July 16, 2008


While listening to an album from Elsiane, a Bjork-like vocalist from Montreal, I began to think about how bands are marketed today.  This brought me to the question of why labels and radios don’t join hands to go back to past models…just to see how it’d take.  Of course, none of us really know the answer to that, but it’d be interesting to see what could happen.

Things change.  We all know that.  But has the internet really picked up the radio slack?  Hardly.  There are definite avenues like MySpace, official band sites, and ‘word-of-mouth’ blogs, but those are very diverse with a monstrous range of tastes to have to sort through.  The bad thing is that radios need to have a program that works in order to make money and stay afloat.  But who is to say that a multi-genre TOP 40 radio station couldn’t work again.  With so many cross-genre bands like we enjoyed back in the day, radio was very interesting to listen to.  And how many bands sold albums because someone liked the song they heard on the radio – even the one-hit wonders.

With the growth and diversity of the Country markets, coupled with the growth and diversity of the Christian markets added to the alternative, pop, and R&B markets, a multi-genre TOP 40 station in a large market could be very interesting.  It could be instrumental in revitalizing the music markets in many ways.  The internet assist would then increase many-fold because fans of a newly heard single would then search out that band, find their music AND find references to other like bands.

Call it crazy, but I really believe that this could work…again.

The start-up would be simple:

  • Refer to the past.  Dig into the histories of all of the great TOP40 stations like WLS-AM 89, insert your favorites here.  Choose a playback format that feels comfortable.
  • Begin broadcasting with your live DJs, all of the hot music that sells the best.  Use whatever barometer you want.  Billboard would resurge as a result; use their charts.  However it is decided, it would appeal to today’s markets because the diversity is again what it once used to be.
  • Once people start hearing diversity on a TOP40 station, it should be a step away from elevating the purchase markets.  One of the reasons things are so crappy in the sales market is that we are forced to choose a radio station that caters to a sound thus depriving us of exposure to a song we might like.  Case in point.  Amy MacDonald has a great, fantastic, unbelievable cross-over hit ready to go with her “Mr Rock and Roll.”  And not enough people are going to hear it.  If this was nation-wide, or even world-wide radio, guess who is going to gain exposure.  Yep!  Amy MacDonald.  Tons of it.
  • Once this “new” format takes hold, guess where ad dollars are going to be.  And more of it because you’re now reaching a broader market.

Look, we got off track of things that work.  I believe that the music markets are currently seeing the results of that now.  Fix it, put it back to right, and I’m thinking a renaissance will occur.  If I had control of an empire, this would currently be a round-table discussion high on my agenda.  AND, I’d have a test market in place.  Stations change formats all of the time, hoping for the best.  One more change will not hurt.  If it turns out to be a bad idea, well…recovery is at the end of another guess-work format change.  Right?

C’mon stations and labels…let us ALL put the zip back into this market.  It hasn’t gone away, it’s just seriously under-represented.  We NEED someone to bring it to us on over-the-air radio.

I’m going to attempt to crystallize my thoughts on this further.  If I can, I’ll bring more to the table in subsequent posts.

Got a few cents to add?

We have reviews coming up for Friday so be sure to log back in then for more news, rants, announcement of a new band ‘best of career’ poll (thanks for all those that contributed your ideas – they were all great ones and will be used).

Thanks to all that contributed to the successful Rolling Stones poll.  It was a blast and I think that everyone enjoyed it. 

All in all, this serves to remind us that The Rolling Stones is a great band with a wealth of tunes in their catalogue. I felt bad for the albums that didn't get at least one like 12x5, and Flowers (with SO many great songs on it), and even Out of Our Heads with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on it. Thanks to ALL of you who responded to this. It is so much fun to do. Now...who to do next?

We'll see you on Friday.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.





The previously mentioned, upcoming ZZ Top upgrade for Eliminator is expected on August 26.  This CD/DVD Special Edition will be augmented by the inclusion of ’83 previously unreleased live versions of: “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “I Got The Six,” “TV Dinners,” and “Got Me Under Pressure.”  There is also a 12” Dance Mix of “Legs” and a Single-edit of “Legs” included.  The DVD will sweeten the deal with four videos (“Gimme All your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” “TV Dinners”), and four from previously unreleased Live on the Tube – 11/17/1983 (“Got Me Under Pressure,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Tube Snake Boogie”).  The album is re-mastered and will be enclosed in a 4-panel Digipak and covered by a plastic PVC O-Card.  This is all capped off by a 20-page booklet.  From Rhino’s Collector’s Edition.

