise I don't really buy new music, or download it either) but I have only taken each out of the case once -- to rip it. So I'm somewhere in the middle. But I've used iTunes before, and downloaded indie music from eMusic, and ... I forgot where I was going with this, so that's all for now.

Yeah, blame technology (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082061)

Antisocial people can make music by themselves without the need for the Internet. Sociable people will make music together with or without the Internet and may even use the Internet to help communicate when collaborating on a project. Technology is a convenient scapegoat, as usual.

Re:Yeah, blame technology (4, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082103)

And it doesn't even have to be one or the other. We moved into a new town fairly recently, and it only took a few weeks for my wife to join a band here. Nor did that fact stop her from continuing to market her solo stuff online. Much in the same way that I can use a telephone on occasion, and yet the scary technology doesn't in any way prevent me from talking to people in person. I'm just hoping that I don't wind up like so many old people when I reach that age, railing against technologies I don't understand.

Re:Yeah, blame technology (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082133)

And music that people make by themselves isn't necessarily bad.

Re:Yeah, blame technology (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082493)

Antisocial people can make music by themselves without the need for the Internet. Sociable people will make music together with or without the Internet and may even use the Internet to help communicate when collaborating on a project.

Well I always find making beautiful music works much better with 2 people, and Mrs Palmer and her 5 daughters don't count.

It's the circle of life.. (2, Insightful)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082065)

though i think the riaa has had a pretty good crack at destroying music.

Television (1)

sanmarcos (811477) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082075)

The same thing could have been said about Television decades ago. It is not that the means of information propagation distort content, but it is that the market desires to listen to rap, hip-hop, and all the music that is considered "bad" by some people. Suplpy and demand. Elton, you should try making content that people like.

Re:Television (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082149)

"Elton, you should try making content that people like." - by sanmarcos (811477) on Thursday August 02, @02:17AM (#20082075)

Heh, he has done so, so many times... it's astounding! And, over such a LONG period, again, astounding. Far better & LONGER than today's often BULLSHIT "music" called "rap" (crap is more like it, any asshole can do "rap", ripping off soundtracks from others, & simply "talking", because that is ALL that shit is).

You have your "here today, gone later today" so called "rappers" (nothing more than thugs & gangsters wannabe stars, who are nothing more than DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING PAWNS for the true criminals, like "Death Row Records" who wa$h out coins/deadpresidents for the drug dealers).

Face it - this guy, gay or not, has done far more for music than any of these losers today have, who have the sheer nerve to call themselves musical artists, when all they are? Is punk losers from some "hood"...

Re:Television (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082343)

any asshole can do "rap", ripping off soundtracks from others, & simply "talking", because that is ALL that shit is
Don't make me laugh, you condescending prick. I'd like to see you try and rap. You'd probably make Vanilla Ice look like Rakim.

A lot of people think they can do it. As evidenced by the majority of what's on the radio and TV, very few actually can.

Re:Television (1, Interesting)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082475)

I guarantee it is easier to produce a "pop rap song" today, than it is to create something like what Elton John has done. There are several reasons... and just so you know, I am talking about POPULAR rap, or "hip hop".

1. Most of the people who listen to it-mainly club-goers, girls age 13-25, and guys trying to impress said girls-are not focusing on the message, but the beat. Now the beats we are talking about here, are not particularly hard to create. You need a beat, and SOMETIMES a catchy melody to play over it, but often you will find that recent hip-hop doesn't even have that. It just has a "kickin" basebeat that is easily danceable.

2. What is hard about rap is not the actual rapping, but the creating of long interesting poems that are filled with pleasing linguistic tricks (Eminem is probably the best example of such a talent)... And while some rap artists are awesome at this, and have a ton of talent, the average pop rap song is filled with cliches and repetative thug talk that really doesn't give any kind of interesting message, at least not one that is even remotely thought provoking not to mention original.

3. I said that the rapping part isn't that hard, but it isn't for everyone, certain voices can pull it off easy, but rapping is not that difficult(at least to do at the level of an average "hip-hop" star) and the ability to do so is not so rare (like perfect pitch, for example)... I have several friends that are not rappers in any way shape or form, but give them some drinks and you will be shocked at how well they can mimick the best in the business.

