Well, it kind of is. See, in the era before the intergooglewebtubes, people still ripped off music. Not as many, obviously—Tapestry has sold 25 million copies over the last 40 years—but they still did it. The process was a little more cumbersome: There was the taped copy of a buddy’s record, of course, or the classic “hold the mic up to the radio speaker” move. Or you could hit a back road convenience store, truck stop, liquor store, or car wash and pick up pirated copies of popular albums. In my hometown our local purveyor of illegal knockoffs was a clothing outlet. Go figure.
As an elementary schooler I remember debating my father over the authenticity of a pirated copy of Barry Manilow Live. My point was that it wasn’t real because the artwork was wrong and there was no Arista Records logo; my father’s argument was that the music was the same. The rest of that stuff was where they get you.
That remains the motive for some illegal downloaders, I’m sure: The Man is trying to get one over on us little guys, so screw him.
Nope. Theft is theft. Artists deserve to be paid for the things they make, just as any maker of things does. The (not so) good people at Melody Records were doing nothing but exploiting Carole King here for a couple of bucks, and so was the asshole who purchased this shitty Tapestry knockoff to stick next to the Little Debbies by the front counter. And so was W. Sood, the man or woman who inevitably bought this cruddy copy rather than the official release.
What I can’t figure out is why Melody Records was willing to bootleg the songs but not the cover art, opting instead for a margarine commercial pastiche evoking the singer-songwriter’s last name. Classy!
You can buy the real Tapestry everywhere, all the time. As for this cruddy knockoff? You might find one in a charity shop bin somewhere, but unless you want to write a rant about piracy why bother? Happy hunting. And ranting.