Bryan Adams, and his albums, are not findable in the search engine.

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Just FYI -- Bryan Adams cannot be found via your search engine, nor can any of his albums. Ie, searching for "Bryan Adams", or "Waking up The Neighbours" or "Cuts Like A Knife" -- none of them can be found.
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supra92

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Posted 7 years ago

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Dawn G.

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Thank you for your inquiry. Due to the request of Mr. Adams, we are no longer permitted to display his information on AllMusic. Thanks for stopping by!
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kalyan kamal roy

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This is absolutely disgusting. What the hell Bryan Adams thinks he is, that no one can have access to his discography? Utter nonsense this is.
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amol p

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cool down Mr. Roy. you do not own his music, so I think he has a right to ask you who the hell you are, to demand someone else's hard work. If he doesn't want to share his work so be it. go create your own or find something else.
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Dan Wheeler

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You act like he is preventing someone from downloading his music ..there is no intellectual property being disseminated at all just public information about who he is added with reviews of his music which is not something a person can or should sue over especially since its not hurting anyone.
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kalyan kamal roy

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Mr. Amol P, sorry, it was a frustrated expression om my part. AMG is such a platform where, like me, anyone can go, check, and read about any Artist's profile and in-depth reviews of each of the official recordings. Didn't feel Mr. Adams let the right decision to not letting his profile (& Music) show up. Anyway, I do create my own music when time permits. Will you bother to do a profile of mine in AMG and write a review of my CD Aahoto Ghorar Khur? I don't know much other thing to do. Thanks, Kalyan.
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Hugh Terry

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That's a great shame and seems somewhat - shall we say, 'precious' on Mr Adams' part. What has he got against All Music anyway..?
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Michael Reese Brown

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I'm not sure I buy the explanation that Bryan Adams DOES NOT want his information posted on such a huge music database.  I mean, from an artist's perspective (and, assuming that it doesn't cost the artist a ton of money to be included on this site), having your catalog of music on display for inquiring consumers, is paramount to your career.  Just think - would Apple release a new iPhone but then demand every website on the planet NOT say a word about it??   ...More believable: The technicians who provide info to this site have somehow dropped the ball.  Or, if, in fact, Bryan Adams wants nothing to do with social media, then why wouldn't the people at AllMusic post a message like: "Information not available per artist's request"?  Instead, all searches just lead to -nothing. (as if it were an "Oops").
(Edited)
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Freon Sandoz

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You can't even display a page displaying the fact that the artist has requested that he not be included in your database, so that people don't keep wondering what's up?
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supra92

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Hi Dawn,

Thanks for your reply! I'm a bit puzzled as to Adams' request, naturally, but I guess I'm even more puzzled that AMG would up removing his information. AMG is not distributing his music, and as far as I know the song titles and release info should be publicly-available data --- while the AMG reviews themselves are, of course, commentary/opinion and thus wholly AMG's own. Even if something such as the album cover art were copyrighted, surely AMG could keep his bio and album reviews intact, whilst simply putting the grey placeholder in place of the cover art.

So, I'm confused as to why AMG relented on this one -- and not a little bit disheartened as well, since I've always relied on AMG to be a completely comprehensive database of information. "Cease and desist" requests from artists make sense in the context of their actual music being traded or made available, but I can't see any justification for removing what are inarguably public data (his titles and release dates) and AMG-owned information (bio, album reviews).

Would you mind shedding a bit more light on this one? This is a seriously worrisome precedent, and if AMG took the info down purely to accede to Adams' request and for no actual legal obligation, I'd encourage you to rethink that decision.

Regards,
Brian
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amol p

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I think it'd be a typical case of corporate lawyers advice... take the easy way out rather than get involved in potential lawsuits.
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Dan Wheeler

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Especially with someone as loaded as he is.
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digitboy100 .

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So, any artist can request this?  And as others do, Allmusic becomes less and less useful.  Is this the future of Allmusic?
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Mark Weisinger

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It probably represents the future of online journalism in corporate America, but this is just the first step on a very slippery slope.  I'm sure AllMusic could have challenged Adams in court and won, but they decided that he could essentially take his marbles and go home, setting a particularly dangerous and disturbing precedent concerning who controls the media. 

So, what happens now if someone like Kanye West decides to sue (which is entirely imaginable)?  Will AllMusic take a stand then?  If so, it will look extremely hypocritical in light of their decision regarding Mr. Adams, which will result in them being vulnerable to any number of lawsuits from Kanye West or anyone else who wants to be taken off the site. 

And if someone of the stature of Kanye West does decide to sue, and AllMusic doesn't decide to fight it, then they have effectively, shot themselves in the foot by making themselves immediately and totally irrelevant.  So, they are now in an impending Catch-22, proving the Confucius axiom, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."  It also teaches to always keep the endgame in mind.

But what happens to this site concerns me very little in the long run.  They've been throwing their proverbial weight around for some time as they've built their virtual monopoly on the music review / information site market.  And considering the number of errors I've found on this site, that, in and of itself, is cause for concern.  I worry less about Wikipedia because its fallibility is legendary.  AllMusic, on the other hand, has a reputation for reliability that is, at best, questionable.  So, as far as I'm concerned, AllMusic could certainly be replaced by a more effective 2.0 website (or better yet, several competing websites, or do we not still have free enterprise?).

But what truly concerns me is the precedent this is setting for censorship in the world of online media.  What happens if this does go to court, and the court finds in favor of Kanye West (again, I'm using him as he seems the likeliest candidate)?  What then if a particular politician decides he/she doesn't want to be covered by a particular website?  What then?  Will AllMusic's petty power play have permanently damaged the freedom of the press in the world of online media?  And all because they had such petty contempt for a washed-up rock star.  Truly sad and troubling.
(Edited)
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Dan Wheeler

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Thankfully anyone that is the size of Bryan Adams money wise would usually have bigger concerns than a music review website especially one that tries to be fair unlike some of the reviews at other places .
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Dan Wheeler

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I really don't think Mr Adams had a legal leg to stand on unless they we're revealing private /personal information and then AMG could just delete that stuff.
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Mark Milano

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What is the problem with a private website granting a request to someone who the website was, essentially, talking about ?

Why is it taken for granted that an artists wishes should be deemed worthless and to be ignored unless they are enforced by legal action ?

People can just be courteous sometimes without legal reasons. The subtext here is the entitlement mentality and the apparently genuine outrage felt by people that aren't having their whim indulged in this minute instance on one private website, as if there was some sort of law granting you what you wanted.

I don't care about Bryan Adams in the slightest, by the way.
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Mark Weisinger

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The problem is that AMG has cornered the market as the "go-to site" for music criticism.  This means that anyone who wants to know more than an artist bio (which they can find usually better versions of on Wikipedia, and these days, usually equally accurate) and doesn't want to swim through a bunch of unreasonably biased user reviews on Amazon (where slathering fanboys and fangirls give 5 stars to every album an artist does, no matter how bad it is), AMG is pretty much the only game in town. 

So, for them to just "take their marbles and go home" when it comes to reviewing someone as big as Adams means that there's no way for casual fans of his work to find out which albums are the best (everything up through Reckless and parts of Into the Fire) and which albums are crap (just about everything else).  Now, that may not seem to matter much in the grand scheme of things at this point.  I mean, it's just Bryan Adams we're talking about here, not the Beatles.

