back to article Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of murdering music biz

Aging 80s hair-band demigod Jon Bon Jovi knows who killed the increasingly moribund music market: Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am," the 49-year-old Bon Jovi (née John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.) told The Sunday Times Magazine, "and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to …


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  1. Sean Kennedy

    Old man, indeed

    If your definition of "old man" is "out of touch". Don't get me wrong, I actually like the public image of Bon Jovi ( music, acting and what little I've read about the guy himself ), but he's showing his ignorance here. All Jobs did was find a cash model to the already online music swapping activity. Hell, if anything, he put the music business on life support for a little while longer. The music business should be looking to him to SAVE their sorry asses.

    I think the piece of the puzzle our 80's idol is missing is that music was being traded quite a bit online already, sans-Jobs. Still is, in fact. Had no one come along to start making money off of it, the music business would have run themselves in to the ground years ago, denying there was anything they could do to stop it the entire time.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the name of Art

    Jon has a point - If it were not for Job's itunes and the Record Label Law Suits. We would still be swapping mp3s on limewire and napster. And now those poor artists will just get paid for every song that is downloaded and played......

    Jon - you should open you're own website allow the market to download every song from the Bon Jovi auditory history and continue giving away full blown albums from your website as well.

    Go get 'em Jon, put the rapacious nature of capitalism to bed and perform for your fans for free. The way art/music was meant to be experienced through sharing........

    1. '); DROP TABLE comments; --

      JimC? Doug Glass? Pirate Slayer?

      Is that you?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Are you suggesting that it wasn't Jon who uploaded the complete Bon Jovi discography to rapidshare???

  3. Michael Hawkes

    Big hair

    He's just complaining because he's no longer Wanted: Dead or Alive.

    1. Mr Floppy

      The byline is

      Bon Jovi to Steve Jobs: "Shot through the heart and you're to blame"

    2. The Original Ash
      IT Angle


      He's pretty much Damned Steve Jobs. Then again, Jobs and the music industry have been In And Out Of Love for quite a while. I hope Bon Jovi doesn't Runaway on a Silent Night, Living on a Prayer, lying on a Bed of Roses, looking for Bad Medicine.. You know, Something For The Pain.

      I Believe, These Days, We Weren't Born To Follow. Hey God; It's My Life! Someday I'll Be Saturday Night, One Wild Night! As My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms, You Want To Make A Memory. It's My Life; No Apologies.

      Thank You For Loving Me.

    3. uncredited

      Fantastic coincidence

      Exactly when I was reading this comment the song was running in my headphones (on shuffle)! Guess I'm Wanted: Dead or Alive :)

  4. johnnytruant

    I may not be old enough

    But I don't recall not being allowed to listen to records before buying them.

    That was one of the best bits of record shopping, going up to the counter with an armful of vinyl and having a listen on the shop turntable..

  5. Anton Ivanov

    He is right

    Apple killed the album as we know it.

    Bands used to put out a couple of decent songs and a BIG trash filler up to Album size. Granted, Victor the Plumber who drives a truck is not a really big offender here. Most of his albums could be listened to from start to finish.

    Most of his colleagues however drove the "2 songs and a trash filer" paradigm all the way to rehab, yahts, villas and celebrity marriages. That does not work any more and thank you Apple for that. Goodbye Album and Good Riddance.

    Oh, and Victor the Plumber should be the last one to complain because people continue to buy WHOLE albums of his stuff till this day.

    1. jcipale


      I found the so-called 'filler' to be some of the best pieces compared to the top-40 pablum that started to take over the industry in the 70s. These were often longer, more artisitc pieces from a musical perspective and allowed the listener to learn more about the artist(s) talents/skills.

      With the advent of the 'American Idol'-style of talent searches (please.. what a boatload of sh** THOSE performers turned out to be, with maybe a couple of exceptions), musicality and artistry went by the wayside for cheap-ass entertainment and made-up drama/hype.

      Steve Hand-Job and Apple have only contributed to the demise.


      Steve is just the messenger, not the executioner

      > Apple killed the album as we know it.

      No. A&R men killed the album.

      Although it wasn't terribly lively even before then. Music has been sold as singles for pretty much the entire history of recorded music. This idea that the album is somehow sacred is just total historical revisionists nonsense. Very few bands ever bothered to compose albums as such. Even fewer did it well.

      The grandparents of the iTunes generation were buy music as 45rpm vinyl singles.

  6. RollinPowell

    silly meatspace albums

    How do "kids today" clean stems and seeds from Arkansas Super Skunk without double album jackets?

    Simple answer: iPad! Steve has already foreseen this problem and invented a solution :P

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge


      If there's seeds it ain't skunk, it's bush.

      You've been ripped off.

