London duo the Big Pink recently offered some of A Brief History Of Love’s dusky electronic post-new romantic magic to Allen’s “22,” a song that could use it. Their dramatic face lift shows up as the b-side of the It’s Not Me, It’s You track’s 7″ single. While you listen, learn why Allen takes issue with Radiohead’s stance on music piracy.

Lily thoughts on file-sharing, via her MySpace blog:

I think music piracy is having a dangerous effect on British music, but some really rich and successful artists like Nick Mason from Pink Floyd and Ed O’Brien from Radiohead don’t seem to think so. Last week in an article in the Times these guys from huge bands said file sharing music is fine. It probably is fine for them. They do sell-out arena tours and have the biggest Ferrari collections in the world. For new talent though, file sharing is a disaster as it’s making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.

The Ed O’Brien quote she’s referring to is here:

“My generation grew up with the point of view that you pay for your music. Every generation has a different method. File sharing is like a sampler, like taping your mate’s music. You go, ’I like that, I’ll go and buy the album’. Or, ’you know what, I’ll go and see them live’. What’s going on is a huge paradigm shift.”

Both make valid points. But maybe Lily would have more Ferraris if she stopped throwing away money?

Comments (37)
  1. Marko  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    Ed O’Brien has a collection of Ferraris?

  2. Is piracy more dangerous to British music than American music? I must be missing something.

  3. Jono  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    Sounds like someone should read Trent Reznor’s guide to breaking it in this new age.

  4. yeah it will be such a shame when the masses can dictate who will succeed rather than a powerful, faceless, and heartless corporate machine.

  5. Well, maybe if she made music as well as Radiohead and were as relevant as them, she wouldn’t have this problem.

  6. Oh Lilly Allen, you funny little thing you.

    I think she’s lost sight of why people like Ed O’Brien (and others) said those comments. They were responding to the issue of the government clamping down on file-sharers by cutting off people from the Internet. It’s now pretty much become a different issue altogether. Part of me thinks that she’s completely misunderstood the quotes a bit.


    She’s used the opportunity to twist the story somewhat, add some quoteworthy statements to get some press, and just generally moan and whine because she isn’t as acclaimed/talented/good as the bands she refers to. But that’s me being ultra cynical.

    I don’t know, that statement just seems a bit…’off’ to me. Especially when you consider that she has the Internet to thank for her rise to fame pretty much…

    • anonymous  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2009 0

      “SHE” twisted HER words to get some press. come on do you know how stupid that sounds. The press takes her words out of context for a living.

  7. Bootyfish  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    she’s a total pig. she has no business calling a fine bloke like ed o’ brien’s integrity into question. she is a filthy, dirty old drunkie with fuzzy warbles!

  8. Yeah.. Would the world know of her existence without the internet? Artists out there should be thankful people are at least listening to their music whether it be legally or illegally.

  9. AWWW poor baby can only afford a Breitling instead of a Ferrari. Whatever is she to do in this cruel modern world…

  10. Eric  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    Ed is right when he says a pirated album is like a sampler. I wouldn’t listen to half the music I listen to today without downloading it, but if I like it enough, I’ll buy the CD, a different CD by the band, or buy it on vinyl, or buy concert tickets/merchandise. I think Lily is confusing the terms “emerging” with “making money”. Piracy doesn’t make bands like Grizzly Bear the fortunes Radiohead was lucky enough to make in the 90s, but it is more so helping them “emerge” if anything.

  11. In the complete blog post she claims she’s going to write to “British artists” to inform them of her feelings on the matter. Yeah, okay. Go ahead and write to Radiohead and Pink Floyd and tell them why they should cave to your clearly superior intellect and experience. Be sure to let us know how that one works out.

    …On a related note, I would just love it if this culminated in yet another “Boohoo Radiohead was mean to me call the waaaaaaambulance!” story. Someone should totally encourage her to bother Thom Yorke about it next time they’re both at an awards show or whatever. >:D

  12. I also love how she acts like they’re all soooo horrible because they’re rich and successful, as though they must clearly be out of touch because they’re famous. I’m sure she wouldn’t know anything about that, even though she’s also a chart-topping artist (mindbogglingly, but true nonetheless) and the daughter of a celebrity, right? I get a really strong sense of “I’m a good person because I’m sticking up for the little guy, aren’t I awesome?!?!” in her message and I don’t care for it at all. Not only do I completely disagree with her opinion but the whole thing really reeks of hypocrisy in my opinion.

  13. Nick  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    Didn’t she get popular through myspace and the illegal distribution of her songs? Isn’t she rich as fuck? Doesn’t she have a third nipple?

  14. Michael  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    The problem is when someone like Lily Allen, who hasn’t been around long enough to know corporate BS from a hole in the ground, has their record label whispering in their ear that they’ve lost some obscene-sounding amount of revenue to file-sharing.

    The artist doesn’t have the presence of mind to know that (1) most people who download a song free would have never bought the track if they had to pay, and (2) most people who become fans through free tracks go on to BUY that artist’s concert tickets/merch/other music.

    The labels are the only part of the equation that is really broken, but they’re clawing at every angle they can, including filling young and/or dumb artists’ heads with corporate BS in an attempt to make them allies. When someone like Allen, who should know better, regurgitates that crap it makes me sad. The fact is that an artist like Radiohead knows the real score and uses it to their benefit. Sorry, Lily, that you choose to side with clueless businessmen.

  15. Here’s a stupid question: If people actually buy the music they “sample” and like, why have record shops been dropping like flies?

