The Pocket Gods are hoping to promote one-off album Vegetal Digital for £1 million. This is why… | Ents & Arts Information

At a small unbiased file retailer tucked away in a neat courtyard of outlets subsequent to St Albans’ well-known cathedral, a vinyl file that one band is hoping might turn out to be the costliest ever offered within the UK is about to be launched.

Only one bodily copy of prolific indie band The Pocket Gods’ newest album Vegetal Digital has been produced, happening sale at their hometown’s Empire Data for the slightly giant sum of £1 million.

With charts of the music trade’s “most expensives” normally throwing up world-renowned artists resembling The Rolling Stones, Madonna and U2 (most costly excursions), and songs resembling Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1995 hit Scream (most costly music video of all time), it may appear an unbelievable feat.

The Pocket Gods are selling just one copy of their latest album Vegetal Digital for £1m at Empire Records in St Albans, run by manager Dave Burgess
The one copy of Vegetal Digital will probably be on sale at Empire Data in St Albans, run by Dave Burgess

However the Hertfordshire band’s frontman Mark Christopher Lee is assured they may discover a purchaser.

Why are they attempting their luck? Effectively, they’ve lengthy protested about what they are saying is the dearth of truthful royalties paid to musicians by Spotify and different streaming companies – a problem raised by high-profile stars together with Taylor Swift lately, which was additionally the topic of an inquiry within the UK in 2021.

Highlighting the actual fact it solely takes 30 seconds for a music to set off a streaming cost, The Pocket Gods have been recording songs of round this size since 2015; Solely The Wealthy Can Tour and We’re All No Hit Wonders Now are among the many quickfire tracks you will discover of their again catalogue.

However Lee says it is now time to “cease moaning about Spotify” and do one thing productive to assist artists and songwriters. So if the one copy of Vegetal Digital sells for £1 million, the proceeds will fund a brand new rival “moral” streaming platform, Nubplay.

It sounds formidable, however the musician says he believes the file could possibly be snapped up inside a few weeks.

‘Actions converse louder than phrases’

The Pocket Gods album Vegetal Digital is going on sale for £1 million

“Somebody who’s received plenty of cash and needs to do one thing good with it,” he tells Sky Information, pondering what sort of particular person would possibly make investments. “It is a loopy world we’re stepping into… however we’re making a stand, we need to make a greater future for artists and songwriters. We discuss recreation however actions converse louder than phrases and that is what we’ll do.

“For years and years, music – loads of the humanities – has been devalued. And I simply cannot think about a world with out music.”

Nubplay would assure to pay artists and songwriters a minimal royalty of 1p per stream, says Lee. “It would not sound that a lot, however it’s 50 instances the present fee we get from Spotify.”

Fashioned in 1998 at Tower Data in London, The Pocket Gods are mentioned to have been championed by the likes of the late John Peel and Steve Lamacq through the years, and have damaged Guinness World Data for probably the most studio albums launched digitally (75) and most songs on a digital album.

Earlier in 2022, the band – now made up of founding members Lee (vocals and guitar) and Noel Storey (keys), Simon Herries (bass) and former Searchers drummer Scott Ottaway – launched No one Makes Cash Anymore, an album of 1,000 30-ish second tracks.

“That went very well, it went viral around the globe,” says Lee. “It is had almost 1,000,000 streams, which sounds actually, actually good, however we have had about 450 quid when it comes to royalties. So, no, it hasn’t been a terrific money-spinner however it has gained us loads of followers and helps us to lift this concern.”

The one-off $2m Wu-Tung Clan album offered on by the US authorities

Wu-Tang Clan member RZA, an executive producer of the Hulu miniseries
Pic: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/2019

As Vegetal Digital is launched, the band will take away their again catalogue from streaming companies; if it does go for £1 million, it might turn out to be the costliest album ever offered within the UK. Nonetheless, As soon as Upon A Time In Shaolin, the seventh album by American hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, holds the title of most costly on this planet.

An early stand towards streaming, the group made only one bodily copy which offered for $2 million (about £1.3m on the time) to pharma firm govt Martin Shkreli in 2015. Shkreli, nevertheless, was jailed in 2017 – and final yr, the US authorities confirmed it had offered the one-of-a-kind album to assist repay the $7.36 million the businessman was ordered to forfeit after being convicted of fraud.

In line with a 2019 article by music firm HMV, the highest 5 most costly albums chart is a Beatles-heavy checklist; after As soon as Upon A Time In Shaolin are copies of The Beatles (the White Album), Elvis Presley’s My Happiness, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy.

However might Vegetal Digital turn out to be an unlikely contender for the quantity two spot? A £1 million sale would place it forward of the primary mono urgent of the White Album, offered by Ringo Starr at public sale in December 2015 for $790,000 (about £521,000 on the time).

“I am excited to see it and listen to it,” says Dave Burgess, supervisor at Empire Data. “We definitely have not had [a record selling at this price] earlier than. It is actually fascinating and thrilling. I jumped on the alternative to get on board.”

Lee is documenting the band’s distinctive story in a movie, entitled Impressed The 30 Second Music Film, which is ready to be launched in December.

He hopes a million-pound sale will probably be a part of it. May a big-name artist be the one to take a position?

“Effectively, I did message Taylor Swift on Instagram, invited her to the launch,” he says. “Possibly we’ll see her there.”

Vegetal Digital, by The Pocket Gods, is on sale from Tuesday 4 October, solely obtainable at Empire Data in St Albans

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