  7. jm83

    too late

    music died when someone figured out how to record it.

    Oh wait no it didnt die, it just changed.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Stems and seeds aside ...

    I always used a tray 'cos they rolled off the cover ... now Nepalese Temple Balls ... THAT was a completely different thing and rolled very well on an album cover. Personally I always preferred the double albums - Trout Mask Replica being my favorite - but realistically, it was the advent of the CD that killed that particular joy.

    Aside for than, Mr Jovi's got a very good point - my 13yo daughter loves the Beatles but has no concept of an album like Sergeant Pepper, Dark Side of the Moon, or In the Land of Grey and Pink ... they are just little songs to her - she has no concept of an "album" - listening to an album? - that's not something that she understands and it's because of Jobs insistence on selling "the song" not the album. I shudder to think what would have happened if he'd dealt with Shakespeare that way ... "Tragedies? Boring, let's just sell the good plays, Romeo and Juliet? No, that's kiddie porn so we won't let that filth in the Store"

    Steve's gonna have a lot of explaining to do when he gets where he's going.

    1. david wilson

      @Version 1.0

      >>"Aside for than, Mr Jovi's got a very good point - my 13yo daughter loves the Beatles but has no concept of an album like Sergeant Pepper, Dark Side of the Moon, or In the Land of Grey and Pink ... they are just little songs to her - she has no concept of an "album" - listening to an album? - that's not something that she understands and it's because of Jobs insistence on selling "the song" not the album."

      Surely it's arguably an effect of having MP3 players (not a *Jobs*, or even an *Apple* invention)?

      I grew up with vinyl and then CDs, and I haven't bought a 'single' since the late 70s.

      The vast majority of my music in proper album form, (pretty much all that isn't is CDs of multi-artist collections or various 'best ofs') but I'm far more likely to listen to individual tracks than whole albums, whether playing music from my PC, or playing tracks on an MP3 player in the car.

      And that'd still be the case if Ipod/iTunes had never happened.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Albums were dead before they lived.

      I was going to point out that I have quite a few memories of putting a CD on one track repeat and letting it replay my favorite song on a disc several times before skipping on to another song that I liked. But then I remembered that I used to do the same thing with records, that just required a bit of manual intervention to replay the song over and over again.

      Personally, I like having albums, but noone's going to like all the tracks on every album. And for many artists, lots of people won't like more than one or two tracks per album. I think they should blame the disposable music industry for pushing the artists to release albums on a fixed schedule instead of letting the musicians write the kind of music that they're inspired to write. And a whole lot less of the written by W, arranged by X with lyrics by Y and sung by trashy bimbo Z type music. When was the last time you heard of something good come out of a committee?

    3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Amen brother!

      My 9 year old is the same, she doesn't sit and listen to an album right through, she will pick out a handful of tracks from various artists and just listen to them at random. I have no problem with this, it's change, it's the way kids listen to music these days, a bit sad but you can't stop progress apparently!

      At the age of 40 when I buy a CD or an album online, I still put it on and listen to it first time from start to finish, it's just a habit from my vinyl days back in the 80's. Some stuff only works as an album, Edge of Sanity's Crimson II is 44 tracks that seque into each other that you cannot radomize the playback or pick tracks out, you have to listen to it from start to finish to get the story. Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime or any of Marillion's ( with Fish ) albums, have to be played through. Then there are the albums you grew up with that have special meaning to you when played in their entirety, Screaming for Vengeance, Queen II, Ride the Lightning and anything by Venom!

      It's sad but it's not wrong, it's just different these days. My old man still digs out his old vinyl once in a while just to revive the old memories, it's not the music but the whole experience captured in those memories, the ceremony of playing a vinyl album. Hopefully music will still give kids memories they can look back on in years to come even if the style of play is different now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        @ The Fuzzy Wotnot

        Also Simple Minds New Gold Dream works in track order. Also UB40 - 'More UB40'. No reason - just the memories, I guess.

        What modern kids miss out on is the "creeper" know the ones. You listen to the album all the way through, and there's a track that's utterly anonymous. Next time through, you remember it as being crap. Next time - actually sounds ok with volume up. Next time - it's the best f*ing track in the world.

        A few of my all time favourite tracks were creepers, and I wouldn't have found them wthout albums.

        Good lord, does that mean I'm 40 too??? onoz....

      2. Dave Cradle

        I'd get nostalgic if I ever stopped listening to them.

        Amen indeed, Brother Fuzzy.

        (I always skipped over "Escape" on RTL though. Never liked that song)

  9. zanto


    "It's my life

    It's now or never

    I ain't gonna live forever"

    1. Anton Ivanov

      More like

      More like:

      A bottle of Vodka still lodged in my head...

      And so on... not quoting the whole verse for political correctness reasons...

