U.K. rock act Oasis has hooked up with leading music magazine NME and a government organization in a move aimed at encouraging budding musicians to learn to play musical instruments.
In an initiative backed by the U.K. government’s Arts Council of England, the sheet music and lyrics to three tracks from the band’s new album “Dig Out Your Soul” will be exclusively distributed for free with the Sept. 17 issue of NME.
The move is part of the build-up to the Oct. 6 U.K. release of the album on the band’s own Big Brother Recordings label, distributed through PIAS/Sony DADC. “Dig Out Your Soul,” the band’s seventh studio set, appears in the United States Oct. 7 via Big Brother/Warner Bros.
The three songs involved are “Bag It Up,” “The Turning” and “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady,” written by Noel Gallagher and published by Oasis Music/Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd. The lyrics and printed music will be accompanied by a CD-Rom featuring multi-media content, including exclusive artwork and behind-the-scenes photos.
Fans are invited to film their own rendition of the tracks and upload the resulting videos on to a dedicated Dig Out Your Soul microsite on the oasisinet.com Web site. The band will invite the performers of the winning interpretation to an Oasis concert anywhere in the world.
The initiative has the public support of the U.K. government’s Arts Council of England, which has been attempting to encourage young people to learn musical instruments through its “Take It Away” scheme. The Council claims to have handed out some £6 million ($10.5 million) in interest-free loans to help budding musicians buy instruments since it launched the scheme in July 2007
According to Big Brother Recordings’ GM Emma Greengrass, band considers the distribution of sheet music with a major publication a more viable alternative to the controversial strategy of giving free CDs away with newspapers/magazines as a “covermount.”
In a statement, Greengrass says: “We have always been a bit skeptical of covermount opportunities in the past. Oasis are not keen on giving away their music, but this is a great idea that offers a lot more and allows the band to interact with their fans while giving them something really exclusive and engaging.”