A senior record industry exec said musicians who call for action on climate change while their music is sold in physical formats were acting hypocritically.

Sir Robin Millar – who has produced 44 British No. 1 hit singles during a career that spans over 50 years – expressed anger that big-name artists weren’t trying to end the use of CDs and vinyl, which he said were basically “chopped-down trees and plastic.”

In a recent interview, Millar told the Guardian: “I am baffled that no large record company has had the backing of a big-selling artist to stop making physical records.” He added: “How can anybody stand up and say ‘save the planet’? Artists are awful for hypocritical bandwagonery.”

READ MORE: Vinyl Can Go Green, But Records Will Cost More

Millar insisted he’ is no “militant climate warrior,” which perhaps is demonstrated in the fact he has one home in the U.K. and another in Morocco. However, the boss of management company Blue Raincoat Music and a former member of Elton John and the Rolling Stones’ organizations was arguing his case despite negativity from shareholders, who remain comfortable with the profits made from selling physical formats.

“I measure my success in record sales,” he stated, while also noting: “The shareholders go: ‘This is terrible. We have to get out now, now, now’.” That short-termism, he said, was contributing to the problematic situation.

A good example of Millar’s ire could be Ozzy Osbourne, who’s been vocal in recent times about ending the “age of plastic” in association with Greenpeace. “World leaders are negotiating the #PlasticsTreaty at UNEP in Nairobi right now,” he tweeted last month. “Incredibly 143 fossil fuel and chemical industry lobbyists are there too! They are putting profits before our planet. We need to reduce plastic production.” However, his website currently displays 12 different physical versions of his latest album Patient Number 9 for sale.


Industry Exec Claims Tours Belong In The Past

In another example, the Stones recently announced 30 different covers for a limited vinyl editions of new album Hackney Diamonds, in a tie-in with MLB. But the band have been active in climate change for two decades, aiming for carbon neutrality on tour since 2003.

In 2019 Mick Jagger spoke out on climate change, saying: “We are in a very difficult situation at the moment… where all the environmental controls that were put in place – that perhaps were just about adequate ... have been rolled back.” He added: “The U.S., which should be the world leader in environmental control, has lost that and has decided to go the other way.”

Meanwhile, Millar went further still, saying that digital music now matches the quality of vinyl – therefore suggesting that the old format was unnecessary – and also that world tours could now be replaced by streamed events.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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