EMI Music is the London-based company that owns Capitol Records. Two months ago, after EMI chairman Alain Levy claimed that the CD format is dead, he was fired. A month later, as it was announced that Capitol would be merging with EMI sister company Virgin Records, Capitol president Andy Slater was fired and 13 positions in the Capitol and Virgin promotion departments were eliminated.
The Orange County band Saosin records for Capitol. In a recent L.A. Times feature on the band, the paper noted that "Many of the band's label team was let go in the wake of the Capitol merger." Saosin bassist Chris Sorenson was quoted: "The way the music industry is right now, things just aren't as abundant."
In a financial statement released last month, EMI projected that its record-division income will fall 15 percent this year following "an unprecedented level of market decline" due in part to "...an exceptionally high level of product returns [from stores]." Disappointing recent sales by Robbie Williams and a Beatles compilation were blamed.
Where does this leave Reeve Oliver, the local trio that was supposed to have its debut Capitol CD released in January? (Capitol announced in December that the CD's release would be delayed until June.)
Reeve Oliver manager Dan Field did not respond to requests for comment. An employee of Capitol's A&R administration department says, "There have been a lot of changes, and we're not really sure what is going out still. We really don't know what is happening right now."