This year, I thought I'd share some of them with you.
My affinity for Marillion has been well-documented on these pages.
One of my favorite artists (behind Mr. Rundgren), it always bothers me that they do not get credit for being the first to implement the crowd-funding model that is now being used by almost every artist (even those with major labels behind them).
Marillion had always maintained a fan club via snail mail, and developed a strong internet presence by the mid-90’s.
In 1997, the band was not planning to tour the US due to a lack of financial support from their new label. Their online fan base raised $60K to fund the tour.
In 2000, Marillion asked fans to pre-order their forthcoming album to fund the recording, a model that has worked for them to this day, and kept them relevant (in 2004 the same fans bought their single release in a coordinated effort that put them on the UK charts-not bad for a progressive band left for dead by the major labels a decade before).
I have always felt that Rundgren first put the idea in play (with his PatroNet subscription service in 1995), and Marillion perfected the model.
Kickstarter just borrowed the idea and sold it to the masses. A smart move, but give credit to the innovators.
The band began issuing Christmas cd’s to that same rabid fan base back around the turn of the millennium. This year, they released an album compiling songs from those fan club releases over the years, along with a new song.
The band is donating part of the proceeds from each CD to charity, but the disc is only currently available from the band’s site HERE.
THE CAROL OF THE BELLS
By the way, you can get a free CD sampler of the band's music HERE.