It’s been over 2 years since Sykes announced a new solo album was in the works and all we have is a leaked song on YouTube. To add to that, it’s been 18 years since “Nuclear Cowboy” came out. An album I illegally downloaded back then because I couldn’t get it in Australia, not even as an import because the distributor of the album, didn’t distribute into Australia. Seriously WTF.
The new music paradigm is to release music and to keep on releasing music. The listener decides what to listen to. It’s a scary thought for the artist, especially legacy artists who are used to the comfort metrics of the past, like a large advanced payment.
And in the past, the promotion and marketing campaign of the label would cast a net so far and wide, with the hope they would hook people in. I know it would be hard for kids born in the 2000’s to understand, but, if a label got behind an artist, then the scorched earth marketing policy they employed would get the artist a platinum record. But the really good albums, man, they didn’t have large campaigns behind them to begin with.
“The Final Countdown” broke through country by country, until it became a worldwide hit. Same deal with “Slippery When Wet”.
When “You Give Love A Bad Name” hit the airwaves and TV screens with the same promotion budget Jovi had for “7800 Fahrenheit”, something interesting happened. The song was so catchy and so infectious that people started requesting it on video channels and radio stations. Suddenly, there was a demand for the album. And man didn’t it sell, shifting over 100,000 units on a weekly basis. “Wanted Dead Or Alive” was already a hit with fans before it even came out as a single.
What an interesting concept when people/fans decide what is hot or what’s not.
Funny thing is, Europe and Bon Jovi had bigger recording and marketing budgets for the follow up albums “Out Of This World” and “New Jersey” and they didn’t even get close to the traction and numbers of the previous album. It doesn’t mean the albums are bad, but it goes to show a scorched earth marketing policy is not a guarantee of global reach.
They even had more money thrown at them for “Prisoners In Paradise” and “Keep The Faith” and again, they failed to get the public acceptance that “The Final Countdown” and “Slippery When Wet” got.
Hell, White Lion for “Pride” didn’t have an earth shattering budget. The band was just happy to be in the recording studio and to have an album out, but that album sold like crazy, while the follow ups had the advanced payments and the marketing budgets and they didn’t get anywhere near the staying power of “Pride”.
Money thrown at something doesn’t equal public acceptance. There is no magic formula for success, but if I look at the past, all of the bands I liked released music consistently. Led Zeppelin released 4 albums in 4 years, Black Sabbath the same, Deep Purple the same, Rainbow the same, Whitesnake the same, Dio the same, ZZ Top the same, Judas Priest the same, Bruce Springsteen the same and so forth.