Ginger Wildheart’s new album ‘100%’ has charted in the top ten of the midweeks and with fingers firmly crossed, will stay there come the end of the week. One in the eye of the record companies, I think this will change the way that albums are funded and released.
The story doesn’t start here though. Let’s rewind to August last year, when Ginger launched his triple album project via the pledge music website. Fans are asked to pay directly to the artists to help fund the recording costs, in return for the songs once they are completed as well as various exclusives. Ginger offered fans a deluxe CD, a gatefold vinyl, a ‘making of’ DVD and the chance to be thanked in the liner notes! All of which was coupled with regular updates on the pledge site which included videos and info on how things were going in the studio.
The pledge was an outstanding success, achieving 100% in a mere six hours, breaking the website’s record in the process. Not bad for someone who was apparently ready to quit the music business!
The resultant triple album entitled ‘555%’ was made available to download 10 songs at a time from the end of March, every Friday for three weeks. Fans were then asked to vote for their favourite tracks which would make up the single commercial CD release ‘100%’. This was no mean feat, all 30 tracks are, in my opinion, worthy of being on ‘100%’. Lost Wildhearts epic ‘Deep in the Arms of Morpheus’ and proggy instrumental ‘In Vino Veritas’ are personal highlights, plus a special mention has to go to ‘Very, Very Slow’, a short thrashy number that has Random stamped all over it!
If you want to hear these and the other tracks from the sessions, you can still pledge and download all the songs, although the physical copies have now been deleted.
So, back to ‘100%’
The 12 songs chosen by pledgers make for a great album that rewards repeat listens.
Stand out tracks include: ’Taste Aversion’ which packs more ideas into five and a half minutes than most people have on a whole album, ‘Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow’ which is too funky for its own good and an absolute belter played live! ‘Time’, is another song with plenty of twists and turns. One minute the calm sounds of Big Ben (why hasn’t anybody thought of doing that before?) then heavy riffing, then back again. I say stand out tracks, but really every one’s a winner on this album. If you like rock music or just good music for that matter, then you owe it to yourself to own this album and like I said before, it’s one in the eye of all of those record company execs, a completely independent release that has had no marketing, no hype, no appearance on fucking X Factor – just word of mouth, a loyal fan base and a bunch of great songs.
Album of the year? It’s definitely a contender. Word is that there are more Ginger Wildheart pledge campaigns on the way, so maybe only Ginger himself will top this effort.
So here’s to you Ginger. I hope you get all the success and recognition you truly deserve and long may it continue!