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Old 05-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #91
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I don't care if its causation or correlation. There will never be enough U2 albums for us to have a statistically relevant sample. But with millions of dollars on the line and the examples of 2 of the last 4 albums (IMO the better of the 4) all underperforming, I would be shocked if U2 ever took the financial risk of releasing an album at any time of the year except fall again. McG would be guilty of malpractice for letting them try again for at least a decade.

But there are very good reasons why an album released in the fall is likely, all things being equal, of selling better than one released in the spring.
I actually agree w/you that, all things being equal, fall is probably a better time to release a record, and that it can, to some extent, impact record sales. But not to the extent that it's going to make people buy an album with music they're not interested in. There's just no evidence that this record would have sold better with another release date.

In any event, I seem to recall that they were initially planning on a late fall/holiday release, but that it got delayed. It might not have been McG's first choice to release the record when they did.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:09 PM   #92
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Nick, I agree with you that sales probably aren't really driven by release time to any huge degree. I think a fall release would help U2, but probably nominally, and not to a degree that would change how an album is popularly viewed.

That being said, I would guess that U2 would still go for whatever they can and release in November. I can't read their minds, but that is my guess.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:15 PM   #93
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I actually agree w/you that, all things being equal, fall is probably a better time to release a record, and that it can, to some extent, impact record sales. But not to the extent that it's being to make people buy and album with music they're not interested in. There's just no evidence that this record would have sold better with another release date.
I think if you read what you said, it may be a contradiction.

#1 "all things being equal, fall is probably a better time to release a record, and that it can, to some extent, impact record sales. "
#2 "There's just no evidence that this record would have sold better with another release date."

Since we can't travel sideways in time, we can never KNOW the album would have sold a single extra copy. But logic tells us the Christmas season and the double Grammy punch could have been.... shall we say, useful?

If you think I'm saying that GOYB and Magnificent would have been the right single choices at any time of year, I'm not. Release date was not the only mistake made. But POP and NLOTH were FAR better albums than ATYCLB and HTDAAB IMO and we have a situation where lesser albums released in the fall are out-selling better albums sold in the spring. That should be enough to scare them away from Spring releases for a long time.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:17 PM   #94
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I would guess that U2 would still go for whatever they can and release in November. I can't read their minds, but that is my guess.
I agree. All things being equal, I'm sure they'd prefer a fall release date.

I do wish there were some simple explanation like a fall release date that could explain why a mediocre record like Bomb sells better than the far superior NLOTH. As it is, I'll just have to accept the fact that the general public for the most part has crap taste in music.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:22 PM   #95
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I do wish there were some simple explanation like a fall release date that could explain why a mediocre record like Bomb sells better than the far superior NLOTH. As it is, I'll just have to accept the fact that the general public for the most part has crap taste in music.
I think just about anyone could find boundless evidence to support that conclusion!

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Old 05-10-2012, 03:22 PM   #96
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I think if you read what you said, it may be a contradiction.

#1 "all things being equal, fall is probably a better time to release a record, and that it can, to some extent, impact record sales. "
#2 "There's just no evidence that this record would have sold better with another release date."

Since we can't travel sideways in time, we can never KNOW the album would have sold a single extra copy. But logic tells us the Christmas season and the double Grammy punch could have been.... shall we say, useful?

If you think I'm saying that GOYB and Magnificent would have been the right single choices at any time of year, I'm not. Release date was not the only mistake made. But POP and NLOTH were FAR better albums than ATYCLB and HTDAAB IMO and we have a situation where lesser albums released in the fall are out-selling better albums sold in the spring. That should be enough to scare them away from Spring releases for a long time.
I'm not saying it might not have impacted sales to some extent...a release closer to the holidays likely would have. I'm just saying it would not make any kind of significant difference...i.e. seriously affected sales figures or chart position.

