Metallica Demands Bloggers Remove Reviews of New Album
In anticipation of their new album's release, Metallica invited a small group of bloggers and reporters to a 'Listening Party' - fancy PR-speak for 'give us hype and attention' - and played them six songs from their new album.
The bloggers and critics went back to their computers and wrote about the event, posting their articles almost immediately, as bloggers are wont to do. They reviewed the new songs...
And Metallica demanded they remove the reviews from their sites.
The weird part is, according to people who read the reviews before they were taken down, the reviews were almost uniformly positive. They *liked* the new album, and said it hearkened back to the earlier 'And Justice for All' days of Metallica.
Which begs the question...what did Metallica expect from all of this in the first place? Were they hoping the reviews would be *negative*? Did they want these bloggers and writers to go back home and twiddle their fingers?
Last Wednesday, Metallica invited several bloggers to a “listening party” in London for its upcoming album. Now, “listening parties” are public relations stunts. Anybody who’s been in this business for longer than a week knows that PR companies hold listening parties for the purpose of generating pre-release press and hype.
Listening parties can be expensive and time-consuming, and so they are generally not done just for fun.
But when bloggers wrote reviews of what they’d heard at the listeningparty, Metallica went ballistic, demanding that the reviews be takendown.
One site in particular, The Quietus,has reported that the band’s management asked the site to remove theblog about the new album, even though Metallica’s management did notask the blogger to sign a non-disclosure agreement (which would havelegally prevented attendees from writing about the listening party orthe six songs they’d heard previewed there).
Oh, Metallica, why can't you get it right? The band seemed to have learned somewhat from the dark days of the Napster debacle by offering fans online access to pre-release material and in-studio video footage, but now it has apparently unleashed another potentially damaging fiasco upon itself by forcing bloggers to take down reviews of their upcoming album.
Metallica representatives played the album for The Quietus contributor "Bob Mulhouse" in London last Wednesday, after he did what one would expect: he posted a review on his blog. They did, after all, invite him to listen to it, knowing that he reviewed music online. Soon thereafter, the band's management had the review expunged from the internet, along with other early reviews that were a result of the same listening party.
Metallica held an album listening party for selected music journalists in London this Wednesday past. One of the writers was kind enough to write a piece about the album which, if you were lucky enough to read it before it was taken down, was full of praise about a return to form. At no point was the writer ask[ed] to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The Quietus and other websites ran pieces on the album, but were quickly contacted by Metallica’s management via a third party and told to remove the articles. The Quietus kept our article up the longest and, as no non-disclosure agreement had been signed, [was] not prepared to remove it merely due to the demands of Metallica’s management.
We only eventually removed the article earlier today to protect the professional interests of the writer concerned (the piece was written anonymously). Seems Metallica’s fear of the internet shows no sign of abating.
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