There was a minor fuss across the musical blogoshere last week when Elvis Costello’s label, Universal, seemingly announced that his new album, Momofuku, would be only released on vinyl and via digital download, not CD (a format which, despite everything, still accounts for 80-90% of all sales).
It was a minor fuss mostly because the man who has changed direction so many, many times, and once enjoyed being described as a genre tourist, is now a minor artist. The days when Elvis Costello was, to quote the title of his first hits collection, The Man, have long since passed.
The other reason it was a minor fuss was because it simply wasn’t true. Lost amongst the noise was the fact that the CD was to be released two weeks later in a normal way, and, indeed, if anyone had cared to look, was listed on Amazon as a pre-order.
I’m guessing Universal had a Radiohead moment and tried to do a ‘look how radical and modern we all are’. Instead they simply came off looking a little bit sad.
Or perhaps it was some strange reaction to the very negative fan response to the new double repackagings of some of his earlier catalogue. Who knows.
However, what does complicate this is the announcement made by the artist a couple of months back, in Mojo, that he would no longer be releasing albums, just tracks online. That would have been said when he knew this was in the pipeline.
All very strange.
Aren't famous people odd?