Now, I know that there are people that are all like "underground yo!"... and while I hate them for completely different reasons, they don't all fit into the reasons stated above... The parent was talking about popular rap music, which is, in general, absolute corporate garbage-with a beat that people dance to.

Generally speaking, the people who like the underground rap scene are just massive douche bags, who are miserable and melencholy and have tendencies towards violence since they don't, themselves, have any good ways of expressing themselves. I hang out with a bunch of these guys, and while I don't mind them, their whole underground rap thing is pretty stupid. Like hardcore music, it's for angst filled 20 somethings.

Re:Television (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082471)

I think we need to stop calling music 'content' - that's the RIAA's language.

artists are having a hard time not being heard. (3, Insightful)

benow (671946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082079)

There's _ALOT_ more out there, and now there is selection where once there was only Elton John and other mass distributed mediocraty. You want to make a change, you do something about it. If you cant, work with it and stop bitching about things you don't improve. Bitching is noise. Progress is beautiful.

Re:artists are having a hard time not being heard. (4, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082125)

And I think that's exactly what a lot of people are terrified about. I've bought a fairly large amount from itunes, and none of it's been from a riaa label. Pandora, lastfm, and word of mouth over the internet actually give me the chance to discover new music that would have been locked in a garage or small town ten years back. And itunes, and similar, the chance to purchase from them. It's a win for the consumer, but a huge loss for both the labels and the select few they decide to favor.

Re:artists are having a hard time not being heard. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082363)

The local RIAA-like in the Netherlands has put a nice stop to all that "discovering new music" nonsense and such; Pandora detects whether the IP is from the Netherlands and then blocks their music application. Too bad since I found a lot of new music there.

Re:artists are having a hard time not being heard. (2, Insightful)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082371)

I'm also tending to steer clear from the RIAA labels. While there are some bands I respect enough to overlook the fact they have the proverbial devil's mark, I really have a hard time giving money to corporate slimeballs who sue everybody frivolously. However, I think I do understand what Elton John is saying. It sounds like his qualm about the internet is it separates musicians, leaving them 'disconnected', rather than co-existing in the same space to make music together. With that said, I don't agree that this is a big problem - there are a lot of online musicians that probably would have never crossed paths if it weren't for the internet. (Try^d, for instance.)

Re:artists are having a hard time not being heard. (1)

benow (671946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082413)

Well, yes and no. It's perhaps of less benefit for the larger labels... polished crap for the mass market gets old quickly. The small labels are loving it, tho. Suddenly there is demand for niche works from niche artists doing what they love. That is what the smallers bring... a networking of like minded, like intended. There are alot of listeners out there. The biggies are just pissed that their most blatent marketing and distribution strangleholds have been undermined. The irony is that the swamp of mediocrity is what helped to push internet distribution and started their demise. And, of course, they'd be screwed were it not for (digital) technology in general. If you live in a glass house don't throw stones.

Re:artists are having a hard time not being heard. (1)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082431)

My interpretation is that Elton believes (fears?) that the widely distributed and thinly spread nature of the internet music audience means that local bands will focus on this international market in preference to pandering to a local cult following.

I guess the question is whether a rise in indy artists and the demise (if ever) of the big labels will level the field, with fewer big-name stars, and the widely dispersed (global) audience perhaps preventing sufficient critical mass in a given location for a band to financially justify a tour.

But then again, until the total demise of free-to-air radio (and payola), I don't see any signficant changes afoot.

fossil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082081)

A fossil from a dead era whining about the internet? no shit, really? Ugh.. he sounds like my dad. He thinks that music isn't 'real' unless it's a single acoustic guitar recorded on analog equipment. Hippies...

As long as its the crap music you make who cares (0, Redundant)

lordperditor (648289) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082093)

The world can do without the repeated tripe he churns out.

Wrong generation? (4, Insightful)

otter42 (190544) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082095)

Maybe Elton John just doesn't get the new ways to create, play, and distribute music? To be fair, Elton John's generation and those before destroyed live music in the household, as who needs Joe-Fred johnson to strum his banjo when you can hear professionals first on record, then radio, then TV, etc... So why shouldn't we move the music to another "space"?

I wonder if someone were to give Elton John an internet literacy test how he would do. Considering the British judge Justice Opensha had to ask what a website was while presiding over an internet "terrorism" case, I wouldn't be surprised if Elton John considered the internet nothing more than a Kazaa screen.

