After reading articles and posts from several people about the state of affairs at EMI (the company who gave us ELOs First Light Series among others), this New York Times article paints a pretty clear picture of how bad it is. EMI was sold to a private equity group which is now in serious financal trouble because of that transaction. What can save them? Possibly Coldplay.
For the record, Coldplay is usually where I turn these days during my mental health breaks from ELO and related tunes. The timing is perfect, their new album is just about here and there's seemingly nothing big in the pipeline from Bungalow Palace.
The stakes are high for EMI and they need Coldplay's album (Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends) to be a huge sales success. Marketing-wise, they've pulled out all the stops. On top of free concerts and high-profile appearances, there's (well, was) a single download for free, one week only, a 7" single (free with magazine) with exclusive b-side, a CD single with an acoustic mix of an album track, and for good measure, the title track exclusively on iTunes. Four songs unleashed already and I'm outright begging for more. Brilliant marketing.
I really hope it works for all of them. If any current band can pull it off, it's Coldplay. And for my part, this is the most stoked I've been about an album in years.