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How To Kill An Artist


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Country is where all the great writers and musicians are now. They're making real music in Nashville.

That's what I've been saying...

I'll admit that there's a lot of crap country out there...just like there's a lot of crap in every other format...past and present. But there's some really good music out there that's labeled "country". Now, what's called country today would've been called pop in the 70's...that's why I don't understand the resistance by so many people. A lot of people (not just here) just refuse to listen to anything "country" even though they like 70's pop. That's their right and their choice, of course, but I think they're missing out on some great music. I try not to get hung up on formats too much...if I like it, I like it...no matter what it's labeled. (us Kentucky people are so open-minded :P )

It's been suggested here (not just by me) that a lot of EC's music would play well on today's country. If you like Eric's ballads, here's a "country" song that you should like...it even pays tribute to Eric's ABM.

Tonight I Wanna Cry - Keith Urban

Eric...do you know Urban or are you aware of his music? He co-wrote this song...I don't know if he's a fan of yours or if the ABM line was used because ABM is the epitome of sad songs. If you have any connections to Urban or any of his people, I would think he would be a perfect candidate to cover some of your songs...IMHO.

Tonight I Wanna Cry lyrics:

Alone in this house again tonight

I got the TV on, the sound turned down and a bottle of wine

There's pictures of you and I on the walls around me

The way that it was and could have been surrounds me

I'll never get over you walkin' away

(Chorus:)

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show

And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control

But I'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain

To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain

From my eyes

Tonight I wanna cry

Would it help if I turned a sad song on

" All By Myself " would sure hit me hard now that you're gone

Or maybe unfold some old yellow lost love letters

It's gonna hurt bad before it gets better

But I'll never get over you by hidin' this way

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show

And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control

But I'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain

To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain

From my eyes

Tonight I wanna cry

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show

And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control

But I'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain

To hell with this pride, let it fall like rain

From my eyes

Tonight I wanna cry

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I've never met Keith, but I like his music a lot. He's a good writer and a MONSTER guitarist!

Some people think of Dolly Parton and Buck Owens when they hear the word "country", but ever since Mutt Lange produced those Shania Twain records the same way he produced Bryan Adams and Def Leppard, country music has sure sounded different.

A lot of my favorite records of the past decade have been "country" artists. Faith Hill, Shania, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift are really "pop" artists to me. Martina McBride could sing anything and it would be great.

Oh, and my first solo album went gold in Australia, so who knows?

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Eric...I agree with everything you said there.

Question: at one time you said you didn't like to pitch your music at anybody...if somebody wanted to cover it, then OK. Do you still feel that way? Don't you think some of your songs are perfect for today's "country"? Would you consider contacting an artist to pitch one of your songs now? I could see Urban, Garth, Chesney, Rascal Flatts, etc. having monster hits with some of your music. It just seems a shame (to me) that so many of your great songs are not being heard...and that there's a format out there that is ripe for them. Again, just my opinion...

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Now, what's called country today would've been called pop in the 70's...that's why I don't understand the resistance by so many people. A lot of people (not just here) just refuse to listen to anything "country" even though they like 70's pop. That's their right and their choice, of course, but I think they're missing out on some great music. I try not to get hung up on formats too much...if I like it, I like it...no matter what it's labeled. (us Kentucky people are so open-minded [Razz] )

I totally agree, Duane. I LOVE Keith Urban! heartpump (He and Hugh Jackman are my two favorite HOT Aussies!!) And you're right, Eric, Keith is a Kick-a$$ guitarist! I have always thought Keith would be perfect for covering lots of Eric's songs. Come-on guys, even Eric admits he likes today's Country! Like Duane says, there's crap in all formats. You just have to pick through it. And I'm not ashamed to say I listen to Country a lot. I do wish others here were just a little more open-minded, and not get so hung up on the label. I'm proud of my Southern roots...but that doesn't mean I'm a Hillbilly who can't discern quality music, whatever the Genre.

If you really love 70's pop, you can find a lot to love in today's Country. Just listen to a few of Keith's songs and tell me his Vocal qualities wouldn't be perfect for covering some of Eric's "killer ballads". Or, for that matter, Eric, if you have any new material, send it Keith's way!

