Jim Carroll

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Tori jumps ship

Tori Amos has become the latest artist to abandon the major label ship. The singer-songwriter, who was in the headlines late last year when she evicted some fans from a show in San Diego for talking through the boring bits …

Fri, Jun 6, 2008, 09:20

   

Tori Amos has become the latest artist to abandon the major label ship.

The singer-songwriter, who was in the headlines late last year when she evicted some fans from a show in San Diego for talking through the boring bits in one of her songs, announced this week that she was splitting from Sony’s Epic imprint and heading for the indie hills.

In a comment posted on her website, Amos counselled other artists to consider adopting a similar strategy. “It is time for us as artists to stop being dependent, dependent on any system that has become undependable,” she wrote. “Only then can we help to create a new system that propagates and secures independence for each creator.”

Amos has spent most of her career to date on major labels, putting in nearly a decade with Warner Music’s Atlantic label before releasing three albums for Epic. Her first indie record will be released in spring 2009.

Amos was never one of Sony’s big commercial hitters – her last album, American Doll Posse, sold about 152,000 copies in the US in the 12 months since it went on release. However, her departure highlights the growing trend of acts with established fanbases choosing to move away from major labels.

Some acts, however, will remain loyal to the labels that have contributed to their success. Coldplay, for instance, have shown faith in EMI, despite the company’s much publicised troubles.

But just as some footballers like to keep everyone guessing about their intentions for the next season, acts who are out of contract or about to go out of contract may well follow Amos and go it alone.

One act yet to declare their future plans in this regard are Oasis, who are currently out of contract with Sony, but are planning to release an album this summer.

While it’s easy to understand why acts are attracted to a bigger cheque elsewhere, it will be interesting to see how labels react to this exodus.

Some, after all, will not be content to merely wave goodbye to their cash- cows and put out a greatest hits collection.

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