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Old 03-29-2002, 09:59 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn:
I have one online source for the charts, which I also mention at the beginning of the weekly discussion (and as I mention it every week I don't need to remember it by heart so I can't tell you now what the exact URL is ). Unfortunately, I cannot find any information regarding exact sales, so I have no idea how much ATYCLB is selling each week.

C ya!

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Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:51 AM   #42
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Originally posted by MBH:
Interesting. This goes a long way in proving the theory that Dave Matthews is not extremely popular outside of the US.

I am very surprised by this. The Dave Matthews Band is one of, if not the most popular band in America(most of their fans are college-aged, 18-24) They are very jazzy and can be said that they are an ancestor to the Dead and Phish(with less jamming)

They are a quality band and I am a fan. I have seen them a couple of times and they put on a good show. However, their music can be VERY redundant and many people either Hate them OR Love them.


If you are just joking about this, then I apologize for my stupidity in advance. If not, I hope this helps you...

I can assure you I have neber heard of 'em! They may have a underground following here, I dunno!Thanks for the enlightment on DMB!

WHO THE FECK ARE DEAD AND PHISH????
lol!


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Old 03-29-2002, 01:43 PM   #43
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Hello,

As I promised late last night, here is my long answer to Doc's statement.

Did the success of the Best Of 1980-1990 and ATYCLB save U2's recording contract?

No, it didn't as U2 is too powerful to be dropped.
During its lifetime, U2 has emerged as a very successful rock band, both critically as commercially. They did have a little of a slow start, but from War on, U2 made money for their record label. With The Joshua Tree they even hit the jackpot, as that album has sold around 20 million copies worldwide. Until the release of The Best Of 1980-1990 in 1998 total worldwide sales were around 80 million albums, a staggering amount.
Up until Achtung Baby each U2 album was progressively more successful than its predecessor, although levelling to mega-successful after the giga-successful The Joshua Tree. As said earlier in this thread, from Zooropa on U2 albums weren't that successful as before, but still... Not many bands can sell 6-7 million copies worldwide with their albums. Now, Zooropa and Pop were only moderately successful in the USA, but this does not mean that record executives could justify dropping them for business reasons.

During their carreer, U2 (including Paul McGuinness) have made many powerful connections and friends. From 1986 until 1989 they had a stake in Island Records (they reportedly sold their 10% stake for GBP 20 million to Polygram when that company took over Island [source: Q Magazine, August 1998]), mogul Chris Blackwell is a very good friend of the band. During their carreer U2 have worked with many different people, including producers. Jimmy Iovine produced UABRS and Rattle & Hum. He's also in charge (owner? director?) of Interscope Records. And I almost know there are dozens of other important bigwigs that U2 are friends with (promotors, record executives, producers, etc.). So a record executive should have a very strong constitution to drop U2 and risk that powerful music insiders turn against him and Universal.

U2 also has another important asset: their music. U2 is one of the few bands that have the rights to every aspect of its music; the publishing and the masters. This has as a consequence that U2 licenses it music to the record company they have a contract with (for a reported royalty rate of GBP 3 on every album sold [source: Q Magazine, August 1998]). However, when the contract ends and U2 signs a contract with another company, all the music goes with them. So any new company would have the right to sell The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, etc. as long as U2 stays with them. I already reported that The Joshua Tree sold about 3800 copies in the USA last week (which would mean it sells 175-200K a year with these figures). As the album doesn't need any promotion anymore, every album sold is pure profit for the company.
As said, U2 has their masters. The Rolling Stones do too, although only from their '70s albums onwards (Sticky Fingers). So a few weeks ago it was reported that Mick Jagger was dropped by Virgin because of his disappointing sales (a gossip published by WENN no other journalist believed except the Dutch), but this could not be true. I assume Virgin has a contract that promises that it should also release solo albums by Stones, in return of the right to sell the back catalogue and the new material. I also assume REM has the masters of their WB recordings (they don't have it for their '80s work until Green), so dropping REM would also mean losing Out Of Time and Automatic For The People. Prince does not have possession of its masters (hence the current flood of Prince compilations and sub-par outtake-albums). And neither does Mariah Carey. I think one reason she got dropped by Virgin was that not only was her album performing terrible, Virgin did not have any other Mariah Carey material to fall back on, as it is all in possession of Sony Music (BTW, her current carreer is also an example not to let powerful music insiders become your enemy as her ex-husband Tommy Mottolla is maybe largely responsible for her lack of success).

