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Old 06-14-2009, 01:06 PM   #31
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One thing I do remember regarding Magnificent is that the playlist data, released by Mediabase twice a month, always baffled me. Other than Triple A, where it was the #1 song played for some 7-8 weeks and #2 for another 8 weeks, it was either charting really high, i.e., Top 5, on a given playlist...or not at all.

When Magnificent was charting around the Top 20 on Alternative and Adult Top 40 formats, in looking at the playlists for all the radio stations around the country, it was the same for both formats. I remember seeing Magnificent at #1 in Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Seattle, etc., on major radio stations within that format. Then you'd see a number of radio stations in major markets, like Boston, New York, etc., within those same formats, where Magnificent was not even on their playlist at all.

At the time, I blamed it all on a poor singles release strategy, late video, etc., as it seemed the song would peak on one format, like Triple A, yet just get released on another format, and the total airplay peak was never realized with the song not ever fully "crossing over" on multiple formats simultaneously.

But the blacklist information certainly makes sense with respect to how Magnificent did on select radio stations across the U.S. Even thought it's overall position might have been 18 on BB's Modern Rock, it was more "all or nothing" with respect to all the radio stations within that format...like in the Top 3 on a certain radio station or nowhere to be found at all on another.

Who knows, but with downloads being such a big part of the equation, U2 would have been better off releasing an EP from the start that included the live b-sides and the top 3 remixes for a 7-track single/EP complete with promotion and adverstisements on i-tunes and Amazon. That's not exactly rocket science...so it's hard not to conclude that U2 don't really care how the singles from NLOTH do on the physical charts....just so long as they get decent airplay and potentially result in a few more albums sales. It would be really hard for me to believe that their management could be as bad as it has been IF U2 were trying to make a big splash on singles charts.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #32
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Well it's one thing to sit around here all day and debate about this, but the only way to find out for sure is to start contacting the radio stations. I emailed the local stations in my area (Bakersfield, CA) that would most likely play the new U2. I haven't gotten all the responses back yet, but here we go:

Here's the response from 95.3, KLLY. This is a pop music station that plays most of the "crap" you guys are referring to that people listen to today. However, they do frequently play U2 and are supposed to play anything "new" and popular.

Quote:
I don't know about other radio stations; it could be true. As for KLLY so far, the new music that U2 has released honestly is and sounds irrelevant compared to the rest of "today's best music" that we play. It doesn't fit the sound of our station at this point. We don't necessarily choose to play songs based about who the artist/band is. We consider each and every song based on it's individual sound/lyrics/chart performance/research/sales/relevance, etc. I hope that answers your question.
You could interpret that however you want, but I think this is a nice way of saying "our listeners don't like it."

Here's the response from 106.1 KRAB, our rock station. This station plays those Performance Rights Act commercials all the time, so, if there were a mass boycott going around, this would be one of the stations to do it. This response is much more blunt:

Quote:
No. We aren't playing any new music from U2 because - based on our audinece's reponse to it - they don't like it.

"Get On Your Boots" was one of the worst testing songs we've played this year. The follow-up "Magnificent"
got Spanked for my Spank It Or Crank It feature, an failed to perform on the charts - long before Bono ever
said anything about the performance tax.
So there you have it. This boycott, at least in my area, is not affecting airplay at all. We could debate over whether or not "popularity" = "people like the music," but it seems that even if there were some evil plot going around to kill the popularity of NLOTH, it died on the radio far before any boycott. Listeners simply don't like the music.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:40 PM   #33
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for some reason I ain't getting the "not what people want to hear" or the "their music doesn't fit" excuse. Face it, u2's music. Has never "fit in". Judge each single realeased in the past against their contemporaries. It always sounded different. Their was no other song like "streets, wowy, mysterious ways, NYD, etc. Now I'm saying I believe this "conspiracy" theory, but something is smelling fishy.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #34
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Ummm...with an official, legal complaint already filed...and potential legal action looming...why would ANY station admit to boycotting a band's new music? They would have to be idiots.

On the other hand, I do find it interesting that each station's response seemed to go out of their way to slam the first two singles from NLOTH. Why go into such detail in response to a random e-mail? For whatever the reason, U2 is going through somewhat of a backlash...one that's happened twice before in their career. Boots was an odd choice...reminded me from the get go of when U2 released The Fly from AB. Magnificent, however, is one of the better U2 anthems...classic sounding while fresh at the same time.

Based on today's "taste" in music, however, Crazy Tonight is probably the most radio friendly song on NLOTH. Stand Up Comedy would do well on Rock/Alternative Stations, too, IMHO. Breathe is different enough to garner some radio play as well. It would be a shame if U2 decided to pull back or stop releasing singles altogether from NLOTH. On the other hand, they have the best selling album in the world so far in 2009 and are about to kick off perhaps the biggest tour of all time, too, so it wouldn't exactly surprise me if they did bail on future singles/videos.

Personally, I'm hoping for Songs of Ascent, or perhaps some other EP similar to "Seven" that was released following ATYCLB. If they really did write some "50-60 songs" leading up to NLOTH, their ought to be plenty of material to put out a quick follow-up album or EP...or at least give fans good b-sides so we have some more incentive to purchase/download singles.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by beLIEve View Post
Ummm...with an official, legal complaint already filed...and potential legal action looming...why would ANY station admit to boycotting a band's new music? They would have to be idiots.
You do have a point there. Regardless though, it seems the album did fail "long before Bono ever said anything about the performance tax.". They went into detail because I asked about the lack of airplay and they seemed to explain it pretty well.

