by: Nancy Baym
Metallica have offered a rationalization for demanding that those invited to a listening party take down the reviews of the album they wrote. Oops, just some underling’s dumb move, honest. On Metallica.com, they write:
While we occasionally enjoy reading the various comments, rumors, speculation, reviews, gossip and all the good that the internet brings, rarely do we feel the desire/need to respond to the “blogosphere” . . . hey, everyone is entitled to have their thoughts and opinions, right? However, once we re-surfaced on Tuesday after a few weeks on tour in Europe, we were informed that someone at Q Prime (our managers) had made the error of asking a few publications to take down reviews of the rough mixes from the new record that were posted on their sites. Our response was “WHY?!!! Why take down mostly positive reviews of the new material and prevent people from getting psyched about the next record. . . that makes no sense to us!”” So after a few rounds of managerial ear spank and sentencing everyone at Q Prime to 20 push-ups each, we figured why not take matters into our own hands and just post the links here on our site. [boldface added]
One step forward for acknowledging the obvious (people posting positive reviews is good, not bad), but two steps backwards for doing it in a way that is all about keeping control — sure you can write your reviews, but people have to come to our site to read them. One commenter noted in response to the coverage on Drowned In Sound:
on one place on their own website, which would be read by many more metallica fans than would read all those sites combined.
I am not sure their own site would really get more hits than all the others combined, but even were this so, it would be so much better to say: “We are contacting everyone who received this misguided take down notice and encouraging them to repost their reviews. We will be linking to them from this page, if we miss yours, let us know so we can add it.”
Their goal should be to foster discussion of the band everywhere they can, including but never limited to, their own site. Centralization is dead.