September 6, 2013

A Look At Nirvana’s Original $600 Recording Contract With Sub Pop

It is every interesting when you take a look at old record contracts and record deals that took place decades ago.  A lot can change in ten years, but one thing that is sure to change is the value of money.  Today, songs can be bought on the internet for pennies – and artists have a long way to go if they expect to make a living off of music sales alone.  To many bands and artists, a record contract is the starting point for success, and it means that their talent has been recognized as something that is potentially profitable.  A record deal buys you many things.  The most important of them all is legitimacy; since you now have people who are paying you to make music.  It also buys you access to professional gear and studio time.  The third aspect is perhaps the most enticing – the payout.

Bands receive large chunks of money once they are signed under a record label.  What was a large chunk of money back in 1989 – how about six hundred dollars?  Yea, it doesn’t seem like much.  That is the price of one month’s rent these days – but to an artist back then I’m sure the money wasn’t the biggest selling point.