Tool, the American rock band which was a staple of alternative music in the 1990s and early 2000s, is finally bringing its back catalog to streaming services.
The exact services the album will be available on haven’t been named. However, it seems incredibly likely that Apple Music — one of the most popular streaming services — will be among them.
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The albums that will be available online include 1993’s Undertow, 1996’s Ænima, 2001’s Lateralus and 2006’s 10,000 Days. They will arrive on streaming services August 2. These albums have previously been available in physical form only.
Excitingly, the launch coincides with the Tool’s first new album in more than a decade: Fear Inoculum which is released August 30. (We presume this one will also be available on streaming services!)
Music distribution has changed
Tool’s decision to bring its music to Apple Music underlines how much music distribution has changed in the past 13 years. Back in 2006, when the band launched its last album, the main way to get music online was through digital downloads. The iTunes Music Store was well on its way to becoming the biggest music retailer in the United States. However, CD sales were still a viable alternative. Spotify only launched that year.
At the time, there were still a number of bands skeptical of digital music sales. (Tool was in good company with the likes of the Beatles.)
Squawking at the wrong tool
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) January 13, 2019
Jump forward to 2019, and streaming is a vital part of the music industry. Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan hinted at a possible change in the air earlier this year. When a fan asked why Tool’s music wasn’t available digitally, Keenan said they were “squawking at the wrong tool.”
That suggested the decision wasn’t entirely his. Fortunately, whoever’s it is (likely Keenan’s bandmates) seem to have made the decision that will ensure that the band’s music is opened up to a whole new generation of fans. As well as those of us who have been around a whole lot longer.