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Bon Jovi: Steve Jobs killed the music business

Proving once again that being a successful entertainer does not afford business insight any more than being a good businessman affords singing talent, Jon Bon Jovi has decided to hold Apple's Steve Jobs personally responsible for killing the music business:

Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it. Having laid the groundwork for finger-pointing, the aging rocker launched his final insult:

God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’. Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.

Translation: @%$&%$! Apple no longer lets me hold 2 hit songs ransom with 10 filler tracks for $15!

[Sunday Times, thanks Anthony!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 74 comments. Add yours.

A Harris says:

Hey, I can't find "Slippery When Wet" in the iTunes store anymore.

Jeremy says:

Bon Jovi sucks anyway.

Ummmm says:

You guys complain about ol' Jon Bon Jovi all you want but do you all realize that Jon and Steve drink from the same well, politically? They support the same causes, subscribe to the same business philosophies. A shot at Jon is a shot at Steve. What's amazing about this is Jon can't figure it out.
Also, the music business has changed since the 80's. Today's so-called "artists" can write, record, and product in the comfort of their mom's basement. They don't need a "record deal" anymore. Today's artists aren't trying to sell albums, they are trying to sell songs. All they need is one huge single. Then they can insert a bunch of garbage tracks and call it an album. Music wasn't always like that. B-sides and the other non commercial tracks used to be some of the best stuff...back in the day that is.
Music is garbage today anyway. It's ironic I have and iPhone, which is really an iPod Touch with extra hardware, and I use it for everything with the exception of music.

zeagus says:

You know what's killing the music business? Music businessmen. Period. The way the labels have carried out their business exploits their talent and treats their customers like grubby criminals at every turn.

MjCh97 says:

Actually I think Steve Jobs did more rescuing. You actually have to pay for songs on iTunes unlike file sharing such as Napster and Bluetooth transfers!

victor says:

Heaven forbid people have the ability to preview albums and decide what they want to listen to before they invest their hardearned money on something. I've purchased a few stinkers in my day and since then I don't take many risks. It's pretty hard to feel good, or have some sort of magical experience when you plop down $15 on an album that is awful. Like a Bon Jovi album...

zudy says:

Bon Jovi is an ass, I would love to know how much money he and the band has made from iTunes. He is just pissed because he is still payng for the Arena football team that sucked. I will never buy a Bon Jovi song again and I am deleting all of his songs from my iTunes. I grew up in Jersey and I remember your sorry poor ass back then and back then you would have loved to have been on iTunes, now you are too good. Asswipe.

deviladv says:

Aye! After this, you can trash Bon Jovi all you like, but he was partial owner of the Philadelphia Soul who won the championship right before he sold his stake! :) Not a crappy team at all!

zudy says:

And were are they now? A championship team of a game of only 50 yards and NFL leftovers, Yea they were great.

jpwillis269 says:

Jon B. Man that's big words from someone who's career longevity has been built on putting new lyrics to the same 3 hit songs and releasing it as new since the 80's. I spend more on iTunes buying full albums than I would in a store these days

theJDman says:

Back to the days when you paid $20 for a CD with 1 or 2 good songs that you'd only listen to. Well Jon, sorry you can't really rip us off anymore... actually no I'm not! I'll take your thoughts and file them under 13.

fastlane says:

Rap and hip-hop degenerates killed the music business.

Think About It says:

F@&K YOU! It's douche bags like you who make sweeping generalizations about anyone and anything that started this stereotypical country off to a horrid beginning, killing "The Land of the Free" at its very inception! "I don't like that genre of music, so I think I'll openly trash it so I can look cool and progressive." FAIL!

Fly In The Ointment says:

I think was Fastlane meant to say was, hip hop degenerates not only killed the music industry but have also destroyed the NBA, NFL, not to mention millions of inner city families and children.

jerseyfresh says:

Even back in the day they sold these things called "Singles," which helped us avoid the 13 garbage tracks on albums, because that was the reality. And who told them to fill their albums with crap? The record companies. Thank you Steve Jobs.

