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> Recent comebacks of 90s/00s acts - all flops?, Blur, Faith no more, Libertines, Stone Roses...
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The Company Man
post Aug 1 2017, 09:50 AM
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Hi all,

I live in Germany but, thanks to buzzjack and websites like nme, tend to follow the UK album charts and music scene more closely than the German ones (which are much more focused on German and US music).

Some of my favourite bands stem from the 80s and 90s and include Blur, Suede, a-ha, Faith no more, Beastie Boys, Travis, Manics, Charlatans, Hard-Fi, EMF, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, but I also like newer acts like Wolf Alice, Saint Motel, Lana del Rey, Angel Olsen, Alexandra Savior, or London Grammar very much.

Lately, there have been quite a few combacks, including some rather unexpected ones.
The music press has covered them quite well, and I got the feeling many people knew about them, but still I wonder if they can really be considered succesful , compared to the sales these acts had generated 10-20 years ago.

What do you think?

Blur - The Magic Whip; Wikipedia reports 40k units for the US and Gold in the UK. Even Think Tank had shifted 94k in the US and in the 90s they had 3-4* platinum records in the UK.

Faith no more - Sol Invictus: Wikipedia shows good chart positions (many top 10s) but apparently no certifications yet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith_No_More_discography). In the 90s, Gold was standard for them.

The libertines - Anthems for doomed youth; only silver in the UK (far from platinum!) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Libertines_discography)

Manics and Charlatans, Suede - despite continously good reviews, they all seem to be able to activate a kind of core fanbase, selling 10k-25k in week 1, but remain far from Gold or even Silver.

Pixies - much talked about comeback but far from 90s sales

Okay, on the pop side Take That and - surprisingly - Rick Astley have done well, but all these other "older acts": are new albums just used to justify tours and "milk" the existing fanbase?
And how does it come that even big players like Katy Perry and Lana der Rey struggle to go silver this year?
















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BillyH
post Aug 2 2017, 12:09 AM
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You're comparing bands when they were brand new, signed to major record labels with huge publicity at the peak of their fame, to the completely different musical world of today - both in terms of the sound of popular chart music and the way it's listened to.

As talented as the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran, Drake etc are, a major part of why they're all currently so popular is that a huge amount of money and effort is being put into them, the same that Blur had circa 1995, The Libertines circa 2004 etc. All these artists could easily write and record their best ever songs in a decade or two's time, but if they don't have the support and backing behind them, they'll struggle to chart as high as they currently do - and after a few years it's hard to keep that momentum going, no matter what the quality of your musical output is.
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vidcapper
post Aug 2 2017, 06:36 AM
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Unfortunately the music industry is as riddled with short-termism as is politics.
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The Company Man
post Aug 2 2017, 08:06 AM
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Both of you are absolutely right, unfortunately, but I wonder where the fanbase is. Is it really only 20k fans left for, say, the Manics, or does the majority just not buy/listen to the band's new releases anymore?

I mean more than 2 Million UK citizens shall have a copy of Parklife in their shelves, and only 5% of them still purchase or stream the latest Blur record? That's a loss of 95% of the clientele.

Also, I think it's a bit too easy to blame the record companies. I mean, there was a lot of publicity in the context of say the Pixies, Blur or Libertines comebacks but still no spark.

At least in Germany, it's also riodiculous that there is hardly any airplay for new songs of more established acts. For instance, although lana has a new record out, one of the biggest German radio stations, Einslive (they try to imitate R1), only plays Summertime Sadness or Video Games. Not fair.








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Bjork
post Aug 2 2017, 08:14 AM
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for acts like All Saints or Rick Astley for instance, I think it's all cos of R1's anti-age/anti-female policy... R1 never supports such comebacks, that's why they cannot get a hit single. But they well album-wise cos R2 supports them and the R2 audience luckily still buys albums (but doesn't buy or stream singles)

with the Manics and Blur, part of it it's also true. In the 90s, R1 were playing them like crazy when Britpop was at its peak, now not anymore. But moreover, times have changed. For instance the Manics always took advantage of fans buying multi-formats, CD1, CD2, 7 inch, 12 inch singles... since itunes, it wasn't the same anymore, and streams has definitely been the nail in the coffin for fans of collecting singles... I'd say indie is definitely the genre doing the worst on streams (unlike urban). But I also think indie music fans are now investing more in other ways, for instance, concerts and festivals. That's where bands like Foo Fighters or Biffy Clyro make $$$$, not from streams of the singles...
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