Ted Stevens' style (1)

theefer (467185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082243)

I wonder if someone were to give Elton John an internet literacy test how he would do.

Maybe he, too, is attracted by viewing the internet as a series of tubes.

Judge != Elton John (5, Informative)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082497)

Sorry, but I really felt the need to respond to this. British newspapers like to make out that judges are ignorant because it plays to the prejudices of their readers. In fact, the judge had to ask the question because both sides were talking about "websites" but without any definition, and (as any fool on /. knows) websites can be many different things. Judges are not allowed to intervene and tell the court what things are, they have to get the information into the trial record by asking questions.

In the same way a judge was once ridiculed for asking "Who are the Beatles", but it was necessary because again they were being talked about in a trial, but anybody subsequently reading the trial report would not get a clue what "Beatles" were. Because of the way the British legal system works, on case law and precedent, judges have to assume that a judgement may be brought up many years in the future - when, say, the word "website" will be long gone but the thing itself still exists.

Incidentally, in that case the question did show that the lawyers on both sides were themselves unclear what they were talking about - not unusual in these cases.

Wrong (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082107)

Elton John beat the Internet to it years ago

Exposure (5, Interesting)

Tykho (1133421) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082111)

There's so many bands I wouldn't have started listening to if I hadn't heard samples or web broadcasts of them on the net. It's certainly broadened my musical taste having digital distribution of music so easily available.

Should we get off his lawn too? (5, Informative)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082113)

Seriously I'm seeing acts both prosper and thrive due to the internet. Even the more established groups like They Might Be Giants have done well thanks to the internet in reaching their fans. If anything there's probably a larger danger of background noise in the amount of chaff produced, but seeing various internet "memes" pop up from time to time I'm confident that the good stuff will always rise to the top.

Taking an even more commercial example, I wouldn't have heard much about pop-artists like Rogue Traders unless I'd seen an excerpt of Dr. Who from the UK which lead me to wiki the Aus act and find more info than a lone single - which is only reaching US market AFTER 2 YEARS - would provide. The single is available from iTunes - but I'll eagerly await the full album.

In the retro column, 80s artist Thomas Dolby released a live set recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco onto iTunes a while back. He's got several businesses and projects going but it's nice to see him quickly produce and bring to market (thanks to the internet) some new material. This wouldn't have gotten the time of day by the traditional business model.

Good riddance I say.

BTW - check out SeeqPod. It's cooler than snail snot and the mobile client is SWEET. I've not only found hard to finds, and music out of circulation, but excellent mash-ups that would NEVER BE ALLOWED TO BE DISTRIBUTED BY THE CURRENT OUTDATED RIAA BUSINESS MODELS.

Re:Should we get off his lawn too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082311)

Seeqpod. Ugh, what a terrible non-intuitive UI. I did a "discovery" and got a ton of hits with a weird icon that looked kinda like the knobs on a guitar, couldn't do shit with those hits, couldn't move them to the play list, couldn't get their actual URLs. Didn't really know wtf they were suppossed to be. Plus its got bugs all over it, and another one like statcounter, no thanks spyware site.

OTOH (4, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082123)

That's all well and good if you happen to be in or very near one of the small handful of cities that are 'music centers', but for would-be musicians who aren't in those places and have no reasonable means to get there, the music industry was just as cold before the internet as it is now, if not colder.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

Xaivius (1038252) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082143)

Blaming the transmission medium for making the environment "cold and impersonal" is like blaming high HIV transmission rates on semen. fairly silly. The environment is what you make of it.

Sorry, it was (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082147)

the two guys who created the Spice Girls [] that killed good music, and that was before teh Intarweb had gained rampant popularity. It's all been downhill from there.

Rizzap (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082171)

Cold worlds didn't hurt Rap any.

