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Old 06-10-2009, 06:33 AM   #1
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U2/Bono 'blacklisted' by some radio stations?

Seems unlikely it would have a huge impact on chart performance, but interesting nonetheless...

Complaint Says Top Musician Dissed Over Royalties 2009-06-10 10:09:49.122 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) — Which top-selling artist purportedly had his new single yanked from some radio stations playlists in retaliation for supporting royalties for musicians?
No one involved will name the recording artist, but his no- play treatment by several radio stations is alleged in a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission and obtained by The Associated Press. It claims recording artists are being threatened and intimidated.
In the filing, the musicFIRST Coalition says the top- selling artist — there are hints it could be U2 frontman Bono — recently released a new album and spoke during April in support of an effort to require radio stations to pay musicians royalties similar to those paid to songwriters.
Soon after, it said, "several stations within a major radio broadcast group notified the artist's label that they would no longer play his single on the air."
Representatives for musicFIRST refused to identify the artist.
U2's album, "No Line on the Horizon," was released in March with its leadoff single, "Get on Your Boots."
In April, Bono issued a statement on behalf of pay for musicians, saying, "It's only fair that when radio makes money by playing a recording artist's music ... the recording artist should be compensated just as songwriters are already."
Calls and e-mails to a spokeswoman for Bono were not immediately returned.
Other artists involved with musicFIRST include Don Henley, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and Wyclef Jean.
The filing also alleges unfair treatment of other artists by radio stations in Florida, Delaware and Texas. It does not identify any of the stations but accuses the stations of unlawfully putting their own financial interests above their obligation to serve the public. The group asks the FCC, which regulates the public airwaves, to investigate.
The controversy centers on legislation in Congress that would require radio stations to pay musicians royalties.
Satellite radio, Internet radio and cable TV music channels already pay fees to performers and musicians, along with songwriter royalties. AM and FM radio stations just pay songwriters, not performers.
The National Association of Broadcasters opposes the bill, called the Performance Rights Act. The NAB says it amounts to a tax on U.S. radio stations and threatens thousands of jobs.
The filing by musicFIRST, made late Tuesday, also said:
—A Delaware radio station boycotted all artists affiliated with musicFIRST for an entire month.
—Before an interview, an artist was pressured by a Texas radio station to state on the air that the Performance Rights Act would cripple radio stations.
___
On the Net:
musicFIRST Coalition: musicFIRST - Home
National Association of Broadcasters: National Association of Broadcasters | National Association of Broadcasters Home Page

-0- Jun/10/2009 10:09 GMT
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:28 AM   #2
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It's not the first time that here in Europe we read news of american radio stations making boycott to well-known artists, this decade...
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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I'm not sure if there's any real truth to this or not, but it would explain why "Magnificent" failed to be a hit. Here's a classic U2 song, with soaring lyrics and music, yet with a modern sound that did nothing? Really? People eat up "classic U2".

It's sad that a simple comment - that musicians should receive some royalties from radio - can get one black-listed. Is there no freedom of speech? Or is the Top 40 so manipulating that one has to be completely compliant to get a hit?

They mentioned how will.i.am has a hit but often the top songs on the Hot 100 are due to legal downloads, not radio play. As "Magnificent" was U2's second single, the anticipation factor of "new U2" was gone - hence the song needed radio to help it succeed. And radio failed. What a shock. Back to "My Life Would Suck Without You".
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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i dont know what everyone else thinks, but in my opinion radio does the artist a favour, if it wasnt for radio how would anyone get to hear the artists / become fans and in turn by their music / see their shows. (ok, now music tv channels and internet/youtube are also available) Having your song all over radio is something money cant buy (although sadly with pay per play it does help) i think any up & coming artist or even an astablished aging act such as U2 needs the radio more than the radio needs them.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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well this is interesting, u2 is tourning here in my area for the first time in 26 years and the only songs they play on most local stations that im aware of is stuff from JT and AB. And thats pretty rare even when those songs are played. WOWY or MY typically.

