Album MP3 of Just Jack - BUY NOW
True artists are innovative, they break boundaries of accepted musical genres and strive to break new territory in their given field. Just Jack has done just that with his debut album The Outer Marker, winning critical acclaim across the board and now setting a new precedent by being the first UK artist to make his album legitimately available in full in the MP3 format.
From September 22nd, music fans will be able to buy the digital version of The Outer Marker for just 6.99. They will get every track from an album including one described by the NME as "Awesome..utterly mindblowing" in the MP3 format, exclusive access to a stream of the Lesson One video, ringtones and artwork they can print out if they want to burn the tracks to CD.
Jamie Spencer, General Manager at Just Jacks record label RGR explains;
"We weren't on any mission to make a point of using the internet to make sales in this way, we just looked at ways in which we could get more people to hear about an album we feel very proud of. In this day and age where the avenues for new music to be heard are getting increasingly limited plus the competitive nature of getting an act on the radio means we have to leave no stone unturned in getting our music heard out there.
How do we get to a 20 - 50 year old audience that is not listening to Radio, and is not going in-store? By using tactics such as employing teams to have our records played in bars, clothing outlets, hair stylists, by reaching out virally on the net. Maybe it is by hunting down another new audience, those who are spending time downloading and spreading the words to friends of a new act they have just discovered.
The fact that this is a ground breaking move sits perfectly with Just Jack's attitude towards marketing his music and I'm happy to be putting into place a campaign which will redefine conventional marketing of music.
Truly independent labels are all looking for cost effective ways of spreading the word about their artists, I'm just surprised that no record label has taken the plunge here in the UK as yet. With an album as well received as The Outer Marker, it seemed a waste not to encourage music fans to 'find it' via the internet especially as the internet does not confine itself to fans of a certain genre. We know that The Outer Marker has appeal across the board"
With the UK's first download chart likely to be put into place by the end of the year, RGR is keen to show that the music industry is capable of reacting to cultural shifts positively, that there are enlightened artists and record labels out there who would rather embrace than demonise the MP3.
Steve Lowes from Retaliate First Management who represents Just Jack and ex Stone Roses singer Ian Brown says, "This is an obvious way forward that will be commonplace over the next few years, someone has got to get the ball rolling. I'll be very interested to see what pick up we get on a new artist like Jack.
The music business is the only business I know of that only markets to its existing customers. I'm more interested in finding new customers than chasing an ever dwindling 'traditional' market."
The digital version of The Outer Marker will be distributed by online publicists Way to Blue, who will make it available across a number of entertainment web sites.
"Technical innovation has determined MP3 to be the most popular music format of our times," says Mylon Domican. "To create a buying culture for MP3s, which are currently free, you must add the same kind of value to a digital album that you get with a DVD album - that's why we're including video, ringtones and artwork for the 6.99."
"The initial response across the online media has been really encouraging - it's good for the web sites because they get a cut of the sale just like any other retailer would, and perfect for their users, who they unanimously believe want MP3s not copy protected music files."
Backing up their claim that no stone should remain unturned, RG Records have also employed the services of an online web consultant who has been utilising a new track 'Lesson One' to promote the album virally by placing it on peer to peer services such as Kazaa (currently boasting 3.1/2 million users) and contacting online radio stations and servicing the single to DJ's internationally. The next targets will include online fanzines of all sizes and they hope that in conjunction with Way To Blue's online campaign, some really tangible results will be seen from this online offensive.
Initially a low key release through new London independent label RG Records, Just Jack's debut album 'The Outer Marker' received fantastic reviews. The Independent called it "impressive", Q said, "masterful" and Time Out said, "Moody. Mean. Bloody marvellous"
Features in the NME - "Awesome. Welcome Just Jack, you rule!", and The Big Issue quickly followed this praise and Jack has been hailed as "The new troubadour of daily life in the UK".
There has been such a groundswell of support from the media that the album has also been re-packaged for general re-release with extra tracks and the video for 'Snowflakes'.
Airplay on XFM, remixes from the likes of Aphrodite and a now famous Cure bootleg of 'Snowflakes' which was called "the first classic single of 2003", are further propelling Just Jack into the limelight, but this is a character who'll be able to handle it.
Jack's confidence is infectious-for a man playing his first two gigs ever to sold-out crowds at Cargo and The Scala, he displayed no fear at all. Instead he radiated good vibes, grinned like a Cheshire cat and lapped up the considerable buzz. It's as if he was born to do it- bantering with the crowd, introducing the band - there's no studied cool rock star posturing here. Nor is he trying to ape the success of anyone else.
There's an honesty and strength to the words of Jack's songs that truly mark the difference between a studio bound experimenter and a future star - it's the courage to speak the uncomfortable truths that makes Jack a true artist. Take the machismo-smashing honesty of 'Lesson One' and its mockery of lad culture, or the love-hate frustrations of 'Triple Tone Eyes'-behind all Jack's lyrics you'll find the kernel of truth that stays hidden in most everyday situations.
"I never had heroes and never wanted to be like other musicians", he says. " I have no affiliations to anyone, I'm not part of a gang, I'm not a part of a scene and I don't have a sound that's obviously a part of a scene. I'm Just Jack."
Jack and his band played his third ever gig to a great crowd at the Glastonbury Dance Tent and performed at the V Festivals this summer.
Further gigs included The Carling Festival, Leeds and Reading and Edinburgh Underbelly (23 August). Jack is currently demoing new material and is close to signing a US record deal. A solo tour will soon be announced for the end of this year.