On a side note, the release (and success) of The Best Of 1980-1990 should be counted in the initial statemet as posed by the Doc. That compilation album does not fall under U2's standard recording contract. In the Summer of 1998, when Universal was taking over Polygram, U2 signed a contract with Island Records that allowed Island to release 3 compilation albums (reportedly for the sum of USD 50 million). This means that Island does not only have the exclusive rights to the first 3 U2 compilation albums (i.e. even if U2 leaves Island/Universal, that company will still have the rights to sell those 3 compilation albums) but also strengthens the theory that U2 were never in a position to get dropped. The contract was signed in 1998, after the release of Pop. So why should Island sign such a contract if they did not have any faith in U2 anymore? No, U2's recording contract was never in doubt (certainly not as long as Chris Blackwell was CEO of Island Records) and now they're more powerful than ever.

C ya!

Marty


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Old 03-29-2002, 11:49 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn:
These stats can be found in the Peel Off Those Dollar Bills forum, in the thread for week 72. They are in the post with the Soundscan statistics of the catalog charts (ironically, those stats were posted by the Doc ). If you want to look, The Joshua Tree is #81 this week. As these are Soundscan stats, they do not include sales by record clubs, etc. (AFAIK, that is).

Speaking of all of these figures, I think this thread should have been placed in the Peeling Off Those Dollar Bills forum, as they talk about the business side of U2. Why didn't ya, Doc? (Cue, carrot-eating rabbit)

Bugs Bunny claims that the reason this thread was posted here was to get other's opinions, not just those who dominate the "Peel off those Dollar Bills" forum. Plus, the answer didn't *have* to be about the charts or sales, per se, as you, ironically, pointed out in one of your replies (i.e., U2's connections).

Speaking of being "ironic" you commented on the Catalog charts, stating how "well" JT is selling this week and extrapolating that information to how well the album would sell in the U.S. this coming year. Apparently you didn't look at this chart very closely. Isn't it ironic (*cues Alannis).

True, JT sold a little over 3800 copies this past week, but that is a significant drop from the week before, which was a significant drop from the week before and so on. JT received a strong sales spike thanks to the Super Bowl performance. Furthermore, if you look closely at this chart, you'll see that JT has spent only 14 weeks on the Catalog charts this current run. That is, each time JT falls from the Catalog charts and re-enters, its "weeks on" the chart starts over again at "1." In other words, JT does NOT sell 3800 copies per week, every week of the year - it could and has fallen out of the Top 200 on the Catalog charts, where it may sell under 2000 copies a week. JT is selling well now thanks to the Super Bowl and Grammies. However, as ATYCLB slowly falls from the charts, so will JT. And once JT falls from the Top 200 on the Catalog charts, it will sell, as I just stated, less than 2000 copies per week - meaning less than 100,000 copies per year. Suddenly, that number isn't that impressive, is it?

Also, looking at the Catalog charts, you'll see only two U2 listings - JT and the "Best Of." At times, other strong sellers, like AB, will pop back on the Catalog charts, but that's only due to the release of a new U2 album or a huge hit song, or some other significant U2-related event. Since none of that is true right now, we don't see other former strong selling albums, like AB on teh charts. Therefore, at present, all of U2's albums, other than JT, ATYCLB and the "Best Of", are selling below 2000 copies a week. Something like "Pop" or "October" - both poor selling albums in their initial run in the U.S. - may sell only 100-500 copies a week. That means as little as 5000 copies of these albums sold per year. Again, suddenly this back catalog isn't that impressive, is it?