But what if Sir Paul McCartney decided to take offense at a review of one of his recent solo albums (or some of his early Wings stuff)?  Not likely, but it could happen.  What then?  Does AMG take down the entire McCartney section?  What about the Beatles?  You see where I'm going with this.  It would be different if there were half-a-dozen good sites like AMG, all in healthy competition.  Then, you could just go somewhere else to get recommendations.  But AMG is really the only game in town.  And trust me, I've checked.  I've spent hours looking for any comparable site online, and there just isn't one.

So, as I said, this is a slippery slope.  Sure, it's Bryan Adams right now.  But tomorrow, it could be someone much bigger and more important.  And remember, this is a music criticism site.  Their job is to criticize.  That means that they have a responsibility to tell both the good and the bad about any artist.  And when they do this for everyone from the Beatles to Katy Perry, that makes them comprehensive and, therefore, reliable.

For them to back down and take an artist off their site just because he/she got their feelings hurt over a bad review is ridiculous.  Bryan Adams should have been thicker skinned in the first place.  It's only rock and roll, after all.  But AMG should have stuck to their guns and kept him on the site, so that they would maintain their credibility and their reputation as being thoroughly comprehensive, since they're the only site in existence that can reasonably make that claim. 

That's why it's a big deal.  If they caved and took down all artist information every time somebody got offended by a review, pretty soon, there wouldn't be much of a site left.  Either that, or they'd start giving 5-star reviews to any album by a major artist, no matter how bad the album is (cough, Rolling Stone, cough - No Line On the Horizon is a 5-star album?  Please).

So, anyway, yes, it's a big deal.  It may not seem to matter now, but it does set an extremely dangerous precedent.  If Adams threatened litigation, they should have met him in court.  And if not, if AMG was just being churlish and showing that "Adams needs us more than we need him," then even more the worse.  Either way, it may not seem like much of a big deal right now, but it could lead to much bigger problems on down the road.  JMO.
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Dan Wheeler

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The great thing is almost all rock stars could care less about music critics and reviews since they have no impact on record sales.
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Mark Weisinger

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Oh, really?  So, then explain to me why Bryan Adams asked AllMusic to take all their negative reviews of his albums off the site?  And, while you're at it, explain why you're here (instead of, say Wikipedia - if reviews don't matter - since Wikipedia does a much better job of artist bios and has a much more user friendly interface when listing artists discographies, going so far as to include singles and chart positions)?  Or could it be that you're just trolling?  Just curious.

On a serious note, once you reach a certain level of success (or in genres like Pop, where nobody really takes the music very seriously, anyway), you're right - critics have little or no bearing.  But for other artists, emerging artists, fringe artists, etc., critics can make or break them.  Why do you think so many people go to sites like Pitchfork or AllMusic?  It's certainly not for the news; that can be found many other places much more conveniently. 

No, it's because many people who don't have time to download every album that comes down the pike will often go to a site like AllMusic or Pitchfork (or any number of zines; or better yet, Metacritic, which collects and collates all of the major critical reviews and gives an average rating) and find out "what's hot" or "what's trending" in critic circles.  Or to find out if the new album by their favorite artist holds up to that artist's previous work.  Same reason people read Amazon reviews. 

So, no, if you're Taylor Swift, it doesn't make a bit of difference.  But if you're an unsigned band from Portland, it can make all the difference in the world.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but yes, many people do read music criticism, and yes, many musicians do care.  And if you don't, then, again, why are you here?
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Dan Wheeler

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I wasnt trolling at all just giving my honest opinion im sorry that that seems to offend you so much .
As for the rest of your comments 1. "Why did Bryan adams force AMG to take his information off " im not sure anyone really.knows the truth mr Adams has always been a bit.enigmatic for a successful pop/rock star but i seriously doubt that it was only just the reviews that miffed him because i doubt he has ever gotten great reviews at least since he became popular /famous so i think there was some copywright information on the site that was something he did not like i mean the only really bad review i can think of was.his 18 to life album where he seemed to go thru a mid life crises.
I agree that up and coming artists depend more on critics but i still dont think they matter that much anyways since i dont know hardly anyone who reads them.
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Mark Weisinger

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BTW, I wasn't offended.  I'm not a music critic, so I have no horse in this race, but I do (like many other people who frequent this site) read up on the articles here to get an idea on whether or not I should check out certain albums / artists.  And it did seem to me that the only possible reason you could have for coming to this site to make your original comment was to troll (unless you're just a defensive Bryan Adams fan, in which case, it's still trolling, but a little bit more understandable).

As for rock stars not caring about critics, that's not true at all.  Look up "Paul Stanley critic rant" on YouTube and listen to him go on for several minutes at a time, on numerous occasions, about how the critics slagged the band off at first, but KISS had the last laugh.  If he really didn't ever care, he wouldn't still be bringing it up (and posting photocopies of the original bad reviews on stadium screens for all the fans to read) some 40 years later.

And he's hardly the only one.  Lou Reed practically had a blood feud with Lester Bangs of Creem for Bangs' blistering reviews of Reed's work both solo and with the Velvet Underground, so much so that Bangs became so notorious that he was mentioned in a top-ten hit by R.E.M.

And it's not just music, either.  In movies, people like Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert became household names.  And it's because people came to trust their opinions on movies.  A thumbs up or down from those two could mean the difference between a six-figure opening and a seven-figure opening for a movie.  So, yes, critics do matter.

As for Bryan Adams taking his albums off, there were actually several albums of his (practically everything post - Into the Fire) that got increasingly negative (and sometimes downright nasty) reviews from this site.  As for "certain copyright information," there was nothing on AMG that wasn't already available on numerous other sites (including Wikipedia, which had far more extensive info than AMG).

And you might not know very many people who read critical reviews, but I know plenty, so perhaps we just travel in different circles.  But don't assume that because you don't like something, nobody else does.  I hate TV sitcoms (and I know a number of people who feel the same way), and I could say that I personally don't find them important or interesting at all.  But I'm not going to make some ridiculous statement like "Nobody cares about sitcoms."  One look at any Nielsen ratings listing would prove that statement blatantly wrong, and would make me look like an idiot.

Similarly, the traffic that AllMusic, Pitchfork, Metacritic, or Rotten Tomatoes (for movies), etc. get is proof positive that there is obviously a huge number of people out there who do care about music / movie criticism - enough that these sites have become something of a cottage industry. 

So, just keep in mind that just because you don't like something (or don't know anyone else who does) doesn't mean that you're a representative sample of the general public.  Obviously, you're not.  The numbers don't lie.
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Mark Milano

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Mark W I think you have a greatly exaggerated impression of the importance and completeness of AllMusic. The site is not comprehensive, holy, or special, never was, and never will be.

Anybody that is stopped in their search for information by it not being there on one particular website is not trying very hard.

We're going to have to agree to disagree about the semantics of describing this non issue as "dangerous". There is nothing dangerous about it. If AllMusic disappeared forever, or Bryan Adams and his music became totally unfindable, or people had to try a little harder to find out about music, none of these are dangerous things, nor are they, objectively, problems. They might even be good things. if this is a slippery slope, I am ready to go down it on my sled.
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Mark Milano

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Mark W I think you have a greatly exaggerated impression of the importance and completeness of AllMusic. The site is not comprehensive, holy, or special, never was, and never will be.

