Hard to Stay Mad

Jun 10, 2003

I was always surprised that Metallica took mp3s so personal. It was their battle. Lars Ulrich was the mascot. Napster was their target.

As a casual fan I found their stance a bit insulting. Their tactics, which included fear and lawyers was more akin to those who watch lovingly over their gardeners, not a band whose mere appearance could make parents run for cover. What happened to them? Success had robbed them of their hair and their credibility.

I don’t think they anticipated the backlash they received.

Years later, I surprised myself when I picked up their new album, St.Anger. I thought I was done with them. They didn’t want us to touch mp3s. If I did listen to them, I thought for sure it would be exclusively through my computer speakers.

Then they put together a package that did exactly what a retail release should; it encouraged fans to purchase their music. Let’s forget the negative for a while and give the fans what they really want.

Here’s a quick list of what their new CD includes:

  • the CD, of course
  • a DVD of them playing every song on the CD
  • a code to unlock downloadable music on the internet

The CD itself is good. I wouldn’t say great. It is much closer to their roots than previous albums, sporting a sound closer to your parent’s garage than the classical stylings of S & M.

The DVD is a great extra and, I should mention, is one of the biggest reasons I purchased the CD. I’m heading to their Summer Sanitarium tour in about a month. I thought it would be great to get in an advanced viewing. The actual content doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles but that doesn’t matter. You get to sit in on a jam session. For fans, this is a treat.

The downloadable content surprised me the most. Three live concerts are available for download, split into 40 or so mp3s. Scrumptious. Especially given the fact that Metallica has never released a live album in the stores. I have a lot of music to listen to over the next couple of weeks.

Other bands should take note (some, like Eminem, already have). These guys did it right. A shiny CD isn’t enough anymore. Throw in a couple of extras. We want to buy your CD. Give us more reasons to do so.

by | Categories: music |

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