Hands insisted he was injecting a dose of business reality. Of the 14,000 artists in the EMI stable, just 200 accounted for half the company’s sales, he said.
Radiohead walked out after Hands offered only a fraction of what they wanted for their next deal. Sir Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones followed them out the door. Robbie Williams threatened to go on strike.
Lily Allen put it most succinctly: “It’s really sad for EMI. I hate Terra Firma,” she told The Word magazine. “They’re wankers and they don’t know what they’re doing. They will fail.” Meanwhile, CD sales were crashing, and early hopes for revenue fromdigital downloads had proved wildly optimistic.