Song for which there is only one existing recording?
February 6, 2014 7:05 AM   Subscribe

So I'm discussing Walter Benjamin. Has anyone else heard the story of a guy winning the copyright to a song and choosing never to market it?

I fear this is going to be the vaguest mefi question ever!

I remember listening to a radio show, 4-5 years ago (I'm thinking it was This American Life, but it could have been on CBC) where they discussed unique pieces of art.

In it, they told the story of a guy who had won the rights to a song composed by one of his favorite band. This guy decided not to market the song, and, instead, the only way to listen to it is to be invited to his apartment.

Did I dream this up or did this really happen? If so, can anyone please point in a direction so that I could document this and discuss it in a lecture I am giving?

Thanks ahead
posted by Milau to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's the Sufjan Stevens Xmas Xchange Song (which I should've rightfully won btw)
posted by ludwig_van at 7:10 AM on February 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ha - and on that page there is a link to the metafilter thread about it. (2009)
posted by cashman at 7:34 AM on February 6, 2014

Jean Michel Jarr auctioned a similar 'one off' record many years ago. More recently, Field Music recorded 'One Copy', pressed one copy of it, destroyed all recorded material, exhibited it and then auctioned it.

I am sure there are more.
posted by 0bvious at 7:43 AM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much. Yes it was the Sufjan Stevens song - but I'm glad to hear all about the other such recordings.
posted by Milau at 8:33 AM on February 6, 2014

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