So while I agree with the overall sentiment of this thread, in that I do not think U2 would have been dropped from their label due to strong worldwide sales, one does have to wonder if ATYCLB hadn't been such a big success (especially in the U.S.) would U2's contract remained the same for the future? The success of ATYCLB could eventually mean the difference of a label signing U2 just because they are U2 - a group who had hits in the past, to a label signing U2 because U2 can still generate MILLIONS sold in the U.S. and win numerous awards as well. The latter is clearly a far more lucrative contract.

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Old 03-30-2002, 04:12 AM   #45
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Dr. Who,
I think you may read a little to much into the top 200 catalog albums chart. First, it is only for the USA, just think of all the different countries in the world that sell U2s entire Catalog. Second, yes the catalog sales might not be that impressive for 2001, but look at how well U2s catalog sold in the late 1980s and Early 1990s. When it comes to Catalog sales, U2 is historically one of the top sellers. The majority of U2s album sales have come after the first two years of release.
So right now while the catalog sales have slowed considerably, there is the potential to sale very well over many years.
How many artist can you name have as large a catalog as U2, that has sold as well and continues to sell, in nearly every country on the planet where you can buy albums. Don't just think in terms of the USA, think Worldwide where 70% of the market is outside the USA.
While POP as an album may not have done as well as past U2 releases, look at the POPMART TOUR! POPMART is the 3rd highest Grossing tour in the history of the Planet! 172 million dollars in ticket sales alone. Only the past two Rolling Stones Tours have made more money. What it has to do with album sales is that the tour shows that the band has probably the most dedicated and loyal following of any artist on the planet. That is something the label will always be able to count on no matter what product the band produces or the economic situation at the time. I think this proves that if there is one artist that everyone wants to sign and no one would ever drop, its U2. If there are others in this catagory then I would say U2 are in the top 5 at least. By the way, POP has sold more albums than any Rolling Stone album of the past 20 years, but do you know any label that would drop the Stones?
The more I think about it now, I'd say there is no way the label could possibly of even thought about dropping U2 for a second after POP.
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Old 03-30-2002, 09:45 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn:
No, U2's recording contract was never in doubt (certainly not as long as Chris Blackwell was CEO of Island Records) and now they're more powerful than ever.
makes sense to me



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Old 03-30-2002, 09:53 AM   #47
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Okee Dokee, y'all have done a good job convincing me that U2's contract was never in doubt. And, this may surprise you, I agree. It was just a question I proposed - not a thought I believed. I just wanted to know if having a Gold or Platinum selling album is enough these days. Apparently, the answer is "yes."

That said, it seemed like U2 went to a LOT of trouble in the making of and marketing of ATYCLB. After a decade of experimentation, they went with a far more mainstream, accessible album. After virtually no promotion for "Zooropa," non-existent promotion for OS1 and far more subtle promotion for "Pop," ATYCLB received the promotion of a lifetime. This included TONS of promotional work by the band themselves, including mini-concerts, TV appearances, interviews - things that they haven't done since the early 80's when they were trying to get recognized. Hmmmm #2.... Lastly, as stated in other threads, there was a heavy emphasis to market this album towards the younger generation. Hmmmm #3....

Clearly all of that promotion worked, but it makes me wonder nonetheless - if U2 were so sure that they had contract in hand, why bother working so hard at this stage of their careers? R.E.M. released a new album last year. It received a Grammy nod. It went Gold. R.E.M. and their fans are happy. Why did U2 have to do all of this extra work? This is why, on that dreary afternoon last week, I wondered if there was some dobut about U2's contract had ATYCLB not succeeded.

[This message has been edited by doctorwho (edited 03-30-2002).]
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Old 03-30-2002, 10:00 AM   #48
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So maybe their contract was not in doubt, but could be their popularity, ego, reputation, legendary status WERE. All of those things had been damaged, and ATYCLB restored them and more. Mission accomplished.
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Old 03-30-2002, 10:01 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho:
R.E.M. and their fans are happy.
are you sure about that?
I don't think R.E.M. set the same goals for themselves as U2, but I do think they want their work (which they think is very good - and I agree) to reach a bigger audience then their last albums did

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Old 03-30-2002, 10:09 AM   #50
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Originally posted by Salome:
are you sure about that?
I don't think R.E.M. set the same goals for themselves as U2, but I do think they want their work (which they think is very good - and I agree) to reach a bigger audience then their last albums did

I don't think REM really cares. They make what they want to make and they never try to come up with outrageous images and gimmics to try to sell themselves, they ARE themselves, and that is good enough. They have nothing to left prove. Sure I think they wish they had sold more records, but not at the expense of selling out their integrity and becoming something they are not. Good for them.

