Music to My Ears – Tool’s Digital Acceptance

So, for the best part of the past 48 hours, this has been my personal soundtrack. Many of us thought this day would never come, but here we are. After famously being so staunchly against the move to online music platforms, Tool have finally released their full discography onto both digital download & streaming services.

Since the band’s profile appeared on Spotify this past Friday Aug 2nd, they have already amassed over 1.5 million followers. In addition, their album Lateralus is currently sitting as no.1 on the iTunes Album Chart, and five of Tool’s tracks are in the top 10 of the platform’s Downloaded Songs Chart.

Pretty incredible numbers. However, this also made me stop and appreciate how much music services change not just our listening habits but the ways we interact with music. For example, I own physical copies of Tool’s albums, but I also use Spotify on a daily basis, and the simplicity, accessibility and immediacy of the service means I just prefer to stream music these days than use a CD player or rip music to my phone. This might sound crazy (or even lazy) to some people, but whilst I had the ability to regularly listen to their music all this time, I just haven’t done so because it was such a disconnect from the way I frequently access the same from other bands or artists. I can’t recall the last time I bought a physical album for myself.

And yet I might just do that on August 30th. For Tool have also announced that their new album “Fear Inoculum”, the first in thirteen years since 10,000 Days, will be released at the end of this month.

This is one of those odd occasions where I am forever thankful for modern digital streaming services but also absolutely ecstatic at the thought of holding a new record in my hands.