When i first heard Magnificent i thought this song would be all over radio....so it does make you wonder...
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post
I'm not sure if there's any real truth to this or not, but it would explain why "Magnificent" failed to be a hit. Here's a classic U2 song, with soaring lyrics and music, yet with a modern sound that did nothing? Really? People eat up "classic U2".

It's sad that a simple comment - that musicians should receive some royalties from radio - can get one black-listed. Is there no freedom of speech? Or is the Top 40 so manipulating that one has to be completely compliant to get a hit?

They mentioned how will.i.am has a hit but often the top songs on the Hot 100 are due to legal downloads, not radio play. As "Magnificent" was U2's second single, the anticipation factor of "new U2" was gone - hence the song needed radio to help it succeed. And radio failed. What a shock. Back to "My Life Would Suck Without You".
I agree with another post by doctorwho!

I am not one to say things or accuse people of things before I have done research on an issue. I am obsessive about not opening my mouth until I have the facts. All I will say is this is the only plausible explanation I have heard yet for something very perplexing to me and I am sure alot of U2 fans. Why the hell has NLOTH, an album that critics and fans alike seem to agree is alot better and more musically interesting than ATYCLB and HTDAAB, had not one radio hit? I dont buy the whole "this is an album, not a bunch of radio friendly singles" argument. Plenty of cohesive U2 albums that were departures in sound at the time produced mega hits- Pride from UF, WOWY, Still and Streets from JT, AOH and Desire from R&H, One, The Fly, MW from AB, even Discoteque from Pop. Now, many attack ATYCLB and HTDAAB as being un inspired U2 on autopilot albums, and these albums had huge hits like Beautiful Day, Stuck and Vertigo. Hell, even walk on, elevation, COBL, ABOY got their share of radio airplay in my neck of the woods. 2 things stick out as debunking the " NLOTH is non radio friendly" and "radio these days" arguments.

1.)There are radio friendly songs on this album: like doctorwho said, what more could magnificent need? Classic U2 with a modern rock sound, not quite like what they have done before, but has the pulsating base and drums of WAR, the atmosphere of UF, the sweeping, uplifting sound of JT and even a hint of 90s U2 in how it is arranged/overall mood. Crazy Tonight should be a huge summer hit, Boots should have been at least as big as Vertigo was, and Breathe should have done very well also. Especially Breathe, there is no reason that fake rock songs from Nickelback or Coldplay or Daughtry should be getting airplay over a real rock song like this. Is this the most accessible album U2 has ever made? No, but how about UF and AB, they were not exactly considered "accessible" at the time and they produced mega hits.
2.)Radio these days is largely the same as it was when the last 2 albums came out: dominated by pop and rap crap like Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Jesse McCartney, etc, etc. BD broke through, Vertigo broke through and with things only worse for radio in 2009, you would think a completely different sounding U2 song released so late into their career would have attracted alot more attention. Alas, GOYB flopped. Not saying its their best song ever, but in the context of what we have on the radio now, it did not make any sense at all for this to happen.

Something is up here, I dont know what it is, this may help explain it, but really, who knows? All I know is there has never been a U2 album as ignored by the radio as this, and for no good reason. Even XM, which I listen to most of the time now, played alot of NLOTH in late Feb/March, but now, hardly any. I have been thinking alot about this, and up until I read this, I thought those who were attacking the choice of GOYB as a 1st single may have had a point after all. Now, I am thinking that no matter what they chose, U2 would not have hit the radio big with NLOTH.

