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Adele’s overruling of Rubin, who was not only a renowned producer but also Columbia’s Co-Chairman, turned out to be as brilliant as it was ballsy.
I.B. BAD IS A LADIES’ MAN
Lady Antebellum Shows Need You Now Was No Fluke, While Adele Finds Humongous Success By Going With Her Gut
Lady Antebellum’s 355k first week is particularly impressive given the fact that the initial sales on the album haven’t been fueled by a crossover mega-hit, as occurred with the group’s 2010 breakthrough Need You Now (3.65m to date). While the previous LP’s title track (5.3m) was one of those once-in-a-career smashes, Own the Night’s first single, “Just a Kiss,” which hit #1 on the Country charts in mid-August and is doing well at Hot AC, is only now being taken to Top 40 by Capitol EVP/GM Greg Thompson; the track has sold 1.3m so far. The new album’s strong start represents another feather in the 10-gallon hat of Capitol Nashville ruler Mike Dungan, who is one of Nashville’s two hottest executives, along with Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta… As Adele’s 21 hits an astounding 10m worldwide, those in the know give kudos to the canny young artist for firmly putting her foot down at a critical moment early in the project. She rejected the original version of the album, which was solely produced by Rick Rubin, and proceeded to recut the bulk of the songs with other producers, including the Paul Epworth-helmed “Rolling in the Deep,” while co-writer Dan Wilson produced second single “Someone Like You.” Adele’s overruling of Rubin, who was not only a renowned producer but also Columbia’s Co-Chairman, turned out to be as brilliant as it was ballsy, further substantiating the foresight of label chief Steve Barnett in signing her, while deepening the perception that Rubin was a bust at Columbia… Contrast this storyline with that of My Chemical Romance, whose Brendan O’Brien-produced 2010 album was rejected by Warner Bros. Records and recut by label Chairman Rob Cavallo. The LP, Danger Days, was a huge disappointment, selling only 250k to date, as none of the three singles had much of an impact and two were disastrous. It was a big step backward for a band that had broken off its previous album, 2006’s The Black Parade (1.5m), and appeared to be on the verge of something special. At the time, Coldplay’s Dave Holmes managed the band, which now finds itself in management limbo. Thus, everything went right for Adele, while nothing went right for MCR… This is a big moment in the already remarkable career of L.A. Reid, who makes his TV debut as a judge on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor while also nailing down his new Epic team with President/COO Kevin Lawrie, SVP Promotion Erik Olesen, SVP Urban Promotion Benny Pugh and EVP Marketing Angelica Cob-Baehler. As for Reid’s night job, people are buzzing about how telegenic he is… Moving to the EMI derby, Len Blavatnik is believed to be the only bidder for the entire company, though he’s rumored to be trying to make a deal with BMG for one of the pubcos should his bid be accepted. According to insiders, Ron Perelman wants records but would buy all of EMI if the price was right. And price appears to be the primary sticking point at the moment, as Citi is reportedly pushing for close to $4b, while most of the bidders believe EMI is worth closer to $3b. Meanwhile, Roger Faxon continues in his efforts to find a white knight willing to keep the company intact... The 50/50 joint venture between Live Nation Entertainment and UMG for the latter company’s management assets, picked up four years ago with Universal’s acquisition of Sanctuary, further beefs up Irving Azoff’s Front Line stable of veteran managers, bringing in Carl Stubner, Billy Curbishley and several others. (Ron Laffitte has also joined Front Line in an unrelated move.) When Lucian Grainge engineered the Sanctuary deal in 2007 during his tenure as head of UMG International, one of his primary targets was Bravado, its merchandising company. Since that time, Grainge, in conjunction with Bravado CEO Tom Bennett, has helped build the merch company into an even bigger player by bringing in a number of high-profile acts, whereas the fortunes of Sanctuary’s management company have waned with the departures of a number of its big-name clients, including Elton John, Beyonce, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden and Morrissey. Interestingly, the Bruce Fingeret-led FEA, one of Bravado’s fiercest competitors, is owned by Live Nation… In related action, promotion legend Richard Palmese, who left RCA in August, is relocating to L.A. to take an as yet undetermined post at Front Line, reuniting him with Azoff; the two worked together in the 1980s at MCA… Frustrations mounting about the phenomenon whereby labels on both sides of the Atlantic demand worldwide rights on the new and developing acts they sign, but U.K. labels typically fail to work records from U.S.-based artists, and vice versa, focusing instead on their own signings... Names in the rumor mill: Jason Iley, Merck Mercuriadis, Tom Bennett, Danny Bennett and Todd Moscowitz.
NEAR TRUTHS: I.B. BAD PLAYS PAC MAN
Sir Lucian's power trio (3/26a)
AN EPIC HOT STREAK
All roads lead to Rhone. (3/26a)
EU APPROVES COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE
YouTube is not happy. (3/26a)
MUSIC BIZ HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019
They must've read our Black Music History special issue. (3/26a)
ROCK HALL HEAD JOEL PERESMAN ON THE RECORD
Spreading the gospel of rock & roll. (3/26a)
THE NEXT RECORDING ACADEMY HEAD IS...
(The envelope, please.)
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT MARKETSHARE
But it is, really. Isn't it?
WHAT IF I DON'T STREAM?
First of all, don't panic.
WHO ORDERED THIS PIZZA?
Seriously, come get it now or we're eating it.
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