JustinTime says:

I'm ashamed to have Bon Jovi on my playlist. What a mindless douche!!

imthetalkofny says:

The internet killed the music business. It made possible for people to download songs illegally. iTunes helped slow this down by allowing people to buy only the songs they liked forcing artist to actually make an album that had 12 great hits...

TulioAdriano says:

I'm not a fan of him but I agree partially to his statement. However I don't think apple killed the business, first of all because music is art, not business. With that said, my opinion is that it killed the magic. Browsing a store and buying a song just doesn't have the same magic as as mentioned by him, in the past, when we had to save money for the latest album and in it, discover all the tracks that didn't become mass popular because of what the radio thinks we should listen. Peace! :)

marktaylor#AC says:

Well put! You are exactly right.

Dood says:

What's killing the music business? Old time hanger-on's like Bon Jovi, just milking their past success. Get over it. Your time is done. The industry has evolved and Apple helped bring it into an era where musicians can still make money from it.

scott says:

WOW Jon. What an A$$. I guess the loss of DRIBVE-IN MOVIES

scott says:

DAMN. I guess the loss of DRIVE-INS hurt the movie business too. Don't understand how they have managed to hang on. It's called EVOLUTION! Get with it, or get out!

Jeff says:

Pretty sure you could say the same about the TV industry.. "The TV industry killed the music business, because anyone can just tune into MTV / MuchMusic (etc..) and just listen to the music!
And go back even further.. "The CD/Record industry is killing the music business because now you wont listen to the Radio as much, since you can just go out and buy a CD!"
Old men, on new technology.. pretty soon when music is beamed directly into our brain from "Apple Cloud City" new artists today will be bitching about how their iTunes sales are down because "the laser industry ruined the online sales business by directly beaming music to peoples head!"

roseventyfour says:

Yeah from 3 to 4 a.m. when everybody is sleeping.

Alli says:

And if Bon Jovi were that much older, he might remember a little thing called "album oriented radio" where by the time you bought the album, you already knew every track, and knew if you wanted it. You didn't have to guess based on the album artwork or the title.
Maybe if he had more hit singles it wouldn't be such a tragedy for him.

Aergad says:

The best line has to be "making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like". I can't tell you how many CDs I have collecting dust in my basement because I bought them only seeing the jacket and not knowing what I had actually bought was garbage. Bon Jovi's quote is like saying "I'm going to buy that car because it looks cool, but I'm not going to get in it or test drive it first. Here's my hard earned money for what could be a lemon".

SeeSeanRun says:

What's killing the music business are musicians like JBJ who are churning out the same stale crap they were writing in 1985.
"Shot through the heart, and you're to blame, Johnny, you give music...a bad name!"

sangs says:

Wait, I thought video killed the radio star?
Eff off Jon, you hack.

Fafafoooey says:

F Bon Jovi. He has been making a fortune on the same tired songs for years, so he should not complain about not making enough income. People are still stupid enough to want to see him live and listen to him tear up his own songs with lighter versions or something like that. People have "choice", BJ! That is the American way. Just like I have a choice to download your crap songs and give them to someone and not pay you a dime since I think your songs suck.

KPa says:

I'm glad that I can buy my music à la carte. I didn't like having to pay for a full album that only had 2-3 songs I actually liked. If artists want to sell full albums, then every song needs to be good. Not two or three hits surrounded by throwaway filler.

stoneland says:

I'm still a Bon Jovi fan.

Dood says:

How did your parents take the news when you told them this?

RV says:

Interesting, I've seen countless interviews with artists praising Steve Jobs for saving the music business.

Dood says:

Because they're relevant. Bon Jovi on the other hand isn't.