"Tonight I Wanna Cry" is one of my very favorites of Keith's.

Here are some of my other favorites from Keith Urban:

"Raining On Sunday"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxDuckV7IAY

"Making Memories Of Us"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y1oW_CBoAE

OHHH, shocked Nicole is SOOO lucky! :p

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Quote:
Originally posted by Duane:

Now, what's called country today would've been called pop in the 70's...that's why I don't understand the resistance by so many people. A lot of people (not just here) just refuse to listen to anything "country" even though they like 70's pop. That's their right and their choice, of course, but I think they're missing out on some great music. I try not to get hung up on formats too much...if I like it, I like it...no matter what it's labeled. (us Kentucky people are so open-minded [Razz] )

I totally agree, Duane. I LOVE Keith Urban! heartpump (He and Hugh Jackman are my two favorite HOT Aussies!!) And you're right, Eric, Keith is a Kick-a$$ guitarist! I have always thought Keith would be perfect for covering lots of Eric's songs. Come-on guys, even Eric admits he likes today's Country! Like Duane says, there's crap in all formats. You just have to pick through it. And I'm not ashamed to say I listen to Country a lot. I do wish others here were just a little more open-minded, and not get so hung up on the label. I'm proud of my Southern roots...but that doesn't mean I'm a Hillbilly who can't discern quality music, whatever the Genre.

If you really love 70's pop, you can find a lot to love in today's Country. Just listen to a few of Keith's songs and tell me his Vocal qualities wouldn't be perfect for covering some of Eric's "killer ballads". Or, for that matter, Eric, if you have any new material, send it Keith's way!

"Tonight I Wanna Cry" is one of my very favorites of Keith's.

Here are some of my other favorites from Keith Urban:

"Raining On Sunday"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxDuckV7IAY

"Making Memories Of Us"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y1oW_CBoAE

OHHH, shocked Nicole is SOOO lucky! :P

Uhhh....I'd say Keith is pretty Lucky.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Seattle Steve:

No question, Shania and Garth changed "country" music. Love Keith Urban's stuff, perhaps underrated Brad Paisley is also an amazing guitarist.

I agree, Steve. Speaking of Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, they (along with their wives) are reportedly "good buddies". They have a lot in common. Both are Country Artists, gifted guitarists, married to beautiful actresses, and both have small children. Brad and Kimberly (she was the Bride in the "Father Of The Bride" movies) are expecting their second child.

Check out this latest collaboration of the two "dynamic duos" guitar work:

Brad Paisley and Keith Urban - "Start A Band":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2koLr86VmFY

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I knew the music business was rough, but I had no idea people could do the kinds of things to artists that Eric described! So the landlord gets to make an indentured servant of the artist. What a heartbreaking waste of money and time. All such scoundrels should only get what they gave out a thousandfold in bad karma.

Absolutely shocking. I'm horrified.

frown --Darlene

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by The Kiwi Connection:

<strong> Keith Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967 in Whangarei, NEW ZEALAND! haha

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Eric...I agree with everything you said there.

Question: at one time you said you didn't like to pitch your music at anybody...if somebody wanted to cover it, then OK. Do you still feel that way? Don't you think some of your songs are perfect for today's "country"? Would you consider contacting an artist to pitch one of your songs now? I could see Urban, Garth, Chesney, Rascal Flatts, etc. having monster hits with some of your music. It just seems a shame (to me) that so many of your great songs are not being heard...and that there's a format out there that is ripe for them. Again, just my opinion...

praypraypray
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Eric...I agree with everything you said there.

Question: at one time you said you didn't like to pitch your music at anybody...if somebody wanted to cover it, then OK. Do you still feel that way? Don't you think some of your songs are perfect for today's "country"? Would you consider contacting an artist to pitch one of your songs now? I could see Urban, Garth, Chesney, Rascal Flatts, etc. having monster hits with some of your music. It just seems a shame (to me) that so many of your great songs are not being heard...and that there's a format out there that is ripe for them. Again, just my opinion...

