It hasn’t been a good week for Spotify. His interest in publishing, among his podcast offer, the tremendously controversial Joe Rogan, has already cost him the loss of several historic musicians and, for many (among whom I include myself), essential to the history of music. And this could only be the beginning, as other musicians and bands are expected to decide to join the boycott of the streaming music service, managing the withdrawal of their catalogs from the platform.
Let’s remember that it all started with Neil Young, who decided to pose an ultimatum to Spotify after the platform included Rogan’s podcast, unfortunately popular, among other reasons, for giving fuel and support to denialist content regarding the coronavirus, in addition to subscribing to many other conspiracy theories. Neil Young then stated that he didn’t want his music to be on the same platform as Rogan’s anti-vaccine content, telling Spotiy “It’s either him or me.” And Spotify chose Rogan.
Young’s response to Spotify was notorious, as he took advantage of it to criticize, once again, something that has been one of his fronts for years: the reduction in quality of the music served on the platform with respect to the original masters. And it is possible that Spotify hoped that the thing would be there, but unfortunately for them it has not been like that, and keeping Rogan will also cost him the loss of the eternal Joni Mitchell and the virtuoso Nils Folgren.
Mitchell has published a brief but forceful entry on your website blog. In it, entitled I Stand With Neil Young!, the author of classics like Both Sides Now dispatches the matter with the following text: «I have decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.«. And add, as a postscript, a link to an open letter to Spotify from the scientific community, against Rogan’s podcast.
Nils Lofgren is, as many know him, an exceptional secondary. Although he has a long solo career, he is mainly recognized for having played alongside Bruce Springsten as a member of the E Street Band, with Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr… the list is endless, and a clear sign of his solvency to the guitar, which can be seen especially in the acoustic he recorded in 1997 and which is, very probably, the best contact with the artist.
Although for a large part of the younger public these three names do not say much, for those of us who already comb gray hair, and also for those who are younger but who enjoy exploring music that does not correspond to their time, They are three great losses for the Spotify catalog. Will more musicians join the movement started with Young’s ultimatum? It is possible to think that yes, but this we will not know it until the next weeks.
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