Metallica Now Master of Puppet Bloggers

Forces Early Reviews Offline

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This may or not be taught in PR 101, perhaps because the general tenet is obvious: Don’t screw up good PR with bad PR. We’ll chalk this one up to Metallica’s management and not to the band itself, just to be fair.

Metallica Now Master of Puppet Bloggers

Another tenet that may seem overly obvious: When you invite music journalists to a private listening party to promote a forthcoming album and don’t forge a nondisclosure agreement with them, it’s unreasonable, unfair, and heavy-handed to bully said music journalists into removing subsequent music reviews from their blogs.

Perhaps it was because these were London-based, i.e., not American-based, bloggers, that Metallica’s management felt entitled to do so. Even if so, it’s a bit of insult to injury that a blogger felt his career was on the line if he didn’t remove the review.

At some point, says BlindedByTheHype, the redacted review by The Quietus was still available in Google’s cache. Alas, even that brings back an ominous message: Sorry. The existence of this page is a fragment of your overactive imagination.

The Quietus editor Luke Turner tells Blinded that the writer of the review, who had posted anonymously, was not asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement but was still told by Metallica’s management, via third party, to remove a fairly glowing review, hailing the album as a return to form. The Quietus was the last among many to remove their post, and did so, says Turner, "to protect the professional interests of the writer concerned."

Management argued the songs previewed were early mixes and not ready for public scrutiny, which explains succinctly why music journalists were invited to a party to listen to it.

The Quietus didn’t completely roll over though. In lieu of the Metallica preview, they’ve republished an old interview with the band, with an intro that reads:

Seeing as we’re not allowed to tell you that Metallica’s new album sounds like . . . And Justice For All, we’re not supposed to mention that one of the songs on the album may or may not be called Flamingo and we’re certainly 100% most definitely not supposed to suggest that the new record might possibly be good, we thought we’d treat you to an interview with the group back when they released . . . And Justice For All. Which the new album may or may not sound like. We really couldn’t comment.

Most criticisms of the band in past decades were somewhat intellectual, debatable, and forgivable—whether the band sold out by making a video for MTV, whether the Black album was a testament to that sellout, whether Metallica was within its rights and true to its fellow artists to go after Napster or just being greedy and unfriendly to fans, whether the band’s new embracing of Internet downloads was a change of heart or change in business strategy or both—but stepping on someone’s freedom of speech, well, that could be over the line.

Metallica Now Master of Puppet Bloggers
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  • Guest

    Metallica keeps shooting themselves, and idiots keep throwing them money.  I stopped listening to them 8 years ago, after the first go round that proved they are a bunch of greedy, money grubbing b#^%@3$. There are plenty of bands, and plenty of good music, where the artists actually WANT you to listen to them.  Look around people.  FInd something new to listen to, something that is not overworked hype sold to the masses to put even more money in the coffers so they can tell people what they can and cannot say about them.  (and yes, I was a fan before the sellout)


  • Guest

    "Management argued the songs previewed were early mixes and not ready for public scrutiny, which explains succinctly why music journalists were invited to a party to listen to it." – ok, here is an explaination i think might help – the journalists were invited to listen to unfinished songs as they were writing features to appear in their magazines which will be published around the release of the album.  In the UK at least, magazines have very long lead times and the album wouldn’t be ready in time for them to hear prior to going to press.  Pretty hard for them to write a piece without having any idea of what the album sounds like – right?  so they  were invited to a private listening session at the label’s offices.    NO known bloggers were invited.  Just representatives from the magazines who were writing the featues.

  • Guest

    So yeah, they should open up everything before the release date and they should not try to make any money.

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