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Thread started 01/02/20 1:30pm

lastdecember

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He really lost everything with the name change

I just recently was scanning through all his SINGLE chart positions because I was telling someone that in reality PRINCE had not had a radio hit single in two decades, prior to his death his last Radio Airplay Hit ironically was under the symbol, TMBGITW from 1994. After that U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it, minor chart blips after that, an occasional song on RB airplay chart, Future Baby Mama, and Somebody Somebody. But in reality PRINCE was going through what artists now like Bruce and Bon Jovi go through, debuting high with an album in most cases Number 1 without the benefit of a song even KNOWN or on radio at all, and then falling off the charts. But in time period where it started with Prince, artists like Bruce and Jovi still were getting played on the radio, so why did PRINCE suffer? To me it was the name change, no one media wise got over it, radio and people in media were tired of his ego and him saying call me a "symbol" or hold this up dont call me Prince, when a lot of these stations could argue WE MADE U and they wouldnt be wrong to an extent. So I know people dont like to hear that PRINCE didnt have a hit in 22 years when he died but that is pretty much reality.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #1 posted 01/02/20 1:36pm

SoulAlive

lastdecember said:

U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it

Unfortunately,this song was caught in the middle of Prince's feud with Warners.Under different circumstances,this song would have been a major hit single.I think it's the best Prince single of the 90s.

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Reply #2 posted 01/02/20 1:45pm

renfield

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lastdecember said:

I just recently was scanning through all his SINGLE chart positions because I was telling someone that in reality PRINCE had not had a radio hit single in two decades, prior to his death his last Radio Airplay Hit ironically was under the symbol, TMBGITW from 1994. After that U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it, minor chart blips after that, an occasional song on RB airplay chart, Future Baby Mama, and Somebody Somebody. But in reality PRINCE was going through what artists now like Bruce and Bon Jovi go through, debuting high with an album in most cases Number 1 without the benefit of a song even KNOWN or on radio at all, and then falling off the charts. But in time period where it started with Prince, artists like Bruce and Jovi still were getting played on the radio, so why did PRINCE suffer? To me it was the name change, no one media wise got over it, radio and people in media were tired of his ego and him saying call me a "symbol" or hold this up dont call me Prince, when a lot of these stations could argue WE MADE U and they wouldnt be wrong to an extent. So I know people dont like to hear that PRINCE didnt have a hit in 22 years when he died but that is pretty much reality.

Obviously the name change and the battle with Warner Bros. hurt him with the public and the industry, but it's interesting you chose to compare his drop off to Springsteen and Bon Jovi; like Prince, they both had their final top ten singles in 1994. After that Bruce had a top 20 hit thanks to Jerry Maguire ("Secret Garden") and Bon Jovi got a top 40 boost thanks to making a country hit with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. So the name change hurt, but Prince (and most of his 80s Top 40 contemporaries), was commercially one foot out the door by the mid 90s anyway. Consider: After 1995, U2 had only one top ten hit (the forgotten "Discotheque") and Michael only had one more top ten in his lifetime ("You Rock My World"). After 2001, Whitney and Janet were done with the top ten and even Madonna would only score 4 more. The Gold Experience likely would have done better, and maybe Emancipation, but Prince's days as a contemporary hitmaker were winding down regardless.

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Reply #3 posted 01/02/20 1:52pm

luv4u

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The name change allowed him to do what he wanted and be free to create. Genius move.

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Reply #4 posted 01/02/20 3:02pm

lastdecember

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renfield said:

lastdecember said:

I just recently was scanning through all his SINGLE chart positions because I was telling someone that in reality PRINCE had not had a radio hit single in two decades, prior to his death his last Radio Airplay Hit ironically was under the symbol, TMBGITW from 1994. After that U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it, minor chart blips after that, an occasional song on RB airplay chart, Future Baby Mama, and Somebody Somebody. But in reality PRINCE was going through what artists now like Bruce and Bon Jovi go through, debuting high with an album in most cases Number 1 without the benefit of a song even KNOWN or on radio at all, and then falling off the charts. But in time period where it started with Prince, artists like Bruce and Jovi still were getting played on the radio, so why did PRINCE suffer? To me it was the name change, no one media wise got over it, radio and people in media were tired of his ego and him saying call me a "symbol" or hold this up dont call me Prince, when a lot of these stations could argue WE MADE U and they wouldnt be wrong to an extent. So I know people dont like to hear that PRINCE didnt have a hit in 22 years when he died but that is pretty much reality.

