musicians union

Does every member of the audience at this year's Proms have to see the oboe player in order to enjoy the solo? Of course not. Furthermore, if Nick Starr believes that actors pretending to be musicians is preferable to actual live musicians then why don't we just bung a tape on and fill the pit with actors at the Albert Hall? I know, I'm being absurd, but I didn't start it.
Knocking the BBC has become a national pastime and it's an easy thing to do because there is no other license fee funded public service broadcaster to compare it to. However, next time you are anywhere outside of the UK and you want to remind yourself of how precious our BBC really is, just turn on the TV or radio...
Take a look at the UK album charts and it's there for all to see. Out of the top twenty albums, 14 of them are all male bands. Out of the six remaining acts three are solo female singers and the other three are male bands fronted by a female singer. So, here we are in 2014 and there is not one all-girl band in the top 20 album charts.
Last month I wrote a piece entitled 'Leopards And Spots - Why The Labels Never Change'. It was about record companies and the relationship that they have with performers. I compared my own personal experience of record companies and publishers back in the 1970s with the contracts that I now see being offered to MU members on a weekly basis.
British labels have helped to lead this transformation, licensing more new digital music services than in any other country. But one fundamental has stayed rock solid. It's the partnership between artist and label that drives the phenomenal success achieved by British music.
Imagine that you take out a 20-year mortgage, pay back five times what you borrowed and the bank still owns your house at the end of it. Banks don't do that simply because it would not be allowed.
My regret is the fact that we don't seem to get any quality Christmas-themed singles any more. Are we really going to be stuck listening to Slade, Roy Wood, Cliff, Wham etc for the rest of our December days? As great as some of these records may be, it would be nice to hear something fresh.
Charlotte slammed the music industry for its "juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality" and laid into artists like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. She spoke of middle-aged record executives who pressured her to wear more and more revealing outfits when she was growing up and who justified it by reminding her just whose money was being spent.
Then there are the many, many people who still think it's OK to use file sharing and pirate sites to download music for free with the justification that the record labels have been ripping us off for years. This "justification" conveniently side-steps the fact that if the record company doesn't get paid then neither does the artist...
The most interesting thing about the mainstream media reportage on the Spotify artist royalty debate is that in all the coverage I have read there has been hardly any reference to what the main problem is. The main problem is certainly not what Spotify pays the record companies and publishers... The problem here is what the record companies pass on to the artists.