Back in June I wrote a commentary for MSNBC on the ramifications of Pearl Jam leaving Epic Records (archived here for some reason):
- Bands come and go from record labels in a revolving door of euphoria and dejection, so when the news came out that Pearl Jam had fulfilled its contract and was leaving Epic after 12 years, many in the industry shrugged and went back to their Mocha Malt Frappucinos. But this is more than just another band leaving just another label.
THIS IS ONE institution leaving another, the most popular and important American rock band of the Â’90s voluntarily rejecting the grandest label heritage - the longtime home of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Miles Davis and Tony Bennett - because the band may no long require the services of a major label.
If Pearl Jam - now touring the United States to wildly enthusiastic crowds - is able to create a successful business model mobilizing its fans via the Internet and engaging in such "crazy" stunts as releasing live double albums of every show it performs, this could be the beginning of a stampede away from the lumbering dinosaurs that the major labels have become.....
So anyway, now they have made their first nontraditional move, releasing the CD single "Man of the Hour" from the Big Fish soundtrack exclusively via Amazon:
- The move makes Pearl Jam the most mainstream act to take part in Amazon.com's Advantage for Music Program, which is generally used by unknown independent acts to sell music directly to fans.
"Pearl Jam is exploring a number of different ways to get music directly to its fans following the recent fulfillment of its contract with Epic Records, with whom the band has not yet decided to re-sign," Pearl Jam's manager Kelly Curtis said. "We have the opportunity right now to test the waters with a variety of progressive companies that are working to expand options for music fans and artists alike." [Hollywood Reporter]
The 30-second clip on Amazon would indicate Pearl Jamian ballad.
It will be very interesting to see what they do with the new studio album next year.