Anybody that is stopped in their search for information by it not being there on one particular website is not trying very hard.

We're going to have to agree to disagree about the semantics of describing this non issue as "dangerous". There is nothing dangerous about it. If AllMusic disappeared forever, or Bryan Adams and his music became totally unfindable, or people had to try a little harder to find out about music, none of these are dangerous things, nor are they, objectively, problems. They might even be good things. if this is a slippery slope, I am ready to go down it on my sled.
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Mark Weisinger

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This is probably the last I will post regarding this issue, as the conversation does not seem to have an end in sight, but I will address these last few points:

1.  I never said the site was "holy."  Obviously, that was your attempt at sarcastic hyperbole, but I will address the comprehensiveness / relevance of the site:

Is this site special?  Yes, yes it is.  Back in my younger years (pre-internet; I'm 45), there was one magazine that was seen as the end-all, be-all of music journalism / criticism (at least, where rock music was concerned), and that was Rolling Stone.  But within a few years, there were numerous others, most notably Creem and later Spin. 

But in the internet era, the music community has become so fragmented that there is hardly any site that even attempts to be all things to all people.  There is no real common denominator.  Pitchfork caters to hipsters, Alternative Press caters to the metal community, Spin caters to the 30+ crowd, and Rolling Stone caters to Baby Boomers.

Enter AllMusic.  Is it comprehensive?  Comprehensive is a relative term.  With as much new music as is released these days (probably more music per day that per week 10 years ago, per month 20 years ago, and possibly per year 40 years ago), no site could ever hope to be truly comprehensive.  But AllMusic attempts the impossible.  Do they succeed?  In my opinion, probably as much as anyone could hope to.

So, are they special?  In that regard, absolutely.  I challenge you to name me any other site that manages to cast such a wide net:  covering every genre and subgenre imaginable, and almost every artist within those genres who is considered culturally relevant.  Also, they cover not only artist bios / history, but album reviews - including compilations / boxed sets - and even, in some instances, song reviews. 

If you can name me another site that attempts to do what AllMusic does on that level and comes anywhere close to succeeding on that level, please enlighten me.  I am a voracious music fan, and I have about a dozen sites bookmarked that I visit regularly, but none of them even attempts to do what AllMusic does. 

And I consider myself fairly methodical when it comes to research, so I don't typically miss much.  And no, obviously, I don't stop at one site.  But for what this site does, it is in its own way, almost a form of one-stop shopping in regards to what it attempts (and to an extent) accomplishes.  Or at least, it seems to be.  But, please, if I have missed another such site, let me know, so that I can add it to my list.  I would very much appreciate it.

This is why it is somewhat upsetting that they are choosing to essentially boycott an artist of the stature of Bryan Adams over his petulance regarding their disparaging reviews.  Apparently, he feels he is so special that he is exempt from public criticism, but sadder still, apparently, AMG feels that they are powerful enough to write him out of history (or at least attempt to), and that, to me, is a dangerous thing.

2.  Is this "slippery slope" (my phrase, but I'm quoting it since it seems to be a debatable term) dangerous?  In my opinion, yes.  In the information age, he who controls the information, controls the medium and therefore how society consumes information in that medium. 

That's why it was considered such an issue when The New York Times was found guilty of printing entirely fabricated stories several years back (true, it was one journalist working for the magazine, and yes, they promptly fired him; but the irreparable damage to their brand had been done).

In the information age, if there is a single source that is considered a "go-to" or a (relatively, of course) "definitive" source, then it is a problem when that site makes a blatant mistake.  And it is beyond the pale when they attempt to essentially rewrite history by erasing an artist from a site that otherwise attempts to be (again, relatively) definitive.  It is irresponsible and more than a bit disturbing.

Now, if this era were anything like the 1970's, and there were numerous competing zines who were all fairly similar in their aims and their success in regard to those aims, this would be a different discussion.  But it's not.  This is an age of unofficial monopolies.  This is an age where a Wal-Mart can move into a small town and put every mom-and-pop store out of business almost overnight.

The media world works in much the same fashion.  Once a particular site has "cornered a market," it is extremely difficult to challenge their claim to that market, as today's market favors big businesses.  So, when the undisputed industry leader in music criticism chooses to freeze out a major artist, it does give one pause to wonder where that could lead in the future in regards to questions of censorship.

Maybe you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.  Maybe you think this is the proverbial tempest in a teapot.  But I think you're not really looking at the long game here and the implications that this kind of a decision could have for the future of online music criticism in particular and online media in general. 

Obviously, you think I'm overly concerned and that I am worrying too much about what is, in your opinion, a very minor issue.  I, on the other hand, think that you are not concerned enough with the potential implications of this issue and the questions that it raises, and so, in my opinion, you may not be worrying enough. 

And in that regard, in my opinion, you have an attitude so typical as to be endemic to the majority of Americans these days:  you are all too willing to jump on a sled heading straight down a slope with no real thought given to what may be waiting at the bottom.

But again, I don't really think that this little "manifesto" of mine is going to sway you.  I'm merely doing the courtesy of addressing your points with my own counter-arguments.  But, unless you say something interesting or thought-provoking enough that it warrants a specific response, I'm just going to leave it here, and indeed, we can agree to disagree.
(Edited)
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Dan Wheeler

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I think you are blowing this whole thing out of proportion first of all i dont consider myself a huge fan of his work ( i only own two cds) his work is catchy and has a nice ear candy quality to it but it lacks any real depth sometimes.
The only reason im here is because i like AMG (tho i dont think they are the be all and end all like you seem too ) and i probably posted along with everyone else wondering why his work was removed.
I can only guess that AMG put up copywright information (that the others did because im almost positive you cant sue anyone for giving them negative reviews and i seriously doubt someone as famous and makes unabashedly mainstream music would be so thin skinned but i know that he is very protective of his privacy and i think thats a much bigger reason especially now that he has a family.
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Mark Milano

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Mark W, to respond to some newer points you made :

"Once a particular site has "cornered a market," it is extremely difficult to challenge their claim to that market, as today's market favors big businesses.  So, when the undisputed industry leader in music criticism chooses to freeze out a major artist, it does give on pause to wonder where that could lead in the future in regards to questions of censorship."

That's kind of going back to one of the things I have been saying - AllMusic does not have the market cornered, not even close, and really no one can. Music is just too big for that - and this is not a problem, it's a good thing. Understanding that is healthy for the consumer and for the artists. There is a certain complacency behind the idea of one stop shopping for information (which is exactly not what the internet is about) and it invites taking availability of information (and music itself) for granted.

There are secondary consequences to that scenario  - that may matter to me a lot more than you, granted. Some of those would be the effective exclusion of music that isn't covered here for reasons entirely different than a pop star opting out or lawyering up (or whatever he did) - there are whole classes of music that just don't exist here -  and the consequences of this site and many others taking all effort and time and personal investment out of the search process for music, which I argue has a real effect on the perceived value of music as well as the extent to which it is appreciated.

