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(TV) RE: 1880 Or So not being a hit
Re: your last message:
I thought "1800, or So..." should have been massive.
Not to sound cynical but payola is alive and well. There's a great book------I think it's called the Hit Men which discusses the whole payola cesspool. Payola has probably been bigger in the last 10 years than anytime in history. This book gives several examples. One involved how one of Pink Floyd's biggest seelling albums (maybe someone on the list knows which Floyd record) was dropped from rotation on all commercial radio stations because the record company thought it was so big they could fore-go making their usual payments. When the record company payments stopped the record was unheard on commercial radio for weeks despite being at #1!
Moreover, we all know that Capitol Records did a miserable job of promoting Television (we can fantasize about what might have happened if '1880 Or So' had been released as the single in U.S. and properly promoted, but I don't think it would have received the needed airplay (at least in 1992 pre-mpeg, pre-music on www, etc.) to be a hit.
I am not claiming that payola is a sufficient to make a record or single 's a hit -----it's was(/is??) a necessary condition but still did not guarntee a hit. I'm claiming back then (and maybe strill today??) if your record did not receive distribution support, and monetary tribute was not given in its behalf to commercial radio then your record would be competing against records that had such support/payola.
I think even TV and band knew that they had a potential 'hit' on their hands with '1880 Or So'. The following interview excerpt is from The Bomb, Fall 1992:
The Bomb: Is what you play rock and roll?
TV: They did a survey of young girls and every one of these girls' favorite song on our record was the first one. Everyone else thought it was a weird song because it has a very low key vocal...
R. Lloyd: Our record? Who did this survey?
TV: I did.
BF: Where did you get hold of these girls?
TV: These are kids whose parents I've known for 20 years.
RL: That hardly constitutes a survey.
TV: Kids love getting a tape. They've never heard of the band; they just play it and they like it or they don't like it. All three were completely spooked by "Mars".
The Bomb: "1880" is the one they liked?
TV: "1880" was the song they just creamed for. They just thought it was so pretty and romantic.
The Bomb: It's a very gentle song.
TV: Unlike their parents who like the other songs. Maybe it's melody, you know. Because the guitars are always doing little melody figures, which isn't a thing many bands do now.
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