As we find ourselves well into the “digital age” and a vast majority of people find themselves using the internet as their primary source for news, it sometimes pays off to pay the required pocket change for an archaically fast-fading newspaper, even for the super thick Sunday edition. In England’s Sunday Times newspaper, the week-end feature-ette of the London Times, loyal print patrons received a special bonus by way of a free CD by the former Brit-pop superpower Blur. The ten-track addition, made exclusively available for the November 22 issue, is a composite of live performances of classic Blur tunes that the group performed during their short-lived 2009 reunion. The paper also included an opportunity for an extra five songs that can be downloaded from itunes for free on November 29.
The reunion by the extremely successful group resulted in some of the greatest performances of critical acclaim during the summer season. After initially scheduling a single performance in Britain’s Hyde Park, the reunited band members were amazed when tickets for the event sold out in less than two minutes. They immediately scheduled more performances at different venues and festivals throughout England. Blur headlined the Glastonbury Festival and earned praise as “the best Glastonbury headliners in an age” by reviewers from The Guardian. After several more critically spectacular performances, the group publicly announced that there would not be a full-fledged Blur reunion and that they had no further plans for future performances.
The special live performance CD that Blur chose to distribute freely in the Sunday Times is a testament to their appreciation for years of support from their dedicated fans. Their collective catalog of albums has received extreme popularity on a worldwide level, which translates to high demand for a new album that would generate plenty of revenue for the band.
However, they opted to show their gratitude in a manner of humble generosity rather than greedy, capitalistic opportunism. This is a trait that one only sees in musicians of the highest, most admirable caliber. One of the most notable examples is by ambiguous rock-icon Prince, who, after his unfavorable recording contract expired, reestablished his legendary rock royalty by releasing a free copy of his 2007 album Planet Earth in the U.K. national newspaper The Mail on Sunday, much to the dismay of his U.K. music distributor.