Thursday, April 8, 2010

John Mayer “Say”

Hitting Random on the iTunes playlist . . .

One of the bizarre things about being an artist, or a politician, or a figurehead of most any kind, is that inevitably, actions ascribed to you may have nothing to do with you at all.

The Under-Secretary of the Interior makes an inappropriate comment, and your Governorship gets blasted by the press. A teacher conducts themselves inappropriately, and the Superintendent finds him/herself on the hot seat.

A record label makes a weird, lousy or greedy decision, and the artist gets the blame.

Every time I hear “Say” I blame John Mayer.

Mayer put out the album “Continuum” in fall of 2006, and had much success with it.

In 2007, he was invited to contribute a song to the movie “The Bucket List,” and he offered the very enjoyable track “Say.”

There was to be no commercial soundtrack to “The Bucket List” (though it did put out a Movie Score CD). And Mayer was a long way off from readying his next studio effort. So what to do with this single?

How about re-issue “Continuum,” now with “Say” tacked on the end?

So if you were a Mayer fan, even if you already bought “Continuum,” to get a CD version of “Say” you had to buy “Continuum” again.

It’s not the first time this sort of thing has ever been done by an artist or a label. But this instance stands out to me because it seemed to unnecessary in an age where it’s pretty easy to sell singles online.

I’m sure that decision was made by someone at Sony Records. And there might even be a good, thoughtful reason behind the choice.

But because that person is faceless, and the decision made out of the sight of the consumer, I end up putting the blame on Superintendent John Mayer.

Buy it as an MP3 single!

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