EMI has announced that “unsold copies” of Rudebox, by British pop star Robbie Williams, “will soon be used to resurface Chinese roads.”
More than a million copies of the CD “will be crushed and sent to the country to be recycled,” we read, where they “will be used in street lighting and road surfacing projects.”
This reminds me of a house I visited back in September, in Chicago – about which I wrote a short article for the March 2008 issue of Dwell – wherein the owners had pulverized boxes of old vinyl records, added them to a glass aggregate, and used that to surface the floor of their master bathroom. You could actually see tiny, vaguely recognizable pieces of crushed 45s catching sunlight near the toilet… National Geographic also covered the house.
In any case, does all this imply some strange new infrastructural claim to fame?
“You know that CD they used to pave the King’s Road?” a man asks you, putting his coffee down as if to emphasize the point. He crosses his arms. “I played bass on that.”