Craig says:

I typically purchase full "albums" from iTunes. Prior to iTunes, I might buy a handful of CDs per year. Now I probably buy a couple per month on iTunes. There have to be a lot like me out there. It would be interesting if someone conducted a survey to find out from iTunes purchasers what percentage purchase full albums and what percentage buy only songs they like.

entwined82 says:

I understand his point, they have killed some of the surprise and fun of music but at the same time as somebody who hates waiting for CD's to come in the mail and also hated spending $5 on a CD single in the mall..I'm all for Itunes. I have a song stuck in my head from my teenage years? Fire up itunes, 99 cents and 15 seconds later I have it. In a world where the population at large is all about instant gratification this was a necessity.

newdeal says:

If it weren't for jobs the music biz would have been bankrupt by napster. It was the Internet that killed music not steve jobs

Simon says:

I don't necessarily agree with his statement about Jobs killing the music industry but I do somewhat agree with his take on the experience. When I think back, I remember listening to an entire LP/CD and discovering songs I liked more then the top hit. This experience is pretty much lost today.

Vernon Dozier says:

Yeah, being able to sample the album first rather than blindly throwing away money is horrible, shut it.

Dood says:

This was possible at FYE about 17 years ago. Bar-code scanners that led to song samples.

LGgeek says:

Sorry BJ but what killed the music business was greed on the part of the music comanies, to the contrary in the long run SJ may have saved it..for the people.

Anthony says:

Funny. I thought the same thing of Bon jovi.

kmichalec says:

Wow. I always was impressed with how Bon Jovi managed to stick around through the years, but after reading this, it makes me realize how arrogant he's become. I can't tell you where the hell my old Bon Jovi CD is, but I sure can tell you where my Bon Jovi MP3's are. Digital music is what had kept you relevant and still on people's minds. Sell better new music, and people will buy it. Sell crap, and we won't. And way to go with the big "F' you, customers! You should by my crap CD because I put a pretty picture on the cover. It's not fair that you don't anymore!".
Please feel free to fade away into obscurity now, as you would have done if not for Apple and Steve...

Macboy74 says:

@ Rene Translation: @%$&%$! Apple no longer lets me hold 2 hit songs ransom with 10 filler tracks for $15!.... This is exactly why I loved itunes from the get go. Almost 98% of the time a album has two maybe three good songs. With itunes you buy what you want and that's it. Isn't Apple the reason why these artist still get paid? He should be thanking steve not hating on him. And music is not what it used to be at all the last time I bought a song was last year. As far as jon goes haven't listen to him since slippery when wet was on LP.

Maniacfive says:

And it remains the only musician who understands is Jagger.
Jobs didn't kill the music industry, Artists releasing albums full of pure filler besides the two singles killed the music industry.
If an album is full of banging songs I enjoy, I plonk down the cash for the album same as I always did. But thanks to iTunes I can skip all the dross.
That's not jobs fault, that's the artist releasing a concept album at a full price and expecting me to eat it up like a fanboy!

Glenn#IM says:

The music business is still in a daze thinking Internet music technology will never catch on. Face it, they are playing catch up. Their own greed almost killed them. It is a consumer world now. The tables are turning to the consumer. No longer do you have to buy pure crap for one or two good songs. It even forces an artist to actually have to work to put out a decent product if they want to sell the whole cd. No longer can they make a living putting out filler junk. Why do some artist refuse to put their music on iTunes? Because they cannot force iTunes to sell only whole cd's, and you can actually listen to the tracks, and decide what you want to buy. So Mr BJ if you bash Apple, then bash Amazon, Sony Music, and all the rest that have, or will start their own music service based on the success of iTunes. Apple if anything, is waking up the music business, and making it a better experience for all. To say Steve Jobs is killing the music business is wrong. Look in the mirror. All that filler crap is finally coming back to haunt you, and all the rest. Better start writing new music, that is better, or you will be sitting around like alot of music heads looking puzzled, and saying what happened? Get on board. It's a new medium now. Live with it.

