So, I got Metallica's new album, "Death Magnetic."
A friend at work let me listen to it, and to my utter shock, I really liked it. The "black album" was the last thing from them I ever enjoyed, and that was about 17 years ago. Then after the whole Napster thing I declared myself an ex-fan.
I think this is the first mainstream album I've purchased in... well, a very long time. It's very reminiscent of their older stuff, which is fairly interesting. It seems like after the last few mediocre albums they decided to "go back to their roots" and find something that works.
So, there's an semi-interesting story surrounding this. The first time I heard the album (or even heard that it was coming out) was from a leaked version a few days before the actual release. I really liked it, except the sound quality was really bad - overly compressed, clipping and distortion. I figured it was just a bad rip or bad mp3 compression or something. But I really did like it, and decided that rather than just pirate it, I would actually buy a copy. That's the whole thing they were so uppity about that essentially made me an ex-fan in the first place, but I decided that since I liked it, I was going to buy it, because they deserved it.
See guys? Make something that doesn't suck and the honest people are going to give you money. Screw the dishonest people, you weren't going to get their money in the first place. The irony in this is almost killing me. They're so against piracy because it cuts into sales... but they're breaking huge sales records and they got my money, even though I already had it.
But wait, there's more!
As has been documented elsewhere, it wasn't that I had a bad copy of the music from the leaked version. Somebody massively screwed up either mixing or mastering the album. The music is awesome and I love it, but the sound quality is terrible!
But in an even more ironic twist of fate, there is another mix of the album that doesn't suck. It was released via the game Guitar Hero 3.
So, I had a pirated copy of the album, but I decided to buy the album anyway because it was the right thing to do and I figure they deserved it. But the album as released has major problems, so I downloaded the Guitar Hero 3 version so I could actually listen to a proper version of it, as I would hope and self-respecting musician would appreciate. Given Metallica's (or at least Lars') rabid anti-piracy stance, it seems very strange that it took two acts of piracy to both get them paid and get me a proper version of the album.