Good ol' Wal-Mart had a little music festival, er...shareholder meeting (vomit) recently with some of its favorite artists, including the mediocre but formerly famous band Journey. It seems Wal-mart struck a deal with Journey to exclusively release some 3 disc set of the bands music. They bought the rights, Wal-Mart, that is, from the band without a middle man (record label). Normally, it would be a good thing if a record company was excluded from a deal such as this and could mean more money for the artist. The real problem here is this is Wal-Mart we are talking about. The litany of bad acts by Wal-Mart is too long to list here. Just Google something like:
Wal-Mart + labor + health insurance + eats babies.
The NY Times article linked to above mentions how deals like the one Journey signed with Wal-Mart and the one signed by the band the Eagles and the anti-labor capitalist beast last year are the result of the success of digital downloads in that bands have less of a need for record labels. Its just too bad that there are artists (and their managers) who can't think of any more creative than signing on with a corporate piggy.