There are some albums that need to be listened to in whole. Take “Dark Side of the Moon”, for example. The individual tracks are great, but the album as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The same can be said about almost every album by Pink Floyd.
There are a lot of bands that embrace singles, especially in the digital age. Pop groups especially gain a lot of listeners through one hit track, and sometimes that’s all people want to buy. Pink Floyd isn’t one of those groups.
In the contract they signed back in 1967, it was stipulated that Pink Floyd’s music could not be sold in single form without the band’s permission. While EMI contended that since the contract specifically used the word “records” it didn’t apply to digital sales, the judge agreed with the band.
Though the judge sided with the band and forced EMI to pay Pink Floyd’s legal fees, EMI says the ruling doesn’t actually affect their sales methodology. “Today's judgment does not require EMI to cease making Pink Floyd's catalogue available as single track downloads, and EMI continues to sell Pink Floyd's music digitally and in other formats,” the label said in a release yesterday.
“This week's court hearing was around the interpretation of two contractual points, both linked to the digital sale of Pink Floyd's music. But there are further arguments to be heard on this and the case will go on for some time.” The case is also expected to have a large impact on how much artists are paid for royalties on digitally distributed music, and artist rights to control content sales.