I didn't know teh tubes existed in the early 80s (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082193)

Cause that was the last time Elton released anything worthwhile. And if he thinks no one goes to hear music any more, it only means no one goes to his shows.

hahaha completely wrong (5, Insightful)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082199)

what is he talking about
just because he doesn't understand how to use the internet to meet people, doesn't mean he can make stupid statements like this

I have an entire network of friends who, using only their computers, instruments of choice, and the internet, make great music between each other
we're literally friends, and this is real music

if anything the internet is what will finally set music free
giving everyone an equal chance to put their stuff up

it may dilute it all a bit (an effect I hope for with a lot of genres)
but in the end we'll have more options as listeners
and musicians will have more options for making money

I suggest (4, Interesting)

Oddster (628633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082201)

Elton John check out The Foreign Exchange [] 's album Connected [] . Take note:

North Carolina-raised MC Phonte, one-third of Little Brother, and Dutch producer Nicolay formed the duo and crafted the ethereally lush hip-hop album without ever meeting face-to-face. Using the marvels of modern technology, the group traded verses and tracks over the Internet.

Your move, Elton.

Re:I suggest (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082367)

I would have gone with a more well-known example, such as The Postal Service [] (if you think you haven't heard them, you're probably wrong), but you're absolutely right. The internet allows collaborators - who may have never connected through traditional methods - to create great music together, from thousands of miles away.

And rock n' roll singlehandedly killed communism (5, Insightful)

sakonofie (979872) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082205)

I have this sneaking hunch Elton John doesn't have a very normal outlook on reality. From TFA:

We're talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that's not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.

Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.
Let's get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.
I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.
You know that old quotation "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail". Well I guess when your life is devoted to ridiculous sunglasses, Disney soundtracks, outrageous/silly costumes and mediocre pop music, you start to get an overinflated sense of music's role in society.

Next week on slashdot: sculptors suggest we rip out highways so that people can better appreciate sculptures and fountains.

I am full of "what if" stupidity (1)

pesho (843750) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082207)

I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.

No need to run experiments like that. I can tell you what kind of art you will get in this case. It's called "cave art". Hell we can use stone axes too. Try figure what art will come out of that.

And what does "I mean, get out there -- communicate." is supposed to mean? I thought communication is all that internet is about.

Re:I am full of "what if" stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082517)

Well, ya gotta admit that face-to-face communication enables all kinds of possibilities that Internet communication just doesn't offer. I'm sure you can think of a few.

Oh, wait. This is Slashdot. Never mind.

Democracy and former kings (1)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082217)

Internet is democratizing the process of making and distributing music.
The former king doesn't like democracy and miss his court.

Musicians are the problem (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082229)

Yeah, but when you go out to a club to be with people, those really annoying guys get on stage and make so much noise you can't talk to anybody.

I will file this under "A Tale of Two Cities" (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082231)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, short, the period was so far like the present
period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its
being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree
of comparison only.

So, this is just another example of someone predicting that the internet is the end of the world. It will be balanced out tomorrow, when someone predicts that Web 2.0 will revolutionize human life for the better.

Poor guy... (2, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082233)

I think the lad's gone old on us.

He's just cranky that it's Decentralized (1)

zephmode (704706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082245)

I think he and others in the mainstream music industry are just cranky because they have less power now that the internet has decentralize the hierarchy of music source. Before your only source as on the radio where everything is playlisted. Ever artist is carefully handpicked to appeal to the majority. Basically, the music industry is upset for their lack of control on what to feed to people. Nowadays, people have so many other sources of finding new music. Bands can easily reach more fans without spending so much money. Music lovers know more about how the album they are buying sounds like. People have more tailored tastes. Things like are changing the way people find new music and people are finding music that they actually like... and it's probably not Elton John.

Internet is killing the hardware sales... (1)

NWprobe (28716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082251)

Since the rise of filesharing of music as MP3 the CD sales has dropped. On the upside more people than ever are going out to conserts and listen to live music. It makes perfect sense. Music is more available, so people spend more time and money at it. Not just buying CD's, but going out to see the artists. As a results the artist is making more money, the record industry less.

I won't cry for their loss. Even though it has been a demand for buying online music for a decade now, I still can't buy music online without some DRM I have to buypass so I can transfer it to my mp3 player. I've stopped buying music. I don't download illegal music. As a result I have becomed less interested in music, and spend less money on it.

Pardon me (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082257)

"stopping people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff."

I hung around for meeting with 30+ guildmates in guildmaster's castle for the entire morning; then led a group of mages and archeries to shoot the assholes in dungeon deceit who looted my body earlier; then I created a war hammer of vanquishing on my way home.