What I'm saying is that this is a problem, and a relatively visible exception to this which reveals the long standing fact that there are some things not covered on this site, can be part of the solution. Sites that seem complete but aren't, are practicing a form of creative and socially rooted classism with real world consequences. It shows a version of popular tastes and assumptions - some of which would not necessarily be widely accepted if they were put into words - being codified into a filter that no one is much talking about. This is a more authentic example of censorship than what you are referring to.


"Maybe you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.  Maybe you think this is the proverbial tempest in a teapot.  But I think you're not really looking at the long game here and the implications that this kind of a decision could have for the future of online music criticism in particular and online media in general. 

Obviously, you think I'm overly concerned and that I am worrying too much about what is, in your opinion, a very minor issue.  I, on the other hand, think that you are not concerned enough with the potential implications of this issue and the questions that it raises, and so, in my opinion, you may not be worrying enough. 

And in that regard, in my opinion, you have an attitude so typical as to be endemic to the majority of Americans these days:  you are all too willing to jump on a sled heading straight down a slope with no real thought given to what may be waiting at the bottom."

Hold on a second, let's stick to facts here rather than making stuff up about each other (which you'll not I have not done to you). You know nothing about how much real thought I have given to the subject. I am a musician, recording engineer, and published music critic. I have put out records, tapes, and CDs, hosted radio shows, organized concerts, and played hundreds of live shows.  This stuff, to a great extent, is my life, and has been for over 30 years. I have a very different viewpoint than you as to what the long game may be and I think we are pretty far apart on the basic values about how and why people appreciate music and the role of the internet in that. You should try to respect that your viewpoint, like anyones, is subjective.
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Mark Weisinger

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Mark Milano,

In regards to my quote:

"And in that regard, in my opinion, you have an attitude so typical as to be endemic to the majority of Americans these days:  you are all too willing to jump on a sled heading straight down a slope with no real thought given to what may be waiting at the bottom."

I was making no assumptions about you at all whatsoever.  I don't even know you.  I was responding directly to a quote from Dan Wheeler in his previous post, stating, "If this is a slippery slope, I am ready to go down it on my sled." 

So, please do not take any personal umbrage or make any assumptions that I'm referring to you in particular.  I was not.  While I did mention that this rash tendency to "look before leaping" or to "damn the torpedoes" is typically endemic of American society in general, for every rule, there is an exception.  So, if you do not fall into this category, then don't assume that this comment was meant for you.

In regards to your comment:

"That's kind of going back to one of the things I have been saying - AllMusic does not have the market cornered, not even close, and really no one can. Music is just too big for that - and this is not a problem, it's a good thing. Understanding that is healthy for the consumer and for the artists. There is a certain complacency behind the idea of one stop shopping for information (which is exactly not what the internet is about) and it invites taking availability of information (and music itself) for granted."

I covered that when I stated:

"Enter AllMusic.  Is it comprehensive?  Comprehensive is a relative term.  With as much new music as is released these days (probably more music per day that per week 10 years ago, per month 20 years ago, and possibly per year 40 years ago), no site could ever hope to be truly comprehensive.  But AllMusic attempts the impossible.  Do they succeed?  In my opinion, probably as much as anyone could hope to."

And as far as the complacency of "one-stop shopping" goes, I did mention that I have about a dozen sites bookmarked that I visit routinely (and others I only visit sporadically), so I hope you don't think that I fall into your "complacent category" (although I won't make that assumption; I'll allow you the opportunity to confirm or deny where you think I fall on such a complacency continuum).

As to your quote:

"...there are whole classes of music that just don't exist here -  and the consequences of this site and many others taking all effort and time and personal investment out of the search process for music, which I argue has a real effect on the perceived value of music as well as the extent to which it is appreciated."

I would argue that this has always been the case in music, especially as it applies to print media.  Entire swaths of music were ignored in the mainstream press long before the internet was even a notion.  So, this is hardly new territory.  For instance, D.C. hardcore was represented solely by homemade local underground zines for years before they ever even got mentioned in a magazine like Rolling Stone.  Even edgier magazines like Creem didn't really cover those bands very extensively.

Ditto for Hip-Hop / Rap for the first several years of its existence.  It wasn't until Run DMC collaborated with Aerosmith that Hip-Hop was truly acknowledged by the mainstream press / media.

So, this idea that AllMusic and their perceived oligarchic monopoly on music criticism (however accurate or inaccurate that perception may actually be in reality) and its effect on consumer complacency, and its ability or tendency to foster laziness, is essentially no different than it was 40 years ago.  Only the names have changed. 

Any argument made against AllMusic and the dangers of its potential strangehold on the industry (again, whether real or perceived) and the effect on consumer complacency could have been made just as easily against Rolling Stone back in the early to mid-'70's.  After all, their tagline was, "All the news that's fit to print."  How much more arrogant could one be?

And equally, any argument that certain genres / subgenres of music are being ignored by AllMusic (and most commercial online media in general) would have been equally applicable during any time period in history, and not only as it applies to music, but as it would apply to any burgeoning social movement.  That has not changed.  Nor will it.

What has changed is that, no matter how much Rolling Stone magazine may have hated bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath at the time (ironic how much they embrace Zeppelin now, but that's a digression for another time), they at least didn't try to ignore them and pretend they didn't exist.  They at least didn't make a  concerted conscious attempt to "remove them from history."  Once a band had entered the firmament of the mainstream, they were a fixture, and they were given the coverage according to that station.

If Rolling Stone ignored a particular subgenre, it was likely because they either:  A) didn't know about it (or at least not enough to report), or B) didn't feel it was culturally significant enough to report on.  Does that betray a certain cultural imperialism / elitism?  Perhaps.  And if so, I believe that is the crux of your issue with AllMusic. 

But I would argue that this particular paradigm (the invisibility of the have-nots, musically, socially, culturally or otherwise) is as perennial as music or society itself.  So, to take AllMusic to task for ignoring certain genres is as futile as it is unreasonable.  They can't cover everything.  They tend to cover what they think is important. 

Are they biased?  Certainly.  Has that dilemma changed throughout the entirety of recorded history?  Although, due to the very nature of that question, it cannot be answered definitively, common sense would argue almost certainly not.  Is that likely to ever change?  Again, we'll have to rely on common sense rather than any empirical data, but in all likelihood, again, almost certainly not.

But once an artist is established as culturally relevant by a particular site (and again, we're using an inherently relative term here), to then remove any traces of that artist from said site, for any reason, strikes me as ominous, much more so than the failure to acknowledge a genre or subgenre of that has not captured the attention of the mainstream media.  JMO.

And BTW, I respect everyone's right to an opinion, but I tend to give more weight and consideration to those whose opinions seemed informed and rational, which is why I've spent so much time addressing your points.  Is that intellectually elitist of me?  Am I wrong to ignore the opinions of those who seem ignorant and willfully so?  Perhaps.  But nobody's perfect.  Again, JMO.
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Mark Milano

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Mark W:

"I was making no assumptions about you at all whatsoever.  I don't even know you.  I was responding directly to a quote from Dan Wheeler in his previous post, stating, "If this is a slippery slope, I am ready to go down it on my sled.""

That was something I said and not Dan, so I still think you were referring to me at that point and responded accordingly.