Think About It says:

^^ And I approve this message! ^^

jasondeno says:

When I bought "Slippery When Wet", it was a tiny cassette with crappy print materials enclosed that I jammed into a boombox only after hearing it on Csaey Casem's Top 40. How is that much different than now?
BTW, I miss the days when you could go to a football field, feel the cold against your face and eat a hot dog thru gloves while imagining what it'd be to be an NFL star.
Arena ball killed the NFL.

Rob says:

Bon jovi is just angry that he had to sell his soul to a record company just to distribute his music, when all I have to do is make music and set up an iTunes account.

consultor de empresas says:

Music business was faded to die a long time ago. The records mafia really need to finish.

consultor de empresas says:

You have to buy a whole new album with 15 songs to listen online 2 songs that are good.

marktaylor#AC says:

I wonder how many of today's Bon Jovi haters liked them until they insulted Steve All Mighty?

Cyrano says:

Great musician, but misses the mark of where music lovers are regarding digital downloads. MP3 players renewed my interest in own music gain.

Jebadoa says:

Well he is right about the album art. I loved looking at my dads Beatles albums, or Moody Blues, or Zeppelin albums while listening to them, but the world moves on. So Jon, how about making a REAL statement and pull every Bon Jovi song, album, and video from iTunes, and only sell vinyl copies in a record store in New Jersey and maybe out of your car's trunk.

Carl says:

Making a decision to purchase based on the picture on the jacket?? Like your album with the two chicks in the street? Oh, one of them was YOU??? sorry man, my bad.

Jenna Jameson says:

Jobs did wonders for my music after I died. JBJ needs to light up a spliff and chill out.

TK says:

I'd rather buy the 2 songs I want for $2 rather than pay $15+ for a whole CD of junk with the 2 diamonds that I want.

jose50535 says:

Bon Jovi is an idiot. He doesnt know what hes talking about.

LaToya AKA Digital Nightmare says:

As much as I don't care for Bon Jovi, I must say Rene, you act as if you have Steve Jobs' stem up your apple bottom.

Jon says:

I didn't realize that Apple was responsible for only producing two or three worthwhile songs per album. Interesting...

Ramon says:

Like the majority of the the people I stopped buying C.D.s when they changed the format to 2 good songs and the rest crappy filler. The last music I bought was compilation C.D.s. At least I felt I got my moneys worth with those.

erin says:

"and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, "
I used to do that. Do you know how many crappy albums I ended up with? I was furious to find that I blew my allowance on an album that had maybe 2 songs I actually liked.
No beauty there, Jon. I'm glad that those days are finally dead and buried.

Kelsbells says:

Did Bon Jovi not realise that you can still control the volume on your iPhone or iPod?

Apple says:

How is it possible and i think this is not true at that time

Consultor de empresas says:

I dont think that steve jobs did this. The musical industry had their first problem with mp3 and napster. Otherwise, now you can buy only the songs that really matters to you, you dont have to buy an entire album just because you like one song from this album.

Byo100 says:

Is disenchanting Bon Jobi's affirmation that in the old days (80s) musicians and record companies knew what they were doing. They purposely kept "two hit songs randsome with 10 filler tracks for $15!".
Nowadays in the music business we have a choice to be selective and only buy what is meaningful or important to us, and not filler material that once was considered part of their business.
Now to make Steve Jobs personally responsible for the consumer to have such choice, is irresponsible and quite frankly insulting!
Bon Jobi should reconsider his statement and if is in him, to apologize.
In the past I have purchased CDs for one or two songs I like. The rest of the music I never listen to. And that is not a good way to invest your hard-earned discretionary money. Now I buy the my music only selecting what I want, from iTunes and Amazon, and we all would agree, that's the way to go.
So again, to single out Steve Jobs for killing the music industry does not add up. It is clear that Bon Jobi is disgruntle and not making the income he's been accustomed to make.
I'm certain that fairness and honesty will prevail and for Bon Joby to reconsider his statement.

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