How about Thelonious Monk? Charles Mingus? Or Miles Davis, pictured above? With CD sales tanking and a recession upon the land, Sony BMG is stretching out and selling photos from its vaults. And while some of the shots are beautifully vivid, and deeply appeal to consumer nostalgia, they’re nowhere near cheap. In fact, given the current financial state of the music industry, the limited-edition prints on Sony’s new Icon Collectables site seem prohibitively expensive.
Billy Joel’s contact sheet from The Stranger is going for $5,000. Photos of Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana, Sly and the Family Stone and more often start at $300 and approach $1700, stopping at $1699 for the sake of a dollar. Further offerings featuring Jaco Pastorius, Billie Holiday, Glenn Gould and The Greatest himself, Muhammad Ali, are on the burner, which is hot with hoped-for revenue in an era where the internet has made digital replication, of everything in sight and sound, a commonplace, personal occurrence.
Will it work? That’s up to what’s left of the consumption economy, which is getting battered by failing banks, job losses, military spending and unrepentant downloading. In other words, it’s up to you. (From Wired.com)