      In any case, Steve's World provides no place for "The Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You are Here", "The Wall", "The Final Cut" and "The Pros and Cons of HitchHiking" and "The War of The Worlds". Just to name a few.

      They however were the exemption - very few bands used the album art form. Most just abused it.

      1. Piloti
        Jobs Horns

        I was just thinking......

        ... something similar.

        Would Pink Floyd /be/ Pink Floyd if the formed now ? No, I don't think so.

        The LP format and the "concept album" were marvellous, and, the more there is a proliferation of digitally delivered music, the less imagination there will be.

        I'd also add to the list above Hawkwind, Tull, Deep Purple, Uriah Heap, Status Quo [with John Coglan, not really without] early Queen ['2' and "The Prophets Song" were immense] , Led Zep', Rick Wakeman in all his incarnations..... oh the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...........................

  10. K. Adams
    Dead Vulture

    'Twas dead before Jobs and iTunes

    The music business was dead long before that.

    As soon as the music conglomerate lobbyists learned to sign artists to captive "for-hire" contracts, and then got copyright terms extended to "from date of publication for 95 years" (in the United States; your country may vary), the music industry died.

    The over-reaching length of copyright terms means that culture stagnates: Works of creativity which have a pronounced effect on an individual's present culture will rarely enter the Public Domain within that individual's own lifetime. This prevents him or her from (legally) taking that work and playing with it, bending it, warping it, twisting it, and integrating it into other creations, thereby advancing culture and making something new or better out of it.

    So while "from date of publication for 95 years" does, technically, meet the criteria of the U.S. Constitution's "for a limited time" clause, I am quite sure that a 9.5-decade lock on a creative work is NOT what the Framers intended...

    1. Robert Hill

      Wrong...simply wrong

      Most seminal albums were created before anyone was concerned with mash-ups, repurposing, or re-mixing, except dance club DJs who did it on the fly, or on limited DJ-only vinyl releases (Hot Tracks 12"ers, et al).

      If ANYTHING, the whole mash-up/remix/repurposing culture has made some artists lazy. With few exceptions such as Danger Mouse's seminal "The Grey Album", how many high-concept mash-ups are there? And not to knock GREAT mash-up work by people like Party Ben, but let's face it - "The Dark Side of the Moon" it isn't. It's not even "Fragile", and a far, far cry from "Tommy". Mash-ups and remixes are nearly always individual SONGS, not album concepts.

      So please stop posting anti-music industry drivel just because you think it applies everywhere. It doesn't in every case.

      What killed off albums was NAPSTER, and the ability to download tracks individually from the file share. Usually over a slow, dial-up connection, that meant you grabbed what you liked, and ignored the rest. And lost the cover art entirely. So, Jobs isn't to blame, I nominate Fanning...

      (N.B. - the only people that doubt this are people too young to remember the Wild West days pre-iTunes...and before the lawsuits shut Napster down.)

      1. Jason Hall


        "What killed off albums was NAPSTER, and the ability to download tracks individually from the file share."

        I disagree. I am from the vinyl age, and fondly remember buying/listening to whole albums.

        But I also remember recording songs onto cassette tape directly from albums AND from the radio.

        This is fuck-all to do with Apple/Napster/etc.

        It's about people using content how *they* want to use it.

        Now if artists nowadays made albums that were good enough to actually listen to 'whole album at a time' then people might just do it. They would also take their favourite tracks and listen to them mixed-up with whatever they like.

  11. Tom 35 Silver badge

    More like

    Kids today have missed the whole experience of buying an album and finding it has two good tracks and a bunch of fluff.

    Or buying The greatest "Hits" volume 1, 2 and 3 to get all 5 of the bands actual hits and 3 copies of all their fluff.

    The poor kids don't know what they are missing.

  12. Tony Paulazzo


    Those damn kids get off my lawn!

  13. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    He's partially right

    I for one dislike the one-track-at-a-time model. Good artists used to actually craft the album, not only the individual songs. That included the cover art of course, but also the choice of songs and their order. Tommy from The Who springs to mind, and also Gainsbourg was a master of the genre, with albums like Melody Nelson or L'Homme a Tete de Chou telling a story where each song loses a lot of it's sense when separated from the rest of the album. All artists of old used to do that, although to a smaller extent.

    Now the model definitely shifted towards self-contained 2 minutes nibbles, which can be good too, but definitely abolishes a level of depth.

    Of course this is necessary in a iTune-like model, where you have to sell tracks individually so that the customer doesn't notice that he's paying MORE for just the license to listen to the musical content than for the physical album with it's resilience and nice art (and, incidentally, resale value).

    Here, have a cold one in memory of the good old times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I call BS and rose tinted glasses.