Folks with turntables will be able to hear That Lucky Old Sun from Brian Wilson before the CD, CD/DVD releases (September 2).  Available on Capitol Records on August 19 as a Limited Edition Vinyl LP.

Raw Footage from Ice Cube is planned for store release on August 19 and will be released by Lench Mob Records in both Explicit (PA) and Edited (Clean) versions.

Capitol Records will release a previously announced Keith Urban ‘best of’ set called Greatest Hits: 19 Kids.  This is being planned for release on August 19.  This new collection will include the new song, “You Look Good in My Shirt.”

Metal will get an album from The Showdown called Backbreaker.  The album is planned for release by Solid State Records for August 19.

Blue Note Records has pencilled in Invisible Cinema by Aaron Parks (Terence Blanchard), scheduling the Jazz soloist’s release for August 19.

Blue Note will reissue six classic titles on August 19 from the following artists: The Three Sounds (Elegant Soul; Soul Symphony); Jeremy Steig (Howlin’ For Judy); Bobbi Humphrey (Fancy Dancer); Reuben Wilson (Set Us Free); Eddie Henderson (Heritage).

Bandit Records will release a 12-track set from George Jones of unreleased duet recordings.  The album is called Burn Your Playhouse Down and includes some incredible duets with performers like Leon Russell, Keith Richards, Shelby Lynne, Marty Stuart, Mark Knopfler, Tammy Wynette, and more.  It is planned for August 19.

Last post we mentioned the impending release from Taylor Hicks called Early Works.  The album is being released through Hicks’ own label called Modern Whomp Records on August 19.

Fans of Folk, Americana, and/or Bluegrass should prepare themselves for the upcoming August 19 release of Fast Paced World by the 5-member, Winnepeg-based The Duhks band.  They are being released on Sugar Hill Records.

Luke Reynolds (Blue Merle) has formed a new band called Pictures and Sound and will release their debut album for Vanguard Records on August 19.

Sixstep Records will release a CD/DVD set for David Crowder Band called Remedy Club Tour.  Combined, the CD and the DVD presents more than 85 minutes of live music, including 15 minutes of ‘Behind the Scenes’ footage from the band.  It is scheduled for August 19.

For those that remember the great song with sales spurred by an iPod commercial called “Jerk It Out,” then you should be pleased to know that the band responsible for that song, Caesars, will release their next album called Strawberry Weed on August 19.  Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) called Caesars a “….hip-sounding band worthy of attention.”  Astralwerks will release the album both on CD and as a DD.

Here’s a title that I’ve been waiting for.  You & Me is the next album from the under-rated and under-known The Walkmen.  These guys are still being called Developing and thus will get a price-point related to that.  To be released August 19 on Gigantic Music.  I’ll get back with you on this one.

will also release an album by Laura Marling called Alas I Cannot Swim on August 19.  The album is the debut release of this 17-year old, small-town British girl whose lyrics are heavy themes for a girl so young.  The album will be released in both CD, DD, and 180g vinyl LP (with a bonus live CD).  The LP will be limited to 1000 copies so snag one if you’re inclined to do so.

Century Media will release 2000 LP copies each of the following metal titles: The Cleansing (Suicide Silence); Decimate the Weak (Winds of Plague); and Comes From the Heart (Stick to Your Guns).  These are on the list for August 19.

EMI Classics will release a 7CD Box for Paul Robeson called The Complete EMI Recordings (1928-1939).  The set contains 170 songs.  This will be released on August 19.


Review - Jakob Dylan - seeing things - CD

Being the son of one of the world's greatest poet musician can never be easy. That's espeically true when your name is Dylan. The name carries a high expectation and we had to dial back to zero in order to give young Dylan a fair shake. Seeing Things is the first solo work from Jakob Dylan.



Review - John Bayless - Circle of Life - The Music of Elton John in the Style of Bach - CD
This might have been a little too much of an undertaking for John Bayless, whose latest album (Circle of Life) has attempted to marry Elton John and Bach. He may have pleased himself but I'm not sure he succeeded for the rest of us.  






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212 Frech

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