Ray Davies, former front man of '60s giants The Kinks, can be confirmed as a dedicated follower of Prince as he announces a newspaper giveaway for his new album.
It was all pounds, shillings, and pence, and an MP3 was the latest car from British Leyland when Ray and his Muswell Hillbillies thrashed their way into the world's consciousness with proto-metal/punk outing "You Really Got Me" and launched a fascinating career featuring some of Britain's finest songwriting.
Davies' album, Working Man's Cafe, will add extra weight to the already paperboy-crippling Sunday Times on October 21. "Vietnam Cowboys" provides a free taster from the TimesOnline from tomorrow, Sunday, October 14.
The Mail On Sunday saw its circulation go up 4.43 per cent when they tucked the tiny Purple One's Planet Earth album into their plastic pockets.
Davies told British music and film mag Uncut: “Personally, it’s about reaching as many people as possible. I'm incredibly proud of this LP and am truly excited that 1.5 million copies will be distributed to people who’ll hear it organically – the way it was intended. It’s an exciting opportunity I couldn’t resist.”
The move surely confirms that the print media and the music business are running scared from the wild, wild web — few papers hit the street, particularly in their expensive weekend editions without some sort of giveaway to boost sales, from albums to video discs to wall charts and stickers for kids.
Announcing its online giveaway, The Charlatans UK admitted CD sales - with nine copies made for each disc sold - just weren't worth the bother any more and the goodwill and add-on spending on merchandise and concert tickets that followed fan freebies were far more valuable to artists.
Davies - whose real-life vignette songwriting style inspired a host of Britpop artists including Mockneys Blur, whose Damon Albarn sang "Waterloo Sunset" alongside the king Kink - will also release the album in traditional form on October 29 hoping that two bonus tracks will tempt fans. He is due to premiere material from Working Man's Cafe at the BBC's Electric Proms on October 28.