      Most albums consisted of two decent , even classic pieces, the rest was utter garbage, and they knew it. There have been the odd exceptions, but they are not the rule. Good artists will use the format in the same way these used the album, nothing to do with the album itself.

      Bon Jovi fauns after those days he could sell you shit music because you didnt have a chance to hear it. Oh how he pines for those days where he could spend make money by being lazy.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        BS right back at ya.

        I call bullshit. I said "artists", it doesn't include the "hit of the summer" type of commercial crap (on which there always is one or 2 hits -hardly classic- and a lot of utter shit).

        Good artists cannot use "the format in the same way these used the album", because there is no way of doing so. How can you stick an actual zipper on the cover (as for Sticky Fingers) when there is no cover to begin with? How do you tell a story spanning a whole album (as for the albums I cited), or even create an atmosphere, when the songs are sold by the unit?

        You'll note that I never said that it is not possible to make great music in that format, just that it takes away a layer of artistic depth and creativity.

      2. paul 97
        Thumb Up


        "Most albums consisted of two decent , even classic pieces, the rest was utter garbage, and they knew it. "

        Most BAD albums.....

        I dont think Dark Side Of The Moon would exist in todays iTunes and for me thats sad.

        To be fair to HRH S Jobs - if it wasnt him making the money someone else would be. I think Steveo killed music by taking 30% cut.

        Its not like it should cost a lot of money to run iTunes. A few thousand computers is not the same as a few thousand brick and mortar stores

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @paul 97

          Don't let your hatred for Apple over-run your faculties.

          You can still buy albums from iTunes, just like you could before.

          In fact - I have bought albums from iTunes... and also separate tracks too. Wow! Isn't it amazing.

          I *could* just download everything for free. But I don't.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward

      He's clueless

      The concept of album is very modern. Before long play records, the musicians performing in the streets with the goat and the monkey didn't have the concept of album either. So if music prospered for thousands of years without albums and artwork then I am sure it will continue to do so in the future.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: He's clueless

        Not sure where you're heading. Are you suggesting that going back to medieval models is where the future lies?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "Are you suggesting that going back to medieval models is where the future lies?"

          Is he heading anywhere?

          The future of music - is ... who the feck knows?

          Let's see what happens?

        2. jm83
          Thumb Up

          Re: Pierre

          Actually theres a lot to be said for the medieval model,

          Where else in the world is music so professionalised?

          In poorer parts of the world it's just about getting together having a sing song and bonding.

          That said, World Music is shite.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            I don't particularly like world music very much either

            But medieval and renaissance music can be great and nothing has been written yet that beats Palestrina or Victoria

  14. David Simpson 1


    Apple did kill the record business, when they started iTunes as an accessory to an expensive line of devices called iPods.

    1. Jason Hall

      @David Simpson 1

      Yes - of course it did... [sarcasm]

      It's not like it was possible to 'record' tracks directly from the radio, or from a friend's vinyl album.

      The music industry killed itself. Apple is keeping it on life support.

  15. Alien Doctor 1.1

    title is required, but who cares

    If, Mr Jovi, you are correct, why do you allow him to prostitute your music on itunes?

    1. John Riddoch

      Music execs

      He may not have a choice, he may have sold that decision to the music execs...

  16. OkKTY8KK5U

    Uphill both ways...

    ...and we liked it!

  17. spegru

    Dont think So

    Did Steve Jobs invent MP3 and portable players?- nooo

    I think that Rio was the prime mover

    No wait perhaps we should go back further, if we're worried about vinyl album covers

    Phillips I think it was who more or less invented the CD..........

  18. Eduard Coli

    The bad old daze

    I'm sure the disc houses miss those days the most.

    Price fixing and the ability to pus ha crap album on the strength of an exclusive track.

    Committing financial rape on artists until they could afford to buy their way out of a contract and start their own label.

    Besides, everyone knows if the market is dying it is manufactured talent that is killing it.

  19. Kevin 6


    "To Bon Jovi, the past was also a time of risk and reward, the thrill of the hunt, "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.""

    More like taking my cash buying an album and being extremely pissed off at the crap on it outside the one song I'd hear on the radio.

    Last CD's I bought (more than 8 years ago) paid $24 the day it came out. I bought it due to the promo songs I heard. I couldn't even stand listening to 9 out of the 12 crappy tracks crap on the disk. Best part the promo song I heard that made me buy the damn thing wasn't even on the fucking disc, but offered as a free download off the website...

    So the death of the music industry IMO is a good thing. We should bury it, and forget it ever existed.

  20. raving angry loony

    correct response

    I like this response:

    Says it all really.

  21. Goat Jam

    I got lost in a Bon Jovi album once

    My god, I couldn't find the way out fast enough.

    Bon Jovi: The art of using one song to fill multiple albums


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