Tony Brummel, the owner of the independent rock label Victory Records, says he is not interested in selling individual songs from his albums, though he may give them away to build buzz. The label this week captured the No. 3 spot on the chart with the new album from the emo-rock band Hawthorne Heights. The band's CD sold about 114,000 copies — a solid figure for an independent rock band, but somewhat less than expected given the label's shipments of roughly 800,000 copies. A rock album, Mr. Brummel said, "is a work of art."
"If you're buying a Picasso," he continued, "you can't just buy the upper right-hand corner."
No, but can you view just the upper right-hand corner at a museum, the same way that you can listen to just one song at a time, instead of the whole album on, say, the radio?
I cannot believe I am trying to make sense of a metaphor that compares Hawthorne Heights to Picasso.