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Open Letter to Amy Macdonald
Where you gonna sleep tonight?
You recently proclaimed on Twitter that you'd made not a penny for your record sales. This after proclaiming on your website:
Just 20 months after it's [sic] original release in 2007, Amy's debut album 'This Is The Life' hast [sic] sold more than two and half million copies worldwide.
Considering it's now been three years, you must be close to three million. Taking a round figure of $10 per CD, that's $30 million in gross revenues. No matter what your take, that has to have already made you a multimillionaire.
Your Twitter outburst was quickly picked up by the media (but not by us) and you stepped in immediately to dement what they wrote - which was just a citation of what you yourself wrote. You never explained how the media got it wrong - you just left it hanging there.
You've now ended your three year tour for your first album. You ended the tour in Berlin, and according to your own tweet you stayed at the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby.
That hotel is the Hotel Adlon, the premier hotel in Berlin and one of the most expensive in the world. You certainly weren't hurting for cash. You certainly weren't being put up in backpacker hostels.
You ended your three year tour by flying out to Las Vegas to splurge and have fun with your friends. Now you're back in the studio to make another album, to hopefully generate another $30 million in record sales, to go on tour again.
Your hit song 'This Is The Life' is a simple ditty of four guitar chords repeated over and over again. C#m barre at the 4th fret, A major barre at the 5th fret, open E major, G#m barre at the 4th fret. Over and over and over again. Several of your not entirely original songs on your album use the exact same progression.
You lucked out. It's a catchy song but it might be a flash in the pan. We'll see.
Now just the other day someone pointed you to a series of articles by Nate Anderson at Ars Technica reporting on new music industry statistics revealing that file sharing is actually helping the industry.
'Rubbish', you tweeted back dismissively.
Roger Wallis and his team at the Royal Institute of Stockholm collated record industry statistics for the year 2008 and Roger reported on the findings in his testimony at the trial of The Pirate Bay.
The record industry as a whole tanked $1 billion for 2008 - this out of far greater revenues of course - but the artists attached to these companies saw their own revenues increase by half a billion.
Times are good for the artists. And that includes you, Amy. There are not many people who'd dare complain about becoming a multimillionaire in three short years off a four-chord song and then making even more money touring the globe and staying at hotels like the Adlon in Berlin.
Your new record isn't even out - it's not even recorded yet - but already you're digging a grave for your budding career. And the refrain of your hit song comes back as a condemnation of what you've become.
You wake up in the morning and your head feels twice the size
Where you gonna go? Where you gonna sleep tonight?