Obviously the name change and the battle with Warner Bros. hurt him with the public and the industry, but it's interesting you chose to compare his drop off to Springsteen and Bon Jovi; like Prince, they both had their final top ten singles in 1994. After that Bruce had a top 20 hit thanks to Jerry Maguire ("Secret Garden") and Bon Jovi got a top 40 boost thanks to making a country hit with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. So the name change hurt, but Prince (and most of his 80s Top 40 contemporaries), was commercially one foot out the door by the mid 90s anyway. Consider: After 1995, U2 had only one top ten hit (the forgotten "Discotheque") and Michael only had one more top ten in his lifetime ("You Rock My World"). After 2001, Whitney and Janet were done with the top ten and even Madonna would only score 4 more. The Gold Experience likely would have done better, and maybe Emancipation, but Prince's days as a contemporary hitmaker were winding down regardless.

I agree although Bon Jovi had a huge radio boost with "Its My Life" which led into the "country" category which I never understood the label of country but that is another story, they still were getting a lot of AC play, I mean Richard Marx just had another top 15 AC hit and gets airplay. But Prince's decline was really sharp, almost a blacklisting. He hid things well and tried to put a happy face and postive look but he was not happy that Emancipation couldnt get him a hit single despite jamming the thing down peoples throats and doing the press he did and touring though on tour he rarely played more than 3 songs from the record, though we can say the decline in his airplay was showing with The Symbol album where 7 and Morning Papers garnered him airplay still, TMGITW was a shock, it came on the heels of the name change and was under the symbol and it was indie probably could have been a number one if the stock in stores was there from the get go but a lot of outlets had major issues dealing with Bellmark as a distributor.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #5 posted 01/02/20 3:03pm

carmy

The name change in my opinion Killed his career. If he had truly explained why he wasn’t going by “Prince” anymore people would’ve understood. I just remember him saying things like “my spirit told me to do it “ when asked about the name change. Plus during that time music was changing or the imaging had changed in hip hop and r&b to a super masculine/thug image 92/93, Prince wasn’t as cool then . His music hadn’t changed, but the industry played him as he f it wasn’t good anymore. No radio, video play set up by the industry as punishment for fighting for those Masters . All of those things in that time hurt him badly in my opinion, wish he had a manager at that time that could’ve worked some PR magic for him at that time . Just my opinion.
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Reply #6 posted 01/02/20 3:04pm

lastdecember

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SoulAlive said:

lastdecember said:

U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it

Unfortunately,this song was caught in the middle of Prince's feud with Warners.Under different circumstances,this song would have been a major hit single.I think it's the best Prince single of the 90s.

Yeah that is more or less what I mean, this song from what I remember was one of the most Lopsided totals and percentages of Airplay and sales points, from what I remember on those two charts that Billboard use to do, I hate U was close to be number one in sales, but not even cracking the top 40 in airplay.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #7 posted 01/02/20 3:11pm

lastdecember

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carmy said:

The name change in my opinion Killed his career. If he had truly explained why he wasn’t going by “Prince” anymore people would’ve understood. I just remember him saying things like “my spirit told me to do it “ when asked about the name change. Plus during that time music was changing or the imaging had changed in hip hop and r&b to a super masculine/thug image 92/93, Prince wasn’t as cool then . His music hadn’t changed, but the industry played him as he f it wasn’t good anymore. No radio, video play set up by the industry as punishment for fighting for those Masters . All of those things in that time hurt him badly in my opinion, wish he had a manager at that time that could’ve worked some PR magic for him at that time . Just my opinion.

