Two stories today prove just how relevant (and helpful!) record labels are nowadays. First, Dr. Dre is suing the defunct Death Row Records over rights and royalties from his 1992 album The Chronic. Dre handed over rights to the seminal album in exchange for royalty payments, which he now alleges he has never received. Death Row filed for bankruptcy in 2006, raising the shameful possibility that one of the greatest albums of all time will be auctioned off to pay for, I dunno, an outstanding debt to OfficeMax.
In other "record labels are awesome" news, NME is reporting that Madonna is considering leaving Warner Music, where she's been under contract since 1982. Where does she want to go? Another label, perhaps? Nope: Live Nation, the venue owner and event producers. Perhaps she's realized that today's music business model is all about live performances, for someone like Madonna especially: her eight Wembley shows in 2006 grossed over 20 million dollars.