"So, this idea that AllMusic and their perceived oligarchic monopoly on music criticism (however accurate or inaccurate that perception may actually be in reality) and its effect on consumer complacency, and its ability or tendency to foster laziness, is essentially no different than it was 40 years ago.  Only the names have changed.  "

That sounds reasonable on its face, but still, 40 years ago you at least had to go out of your house to buy a copy of Rolling Stone (or DownBeat or American Record Guide or whatever). That represents a modicum of investment in the process which takes a little sense of adventure and a little time, and that changes the way you parse what it leads you to. And when you went to the store and picked out that particular magazine you had to select it from a lot of others in the same section, which leaves you aware that you are making a selection from within a selection.

Every argument you have made previously about the supposed importance of AllMusic being comprehensive (which indeed does present an existential problem, since they don't call it "not all music" or "some music") comes at a cost to your notion of whether this is much of an issue after all.

There is correlation between the rise of the internet and the decline of the music business. I'm not suggesting simple causality here with the rise of free and easily obtainable (and usually lower quality) music criticism - obviously there are other factors, like piracy on a mass scale -  but on the other hand it would be hard to make a fact based argument that All Music has done anything tangible to increase music appreciation, sell recordings, or widen audience tastes.

"But once an artist is established as culturally relevant by a particular site (and again, we're using an inherently relative term here), to then remove any traces of that artist from said site, for any reason, strikes me as ominous, much more so than the failure to acknowledge a genre or subgenre of that has not captured the attention of the mainstream media.  JMO."

I understand what you are saying, but (at risk of re statement on my part) I think that you are concerned with the lesser issue here considering that Bryan Adams is in no danger of being unwritten from the cultural record, and it wouldn't be much of a loss if he was, while there is a significant percentage of music that categorically does not exist according to sites like this, and the users of these sites literally don't know what they are missing.

Let's suppose you are right about this site being important. You know that meme we have in our culture, which says in one way or another, that music sucks now and was way better before ? And the one that says that all music now is the same thing over and over again and everything has been done, so that it will all be rehash in the future ? I don't subscribe to these (not that I could find some records that make me kind of feel those ways), but I've certainly heard them many times and I'm guessing you have too, because they are popular cliches. Particularly when people feel the need to justify illegal downloading or not liking anything made since they were in high school.

Do you see the relationship here between relying on a site like this, and thinking nothing new or different is going on in music, when the new and different stuff is mostly just not represented here ?

If this site on the other hand is widely understood to be selective in arbitrary and coarse ways, to some extent that "everything has been done" narrative becomes harder to sustain.

You can no longer claim you know what is on that dim unexplored island once you know that it exists, but that you can't actually see it. There may be nothing good on it for your tastes - or not a very high percentage of good - but there is something vitally important about the humility and the truth of knowing that the world is big, strange place that cannot be instantly and thoroughly explored with a couple of search engines that you already know about. Some answers are just not that easy to come by, and again, I think that is great.
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Dan Wheeler

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Mark Milano its pretty obvious there was lawyers involved because AMG has said they arent allowed to discuss in depth what actually happened between the two parties and what the reason was.
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Dan Wheeler

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Mark Milano its pretty obvious there was lawyers involved because AMG has said they arent allowed to discuss in depth what actually happened between the two parties and what the reason was.
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Mark Milano

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I agree
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Dan Wheeler

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Oh wow thank you thats the first time thats happened on here !
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Mark Weisinger

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Mark Milano,

I know it's been awhile since your last post.  To be honest, I had quit following the thread and didn't even know you had posted until I checked my email for the first time in days.  So, sorry about the delay.

So, on to your arguments:

1.  It was you who was ready to grab ahold of your sled and go whizzing down the mountain at full speed, not knowing what lies in wait at the bottom.  In that case, I don't feel I was guilty of too many assumptions in the response I made.  Yours was a rash, bold, arguably reckless statement, and I simply qualified the experiences I've had with people who often tend to make such statements.  Similar to how whenever someone says, "Trust me," there's usually a very obvious reason why you shouldn't.  But, again, if I'm making assumptions about you, they're not meant as mere taunting or name-calling.  They're just generalizations based on years of prior experience.  And again, if you don't feel you fall into that category, then kindly disregard my previous evaluation.

2.  The internet has indeed changed the way we consume everything from food to information.  I'm sure it would be possible for someone to stay inside his/her house for an indefinite, unspecified amount of time, as part of an experiment, and simply have everything that they want or need delivered without having to go so far as their mailbox.  Convenient if you're a vampire.  A bit disturbing for anyone else.  Music criticism is no different.  Yes, you can stay within the confines of your home and be blissfully unaware of other alternatives.  But, as I said, I read many different zines (Pitchfork, PopMatters, Stereogum, AntiMusic, Metacritic, and NME, just to name the most common).  So, while I have had the opportunity to sequester myself, I haven't.  So, I don't think that it's an inherent flaw in the system.  If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years.  So, to me, that argument falls.

3.  On that note, I'm sure that many people back in the '70's (when you actually had to buy things) would often be stuck with a decision between Creem and Hit Parader, not having the money for both, so in a way, forty or more years ago, our options were actually theoretically more limited than they are today.  I mean, obviously, you could resort to shoplifting, but many people were either too afraid of the consequences or of the social stigma to do so.  So, again, in this climate, I have more options than I did only a few decades prior.

4.  I definitely believe that there is a correlation between the internet and the overall quality of music and the attendant buying habits of music fans.  Even much of the good music today is so poorly produced because A) people record everything onto a home 16-24 track recorder and mix it on ProTools, and B) those people typically don't have enough experience in sound engineering to even do that well.  So, while we have much more music available these days, a significant bulk of it sounds atrocious coming from a strictly asthetic standpoint.  Some may argue, but IMO, "lo-fi" is just a kinder way of saying "horribly recorded / produced" or "sounds awful."  Again, JMO.

5.  That said, I listen to more new music by new artists than anyone my age I know.  Most people over 40 haven't even heard of Stereogum or Pitchfork, much less read them routinely.  But I do have to say that I usually wait for some kind of consensus (typically on MetaCritic) before I'll take the dive into truly investing time in a new artist.  There's just too much out there (much of it flavor of the month) to devote the kind of time that I might have 30 years ago when I didn't have the same kinds of responsibilities. 

6.  But on that note, yes, sites like Metacritic (and even AMG, in particular) have broadened my tastes in music.  Often, when reading a review in one of these publications, I will see someone make a comparison to a previous artist or album ("Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is obviously indebted to previous angular post-punk bands like Gang of Four in their musical attack," etc.).  Quite often, such a comparison will find me cross-referencing the band cited, listening to sound clips from that band, and often, voila!  A new favorite artist.  So, yes, AMG has often "broadened my tastes in music," just as much as any fanzine from the '70's, maybe even more so, due the interactive features inherent to the platform.

7.  Finally, on the topic of Bryan Adams, I don't think that anyone is arguing that his music is, relatively speaking, extremely important in the grand scheme of things.  I wasn't arguing that.  I was arguing that once a well-recognized publication simply attempts to "erase an artist from existence" because said artists, for whatever reason, threatened litigation, it sets a dangerous precedent.  In the information age, a site that is typically trusted to deliver reliable information (at least in regards to what they attempt; again, there is no way that any site could ever hope to be truly comprehensive) definitely besmirches its reputation when it oversteps its boundaries the way AMG has.  Again, it reminds me of the way I felt when I found out that a number of stories from The New York Times had been fabricated.