Who is going to stop me from going out and being with each other, creating stuff? I'd chop him to death.

Internet says Elton John is destroying music. (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082259)

(I am so, so sorry)

In other news.... (-1, Redundant)

Sivart832z (867595) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082263)

Internet says Elton John is destroying music.

Ticket prices (5, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082267)

Right Sir Elton, i'd love to be able to afford to see my bands live, but most of them are assholes like you and charge $150 a ticket, hence it's not possible to see more then a couple a year at best.

Re:Ticket prices (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082587)

Sir Elton John is an old buzzard who thinks anything beyond his understanding is bad.
Typical like House of Lords.

The Internet is helping me make it as a musician (4, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082271)

I've been a software engineer for twenty years, and I'm sick to death of it. But I have always had a great love of music - I taught myself to play piano by ear starting back in 1984, and learned to improvise. I composed several songs by improvising, and with the help of a pro audio friend, recorded them back in '94.

But at the time all I could do to distribute my music was to manually duplicate cassette tapes. I just gave a few to friends and family. CD burners were still horrendously expensive, as were CD-R blanks.

When I got my own website, I offered some free downloads in Sun's old .AU format. I think it's 8-bit, so it didn't sound that good, and the downloads were quite large. But MP3 and psychoacoustic compression was still a ways off.

The copyright on my music said "All rights reserved" at first, and I specifically forbid sharing my songs over the Internet, but instead requested that those who wanted to share my music direct others to my website.

But I had always been a big fan of Richard Stallman and Free Software, and I knew that the right thing to do would be to copyleft my music.

I'm not signed with any record label, not even an indie one. I'm completely on my own. But my music gets downloaded by hundreds of people each month, with the downloads growing over time.

By learning to play by ear, I didn't learn to read sheet music. But for several years now I've been taking piano lessons and learning to read music, with the aim that when I can pass the entrance audition, I will enroll in music school to major in musical composition. I want to compose symphonies someday.

The Internet is, frankly, a miracle to me as it is enabling people throughout the world to get to know me and my music. When the time comes that I play professionally - or hopefully, symphony orchestras play myy compositions - I expect that there will already be a base of fans who will buy tickets to my performances.

Please download, share and enjoy:

I call it "The Rough Draft" because I always intended to compose more pieces for at, and when the time came, to re-record it and to have a "glass master" CD pressed.

The lot of it is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5 license. There are various formats as well as sheet music in PDF and Lilypond (source code) format. (I would be honored if any of you learned to play my music.)

I've been playing at Open Mics for a couple years now. I recently moved to Silicon Valley, and often visit Santa Cruz on the weekends. If you'd like to hear me live, check my live performance schedule [] . (It presently says I'm in Vancouver, but I'll update that in the next day or so.)

I'm also planning to buy an amp so I can play my keyboard on the street. When I do, I'm going to have a sign hanging off of it advertising "Free Music Downloads", and will have a box of my free music download handbills [] .

Last weekend I spent four hours walking up and down Santa Cruz' Pacific Garden Mall passing out the handbills. I got many reactions - most people think it's too good to be true, that there is some kind of catch, but most who accept the handbill are quite delighted.

You could really help me out if you shared my music over the Internet.

the internet is destroying music? (2, Funny)

doktorjayd (469473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082289)

so his issue is more a demarcation dispute?

Elton John? (1)

gaderael (1081429) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082309)

Is he still relevant?

Re:Elton John? - Old school hacker! (3, Funny)

lawrencebillson (1136239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082491)

Very; he is especially qualified to comment about Internet affairs. Elton demonstrates many hacker type qualities. Especially his code re-use skill. He was able to use the same bit of code for songs about two different celebrities that had almost nothing in common. Brilliant!

Dinosaurs... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082337)

Of course it looks that way to him. But how long has it been since he had to hit the street? Promote himself? I'm sure it is terrible for the old guard. Hell, even confusing. Too bad they stick with their old habit instead of listening a little bit more. Not only is music more interesting today, it's more diverse with artists collaborating in ways Elton never could have. Bringing real people together and real bands. Tonight I listen to a collaberation between a singer from Sao Paola and a French musician/producer. It's wonderful, not stale fusion. On my way home it was German glitch pop and another French producer working with a Japanese singer.