I heard a quote from Stevie Nicks on the radio the other day. She said she prepared herself years ago for getting older, and how it was going to be, so that when she got there, she and her fans would be okay with that, and she wouldn't have to pretend to be something she wasn't. I think REM know that, and I hope a certain other band realizes it too.


[This message has been edited by Desire4Bono (edited 03-30-2002).]
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Old 03-30-2002, 11:23 AM   #51
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Originally posted by Desire4Bono:
Sure I think they wish they had sold more records, but not at the expense of selling out their integrity and becoming something they are not. Good for them.
though I agree with the most part of your post, I do think you paint the picture a bit too black and white
there is a lot a band can do to try and get their records sold which wouldn't cause them to lose their integrity

R.E.M.'s (and U2's) albums up to now already show that their integrity is in check
they are not compromising their artistic capacity because of commercial gain
trying to get that album to reach your audience is a whole other ball game (not everything goes, but as long as it isn't in bad taste it's okay with me)

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Old 03-31-2002, 02:34 AM   #52
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"Will I be disappointed if the new album doesn't go to number 1 and sell a million copies? Of course I will."

Michael Stipe prior to the release of Up.

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Old 03-31-2002, 02:40 AM   #53
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I think the only thing U2 was in trouble of losing after POP was their status as both the biggest and best band in the world. I actually think they might of maintained both though right up to ATYCLB. ATYCLB insure's though that the above is definitely so.
I continue you to disagree that U2 went on some unusual promotion effort never seen in the past to put ATYCLB at the top. The band was on a lot of TV programs, but they had before in the past especially for POP. The one hour Prime Time ABC show A Year In POP still trumps any single promotion effort for ATYCLB except maybe Grammy's and Super Bowl which are random and out of the bands control and cannot be consider a major promotion effort like a one hour ABC show pushed by the band. POP era also featured U2s largest press conference ever, and 24 hours of U2 all day on MTV to promote the first single and video for Discotheque. Two more huge events done for POP but not for ATYCLB.
Yes there were many more smaller appearences on various TV shows, but these are a much smaller part of the promotion pie than what people are crediting it. Your bread and butter promotion is still about Radio, Video play, and concerts. That is what sells albums any day of the week, every week in a month and every month in a year. Then there are the one or two week sales spikes seen after the TV shows. Sometimes no effect is seen, like with the first MTV half hour Elevation special.
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Old 03-31-2002, 07:00 AM   #54
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I think so. They had lost their 'greatness' and they did get their 'old job' back so I'd hafta say yes.
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Old 03-31-2002, 07:02 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by Desire4Bono:
So maybe their contract was not in doubt, but could be their popularity, ego, reputation, legendary status WERE. All of those things had been damaged, and ATYCLB restored them and more. Mission accomplished.
Ok this is what I mean. I agree with this statement, I think this explains it.

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Old 03-31-2002, 09:33 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho:
Clearly all of that promotion worked, but it makes me wonder nonetheless - if U2 were so sure that they had contract in hand, why bother working so hard at this stage of their careers? R.E.M. released a new album last year. It received a Grammy nod. It went Gold. R.E.M. and their fans are happy. Why did U2 have to do all of this extra work? This is why, on that dreary afternoon last week, I wondered if there was some dobut about U2's contract had ATYCLB not succeeded.
I remember an interview with Bono from late last year where he addressed this issue. As I also have another browser open on the @U2 site I quickly searched their news archive and found the exact quote. It's from the article Joy makes a return from the [i]Los Angeles Times[i] dated 15 December 2001.

Quote:
Q: Weren't you worried that you might look out of place when you took the new music to the TV shows that cater to the Britney Spears and 'N Sync and Limp Bizkit audiences? You could be seen as desperate.

