What is a Record?

If you still have any doubt that you’ll hear that question soon from your <15 year-old child, here’s a piece of news for you.

In early April, "Crazy", a digital-only release by Gnarls Barkley, hit the #1 spot in the UK charts.  This is based entirely on downloads.  There is no physical release of this song. (You can watch the "Crazy" video here.)

Gnarls_chart_1

Fred has posted about their incredible popularity, driven primarily by MySpace. He concludes:

That’s never happened before.  But it will again, and again, and again.

The cool thing about the story is that, unlike the pre-packaged formula pop that has invaded the music scene (think Ashlee Simpson – who the hell decided that she had to be famous??), Gnarls Barkley’s success comes through immense filtering.  You can immediately hear it in its quality, pointed out by Bob Lefsetz.

Those who are worried about the digital distribution’s negative impact on music should be comforted that digital distribution helps democratization, which helps good music to rise to the top.

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