The relationship between EMI and its artist Robbie Williams is getting complicated. The label is now reportedly planning to ship Williams' 2006 album 'Rudebox' to China to be used as pavement and street lights.
The album that saw the singer's departure from pop to dance/electro, was deemed a flop in the market as being compared to his previous releases. It was speculated as a lack of promotion from EMI for the album received little ads, no supporting tour and little interviews.
Over a million of the printed and packaged copies will be sent to China which will then utilize them to aid their industrial projects. The CDs will be crushed and converted into reusable materials that will be used in lining the surface of the roads and create street lights, the Guardian reported.
"Roughly 85 percent of what EMI does get to release never makes a profit, in part because of the cash spend signing bands and partly due to ill-made bets on the number of CDs the market requires for particular acts," EMI's new head Guy Hands said.
Williams was signed to the recording house in 2002 for an 80 million pounds deal. The label which is owned by Terra Firma is now cutting some expenses including dismissing 2,000 of their staff and reportedly, letting their artists to seek their own sponsors.
Williams is among many artists which have been rumored to be leaving the label. In the state of major change, EMI is thought not able to focus on their artists as Williams' manager, Tim Clark, put it: "...it would be unrealistic to expect an artist - any artist - to deliver an album while we have no idea where EMI are going."
Radiohead and Paul McCartney have walked away from the label last year while The Verve and Coldplay are reportedly still considering to independently release their upcoming albums.
On related news, Williams who will soon release the follow up of 'Rudebox', has collaborated with former Blockheads frontman Chaz Jankel. A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Robbie and Chaz have been working on some great stuff. Out of all his new tunes, the Chaz stuff is the best."