I'm in agreement with Duane on that - I can hear in my mind's ear Urban or Brooks singing "Wild Wild Heart"... and it's a hit... cool
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On Eric Carmen and country music...I think Eric could sit down and write a country song any time he wanted...If that's what he wanted to do...He really is that good...

But if he wanted to push an old song to the youngsters in Nashville...I'd suggest Let's Pretend...Done by a female artist...I think that song could be very hot all over again.

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Eric, if it's any comfort, the professional sports business has as many conflicts of interest as the music business. You take my favorite skater, who was represented for years by a certain famous sports marketing firm which shall be nameless (but you can find them down on East 9tth Street...I think you know who I mean). These people sign you up as a client, and then they of course contract with you to appear in THEIR ice shows, so THEY can make a profit off of it whenever you skate. Guess who decides how much you get paid to appear in those shows? Oh, and they also produce all the televised pro "competitions" (the ones the skaters compete in after they're not eligible for the Olympics anymore), so guess who decides how much money you will make for appearing in those competitions? Guess who can reduce their offer or refuse to renew your contract if they decide you're not so hot anymore? Guess who can decide after a few years that the latest people to come out of the Olympics are "hotter" than you, and therefore you have to accept a tiny contract and lowest billing in the show or go find yourself another agent?

Oh, and guess which sports marketing company uses its massive size to eat up all its competitors through mergers and acquisitions so that it effectively eliminates all other ice shows in the country, leaving professional skaters with only one choice of which show to appear in if they want to go on tour?

I'm glad my fave is out of it. I think he's much happier now coaching the stars of the future.

Anyway, my question for you is: have you ever considered letting US, the fans, finance your next release? It's what some bands are doing, you know. Collecting money from their most devoted fans to get a new CD recorded and out on the market. Then, if they actually sell any copies of it to anyone else but the fans, it's gravy. But at least it's out there and you know someone appreciates it.

I'd be thrilled to pony up money for the Raspberries to record again. Granted, I can't cough up the whole cost myself, but I'd be willing to throw money in the kitty.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Eric, this was an extremely interesting read. I had wondered how it came to be that some of bands I had contacted over the years who have had their albums reissued, never saw a dime from that. the answer was always the same, somehow, somewhere, accountants from the band's original releasing label say the band still ownes money from some album released almost 30 years ago that "didn't do well".

As for CD sales being dead, how true! Even BMG Music Service (which handled BMG, SONYBMG, and SONY artists) is calling it quits in about a month. Even at an average cost of $5.99 per disc (including S/H charges), they couldn't get people to buy music.

As for any band laying down money to put out a release... It's a crazy investment that'll never come close to breaking even. Even if you self-release it and get Wal-Mart to distribute it, I'll bet that within less than a month of its release you'll find a copy of it online to download for free in either the music blogs, peer-to-peer networks, file torrents, YOUTUBE, and/or file sharing services.

As you mentioned, touring is probably the last money making frontier in the music industry. But even that seems to have fallen to the major corporations controling it, such as Clear Channle's Live Nation. Smaller venues can't compete with the advertising funds and radio station control of the big fish. I guessing that things will progress to the point of artists starting their own web sites, and either on a monthly fee or pay-per-view basis, you can access pre-recorded streaming concert footage.

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Of BMG Music Service??? I thought they offered a great alternative to buying retail, and I have to admit that I hate to see them go. I've been a pretty good customer for around 20 years, though the purchases slid off the last couple. There's only so many times you can buy an artist's "Greatest Hits" package, only to get one or two "unreleased songs".

Goin' Country work for me in the 90's for a short time when Grunge took over the airwaves, but after a while, I noticed how so many of the Country artists (usually after their first album) stopped writing their own material and the songs all seemed to come from a pool of song writers. But Country started to remind me of the movement in the 80's when established Rock Bands, usually at the push of their labels, started putting out albums of other writers songs (Heart, Cheap Trick, etc.). Every hit song ended up being tied to Diane Warren, Desmond Child, Holly Knight, and Michael Bolton. On the plus side though, it was Mary Chaplin Carpenter's liner notes that helped me find Peter Bonta of Artful Dodger, so I can't complain...

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