I do agree that NLOTH is a superior album to Bomb, and in some ways ATYCLB. My views on Pop are well known around these parts....though I will note that it also sold better than NLOTH, albeit under very different circumstances.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #97
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Since we can't travel sideways in time, we can never KNOW the album would have sold a single extra copy. But logic tells us the Christmas season and the double Grammy punch could have been.... shall we say, useful?
McGuiness is on record in U2 By U2 as saying that there's no sense in releasing an album at any other time of the year than fall, when albums supposedly sell as many as the rest of the year combined. Every U2 album since Unforgettable Fire has had a scheduled fall release date, including Joshua Tree, which was originally supposed to be a fall 86 release. (The Conspiracy of Tour pushed those plans back.) Zooropa is really the one exception to this plan, since it was a spontaneous album without a lot of pre-thought in terms of release. Pop and NLOTH missed those release dates in famously spectacular fashion. Otherwise, McGuiness' (who is known in these here Interference parts for being all about the $$$s) wisdom seems at least partially sound.

However, at the same time, Coldplay's La Vida was a summer release, and was a monster, and certainly other albums have been released in other seasons and have sold incredibly well. (Including Joshua Tree.) So while the business advice of releasing an album in the fourth quarter seems sound, it also appears that really good albums -- with one hell of a marketing push, whether it's from the label or simply word-of-mouth -- sell well any time.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:53 PM   #98
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I agree. All things being equal, I'm sure they'd prefer a fall release date.

I do wish there were some simple explanation like a fall release date that could explain why a mediocre record like Bomb sells better than the far superior NLOTH. As it is, I'll just have to accept the fact that the general public for the most part has crap taste in music.
We can agree on this!
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #99
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You guys are all missing the bigger picture...it's not fall per se, it's not the hair per se...it's *both*..long hair + fall release = masterpiece = huge sales

So they should wait till Fall 2013: Hair goes down, quality goes up..time to release gets extended, sales are greater due to both increased quality of output + fall factor

I'm sure someone can make an equation expressing this in mathematical terms..
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:42 PM   #100
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You guys are all missing the bigger picture...it's not fall per se, it's not the hair per se...it's *both*..long hair + fall release = masterpiece = huge sales

So they should wait till Fall 2013: Hair goes down, quality goes up..time to release gets extended, sales are greater due to both increased quality of output + fall factor

I'm sure someone can make an equation expressing this in mathematical terms..
Sales Factor = (2-(Length of Bono's Hair in Centimeters))/(Days of separation from November 15)
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #101
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Maybe its a fall release which causes the short hair?

Or maybe short hair makes them release an album in the fall???
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #102
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You can't blame GOYB completely, nor should the release date really determine whether an album will sell well or not. Fact is, NLOTH simply isn't as immediate as the previous two U2 records. People today have much shorter attention spans, and a record like No Line contains many songs that take a while to sink in and "connect" with the listener. The general listening public doesn't have the patience for this. I'm not saying this is the sole reason for the relatively low sales, but it may be the biggest reason.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:57 PM   #103
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You can't blame GOYB completely, nor should the release date really determine whether an album will sell well or not. Fact is, NLOTH simply isn't as immediate as the previous two U2 records. People today have much shorter attention spans, and a record like No Line contains many songs that take a while to sink in and "connect" with the listener. The general listening public doesn't have the patience for this. I'm not saying this is the sole reason for the relatively low sales, but it may be the biggest reason.
Would you still say that about NLOTH if Beautiful Day was on it? If not, it kind of does come down to the lead single in a big way.

I still say the singles should have been MOS and No Line to start. If they marketed those two right, they would have done a lot better. I even think IGCIIDGCT was the right choice for third single, but it was much too late by then.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #104
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Sales Factor = (2-(Length of Bono's Hair in Centimeters))/(Days of separation from November 15)
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:53 AM   #105
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Would you still say that about NLOTH if Beautiful Day was on it? If not, it kind of does come down to the lead single in a big way.
Indeed, I'm quite certain that NLOTH would have sold significantly better had BD been on it. But it wasn't, that's the point. Even if Boots wasn't the first single, there isn't another song on that record that has the pure radio charisma and mass pop appeal of a Beautiful Day, or Vertigo. Yeah, U2 fans can argue that Magnificent or some other song comes close, but obviously nothing on NLOTH caught on (with the general public) the way those singles from ATYCLB and HTDAAB did. I simply disagree that Magnificent, or No Line on the Horizon, had they been the first single, would have impacted sales of the record that much. And I don't think there's any evidence to back up the conclusion that they would have.

This is not a commentary on the artistic merits of the songs on NLOTH; merely their commercial appeal.
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