The Black Keys Reluctantly Put Latest Albums on Spotify

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Patrick Carney from the Black Keys performs on Day 2 of the Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park on June 12, 2015 in Newport, Isle of Wight.  

Now "Lonely Boy" won't be so lonely. The Black Keys have decided to put their most recent albums on Spotify. "After five years of struggling with this we agreed to put the keys songs on Spotify," Keys drummer Patrick Carney tweeted on Monday. "I'd rather people hear our music than not."

Until now, Spotify-using fans of the Akron, Ohio band have been relegated to only six of their eight studio releases, from 2002's The Big Come Up all the way to 2010's Brothers. The holdouts have been 2011's Danger Mouse-produced El Camino and their most recent effort, 2014's Turn Blue. (The band did release singles off those records to Spotify however, including the hits "Fever" and "Lonely Boy," their most popular song on the entire service at over 100 million spins.)

At press time both Turn Blue and El Camino had been made available, though a disclaimer was still displaying at the top of the band's profile. A Spotify representative declined to comment, but CEO/founder Daniel Ek and Spotify's official account did re-tweet Carney's announcement.

The Keys also have two proper extended plays, 2004's The Moan and 2006's Chulahoma, both of which were already on Spotify.

According to Carney, who has spoken out against Spotify before, the band was given no "advance" money to put the last two albums up. "I'm still an advocate for artists to be paid fairly. I'm still apprehensive."

In a 2014 interview with the Seattle Times, Carney acknowledged that the streaming model was the "way of the future," but that artists were not getting their fair share of revenue. "My whole thing about music is: if somebody’s making money then the artist should be getting a fair cut of it," he said. "The owner of Spotify is worth something like 3 billion dollars… he’s richer than Paul McCartney and he’s 30 and he’s never written a song."

While nothing compares to the holdout fervor of artists like the dearly departed Prince and reclusive rockers Tool (one song apiece on the service), the decision by the Keys should please diehard fans, at least. Other artists who have filled in the gaps in the last year include Radiohead, which made In Rainbows and various bi-sides available, and most recently Neil Young, who until early November only had a handful of quirky mid-career albums on the service, namely Trans. Spotify has returned the love to Young, heavily promoting his latest album Peace Trail both in their "New Releases" section and on Facebook.


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