I just find the whole thing strange. Here in Boston, I always used to hear a variety of U2 songs, even up until a few months ago. Since coming back full time after graduating college a month ago, I kid you not, I think I have only heard MW, WOWY once and Still haven't found about 70 times. They will not stop playing still havent..., but that seems to be all they play from U2 now. Boots? Forget it. Magnificent, no way. Crazy Tonight? What's that? Bad? That Michael Jackson? Discoteque? You talking about the late 70's? IGC? Talking about Church? I will follow? You giving directions? This is unbelievable. All of the older songs I mentioned are songs that I would hear on the radio frequently, as in at least once per week. Hell, even One, Pride and BD have disappeared from the radio around here! AND THIS IS BOSTON!
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:35 PM   #7
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I posted this in the other thread already...but...

I think now we're just trying to find a scapegoat for why NLOTH isn't being played on the radio. Let's face it... the reason why U2 isn't being played is because people aren't liking the songs. We can argue all day about all the other stuff, about how people's taste in music sucks, how radio stations are out to get us, what format the single was released in, etc. But when it all comes down to it... it's the music.

Anyways, I think Magnificent is a great song, but I never saw it as radio friendly. I actually considered it boring the very first time I listened to it, meaning its no pop song either. Kids don't exactly eat up U2 these days. We're definitely overhyping U2. Some of us here are making them seem like gods, but, from what I've seen, U2 is more of a despised band now than one that is loved by all.

I'm not saying that they couldn't do it again, but I'd say their time of easy hits has passed. They're actually going to have to work for it now if they want to stay relevant.

As for my own radio experience here in Bakersfield, CA, I listen to the radio very frequently, 6 different stations that all have played U2 before, and have only heard NLOTH songs 3 or 4 times (and the only reason they played them was to debut them). U2 is still played occassionally on these stations, but no NLOTH songs at all. This means that there was no blacklisting in my area, people simply don't like the music.

Too many conspiracy theories around here, it sounds ridiculous.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:38 AM   #8
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No band can be "loved by all" and U2 surely isn't "loathed". Some fans always tend to have extreme views. I know a lot of people who are casual music listeners and not U2 fans and they still like the new music and many of them are asking when U2 is coming on tour again and such. There is no reason why they should be hated. Radio is playing their songs, admittedly, more older stuff than new one, but it has been this way for years. Yes, NLOTH is not a radio friendly album, but that's what many fans wanted, many of us wanted U2 NOT to be part of the mainstream anymore and it was clear that NLOTH wouldn't be the big commercial album. Now so many are complaining. You cannot have it both ways. U2 have never been about singles and never really about albums. There are a lot of great bands out there whose music isn't being played on the radio, still they are around and relevant and touring, and U2 will put on a great live show. Seing and hearing them live is all I care about.

I still think Magnificent is the best radio friendly song they have on NLOTH, still it doesn't fit into today's radio playlists. That doesn't speak against U2. There are certain radio stations playing them, but the kids who listen to the charts certainly aren't interested. So what? NLOTH is surely not the album the band has made to reconnect with the young audience.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:30 AM   #9
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
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if they were blacklisting u2, wouldn't they be blacklisting ALL u2, not just the new stuff?

i hear old songs all the time
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WCF View Post
I posted this in the other thread already...but...

I think now we're just trying to find a scapegoat for why NLOTH isn't being played on the radio. Let's face it... the reason why U2 isn't being played is because people aren't liking the songs. We can argue all day about all the other stuff, about how people's taste in music sucks, how radio stations are out to get us, what format the single was released in, etc. But when it all comes down to it... it's the music.

Anyways, I think Magnificent is a great song, but I never saw it as radio friendly. I actually considered it boring the very first time I listened to it, meaning its no pop song either. Kids don't exactly eat up U2 these days. We're definitely overhyping U2. Some of us here are making them seem like gods, but, from what I've seen, U2 is more of a despised band now than one that is loved by all.

I'm not saying that they couldn't do it again, but I'd say their time of easy hits has passed. They're actually going to have to work for it now if they want to stay relevant.

As for my own radio experience here in Bakersfield, CA, I listen to the radio very frequently, 6 different stations that all have played U2 before, and have only heard NLOTH songs 3 or 4 times (and the only reason they played them was to debut them). U2 is still played occassionally on these stations, but no NLOTH songs at all. This means that there was no blacklisting in my area, people simply don't like the music.