And I found it particularly cowardly (or spiteful, depending on your assumptions of the behind-the-scenes machinations of this incident) that AMG singled out Adams, after I've seen many artists post requests to AMG to have their information removed, only to be met with a reply to the effect of, "We're sorry, but our job here at AMG is to review and post information from all artists, and since your music is in the public domain, we have chosen to include you in our site.  Have a nice day."  Bit of a turnaround, then, with Adams.  Again, either extremely cowardly or extremely petty, depending.  Either way, it's not really about Adams, but about the precedent it sets.  What if, next time, it's Kanye?  What then?

So, back full-circle to the slippery slope.  You may not feel that AMG is anything terribly important, but I would disagree.  In fact, I would say that they come the closest to being, for contemporary music in general, what Rolling Stone magazine was for rock music back in the '60's / '70's.  Again, JMO.  So, while you may be ready to pull out the sled and go for a joyride, oblivious to the potential rock bank below, I for one, am not.  I've often found that the biggest champions of anarchy have no idea how such a system would work in practical terms.  They simply harbor such resentment towards the current system that they feel anything would be better. 

But it is this mentality that leads to complacency (or worse yet, even active participation) in times of the rise to power of people like Stalin or Hitler or Pol Pot.  Now, you might think that something like this is ridiculously insignificant compared to a brutal dictatorship's rise to power.  But I would argue that the precedent it sets in the information age is much the same, only obviously on a much smaller scale (at least at this point; although what if Yahoo news decided to boycott coverage of a particular political party - then you can see the kind of precedent that something like this can potentially set).  Again, I'm sure you think I'm making something out of nothing, but again, we can agree to disagree.  But for my own part, Rosebud is tucked safely away in the closet.  Hopefully, it won't end up in the fireplace, but better that than dashed on the rocks.  JMO.
(Edited)
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Mark Milano

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Mark W, I think we are starting to go around again on some of the same points, so I'll just focus on what seems to be new or going somewhere..

"1.  It was you who was ready to grab ahold of your sled and go whizzing down the mountain at full speed, not knowing what lies in wait at the bottom. In that case, I don't feel I was guilty of too many assumptions in the response I made.  Yours was a rash, bold, arguably reckless statement, and I simply qualified the experiences I've had with people who often tend to make such statements.  Similar to how whenever someone says, "Trust me," there's usually a very obvious reason why you shouldn't.  But, again, if I'm making assumptions about you, they're not meant as mere taunting or name-calling.  They're just generalizations based on years of prior experience.  And again, if you don't feel you fall into that category, then kindly disregard my previous evaluation."

I don't fall in that category, as I explained clearly before. There is absolutely nothing that I have said that has not been very thoroughly considered and discussed by myself and others in the past. You made an assumption that was wrong, period. Just because you don't agree with someone's conclusion does not mean that they did not get there through a process every bit as methodical as yours, or more, it's just human nature to assume otherwise.

I have a sense of some of the possibilities that would be at the end of that scenario, because you and I both lived through them before. People had to take a risk on less easily available information. You seem to only want to list the positives of the present ways that music is made and distributed (or made and not distributed as the case may be). I am naming specific negatives of the present and underappreciated, arguably counterintuitive positives of the past that you have not addressed.

"2.  The internet has indeed changed the way we consume everything from food to information.  I'm sure it would be possible for someone to stay inside his/her house for an indefinite, unspecified amount of time, as part of an experiment, and simply have everything that they want or need delivered without having to go so far as their mailbox.  Convenient if you're a vampire.  A bit disturbing for anyone else."

that's a straw man... I suggested no such thing.


"  If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years.  "

That's pretty much my counterargument to your argument about the importance of AMG

"3.  On that note, I'm sure that many people back in the '70's (when you actually had to buy things) would often be stuck with a decision between Creem and Hit Parader, not having the money for both, so in a way, forty or more years ago, our options were actually theoretically more limited than they are today.  I mean, obviously, you could resort to shoplifting, but many people were either too afraid of the consequences or of the social stigma to do so.  So, again, in this climate, I have more options than I did only a few decades prior."

Shoplifting is a bizarre strawman. Are you trying to derail this discussion ?

I agree the options were more limited in the past. However, whether that was a good or bad thing is a separate question. I'm saying their are certain advantages to limitations, such as it being obvious that there are limitations. Not that it was ever actually as limited as a choice between two rock magazines.

"  So, while we have much more music available these days, a significant bulk of it sounds atrocious coming from a strictly asthetic standpoint.  Some may argue, but IMO, "lo-fi" is just a kinder way of saying "horribly recorded / produced" or "sounds awful."  Again, JMO."

Agreed

"6.  But on that note, yes, sites like Metacritic (and even AMG, in particular) have broadened my tastes in music.  Often, when reading a review in one of these publications, I will see someone make a comparison to a previous artist or album ("Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is obviously indebted to previous angular post-punk bands like Gang of Four in their musical attack," etc.).  Quite often, such a comparison will find me cross-referencing the band cited, listening to sound clips from that band, and often, voila!  A new favorite artist.  So, yes, AMG has often "broadened my tastes in music," just as much as any fanzine from the '70's, maybe even more so, due the interactive features inherent to the platform."

OK, fine, if it works for you, it works for you. I accept that. On the other hand, to the extent that you do rely on those kinds of sites, you literally have no way of knowing what you have missed.

You are seeing the spreading out effect of these sites and praising that. OK, it doesn't work that way for me, but I understand. However, there is also a filtering process that is happening at the same time that you have no way to evaluate, by definition. These sites act as gatekeepers, and while I am not arguing that everything they filter out has value, I know that some of it does.


"So, back full-circle to the slippery slope.  You may not feel that AMG is anything terribly important, but I would disagree.  In fact, I would say that they come the closest to being, for contemporary music in general, what Rolling Stone magazine was for rock music back in the '60's / '70's.  Again, JMO.  So, while you may be ready to pull out the sled and go for a joyride, oblivious to the potential rock bank below, I for one, am not.  I've often found that the biggest champions of anarchy have no idea how such a system would work in practical terms.  They simply harbor such resentment towards the current system that they feel anything would be better.  "

My perspective as a musician and recording artist is different than yours as an audience member. I am, at this point in my life, primarily concerned with the supply side, and how it does and does not work. I'm not oblivious to anything; I'm already living the worst case scenario of being zeroed out into non existence, as far as AMG and most other media sources are concerned, and for the sake of discussion you can just "trust me" that it's not for lack of trying nor for lack of recording quality or other merit...  although I grant you that very few people are looking for the sort of thing that I do.

But that's exactly why I should be relying on online media to find customers; there is no local scene where enough people that would be into it are concentrated for me to reach them through live performance, but they do exist on the global level, if I can get access to them.

The system as a means of publicity and distribution to people with sufficiently adventurous tastes (who do exist) has failed me so completely that I literally have absolutely nothing to lose if it were to go away; it could only get better. And it's not just about me personally; the people that influenced me and represent the previous generation of what is more or less my music scene are also mostly invisible at AMG, with few exceptions.