I'm sure this globalism goes right over his head. But while our governments are making all these sleazy arraignments another type of globalization is happening. It's created an amazing music scene in Guadalajara and given them the opportunity to be heard the world over.

And I'm not talking about traditional music. Contemporary pop. Like hip-hop from Sweden. The amazing Icelandic music scene. Places you might never even think about. There are so many creative people.

And to think, he laments. Ironic.

I think it's really just sad that he's missing this. There's more energy out there right now probably then ever before. Every day I'm amazed. I work with artists and I tell them this. He needs to sit down with someone who can show him. The styles have changed. But that's always the case. It's the creativity. The emotion. The honesty and heartbreak that goes into it. Even the blemishes.

A day doesn't go by I don't think about this. Makes me laugh a little hearing such a thing. Doesn't surprise me. He's missing the world. Too bad, he has a kind of talent too.

What is he talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20082345)

"stopping people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff."
Creating stuff like babies?

Too Late... (1, Redundant)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082355)

internet is destroying good music

Too late Elton, the recording industry already did that.

Age and wisdom (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082359)

I respect older people who are technologically knowledgeable more and more every time an article like this comes down the pipes. Listening to Dawkins talk about how much fun he had anonymously watching and speaking to people, who were watching a recorded speech from him, online was literally awe inspiring. At a fairly high age as far as what the world was like in his youth, he's still seeing more to it than most of the western world's youth. And then, on the other hand, here we have someone so terrified of the new that he wants to tear it all down rather than figure out ways of letting it serve as a medium to further develop his craft.

What about the record companies? (1)

forgoil (104808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082387)

They are the guys that fuck people over royally, not the internet, nor the people on it. Try to explain creativity to people who *only* care for the mighty $$$...

The internet has the possibility of setting music free, and for artists to find new nice ways of making a living, without record companies. Is that what old artists and record companies find so horrific about the internet? That they are *gasp* being replaced? Or can it be that the biggest myspace page isn't /SirEltonJohn ?

It is what people do, not what the "internet" do...

Elton's already jumped the shark (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082419)

Elton may see that the current scheme of things doesn't have a place in it for him. That doesn't mean that the system is broken, it just means that his day in the sun is over and it's time for new talent to take their turn in the spotlight.

Such is the way things are and the way things always have been. The old giving way for the new is the way the circle of life works.

The RIAA and their way of doing things are also part of the past, not the future. They'll thrash and scream as they're relegated to the past - but they'll go, willing or not, into memory. Much as they'd like to turn back time their fate is already upon them and the final chapter can't be rewritten or altered.

Music is and always has been a part of humanity. It's been performed and distributed in numerous ways over our history and there's strange and mysterious things yet to come. But even in that brave new world, music will still be a part of humanity and it'll resist attempts to subvert it to serve someone's corporate goals.

And 100 years from now some has-been artist will complain that the new technology has killed his golden goose. It'll never cross his mind that the market no longer finds him relevant. It won't matter then, either. The circle of life goes on...

RIAA versus everyone (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082529)

It is time for artists to realize that the RIAA and
similar organizations exist to steal money from the
artists themselves.

There needs to be a new organization, one which NO member
of , or prior member of ,the RIAA et al, can be a member of,
and it should replace all such previous organizations.

The RIAA claim to work towards getting the artists the
royalities from their creations, but the RIAA gets more
than the lions share. They are organized extortion. Pure
and simple.

Suppose the RIAA legitimately catches someone making a
copyrighted work downloadable, or makes copies for some
friends. The RIAA gets a huge judgement for the most part,
and the artist gets his/her $0.07 per copy royality?

What is fair about this? This is a protection racket
and nothing more. Organized and criminal in intent.

The threat is legal action, litigation you cannot possibly
afford, as Joe Average. If you fail to pay the extortion
you are SLAPPED with lawsuits. They will nickle and dime
you to death with court appearances. They will force you
to hire a lawyer to help control the charges and judgement.
They will cost you dearly unless you give in to their
demands. If not extortion, what is it? Blackmail???

Sound about right?

Now let us turn this same racket into something that will
benefit the artist.

Send a simple demand letter to obvious infringers*, you
know who you are, asking for the removal of the material
and $25.00 to this new organization.

