James Brown Goes MP3 for Net only Holiday Album

By Rich Menta- 12/14/99

Emusic announced the release of James Brown's new christmas album "James Brown Christmas for the Millennium & Forever" in MP3 format. The 11 track album is available at $.99 a song or $8.99 for all of them. The new songs can be sampled on EMusic's site.

Anything James Brown records is worth a listen. The titles alone -"Clean for Christmas" and "Slay Ride" are two notable examples - tell you James ain't no oldies act. His influence on Rock and Funk are legendary, but what is most impressive is his omnipresence in the contemporary Rap and Hip-Hop scene. That an artist has remained a viable influence on music all these generation, tells you volumes about their talent.

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So now Brown is joining of a number of pioneering artists who are turning to the Net in hopes of taking in a few more dollars from the record companies and putting it back into their own pockets. Even though online purchases of music have had a slow going to date, the PR for these artists has been just as important as the number of tracks downloaded. After all, Amazon didn't promote Brown's new album on their home page like EMusic did.

Which brings us to an interesting point. EMusic has heralded this album as an exclusive MP3-only album from the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer. The thing is, the new album was already released last November and is available in CD form from Amazon. Yes, the title is different - on Amazon it's "The Merry Christmas Album" - but the tracks are identical. A little shell game going on here? Oh well. You didn't think the online music industry was going to be all that different from the traditional record companies, did you? Anyway it is $5.00 cheaper.

James Brown's "The Merry Christmas Album" is available on Amazon in CD form for $13.99
James Brown's "James Brown Christmas for the Millennium & Forever" is available in MP3 format for $8.99 on EMusic

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