Steve Albini: musician, producer and fierce music industry critic

Steve Albini died this week at age 61. Best known as a musician and producer who made records with Nirvana, the Pixies, PJ Harvey, Robert Plant and hundreds more, he was also a biting critic of the music industry and a fierce advocate for artists.

I was fortunate to meet Steve in person, and while a bit more gentle live, he never failed to speak the truths that needed to be spoken.


Albini was not afraid to call out record labels – even those who directly or indirectly provided his income – as “parasites” and decry the sway the hold over music.

But he was also a contrarian when it came to royalties for streaming:

“When a song is played one million times on Spotify, it can still have an audience of one person who plays it a lot. When it is played one million times on terrestrial radio, the audience is orders of magnitude bigger…I actually think the compensation is not as preposterous as anyone else.”

So this week’s Hypebot Flashback Friday resurfaces three posts about the amazing Steve Albbini – artist advocate and music industry critic.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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