Too many conspiracy theories around here, it sounds ridiculous.
Well, you can't claim that people don't like something if they have yet to hear it. Despite the unusual like of radio airplay, the album has sold amazingly well and is still the top selling album of 2009 worldwide to this point. The tour is U2's biggest ever and will become the highest attended and highest grossing tour in history by the time in finishes in 2010. Those are stats for the most popular artist in the world, not one that is more "despised" than loved.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #13
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the article clearly mentions the artists "new single", not past singles. I guess the reason i could buy into this theory is because so many radio stations are just nationally owned shit, which is bad. You basically have a "KISS" or a "BUZZ" in every market, and they have probably the same playlists. Some local radio stations have even gotten rid of their DJ's entirely and just have national DJ's, which unless you are XM really sucks. And the ones who do have DJ's dont have freedom to play what they want, even if it fits in the format, they have to play what Clear Channel (or whomever) wants them to play. And you can bet thats going to be Nickleback, American Idol, Britney, etc. If you want to hear something aside from that, well you are fucked unless you have an ipod or XM. Even CD retailers (whats left of them) dont have the selection they used to have, try finding a new release at Wal Mart that doesn't fit the format i just described...you won't.

I wish there was a way to boycott FM radio, because it is just so bad on every level. These companies that monopolize the industry are doing the same thing to radio that Wal*Mart has done to the "mom & pop" grocery store. They are taking over and dictating to us what we like and we the sheeple are letting this happen. The #1 song in the land last week was "gives you hell" by the all american rejects, one of the worst "rock" songs i have ever heard. I know this because i heard it on Americas Top 40 countdown hosted by.....Ryan Seacrest. Hmmm.....Seacrest....American Idol....hmmmmm.

Last year AC/DC put out a new album for sale only in Wal*Mart, prior to that there was a big *buzz* over this release and a single that was all over the place....kind of like Vertigo was back in 2004. If im not mistaken AC/DC had a pretty good release on their album....much like HTDAAB....and you still see their t shirts all over fucking wal mart and all the white trash people are buying those shirts and wearing them. Im not a tin foil hat type of guy, but i do find it odd that if Wal*Mart is on board with something then its going to be HUGE. I do wonder if there is a connection or relationship between the Apple folks, wal mart, clear channel, etc. Didn't U2 or Bono have a falling out with Apple?

Anyway i might be reaching a bit with that.....but it makes no sense to me that the best album by far this decade by U2, supposedly the biggest badn in the world, can't even get a fucking new single played on the radio, on any format. They have Breathe, Magnificent, Crazy Tonight, that all could have some success on Pop or Rock formats even if its limited success....at least play it! Even if you throw away any bias, those songs are better than Nickleback, AAR, OAR, American Idol douche bags and ho's, trailer park rock, etc. I have heard that college radio stations, whats left of them, are playing songs from NLOTH.

Then again, as bad as mainstream radio really is, im not sure i would want anything decent played on there. When is the last time you listened to one of these stations and heard a newer song that wasn't just offensively bad?
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:54 PM   #14
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What I really dont understand about this issue is that U2 and other artists make money - lots of money - off radio playing their singles. If anything radio should counter this argument by saying to artists "OK our radio station made you money because we played your song - so give us a comission for what we did for you." But artists are demanding that radio not just make them rich by playing their singles but also pay for the right to use their singles - um what the hell is going on here?
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:54 PM   #15
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the reason why U2 isn't being played is because people aren't liking the songs........when it all comes down to it... it's the music
your absolutely right. look at what the "mainstream" is pumping out. the masses wouldn't know a good song if bono ran up to them and gave them a personal performance.
can't speak for everyone else on here, but the stations in tampa, and florida for that matter are complete crap. they rotate the same crap over and over, regardless of format.
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