The net result is that AMG functions like a clique. You have to reach public awareness on your own before you get anything more than perfunctory mentions here, if that. Maybe you don't see that as a problem, but to me it shows that the much vaunted "democratization" that we were supposed to get from the internet as the old gatekeepers (print media and record labels) died off has not materialized and was always a pipe dream.

At it's best, the old media sometimes would let merit rather than pre existing public awareness of an artist determine what got the ink. A classic example would be John Peel playing a record by an unknown (which he did all the time because he listened to everything that was sent to him). There is something disturbingly circular about the notion about having to be well known before you can be granted the things that could enable you to become well known.

If I was given to hyperbole, I might even call it oppressive or censorship... and fundamentally something that exists to preserve the status quo and therefore itself, as distinct from being informative about the best music...  if you catch my meaning.
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Mark Weisinger

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Mark Milano,

Some good points.  Yes, we seem to be going around in circles on a few points (chalk part of that up to being out of the thread so long that I'd forgotten what had already been said, and the seemingly haphazard "flow" of the comments in the thread makes it difficult, if not altogether impossible, to trace the discussion entirely accurately.  So, I'll take my share of the blame for being repetitive.

At any rate, on to the discussion points (some good points, BTW; I think we're actually much closer on this issue than we might have seemed at first glance):

1.  Just getting one thing out of the way:  not every aside, no matter how philippic or tangentially-related is inherently a strawman argument.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a random aside is just that.  I can see how you might have assumed that my observation about shoplifting was a strawman.  Obviously, I could have potentially dragged that argument down a rabbit hole wherein I tried to forge a causal link between the potential ramifications of theft in the pre-internet era with the typically inconsequential nature of information theft in the internet age.  But that wasn't my intention.  I was simply highlighting the inherent limitations we had during that time period that made our choices every bit as limited / limiting as they are today, if not more so.  Nothing else was intended.  Sorry if I get a bit tangential at times.

2.  Ditto with the "staying in your house indefinitely" tangent.  I was merely pointing out how sequestered we have become as a society (which actually, if you extend the argument to its logical conclusion, would likely end up supporting your assertion that we are more unaware of our options in this modern-day society than in perhaps any other time in history, both inside the house and out).

3.  My comment, "If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years." was not meant to downplay the importance of AMG.  I still consider it the most important of the sites listed (and any others aside, to the best of my information). 

Is it perfect?  No.  But neither was Rolling Stone 40 years ago.  But despite there being other sites / zines and despite the fact that no site (including AMG) could ever be truly comprehensive, AMG has taken on that Herculean task admirably, and as I said before (but it bears repeating), they do so admirably.

Does that mean that every musical stone is left unturned?  Of course not.  To pick a random example, AMG does not have nearly enough coverage of Polka music.  Somewhere in Lithuania, there is a disgruntled musician complaining, "AMG is useless website.  I look for Polka, but no Polka.  I tell you, useless.  Hmph!" 

And he would be right.  There's not really enough Polka coverage at AMG.  But since the untimely passing of Nickolas Daskalou, Polka's cultural catche has diminished considerably in this region.  In particular, there is not nearly enough coverage given to Vienna's Russkaja and their brand of "Russian Turbo Polka," even though they're signed to Napalm Records.  But again, you can't be all things to all people.  Still, AMG comes closer, IMO, than anyone else.  And that was my point.

4.  John Peel was in a different position than AMG.  Peel was primarily an independent.  He did eventually work for BBC Radio 1, but even then, it was as a "hired hand" who had the leeway to do pretty much as he saw fit (and this leeway was borne of a cultural cache owed to several years operating Britain's premier offshore pirate radio show, in which he was the very definition of an iconoclast). 

So, he had more freedom to promote artists than an organization like AMG would.  If AMG did it, they would surely be accused of at best favoritism, and at worst there would be allegations of nepotism. No, their role is not to influence the zeitgeist, but simply to report on it, which as I've said about a dozen times now, they do quite well.

5.  As far as AMG and other online sites being "gatekeepers," this is one point in which you have repeated yourself.  I have already addressed the fact that, when it comes to gatekeepers, in the words of Pete Townshend, "meet the new boss; same as the old boss."  You had Rolling Stone; now you have AMG, at the risk of oversimplifying (and yes, as you mentioned earlier, I am aware that there were more than two choices at any given time; but for brevity's sake, I'm making a reductive comparison to prove a point). 

And that also begs the ethical question, "Which is worse:  to ignore music ignored by the general public?  Or to use the position of gatekeeper to dictate musical tastes and trends (or at least attempt to)? 

While RS did occasionally attempt to promote an artist, it typically diminished their credibility.  I remember during the first Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, the running joke was, "There's Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.  Wait...where's Boz Scaggs?"

6.  Finally, I will also admit that being a traditional music fan rather than a struggling musician does indeed give us differing perspectives.  But I would argue that, if anything, it makes me a bit more objective.  I see you (and no offense intended, I'm just calling the situation the way I see it) as someone who has an axe to grind with the current internet media, because they have thwarted you in your attempt to become successful.

But, I would argue that the same scenario could have played out the same way (and most likely would have, although now, we're entering the realms of speculation) in any other era with an equal likelihood.  To blame AMG because your band never got the attention it truly deserved, IMO, is a bit like howling into the wind, truth be told. 

And I can't tell you how many bands I listen to (and no, I don't get all of my musical information from online sources, as you at one point implied) who are less than footnotes in musical history.  Garland Jefferys - perfect example.  He has been touted by everyone from Lou Reed to John Peel to The Circle Jerks to Little Steven.  He was even a central figure in a Wim Wenders music documentary. 

And for what?  How many people know the name, much less the music (which is quite good, and perhaps a bit too ahead of its time in its fusion of street punk, reggae, brown-eyed soul, and Latin music)?  He's arguably one of the greatest artists of his era, IMO, but he will likely always remain a relative unknown.  Is that any one "gatekeeper's" fault?  Who's to say?  But, regardless, sometimes those are the breaks, no matter what era you live in, and whoever the gatekeeper in question may be. Some bands get that big break, and some just don't.  JMO.
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Hi Brian,
As frustrated as you are by this fact, we are 10 times as frustrated.

At this point we are allowed to say "Due to the request of Mr. Adams, we are no longer permitted to display his information on AllMusic."
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rootsmusic

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Zac, Bryan Adams is included at http://www.discogs.com/artist/10933/g...
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Dawn G.

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AllMusic/Rovi does not own or control Discogs.
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Andrew Christianson

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I guess we should write Bryan Adams himself on fb or something. I understand it's his music, but it's our right as the public to get more information about the music, etc. I bought this album. He has my money. What's his deal!?
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Mark Weisinger

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This just feels a bit ominous.  Kind of a slippery slope when critics are not being allowed to criticize - a bit Big Brother.  I mean, where does it end?  There are already major publications which are essentially little more than shills for the artists they choose to represent.  And some of these publications ironically used to radically oppose this kind of narrow-minded promotion of the musical establishment status quo.

One very major site in particular, which for obvious reasons will remain nameless (I don't wish to get AMG in any more legal trouble) has censored / refused to post several comments I have made on various article threads whenever such comments were even remotely negative in regards to one of their valued artists, even though my criticisms were entirely polite and respectful. 

