A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

It’s Always About The Songs

I am reading an article on Brad Paisley.

When he was asked about why he thinks his popularity resonates so strongly with audiences around the world, Paisley answered with the following:

“It’s always songs.”

He further adds that the minute an artist starts to think it’s them and not the songs they are singing that resonates, it is the moment that they start to think they are larger than life.

We are fans of music. We are attracted to the songs. If that same artist keeps churning out great songs, then we stick around. If they don’t, we go looking for something else.

I got into the band Bon Jovi because of the songs, not because of an individual. Desmond Child and Billy Falcon have co written alot of songs for the band, however their solo careers didn’t get any traction while Jon Bon Jovi’s solo career is a one hit wonder and Richie Sambora’s is aimed at a whole different audience.

I got into Coheed and Cambria because of the Amory Wars story and the songs. If I got into Coheed and Cambria because of an individual, then I would be also listening to all of the side projects.  

When it all comes down to it, the song is the only thing that remains. The top 10 list for my kids are the following songs;

1. Eye Of The Tiger from Survivor
2. Lick It Up from Kiss
3. We’re Not Gonna Take It from Twisted Sister.
4. Livin On A Prayer from Bon Jovi
5. Anyway You Want It from Journey
6. Smoke On The Water from Deep Purple
7. The Final Countdown from Europe
8. We Will Rock You from Queen
9. Back In Black from AC/DC
10. Iron Man from Black Sabbath

The kids of today don’t say the band name, they say the song name. In time the above songs will be covered over and over again, further obscuring, the original writer. All The Young Dudes from Mott The Hoople and originally written by David Bowie, has been covered by Bruce Dickinson, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Angel, Tesla, The Smashing Pumpkins, Judas Priest and Stone Temple Pilots.

My kids love the song Cum On Feel The Noize. They don’t care which version they hear (Slade or Quiet Riot), they only care about hearing the song. I never went back to hear the original Slade version. I was quite content with the Quiet Riot version.

In the same interview, Paisley talks about some truths in relation to technology.

“It’s a constant challenge to try and get people’s attention,” Paisley said. For instance, he can put a huge amount of effort in a music video (such as his recent “Southern Comfort Zone”), “and then you’re upstaged by ‘David at the Dentist.‘”

This is real life example of an artist and their backers, spending time and money to produce something of decent quality, only to be trumped by a video that cost almost nothing to make.

The record labels whine and complain about piracy, however their real problem is that they do not know how to compete in the market place.

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Music, Piracy

Bon Jovi – The life cycle of What About Now – From 1 to 76 in six weeks.

The release of What About Now happened with a bang.  Due to record label collusion between Universal (Bon Jovi’s label) and Sony (Justin Timberlake’s and David Bowie’s parent label), the album was released the week before Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 album and because of that it went straight to Number 1, beating off David Bowie.

The second week saw the album slip to Number 7.  The third week saw it drop even more to 34 on the charts.  By the fourth week, it was down to position 50.  On the other hand, the Because We Can tour, was selling out arena’s and stadiums.

Digitally, the album performed even worse.  The iTunes chart had the album debut at 52 on the 12 March 2013, and by the March 15, 2013, it was out of the Top 100 iTunes chart. Three days.  That’s it.

Songs from the album do not even rank in the top 25 of the streaming charts.

The fans have clearly spoken.  The hard-core fans like me purchased the album so that we could have it in our collections.  It’s a collectors thing.  The fans that the band picked up during the Slippery/New Jersey era and the It’s My Life era, prefer to buy tickets to the show.

So where is the album, 6 weeks after its release.  Sitting at position 76.  Bands like Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons are still in the top 20 and their albums have been out since mid 2012.  Adele’s 21 (released in January 2011) is still charting and selling more than Bon Jovi’s new album (released in March 2013).

The labels will scream piracy.  However, data clearly shows, that if you release good music, it will sell, and it will be around for a long time.  Release crap music and expect it to be ignored.  Thank god, Bon Jovi delivered some classic albums in the past.

 

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