Not long ago, we reported that Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo sounded off in an interview with the Quietus about disappointing sales of the band’s celebrity-curated compilation Hits Are for Squares: “We did a record with Starfucks … er, Starbucks,” Ranaldo said, adding later, “it’s the rarest record we’ve ever released. It’s impossible to find in the shops. I don’t know how many they made — literally a few hundred.”
It was the first such accusation against the coffee chain’s record label we’d heard at the time, but in an interview in yesterday’s NY Times, Carly Simon has now spoken out against Starbucks for allegedly mishandling her latest disc, This Kind of Love, the very same way and the stories that both Sonic Youth and Simon tell are intriguingly similar.
Simon called the album her “last chance at bat,” as she had hoped to retire on her share of the album profits. She has now filed a lawsuit, however, claiming Starbucks failed to stock her album at a number of locations and when they finally did, they sold it at a lower price, which “stigmatized Ms. Simon’s album as an album that could not be sold at full price,” the lawsuit states.
Here’s Ranaldo’s “last chance at bat” statement: “When we put it together we thought it was going to be the biggest sell-out of our career.” Weird, right?
Whereas Sonic Youth are content simply dropping a few snarky comments about the issue (Thurston Moore: “Starbucks coffee sucks”), Simon’s taking the dispute to the courtroom. And perhaps SY could be her star witness. For more on Simon’s case, including a statement from Starbucks, check out Stephanie Clifford’s piece here.