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Simon is one of many over the years that have figured out what TONS of people like and I can't fault any of them for it. Maurice Starr, Lou Pearlman, Louis Walsh, Pete Waterman... Kudos to them all!
I would do cartwheels to be in a MERE FRACTION of their success range!

I think your real argument here is taste. For all the "pablum" that the Idol yawnfest has given us, I still would rather listen to it than any of Kurt Cobain's whiney drivel again. Most of the "heartfelt art" takes itself WAY too seriously, and removes any sort of enjoyment one gets from listening.

T. D.

Come on, Bruce! You've been in this biz for a while - manufactured, formulaic pop music (and the success thereof) is nothing new. The Beatles that you and I and all other music lovers fell for didn't start recording their best music until after silly-sounding pop songs rocketed them to fame.

The reality is that 90% of the music listening population (which is pretty much EVERYONE, given the fortunate prevalence of music in our lives) just want some smooth, easy-on-the-ears background noise. They want something catchy that they can sing along to. Just because a song is on Billboard doesn't make it a good song, just popular.

In my view, this is can be analogized for cars. There are so many minivans and Accords out there because these vehicles serve their most basic function. To car lovers, however, driving an underpowered front-wheel drive is no less painful than having every hair plucked from his body, one by one. At the same time, all those Accord drivers cannot understand why someone would own a classic Mustang, or a hard to handle air-cooled 911. Where's the AC and cup holders?

Bruce Houghton / Hypebot.com

Points heard, but I'll stick by my assertion that bands that matter 5 years later, bands with lasting careers and therefore lasting sales are not 3rd party creations.

I think that "meaning" and "depth" are particularly important when your competing in a fractured and changing media landscape against "free".

Or am I alone here?

T. D.

I guess on the "opening the wallet" issue, you're right. However, in large part I've seen the shrinking of the industry not as the death knell but as a correction. Extrapolating a long-term view based on decidedly short-term events is bound to produce erroneous results - if the industry is cut in half but then maintains and grows steadily, is that so bad? Can we really say that, just because digital hasn't produced a 1:1 replacement for CD's that the sky is falling and recorded music is dead forever?

In reality, I think we might be sloughing the profits generated mainly by the cheesy pop stars, since the consumers of those artists are only passively engaged, anyway. Perhaps, if we can prevent further illogical knee-jerk reactions from industry leaders who seem hellbent on making stupid decisions, 10 years from know we will find a smaller but more robust and healthy industry, one in which there is no longer a meaningful market for cheesy pop and is instead driven by the heartfelt music you speak of.

Those who love music generally love the good stuff (accepting that tastes differ but a general consensus that formulaic hits are not good). Those who love music will continue to pay for it. If 13-year old girls stop buying gimmic albums and there's no longer a profit motive there, perhaps more attention will be focused on what does make money - the good stuff. (Even better, considering the strong rise in record sales at indie stores and the shrinking real estate in the big boxes, maybe this market correction will have a ripple benefit we all can celebrate.)

So then maybe "the beginning of the end" is really the beginning of something really good.


If you want to find "bands with lasting careers and therefore lasting sales," look at the album chart. The singles chart is not a place to find artists that are going to have great catalog sales in ten or 20 years. Especially in the iTunes era. Digital downloads have increased the ability to purchase novelties on a whim.

The bottom line is sales are sales. That's always been the case. How many bands with lasting careers were funded by money from stuff like Captain & Tennille, or other pop-fluff acts that used to dominate the singles chart?

Actually, that's a good exercise. I urge everybody to look at the Billboard singles charts in the '70s and compare them to the album charts for the decade. (I chose the '70s because that was the decade of "real" bands, so we're constantly told.)

The 1976 singles chart has Wings, Elton John & Kiki Dee, Johnny Taylor, Four Seasons, Wild Cherry for the top five of the year. On the album chart are Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, Wings, The Eagles (the perennial seller "Greatest Hits 1971-1975") and Chicago ("Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits").

It's no surprise that the legends and better catalog sales can be found at the album chart. Same as it is today.


Those people and companies which are proactive regarding mass appeal music discovery are winning big. Like their music or not, guys like Simon Fuller and Terry McBride are taking the bull by the horns and making the music they want happen. I am a very proactive music entrepreneur and within 60 days I am going to post up a new music discovery website with a totally unique business model and major value propositions for both artists and users. I do not know what will happen or how successful my site will be but, nevertheless, I am throwing myself into the fray and hopefully one day I will be mentioned in the same breath as being as successful as Simon Fuller but only with original music artists of depth and substance.


Hey the hottest reggae singer Ava leigh has done an exclusive version of Mas Que Nada available on I tunes or check out Avaleigh.co.uk

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