    Established artists–like Radiohead–who made their names before the “paradigm shift” that O’Brien refers to, already have the benefit of previous recognition and a desiring fanbase. The record label machine may have unfortunately been largely corrupt and greedy, but they were unparalleled in getting the word out and establishing artists. Not because they were geniuses–far from it–but because they wielded enough money and clout to garner press and publicity. Sure it was a toss up for up and coming artists but now its more akin to winning the lottery as opposed to being a label priority, when it comes to creating a buzz. Unless you’re a so-called “blog artist”, that is.

    The internet is an awesome tool for promotion, but on its own it’s the 21st century equivalent of having your album stocked in every Tower Records in the country: useless if no one knows you exist.

  16. If record stores are dropping like flies, it’s because they’re largely superfluous these days. That’s hard for me to say, having worked at an independent record store for half a decade, but it’s true. Brick and mortar stores had three main things to offer their customers: 1. New product, 2. Used product/exchanges, and most importantly, 3. Expertise.

    With new product, anything a customer wants is available to order through online distributors like InSound, who offer a far greater inventory than a physical store can hope to match. And of course, that physical product is now competing with legal digital downloads. The only real advantage physical record stores have over the internet in terms of new product is the “get it now” factor. Which only works if your customer needs to have their record or CD that day, and you happen to have it stocked.

    As for used product, record stored still have the upper hand. There’s nothing quite like the experience of digging through crates of records or CD’s to find a gem you didn’t know you needed, and at a great price to boot. Still, I think online auction sites probably drain a lot of business from record stores for a lot of planned purchases.

    I think the biggest thing hurting record stores now is the shift away from record store clerks being important sources of music knowledge. When I worked at a store in the mid 90′s, customers got wind of new music through their friends, monthly publications, or their knowledgeable record store clerk. The clerks had a big advantage, spending hours of their day listening to new music, and were a tremendous resource for customers looking to be exposed to new music. It’s not as though clerks know any less now, but with all the information the internet has to offer, that knowledge is drastically less important. Fans of music in 2009 have the ability to bookmark one or two or ten blogs who share their tastes, read about every new release they’d care about, and hear full or partial previews of any song they’d be interested in. And if that fan doesn’t have the time or energy to devote to this research, their friends often do.

    I worked at an indy in the 90′s when stores like Best Buy were rising, selling new CD’s as loss leaders to get people in the store to buy TV’s. We could not hope to compete on price. What kept us in business, at least for another decade or so, was our expertise. People were actually willing to pay a little more to have the knowledge and guidance of clerks who knew their music in and out. Now that knowledge and guidance is available to a music fan at home, 24 hours a day.

    Music stores have been dropping like flies because their main competition, the internet, has them beat in almost every way. Even if fans still actually purchase everything they sample and enjoy.

  17. treefingers  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    In the meantime she can thank Ed O’Brien and Stereogum for me even knowing she exists.

  18. Marcus  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    Sure seems like the music scene is pretty damn vibrant. But then again, I’m not one of the people who thinks that being able to sing is necessarily a guaranteed ferrari. We all gotta work for a living.

  19. I agree with Lily on this one just a bit more than Ed.

  20. I agree with the good looking one.

  21. Alan  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    I like the people implying that the standard business model should be based on an objective quality evaluation. Sorry Lily Allen, you should have gotten your name out ten years earlier when music was bought more tangibly while writing songs about robots…?

    If you disagree with her, that’s fine. Few would argue Lily Allen is more relevant than Radiohead. Fewer would even agree that an artist’s work is a separate entity from the artist themselves. (Kanye?) But I really don’t see how her music catalog enters into this.

  22. Kelly  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    Record stores (and likely even record sales) are dropping off for several reasons, many of which have already been addressed. Mainstream music is crap and has been for a very long time. Generally what people hear on the radio is the one good song on the entire album. It’s because customers have been robbed for so long, spending $20 on something worth $2, that many felt entitled when products like Napster first came out.

    And instead of responding with innovation, many artists blamed their prospective customers, though I fail to see how that was supposed to convince the people they were insulting to spend money on their music.

    Besides, it’s far from true that new artists are necessarily hurt by this. If people are downloading their music, at least they’re listening and will likely be an extra ticket bought for their show. With as much money as artists spend on advertising, it makes more sense to just release a few songs for free instead.

  23. clearym  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    THANK YOU HEE HAW!!! Good reply! Very informative, I think it is important that you mentioned the fact that Record stores are dropping like flies because of the “Big Box” stores and Walmarts that just sell sell sell the newest CD’s. It certainly isn’t hurting the record industry at all….

    it’s sad when people try to “stick up for the little guy” and make themselves look like asses like little lilly allen here….poor poor girl. I wonder if she’ll ever sober up.

  24. chris  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2009 0


  25. Alex  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2009 0

    Hang on, doesn’t this woman practically owe her career to file sharing and myspace?

  26. sobazaar  |   Posted on Sep 20th, 2009 0

    Any comments she makes is completely trumped by the fact that she has a third nipple.

  27. FlimFlam  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2009 0

    She has it wrong.
    Its easier for artists to “break out” but its harder for them to get huge.
    Its too late lily, in a decade music will be free and you’ll make your money in other ways. You won’t get huge, but the playing feild will be more level and there will finally be a middle class in music.

  28. Radioheadwasthebest  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    I think what Ed is trying to say is that music file-sharing IS already functioning as a sampler,
    not stating whether or not he approves of it!! Dumb, dumb, dumb. Lily Allen is a total waste of time.

  29. Paul  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2010 0

    It’s not us, IT’S HER!, Maybe Lily Allen isn’t selling records, ’cause she’s a pop-artist that no one gives a half a shit about.

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