A: [...] I think a lot of rock bands lost track of the importance of selling the music. Hip-hop on many levels pulled the rug from under rock because they were willing to promote their records. They were willing to go on TV and TRL. Rock groups were too cool to do that. If you believe in what you've just written, you ought to be willing to take it door-to-door, if that's what it takes.
I think the last sentence says it all. U2 (and I think especially Bono) believe in their music so much they want to make every human being on earth a fan. They did this before (MTV Awards, A Year In Pop special, maybe also the movie Rattle & Hum, etc.) and they did it last year (TRL, Farmclub, Superbowl).

C ya!

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Old 03-31-2002, 04:25 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
I think the only thing U2 was in trouble of losing after POP was their status as both the biggest and best band in the world. I actually think they might of maintained both though right up to ATYCLB. ATYCLB insure's though that the above is definitely so.
I continue you to disagree that U2 went on some unusual promotion effort never seen in the past to put ATYCLB at the top. The band was on a lot of TV programs, but they had before in the past especially for POP. The one hour Prime Time ABC show A Year In POP still trumps any single promotion effort for ATYCLB except maybe Grammy's and Super Bowl which are random and out of the bands control and cannot be consider a major promotion effort like a one hour ABC show pushed by the band. POP era also featured U2s largest press conference ever, and 24 hours of U2 all day on MTV to promote the first single and video for Discotheque. Two more huge events done for POP but not for ATYCLB.
Yes there were many more smaller appearences on various TV shows, but these are a much smaller part of the promotion pie than what people are crediting it. Your bread and butter promotion is still about Radio, Video play, and concerts. That is what sells albums any day of the week, every week in a month and every month in a year. Then there are the one or two week sales spikes seen after the TV shows. Sometimes no effect is seen, like with the first MTV half hour Elevation special.
Promotion: the process by which one utilizes their ability to make contact and/or reach a large number of people.


The Grammy's and the Super Bowl especially are 2 of the biggest promotions that U2 have ever taken part in. Period. (Live Aid and Amnesty International are the only ones that may be bigger than the Super Bowl, IMO).The Super Bowl was seen by approximately 800 million + people throughout the world!!!!

That IS promotion. U2 DID have control of whether or not they should make these appearances. Believe, me, they knew exactly what they were doing when they agreed to perform during all of the aforementioned shows. If you think otherwise, you are only in denial.
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Old 03-31-2002, 06:34 PM   #58
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MBH,
You fail to understand the fact that U2 did not ask to be on the Super Bowl, they were invited, unlike the A Year in POP special or POPMART Press conference where the opposite was the case.
For the Super Bowl, people at the network thought long and hard about who would be best for the show and decided U2 would be. Out of the blue, they asked U2, all the band had to do was show up. Band and management had to next to nothing. Accepting an offer from someone is not control. You don't get to go to the party unless you are invited!
With the Grammy's, there is an eleborate voting process to decide who gets nominated. After the nominee's are chosen, there is a large voting process to decide the winners. 13,000 members of the acadamy are involved in the process of both votes. U2 plays no role in that process except for their individual votes. U2 does not decide what awards get presented on TV either. Of the 110 awards given out, only a few make it on TV. Yes the band accepts to go to the show just like every artist that is nominated. No shows are rare, even the "Anti-Promotion" studs, Radio Head showed up when they were nominated.
The point is that the band had no control of being invited to these events and cannot be considered as evidence of U2 doing something beyond what they had done in the past to promote themselves. U2 has gone to every Grammy awards show they were nominated at, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, and 2002.
No artist has ever turned down playing the Superbowl, and most would probably love to play it, the only problem being they don't have any control over who gets invited to play.