I agree but also like someone mentioned it was the early days of "Ageism" taking effect with the industry. I dont think he did himself any favors, it was his choice, I mean we know he always did what he wanted, but the symbol thing really backfired, he claimed his spirit but we all know that was not true, and I think that kind of talk made him look like a crazy person spoiled child etc...like he even said. And for the PR thing he thought it would work with Emancipation but HONESTLY the mistake he made was doing Oprah, huge mistake, I know people think it was a good thing and sold some units, but the interviews that resorted to talk about his marriage and then about childs health was really bad, if ONCE Prince should have NOT done interviews and just played on shows it was that time.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #8 posted 01/02/20 3:32pm

IstenSzek

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1. prince burned a lot of bridges, pissed off a lot of people and didn't care.

2. prince could have had hits regardless, if he'd been willing to play the game a certain way.

3. prince did not play anyone's game unless he felt like it.

4. prince then tried exactly what everyone was suggesting (rave), but on his terms.

5. prince realised a fusion between 'what i want and what they want' didn't work, got frustrated and said 'fuck it'

6. prince went on to make 17 years worth of amazing music, gaining more and more respect.

7. the world will catch up to prince sometime in the future, it will just take some more time.

8. singles and recordsales are dead for almost everyone over 40, give or take a few people, who play the game, so, see # '3.'

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #9 posted 01/02/20 4:58pm

skywalker

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You’re completely wrong on this. Watch the movie Prince: slave trade. He was just ahead of his time in regards to everything including the state of the music industry. Princes time came around again after the 90s and he was/is viewed exactly the way he should be....One of the all-time legendary bestest.

-

As far as hits go, what does a hit get you? Look at Milli Vanilli. Now, Look at todays hit singles. By in large, hits today are totally manufactured and a lot of time out of step with what is actually “hip” in music. If Millie Vanilli happen today, nobody would care Because so many acts are doing exactly what Milli Vanilli did or worse.
[Edited 1/2/20 17:01pm]
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #10 posted 01/02/20 5:28pm

PurpleColossus

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I agree that the name change (along with the WB issues) shifted the dynamics of Prince's career. Its interesting because he had just released Diamonds & Pearls in 1991 and then toured for it in 1992...he seemed like he was on the top of the world...Then two years later he's putting the dates (1958-1993) on an album, and saying "Prince is dead" at his concerts. While I was too young at the time, I can imagine this whole thing confusing a lot of people. Seeing others comment on this topic, I get the sense that a lot of the public were not fully aware of Prince's motivations.

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Reply #11 posted 01/02/20 5:29pm

sro100

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When he changed his name to prince he became even cooler.

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Reply #12 posted 01/02/20 5:46pm

callimnate

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luv4u said:

The name change allowed him to do what he wanted and be free to create. Genius move.


But it didnt help him one bit with record sales AND polpularity. Even lost most of his devoted fans. Myself included.

And what he "created" afterwards was below par and othing Genious like. Unlike his material before the name change. wink

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Reply #13 posted 01/02/20 6:01pm

lavendardrumma
chine

It was a combination of things. He wasn't putting out the music people wanted from him, he sorta reached peak corny (or we weren't ready for it), and the "slave" thing didn't really compute with people even when they generally got what it was about, it seemed like an overreaction for the era. Musically, Love Symbol had hits (or at least songs that got pay for plays on Video Music Box) and then there wasn't much radio worthy until he went back to that style with P Control, which is a difficult song to promote. He started doing the music clubs and websites and it wsn't like he was pursuing radio hits. Some of thoe singles weren't releaed in the states at all, and when he promoted records like Musicology, which won a lot of fans back, I still can't remember a signature song from it. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but Black Sweat is the first single I really remember being a proper attempt at being a single and being something you heard everywhere. Then some good tours playing crowd favorites. Point being, a lot of it was the music Prince made.

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Reply #14 posted 01/02/20 6:01pm

callimnate

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Not only that, but he lost his edge.

He became a sheep instead of the shepherd that he was.

