Reed also hints that he's earning a paltry cut of his digital music sales, and earned more palying cheap bars as a teenager.
Posted on Jun 21, 2013 08:56 am
Lou Reed has called out MP3s for their poor sound quality, and complained that his royalty rates for downloads are a pittance.
Speaking to journalists of Guardian at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Reed said the digital format was shocking compared to the warm sound of vinyl.
"MP3s for God's sake. A really miserable sounding thing, people don't understand what they are missing. It has been reduced to the lowest common denominator," said Reed.
Comparing modern music to yesteryear, Reed said: "Before you had to search things out. There it all is. But it sounds like sh-t. [Once you have found it] then you try to get a vinyl copy. You can get a good vinyl player for $400 or $500."
He went on to recall getting a royalty check of $2.60 when playing in a bar as a teenager, then said: "It's pretty much what I get from downloads now."
If true, Reed probably needs someone to check how much his label is earning, because that sounds pretty low by any measure. Unless he's confusing streams with full digital downloads, which have wildly different royalty rates.
"I understand young people were brought up on downloading and Steve Jobs tried to make it into some kind of business which benefits Apple but you get about a sixteenth of a penny," he said.
What's your view on MP3 sound quality? Does the format deserve some credit for driving down file sizes and sparking an online music revolution?