business news in context, analysis with attitude

Starbucks reportedly has decided not to sell “Devils & Dust,” the new CD just released by Bruce Springsteen, because there is one song on the album that it believes shoppers will find to be offensive.

Starbucks has become a big player in the music business, selling CDs, offering CD burning units in select locations, and even acquiring a music company. There have been reports that Starbucks stores generated one-third of all the sales for Ray Charles’ final album, “Genius Loves Company.”

The song on the new Springsteen album, “Reno,” is about an encounter with a prostitute. The CD cover notes that the song “contains adult imagery.”
KC's View:
The CD cover notes are correct.

But we have to tell you this. We have the CD, as well as have all its songs loaded on our iPod. And while we love Springsteen, we listened to the damn song four times and were only able to figure out what the hell he was singing about when we read the lyrics.

We’ve always said that retailers certainly have the right to sell whatever CDs, DVDs or books they choose to – because making such choices is far preferable to trying to censor the content.

The reality, however, is that in all likelihood, more people are going to listen to “Reno” now because Starbucks has taken a position against the song. It is sort of the natural reaction.