Emancipation was a dull R&B try-hard release. And everything that came afterwards was an attempt to not only rectify that but even worse, brought on Larry to the picture. evil

The age theory is spot on as well. It happenes to all artists. How many times have you wished that Madonna would just give it up? Well Prince was the same, but because we were fans, we never wanted him to stop.

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Reply #15 posted 01/02/20 6:15pm

SoulAlive

lastdecember said:



SoulAlive said:




lastdecember said:


U can argue that I HATE U was a hit and it was peaking at Number 12 but almost all of its points were gathered from sales of the single, almost none from airplay and that would be it





Unfortunately,this song was caught in the middle of Prince's feud with Warners.Under different circumstances,this song would have been a major hit single.I think it's the best Prince single of the 90s.




Yeah that is more or less what I mean, this song from what I remember was one of the most Lopsided totals and percentages of Airplay and sales points, from what I remember on those two charts that Billboard use to do, I hate U was close to be number one in sales, but not even cracking the top 40 in airplay.




There was a video for the song but it wasn’t widely shown back then.Not sure what happened but the promotion was all screwed up.Prince was talking shit about Warner Bros. in every interview (lol) so they probably got pissed and decided not to aggressively promote the song and album.As a result,the two singles (“I Hate U” and the title track) bombed.
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Reply #16 posted 01/02/20 6:26pm

SoulAlive

.
[Edited 1/3/20 1:11am]
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Reply #17 posted 01/02/20 7:49pm

recordmanben

I hate it when people say Prince killed his career.
It's just so stupid to even utter those words lol.
He's Prince, well established with enough money and recognition to own his own complex, on a huge record lable, respected in the music industry, held in the highest regards by fans and general music lovers. Made a mark in the music world as one of the most genuine and prolific artists of all time. Huge popstar.

Even if he dropped off the face of the earth instead of changing his name, nobody would've ever forgotten him.

He didnt kill his career just because the press and critics said he did or people didn't understand. He literally paved the way and tought musicians what you make is who you are, not your name.

Let's drop the beggars and hangers on way of thinking when it comes to who's popular and take him for face value.

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Reply #18 posted 01/02/20 8:19pm

carmy

Recordmanben are you responding directly to me ?
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Reply #19 posted 01/02/20 8:39pm

thedoorkeeper

skywalker said:

Look at Milli Vanilli. Now, Look at todays hit singles. By in large, hits today are totally manufactured and a lot of time out of step with what is actually “hip” in music. If Millie Vanilli happen today, nobody would care Because so many acts are doing exactly what Milli Vanilli did or worse.
[Edited 1/2/20 17:01pm]

Milli Vanilli pretended to be the vocalists when actually someone else was doing the singing. They were just lip synching. It was a scam. Who today is doing that?
[Edited 1/2/20 20:40pm]
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Reply #20 posted 01/03/20 1:09am

leadline

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He has said in interviews regarding this that he had a choice, a choice between what was more important to him, his image, or his soul, he chose the latter, and he chose wisely.

He very well knew the consequences of doing this, and it was beyond brave to do this, but this choice ultimately led to much greater success for him, on a personal, professional, and spiritual level.

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
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Reply #21 posted 01/03/20 1:11am

SoulAlive

.

[Edited 1/3/20 1:11am]

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Reply #22 posted 01/03/20 1:19am

nonesuch

skywalker said:

You’re completely wrong on this. Watch the movie Prince: slave trade. He was just ahead of his time in regards to everything including the state of the music industry. Princes time came around again after the 90s and he was/is viewed exactly the way he should be....One of the all-time legendary bestest. - As far as hits go, what does a hit get you? Look at Milli Vanilli. Now, Look at todays hit singles. By in large, hits today are totally manufactured and a lot of time out of step with what is actually “hip” in music. If Millie Vanilli happen today, nobody would care Because so many acts are doing exactly what Milli Vanilli did or worse. [Edited 1/2/20 17:01pm]

Factually, Prince was not „ahead of his time in regards to everything including the state of the music industry“. Others were way more ahead than him in that regard, and much earlier - check Frank Zappa's career and business-handling for confirmation.