But AllMusic has always been a site that I could rely on for "objective subjectivity," both in its own journalism and in its openness to accepting reader suggestions and complaints. That they would cave on an issue like this, whatever the cost, is extremely troubling and sets a dangerous precedent for all of internet journalism.

What if Kanye West were to make a similar decision to that of Bryan Adams (which is entirely possible)?  What then?  Suddenly AllMusic would be at the whim of the artists / record companies and could no longer print honest reviews without fear of reprisal.  This is the road to censorship. 

I just really don't like the precedent this sets.  I realize that this might have cost a great deal of money to fight in court, but it is an extremely important civil liberties / freedom of speech issue that could have a lasting impact on the potential for corporate media manipulation / censorship of online journalism, and I feel very disappointed and more than a bit concerned as to what this could hold for the future of internet publishing of any kind.  Very concerned and very disappointed.  SMH.

(Edited)
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Andy DeNardi

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We can only speculate on the reasons why Bryan Adams' slot is empty on AMG.  He had a place in all of the printed guides up through 2002 and had been listed online at one time.  I've read the reviews and they were not overly negative.  He was awarded with two five stars albums and a five star compilation.  

When he was on the website, those became 4.5 albums. That wasn't unusual; many albums were docked a half star online in all grades because the font that printer had been using did not allow half stars and so the reviews had been rounded up n print.

I agree with the point that artists and record companies should not be allowed to censor the critics, nor should they be allowed to bribe them.  I have seen several less well-known performers ask AMG to pull their entries.  Some didn't like the reviews, some were frustrated with inaccuracies that AMG did not fix after several requests.  Whatever the reason Mr. Adams had his discography pulled, I think that it put him in a bad light with a large number of AMG readers.  Others like myself would have dismissed him long ago if it were not for the fact that someone posts to this thread regularly.
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amol p

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dude...freedom of speech and censorship and things like that apply to government vs. private citizens. it doesn't apply to private things and business things.

for example - sony pictures could easily stop reviews of any movie it wants on its own website, if there is one such. that's not trampling anyone's "freedom of speech"
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Dan Wheeler

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Oh shut up.
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Dan Kelley

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Doing an artist lookup of singer Bryan Adams, he appears to be missing!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams missing!.
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Chrysta Cherrie

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Hi Dan,
As detailed here, AllMusic is no longer displaying info about Bryan Adams or his earlier band, Sweeney Todd, per the artist's request.

Thank you for using AllMusic!
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Richard Irwin

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How is it there is not a Bryan Adams Discography

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams Discography?.
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Chrysta Cherrie

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Hi Richard,
As you can see in this thread, per the artist's request AllMusic is no longer displaying info about Bryan Adams or his earlier band, Sweeney Todd.

Thank you for using AllMusic!
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Dan Kelley

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That just seems wacked. He seems to have no problem with Wikipedia (or Wikipedia is doing it anyway...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Ad...
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Chrysta Cherrie

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It is certainly frustrating!
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supra92

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It's extremely bizarre, and apparently was a formal/legal request on Adams' part since AMG's replies here have pretty clearly been limited in content/info -- likely due to the advice of a lawyer.

Wikipedia isn't really owned by anybody -- it's a public domain sort of thing, so Adams doesn't really have anyone to go after. AMG is company, and can be attacked thusly.

My guess? Adams took offense at AMG's review of his "18 'Til I Die" album, which was highly amusing in the way it pilloried him for trying to act young/cool/hip, and failing miserably --- but likely anything BUT amusing to Adams himself. If this is anywhere near the truth, Adams needs to grow up and grow a layer of skin. You'd think after all these decades he'd be able to shrug off less-than-flattering reviews... but there's no telling with some people.

Of course, this is all just speculation :-) I feel for AMG, and have no doubts that Zac means it when he says they're 10x as frustrated as we are --- AMG is their product, their baby. I've written Adams and his mgmt to inform them of my and others' serious displeasure at his directive to have AMG remove his discography/reviews.

All that said, I remain mystified as to how/why Adams was able to wield the influence, legal or otherwise, to actually MAKE AMG take it down. As stated in my original inquiry, AMG is totally not disseminating his music... and metadata such as album titles and song titles are freely usable by anyone. AMG's reviews are, of course, AMG property. What legal leg Adams had to stand on that was able to coerce AMG into removing his discography remains one of the most puzzling things I've come across in a long, long time.

Brian
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Kevin Howarth

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Bryan Adams's information is not accessible anywhere. What happened to it?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams Artist Profile Missing.
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Ryder Cunningham

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All information about Bryan Adams and his is missing from your website. I'm not a fan of his, but I'm looking for the page about 'Anthology' and he doesn't show up in the search bar at all. It isn't an urgent problem, just something I thought I'd inform you about.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Adams, Bryan gone.
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Thomas Roda

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All records related to Bryan Adams seem to be missing

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams is missing?.
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Mike Ruxton

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Searching for Canadian rock/pop artist Bryan Adams, your search engine studiously avoids any indication that he is an artist with a catalogue of albums. Why do you ignore Bryan Adams the artist?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
search engine won't find certain well established artists.
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Wim Land

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A bad situation. When this is possible every artist is able to argue when they are not satisfied with the critics on their records. I say: Go on with publishing All Music and let's see what happened.
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Myke Mitchell

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Why has all reference of Canadian mega artist Bryan Adams been erased from your database....?? I find this disturbing...

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
where is Byran Adams ??.
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Jody

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Bryan Adams info is missing. His page (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bryan-...) displays no info and you can't find him or any of his albums searching.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Where's Bryan Adams?.
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Bill Bleuel

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FYI - for some reason Bryan Adams has been disappeared like a dissident in Soviet Russia. Neither the artist nor his albums can be found via search.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams Disappeared..
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david

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This "Cuts Like a Knife". It's like Bryan Adams has been thrown "Into the Fire" instead of being allowed to "Wake Up the Neighborhood".
Why is he not in the Allmusic database???

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Can't find a popular artist; Bryan Adams.
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dogsnapper

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I CREATED AN ACCOUNT--or rather tried to, and found out i already had an account from like 3 years ago where i commented on a completely different website--JUST TO LIKE YOUR AWESOME COMMENT! so cute and clever, it made me giggle out loud. :D
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Stanley Smith

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Doing a search on "Bryan Adams" and his music, and it's like he never existed.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Artist missing from searchs.
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Andy Lambert

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Links to Bryan Adams go to a blank profile page. Also, searching for "Bryan Adams" comes up with no artist results.
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bryan-...

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams is missing!!.
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endered

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Wow... Dude's going to go down in rock history as a pop tart. What a loser move.
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William L Babicz

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Finding it impossible to locate Bryan Adams on the site. Has he been purged? Search bar won't find him but many similar names. Can't even find by searching for his album titles. Maybe it's just me?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Where's Bryan Adams.
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bigcat2400

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I just did a search for " Bryan Adams" and it didn't come up in the search listings. what happened to his artist listing on your site?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Bryan Adams missing.
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Jeff Hardin

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what's the deal? do you guys have a beef with Bryan Adams or something. I can find no trace of that guy on here and from what I recall he had a pretty significant career in American music. Is there some reason for this?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
missing artists.