As far as exposure level from these events, I agree the Superbowl is huge as well as the Grammy's. But they are not events the band can plan to do like, K-mart Press conference, 24 hour a day on MTV, and a documentary on yourself on primetime TV on a major network. Those were distinct attempts by the band to promote themselves that did not involve being invited. The band came to K-mart, MTV, and ABC and pushed themselves in the door!
The band would have played the Superbowl at anytime in their career before, but they were never asked to until now.
The whole point of this discussion is what has the band tried to do, if anything to promote themselves more than they had with POP. You cannot count things that the band did do for POP(they went to the Grammy's for POP but did not win) or were not invited to do by another party, in attempting indicate a higher level of promotion effort by the band.
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Old 04-01-2002, 12:08 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
MBH,
You fail to understand the fact that U2 did not ask to be on the Super Bowl, they were invited, unlike the A Year in POP special or POPMART Press conference where the opposite was the case.
For the Super Bowl, people at the network thought long and hard about who would be best for the show and decided U2 would be. Out of the blue, they asked U2, all the band had to do was show up. Band and management had to next to nothing. Accepting an offer from someone is not control. You don't get to go to the party unless you are invited!
With the Grammy's, there is an eleborate voting process to decide who gets nominated. After the nominee's are chosen, there is a large voting process to decide the winners. 13,000 members of the acadamy are involved in the process of both votes. U2 plays no role in that process except for their individual votes. U2 does not decide what awards get presented on TV either. Of the 110 awards given out, only a few make it on TV. Yes the band accepts to go to the show just like every artist that is nominated. No shows are rare, even the "Anti-Promotion" studs, Radio Head showed up when they were nominated.
The point is that the band had no control of being invited to these events and cannot be considered as evidence of U2 doing something beyond what they had done in the past to promote themselves. U2 has gone to every Grammy awards show they were nominated at, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, and 2002.
No artist has ever turned down playing the Superbowl, and most would probably love to play it, the only problem being they don't have any control over who gets invited to play.

As far as exposure level from these events, I agree the Superbowl is huge as well as the Grammy's. But they are not events the band can plan to do like, K-mart Press conference, 24 hour a day on MTV, and a documentary on yourself on primetime TV on a major network. Those were distinct attempts by the band to promote themselves that did not involve being invited. The band came to K-mart, MTV, and ABC and pushed themselves in the door!
The band would have played the Superbowl at anytime in their career before, but they were never asked to until now.
The whole point of this discussion is what has the band tried to do, if anything to promote themselves more than they had with POP. You cannot count things that the band did do for POP(they went to the Grammy's for POP but did not win) or were not invited to do by another party, in attempting indicate a higher level of promotion effort by the band.

I do understand the fact that U2 was asked to play the SB and voted on by the academy for the Grammy's.

You, however, FAIL to realize that promotion is promotion(refer to definition in earlier post).

If your point is that U2 actually put forth more of their own effort and utilized more of their own manpower as an organization to promote POP, then fine, that is so.

However, the Super Bowl and the Grammy's ARE huge promotions for an artist and that is why they play them in the first place("Singing at the Super Bowl will let me reach an audience that has never heard of me before."-Mary J. Blige @ Super Bowl 36).

The point is, promotion is the ability to reach a great number of people. You constantly state that "U2 did not have control over this" or "U2 did not have control over that." That is just not true.

Sure, they DID NOT go to the executives at the NFL and ASK to play at the Super Bowl. They DID NOT ask to be nominated for the grammy's.

However, U2 certainly made a conscience decision to attend the Grammy's and to PERFORM at the Super Bowl. U2 WERE NOT FORCED to perform and/or appear at either event. Therefore, U2 DID HAVE CONTROL over this PROMOTION. I do not care how you promote yourself. You have control over the decisions in your life. Period.

If your point is effort made by the band rather than invitation-only appearances, then fine, POP was promoted differently and more aggressively than ATYCLB.

The bottom line is this: in both cases we are talking about PROMOTION. ATYCLB was clearly, evidently and concisely promoted more thoroughly by U2 than for POP. I have provided sufficient evidence to support my cases.

I look forward to your reply.

Have a good day.

MBH

[This message has been edited by MBH (edited 04-01-2002).]
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Old 04-01-2002, 08:55 PM   #60
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MBH,
With the more loose way that you define promotion, I would have to agree with your post above on all points. My definition is more narrow and more just about the effort of the band. But I see your point. ATYCLB did get more exposure regardless of the bands level of effort. While the level of exposure was more, it never approached being double of what POP recieved.
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