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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

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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