The rock legend is unhappy at the audio quality of the files that appear on online streaming sites.
Legendary singer-songwriter and guitar hero Neil Young has become the latest artist to withdraw his music from streaming platforms such as Spotify. However, it’s not because of the usual complaint over royalties, but rather a lack of audio quality.
The 69 year old took to his official Facebook page to make the announcement. “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution,” he explained. “I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.”
Neil Young has removed his music from Spotify and other streaming sites
Canadian-born Young was one of the biggest and most critically lauded rock stars in the world during the 1970s, with a succession of excellent solo albums in addition to his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
While it wasn’t the primary factor behind his decision to remove his back catalogue from streaming sites, he also mentioned that royalties, which have been “dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent,” contributed to his feelings.
Young is known as something of an audiophile, and has long complained about the difference in sound quality lent by digital technology. He’s been developing a new kind of portable music player that gives a higher quality than that of compressed MP3 files or streaming, which he calls 'Pono'.
However, he left the door open to return to streaming one day, but only if the technology improves to match the AM radio, 8 track tapes and analogue cassettes that he prefers. “When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never,” he ended.
In other news, Young was fined $10,000 by running over the 11pm curfew during a live show in Detroit on Tuesday evening (July 14th). Touring a new album called The Monsanto Years, he played a 145-minute that overshot the DTE Energy Music Theatre’s curfew by ten minutes, incurring a $1,000-per-minute fine in the process.