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Reply #23 posted 01/03/20 1:26am

ForceofNature

I would argue it wasn't the name change, but the fact that instead of being a person that creates musical trends ('80s), he started really following the cheesy '90s R&B trends in his music at the time.

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Reply #24 posted 01/03/20 1:31am

LoveGalore

Dup
[Edited 1/3/20 1:33am]
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Reply #25 posted 01/03/20 1:33am

LoveGalore

callimnate said:

Not only that, but he lost his edge.


He became a sheep instead of the shepherd that he was.


Emancipation was a dull R&B try-hard release. And everything that came afterwards was an attempt to not only rectify that but even worse, brought on Larry to the picture. evil

The age theory is spot on as well. It happenes to all artists. How many times have you wished that Madonna would just give it up? Well Prince was the same, but because we were fans, we never wanted him to stop.



That's a little harsh.

I think his whole perspective changed. Kinda like how boyband fans grow up and outgrow their obsessions, Prince grew up and outgrew his fans' obsession with him singing really lascivious shit. He started focusing way more on his craft and his message. He started opening up his shows to a wider fan base by making them about the music and not about shock value.

He did sell less on the charts, but he made much more money and he was able to do it his own way. For a guy who didn't sell a lot of records and only toured for 3-4 months at a time, he died with a ton of wealth, the utmost respect in his industry, and a legacy framed in gold.

The name change was a crucial part of his growth and one that allowed him to be more at ease with himself. Only the people who bought into the MTV/Billboard/Rolling Stone culture missed him during those dark years as everyone else knew he was turning out tons of music.
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Reply #26 posted 01/03/20 2:56am

TKO

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It was a bad business decision, but he could afford it... i mean, he's a legend and people still run to buy his records after 4 decades just because of albums like 1999, Purple Rain or Sign O The Times.

But yeah, he could have achieved more success later if he didn't change his name, or he wasn't against streaming or uploading his videos, etc.

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Reply #27 posted 01/03/20 2:57am

TheFman

luv4u said:

The name change allowed him to do what he wanted and be free to create. Genius move.

except that he did nothing with it. It finished him.

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Reply #28 posted 01/03/20 4:18am

OperatingTheta
n

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If, as you concede, one of Prince's biggest hits (his only number one single in the UK) was under the symbol name it doesn't necessarily follow that adopting the new name caused a lack of success. If, for example, 'Dolphin' had been released as a second single and 'The Gold Experience' album had actually followed as planned in 94 he would have had further hits. 'Love Sign' would also have charted well given the airplay at the time.

In Europe, Prince was even having respectable minor hits under the NPG and Tora Tora moniker with 'Get Wild' and 'The Good Life'. So the name changes were not really a commercial issue between 93-95. 'Betcha by Golly Wow' was also a moderate UK hit in 96.

What I think did genuinely decline sales was the choice of material, singles and Prince's promotional strategy in the years and decades that followed. Promo videos frequently arrived months after the singles if at all, Prince frequently chose not to perform the released single during promotional performances or in concert and some of the material was simply not 'chart friendly' or really created or selected with commercial considerations in mind.
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Reply #29 posted 01/03/20 4:37am

lastdecember

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skywalker said:

You’re completely wrong on this. Watch the movie Prince: slave trade. He was just ahead of his time in regards to everything including the state of the music industry. Princes time came around again after the 90s and he was/is viewed exactly the way he should be....One of the all-time legendary bestest. - As far as hits go, what does a hit get you? Look at Milli Vanilli. Now, Look at todays hit singles. By in large, hits today are totally manufactured and a lot of time out of step with what is actually “hip” in music. If Millie Vanilli happen today, nobody would care Because so many acts are doing exactly what Milli Vanilli did or worse. [Edited 1/2/20 17:01pm]

I have seen SLAVE TRADE, i am not saying what he did was wrong, I am all for the indie artist, I look at this years top albums and I think I own two and have heard three, my top albums of the year didnt even chart, so I am not taking anything away, I am just stating a fact because there are people that still are harping on SALES, wondering why reissues dont sell or chart high etc... You cant have it both ways is all I am saying.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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