Your right though, U2 has been suffering heavy popular backlash in the past few years. It has to have something to do with their age; back during the JT or AB years, they could at least be considered respectable musicians, even if their music didn't "fit in." Nowadays, there's definitely a "too old to rock" attitude. It must also have something to do with the presumed pretentiousness of the band. Many people find Bono to be a hypocrite and the band is very, erm, corporate (can't say I agree, but w/e).

And last of all, the music. This is just my own opinion here, but I believe peoples' taste in music has changed dramatically recently, for better or for worst. In terms of rock music, how many bands would we consider of "quality" have appeared in the past couple years? And how many of them actually got popular? We haven't gotten a Journey or Guns N' Roses or Nirvana in a long time. Again, I might be going out on a limb here, but look at how "poppy" everything is today. Pop music, unsurprisingly, dominates - Lady Gaga, Katy Pery, Taylor Swift, etc. The most popular forms of rock today are labeled things like "pop punk," "power pop," "pop rock," etc. Popular bands today would be bands like My Chemical Romance, All American Rejects, even the Jonas Brothers. Also, hip hop, with its catchy beats, is really on the rise, perhaps even overtaking rock music. I feel like, nowadays, with how easy it is to access music and the newest technologies, people are just looking for "quick fixes" when it comes to music and its very shallow - download the most upbeat, catchy song, wear it out, switch it out for the next upbeat, catchy song. I'm still kind of young, so I don't know how attitudes about music were in the 80's or 90's, maybe they were the same. But most people I show U2's music off to call them boring; it's probably the most popular complaint I've heard about them. Would this have been an issue 10 or 20 years ago?

Personally, I think that if U2 ever want to re-enter the mainstream again, somethings gotta change. They'd most likely have to pull something we fans like to call "selling out."
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:25 AM   #36
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if U2 are boring, i wouldnt know how to describe coldplay!

im sure people would have said theyre too old back in 2000, but ATYCLB had the hits to dominate radio and the sales charts, even more so with HTDAAB. this time theres nothing on the album that i would say is amazing, for me one of their weakest albums, even the songs from HTDAAB sessions, mercy, smile, are better than whats on no line aswell as are the new singles off of U2:18.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:00 PM   #37
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Thanks for posting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WCF View Post
Well it's one thing to sit around here all day and debate about this, but the only way to find out for sure is to start contacting the radio stations. I emailed the local stations in my area (Bakersfield, CA) that would most likely play the new U2. I haven't gotten all the responses back yet, but here we go:

Here's the response from 95.3, KLLY. This is a pop music station that plays most of the "crap" you guys are referring to that people listen to today. However, they do frequently play U2 and are supposed to play anything "new" and popular.



You could interpret that however you want, but I think this is a nice way of saying "our listeners don't like it."

Here's the response from 106.1 KRAB, our rock station. This station plays those Performance Rights Act commercials all the time, so, if there were a mass boycott going around, this would be one of the stations to do it. This response is much more blunt:



So there you have it. This boycott, at least in my area, is not affecting airplay at all. We could debate over whether or not "popularity" = "people like the music," but it seems that even if there were some evil plot going around to kill the popularity of NLOTH, it died on the radio far before any boycott. Listeners simply don't like the music.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:47 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by WCF View Post
. Listeners simply don't like the music.
Well, people can't decide if they like or don't like something they have yet to hear. Considering how little they played the music, most of their listeners have probably never heard the song played on the station.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #39
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You do have a point there. Regardless though, it seems the album did fail "long before Bono ever said anything about the performance tax.".
How can you describe the biggest selling album of 2009 as a failure? Its also the biggest selling "ROCK" album in the United States for 2009 to this point.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:42 AM   #40
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for some reason I ain't getting the "not what people want to hear" or the "their music doesn't fit" excuse. Face it, u2's music. Has never "fit in". Judge each single realeased in the past against their contemporaries. It always sounded different. Their was no other song like "streets, wowy, mysterious ways, NYD, etc. Now I'm saying I believe this "conspiracy" theory, but something is smelling fishy.
I agree with this completely. Even "Beautiful Day" didn't fit in with the success of the pop artists - namely Britney, Backstreet Boys and N'Sync - at the time. Yet, the song still succeeded.

And this crap about it not doing well on the charts - it's a Catch 22. If radio doesn't play the song, how can it do well on the charts? Radio does those competitions where songs compete against each other - but that's just a select group of people who call in. I've never called a station about that.

The last bit about "today's best music" is even more rubbish. The word "best" is wildly inappropriate and I would challenge that. They mean today's "biggest hits" as pre-determined by others or by what sells on iTunes.

All of that said, I tend to agree that "Boots" was indeed a bad choice for the first single, at least in terms of how U2 released it. Maybe if it was part of another iPod/iTunes commercial (or the equivalent) and U2 just saturated the market with the song, it would have succeeded. But released on its own, it sounded silly. The title sounds especially ridiculous ("get on your boots"??? What??). It's only after listening to the lyrics that one sees the double meaning and the war theme. But in a song that's 3-4 minutes long, the connection has to be immediate in today's world. People aren't willing to sit there and figure things out any more.

I knew there would be problems when a rather high number of people on various U2 sites did not like the song. There are always the "haters" and those who won't like a track. But when quite a few people on U2 sites are dissing the song or, at best, moderately impressed, this means the general public probably won't like it. U2 really should have done some homework on releasing this song as the first single, especially after the debacle of "Discotheque".
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:54 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by partygirl43 View Post
I worked in the industry in the mid to late nineties.

All of this reminds me of how vile the whole music industry is, no matter how big or small you are.


I, too, worked for several years in the industry in the 1990's and I can tell you that this does not surprise me at all.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:10 PM   #42
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As U2 has always said, if a song is truly great, it will surface on its own. "GOYB" was a fun song but an absolutely disastrous choice for the first single, and the result is that this album is not a blockbuster. "Crazy Tonight" should have been the first single.
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