By Robert Menta- 4/14/00
Hope I die before I get old huh... almost four decades after coining that phrase, the members of the Who are pushing 60, alive (sans the tragic Keith Moon), and jumping into the digital music download arena.
This week the band released "The Blues to the Bush", a live album showcasing several new versions of classic Who singles from their recent reunion at the House of Blues club in Chicago. Of course, we're not sure if the word album applies as these tunes are only available online.
The songs, including "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Substitute", and the mod anthem "My Generation" are available only through Musicmaker.com.
While the Who are not the first "Classic" act to hit the dot.com venue, they do mark a significant step towards the use of the net to bring new life to older artists whose salad days in the recording studios were decades ago. James Brown and David Bowie have already made the jump, but both have recorded new material within the last several years. The Who, on the other hand, haven't released an album of new songs since 1982, back when an album was vinyl pressed recordings.
The recent collaberation between Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes covering old Led Zeppelin songs has proved to be a great Net success. Our hope is once the superstar bands have made their turn generating the digital download buzz, other lesser known, but great, artists will follow. Wouldn't it be wonderful if artists like Sam and Dave or Little Willie John found hereto lost audiences through the distribution power of the Web. Of course, that is the dream and as we know dreams don't fully come true.
The Who single "You Better You Bet" is available for download free on Musicmaker. The rest of the 20 songs can be downloaded for $1.00 a track or you can order it on CD for $19.90.
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