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Record Executives Literally Cannot Give CDs Away

January 14, 2008 1:11 PM ET

Looking for a moment when the music business truly knew its goose was cooked? Here's a harrowing anecdote from the new issue of The Economist's story about the industry's awful year. In 2006 some EMI executives invited a group of sixteen-year-olds to pick their brain about music:

At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. "That was the moment we realized the game was completely up," says a person who was there.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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