About a week before Christmas, Patrick Carney of the Black Keys tweeted out that after avoiding Spotify for the past few years, the band would be putting their last two albums, El Camino and Turn Blue on Spotify. The Keys had resisted because as great as all of these streaming services are for fans, they’re not exactly awesome for artists, who end up loosing a good deal of money because not as many people are buying albums anymore. Spotify especially draws the ire of some bigger name artists because unlike Tidal or Apple Music, they offer a free option, so really, fans of bands like the Black Keys don’t have to pay a dime to hear their music. You could see how this would be problematic.
Of course the counter argument is that frankly, times are changing and the reality is is that musicians are going to be forced to adapt, loss of profits be damned. Basically if you want your music to be heard, it needs to be available to stream. And if your music is available to stream, then why would anyone actually buy your album. The younger generation probably has never even bought an album and if you asked them why, they’d look at you like you’re crazy (or old.) Streaming services have the upper hand here and big name artists can try to force that hand as much as they want, but it doesn’t look to be a fight they can win (well, unless we’re talking about Taylor Swift.)
So now the entire Black Keys’ catalog is available to stream. It is a little interesting that the other half of the Keys, Dan Auerbach, readily made his solo project with the Arcs available from the jump. I’m not like, saying the decision to stay away from Spotify was solely Carney’s, but you know, maybe it was. More power to him. He can’t spend all of his time working in Santa’s workshop. That seems like a part-time gig.
To celebrate the Black Keys, one of Giddy Up America’s favorite bands, now completely on Spotify, I put together a playlist of my favorite tracks. The band has been largely dormant in recent years and their future is a likely murky with Auerbach now readying another solo album to be released in the spring, but their catalog is a solid collection of good ol’ rock ‘n roll. So regardless of what happens, at least we’ll have songs like “Tighten Up,” “I Got Mine” and “10 AM Automatic.”