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Tuesday March 15, 2011 7:59 pm

Bon Jovi says Steve Jobs personally responsible for killing music industry


Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Apple, Music


Steve Jobs Bon JoviApple CEO Steve Jobs is to blame for "killing" the music industry, rocker Jon Bon Jovi recently told the U.K.'s Sunday Times Magazine.

"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 pictures and still imagining it," he said.

Bon Jovi's music can be found on iTunes, but apparently, he's none too thrilled about it.

"God, it was a magical, magical time," the "Livin' on a Prayer" singer continued. "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."


Bon Jovi isn't the first musician to complain about iTunes's role in the industry. Alt-rockers Radiohead have used unconventional methods to avoid Apple's heavy hand. When the band released "In Rainbows" in 2007, it was initially available in digital format only, at a "pay what you will" price. "In Rainbows" wasn't added to the iTunes library until two months later, and only then was the familiar $9.99 price tag attached.

The group was singing a similar tune earlier this year when it self-released its latest album, "The King of Limbs." At $9, it had a more standard price, but it's only available digitally until May. It hasn't been added to iTunes yet, either.

Radiohead has been historically resistant to iTunes and didn't release its full catalog to the now-biggest music retailer until 2008. Other bands have protested the music downloading service, but the Beatles' full catalog was added to iTunes last fall, meaning there are only a handful of holdouts left, including Tool, Kid Rock, Garth Brooks, AC/DC, and Def Leppard.

However, Bon Jovi's argument is more philosophical; he's talking about the actual experience of listening to a record, which he contends has been trivialized as music has gone digital. That said, Bon Jovi's band has benefited from releasing special editions of albums that have included bonus tracks, such as 2009's "The Circle."

iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz shot back in an open letter to Bon Jovi in which he said that artists should thank Jobs for providing new ways to listen to music.

"iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac have given you a platform that would have been inconceivable when you were a kid," he wrote. "You constantly live in your fans' pockets, on their computers, and inside their cameras. That attachment leads them, and in some cases their spouses, to keep listening to you, watching you, and paying you for more."

Despite Bon Jovi's complaints, don't expect iTunes to go anywhere anytime soon. As of the end of February, 10 billion songs had been downloaded through the service.

This article, written by Leslie Horn, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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