The difference would be this, the new organization can
only get $5.00 of the $25.00 as a fee, the remainder
would be disbursed to the copyright owner. Same threats
of lawsuits, just a more reasonable outcome.

This would do several things :

Reimburse artists

Give the new organization the impetus to go after larger
numbers of infringers.

Reduce the money to be made by questionable organizations.

* Obvious Infringer, someone with a ftp site with titles
ending in {Complete Album} or {Full Movie} in the file names.

Poor Elton... (1)

jasquigl (950500) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082451)

"stopping people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff." All those fresh young boys are staying at home out of reach.

Doncha Just LOVE Slow News Day on /. (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082461)

You know it's a slow news day when Slashdot articles:
  • Quote some random blogger
  • who quoted from "some random trashy tabloid" (aka The Sun)
  • about "some random music industry has-been" who thinks too much of himself just because he has a knighthood (aka Sir Elton)
And of course it's anybody/anything else's fault that "pop music" today pretty much bites much arse and not due to:
  • Many (some would say most) Artists today are whiny teenagers with no real "talent" (for any given value of "talent")
  • many people are sick to death of being constantly shredded by the RIAA and have taken up READING BOOKS to entertain themselves

Record shops? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082463)

Don't blame me if the next time you decide to go and have a look round the record shops in town they have all disappeared. Clicking around iTunes will never be the same as looking round a store the same way listening to any post '75 Elton tunes will never be the same as listening to decent music.

Come on in, the internet's fine! (1)

ronrib (1055404) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082507)

It just looks cold

Leave it to /. readers.... (1, Redundant)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082515)

to not read the article, jump in with their personal bias as comments, and miss the interesting points that are made.
Though I disagree with the idea that music is being "destroyed" there is some validity to the change in the communication and connection between people. The internet allows us to communicate with many more people, but we do not make the same interpersonal connections that physical proximity promotes. The change in how people relate is what will change music and art.

What Music ? (1)

q256 (469707) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082527)

Music is stagnant IMO due to the record companies and songwriters. Shame on those like Elton who will sell out his music for the pretty boy or girl front singer who doesn't have the talent to open a twist top on their bottled water. There are some good bands out there but karaoke is the popular path - looks sells - screw the songwriting, musical abilities... both can be rented like a used whore . . . and if she might be able to sing too (bonus).

Most, not all, but many of the older bands that still tour and play today would never really get signed today. Many of them really had no scale to their vocals, some where down right ugly, limited musical skills outside their own style... but when staying within their skills (and music), they did kick ass because there was talent.

When looks out way talent ... yea - that $18 + cd looks pretty, but sounds like ?

Experiment? (5, Funny)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082567)

From TFA:

"I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span."

If only there was a period in history when the internet didn't exist, so we could make a comparison to it.

What happened to the whole point, Rocket Man? (1)

wintermutex (1046534) | more than 7 years ago | (#20082591)

Two points to make:
Elton John wants people to go out and be with each other and creating things? He should check out [] , a phenomenon that would not be possible were it not for the internet, the very goal of which is to get emerging (or even, in some cases, famous) bands in public performing live in impromptu venues (like elevators) in major cities all over the world. Imagine that... truly creative people finding a way of utilizing their technology to create new things, or perhaps old things in new forms in pace with a changing world. What's that? Oh, the point of much art? Oh yeah.

Which leads to the second point. Marshall McLuhan had a lot to say about the unique nature of artists: "The artist picks up the message of cultural and technological challenge decades before its transforming impact occurs. He, then, builds models or Noah's arks for facing the change that is at hand... The ability of the artist to sidestep the bully blow of new technology of any age, and to parry such violence with full awareness, is age-old." (Understanding Media, 1964)

Elton John as an artist is clearly not of the breed that McLuhan insists "is the man of integral awareness," and "who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time." This reactionary, Luddite philosophy of his marks him as not only behind the times, but as a man of the most dangerous artistic influence, given his mass appeal and status. Art should not tear down the inexorable technological developments of any age; video may have killed the radio star, but then again, maybe it had the technologies of writing, painting, and sculpture that preceded it that grounded the human mind in a predominantly visual mode, anyway. Who knows. But regardless (anyone notice the guy who agreed with Elton John use 'irregardless'?), the blame game is not for artists of any caliber.
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