Jon Bon Jovi has taken aim at Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, accusing him of "killing" the music industry with iTunes.
The rocker is saddened that the "magical" experience of buying records in a store is disappearing, brick-and-mortars stores being eroded in part due to iTunes' success.
Bon Jovi tells The Sunday Times Magazine, "Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it."
"God, it was a magical, magical time," he continues, "I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business."
I remember the record-buying experience Bon Jovi is talking about, but music companies and artists are to blame for the album’s demise. I was one of those people who regularly went to record stores like Tower Records, the Wherehouse, and Licorice Pizza on weekends to search for and buy new music on vinyl, before compact discs.
Eventually, the compact disc caught on and supplanted the LP. But record companies charged 17 or 18 dollars a CD, about double what the LP cost. Even years after the CD’s rise, record labels still kept the prices high, even when the cost of producing a CD was lowered to a couple of dollars through production efficiencies. Who would pay $18 for a new CD release (or sometimes more if it was an import), when you couldn’t sample it and were taking a chance on it, only to find out that you perhaps liked just one song on it. Today, when you can sample an entire album’s contents, it is a rare album when I would decide to buy the actual CD over just buying a few choice selections from iTunes.