Neal Morse Inner Circle Goes TOTALLY Digital. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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Not cool.

Over the last several weeks, Neal Morse has announced that his venerable INNER CIRCLE club is going exclusively digital.

To state that this infuriates me would be going way too far.  To state that I’m unhappy, however, would not be an exaggeration.

Not only have I been a proud INNER CIRCLE member for years, but I’ve also got my own Neal Morse display in my office–in all of its tangible (yes, TANGIBLE) and technicolor glory.

Do I want downloads?  No.  I don’t want downloads from Neal Morse or from Glass Hammer or from The Tangent or from Riverside or from NAO or from Big Big Train.

As far as I’m concerned, sadly, Neal Morse’s INNER CIRCLE is done.  Whatever it was (and, it was brilliant), it’s over.

I’m so tired of the world moving toward nothing but digital.  We (or, at least I) love prog because everything is so well done–the lyrics, the music, the playing, and the art.  I want an album or a CD or a DVD or a blu-ray.  A down load is just not cheap, but, frankly, tacky.

Mr. Morse, please, please, please reconsider this.

Very cool.


My Neal Morse Shrine.  Very, very cool.


10 thoughts on “Neal Morse Inner Circle Goes TOTALLY Digital. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Destined to fail, because of the nature of the internet. People will pay for tangible. But digital? No way. Because the nature of the internet is that digital is basically considered to be “that which should be free”.


    1. Sorry, not true. The world is now divided into people who will pay for music because they realise that artists need to eat and those who see no reason to. Format is irrelevant.

      Unless there’s a 5.1 mix on Blu Ray or DVD, I will *always* go for a lossless download now and I’ll pay for it. Bandcamp out of preference, or failing that 7Digital.

      Four main reasons: I simply don’t have the storage space for any more CDs; generally speaking the CD packages simply don’t add any value; often lossless downloads are higher definition than CD; last but not least, instant gratification.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Super disappointing when an artist you admire goes this route. CDs are far from dead AND they’re relatively inexpensive to manufacture, even with a nice package, if you have an audience, as Morse does. Related to that, I’ve been able to upgrade my turntable over the past year so that it sounds absolutely kickass, and I must say that if an artist isn’t producing a vinyl option, I’m not pleased. Now, that said, I also want the digital download so I can make a copy for the car, so likewise I avoid vinyl where I don’t get that option. But I, like you, also geek out on the graphics and the tangible. Hopefully you’ll convince them to alter their course.


  3. Bryan Morey

    What a fail. I’m with you Brad – I much prefer a physical copy. The only time I buy iTunes downloads is when they are selling a new metal album I’ve had my eye on for $5.99, usually a few months after release. Since I’m a cheap ass, I’ve been limiting myself to one or two cd purchases every few months. Big Big Train is the only band I’ll pre-order from before I’ve even heard a note of new music. I was so disappointed when they decided not to produce a US region Blu-Ray of Stone and Steel, because I certainly would have bought it.

    I’m worried that by the time I actually have disposable income, physical media will be completely dead, even in the progressive rock world.


  4. Michał

    For what it’s worth, npfh will never go this way 🙂 Personally, I treat digital-only releases as supplements. They are never the real thing.

    To sum up – I cannot agree with you more, Brad.


  5. gnb123

    I’m a founder member of the Inner circle (ie joined from day 1). I don’t see it the same way as you. I think there are big positives… Living in the UK it now means I get the releases on the same day as everyone else which means we can talk about them on Day 1. Secondly while I have a huge collection of NM CDs I tend to listen to music digitally most of the time. Thirdly what I did with this month- given that the IC release has a full WAV file version was burn a CD and print the art – so I still have a CD quality disc.

    So what am I missing? The wait for the CD to travel across the Atlantic – no thanks. The actual silver disc – well no cos I can burn that myself. The artwork – well I’ve been sent it and can print it – and the artwork is generally pretty limited for IC releases anyway.

    Yeah I’ll always buy new releases on CD. But I’m perfectly happy with download as the delivery method if I get the same thing – which I believe I do


  6. To give a slightly different perspective…physical is expensive. As the manager of a small record label I constantly walk the fine line between what’s viable and what isn’t, and so, so often that’s down to the costs of producing CDs. For a fan club the pressures must be just as great – if not more so – as you’re relying on subscription fees from what’s probably a fairly static base of fans.

    Scratch away the surface and you may find that the options available to the Inner Circle were to either (a) go digital; or (b) disappear completely.

    There’s a whole bunch of other conversations, of course, around the longer-term viability of making CDs in a consumer environment where fewer people want to pay. But I’m not going there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. Very good thoughts. For what it’s worth–and I’m probably in a blessed position–I always buy physical copies of music I really like, even when I already have the download/promo. The same is true with my BEM music. Regardless, I appreciate the thoughts, very much.


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