MAROON 5 — Maroon 5 was definitely a mistake. From the moment I heard it, I knew it. It’s a tough gig – but, 17 million viewers plus makes it a hard one to pass on. Most of the reviews have been very negative, but the one from our Aussie colleague Paul Cashmere, from Noise 11, perhaps says it best:
The Super Bowl felt like an early April Fool’s joke with Maroon 5 turning in the least innovative performance of all-time at the major event.
The Super Bowl had traditionally attracted the best of the best for the halftime entertainment. Over the years Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and Sting have played.
WTF were they thinking signing up Maroon 5?
Everything about the Maroon 5 performance was a cliché. The fireworks, the Levine tanktop followed by tattooed chest, the ‘Insert Gospel Choir here’ moment. Was this actually real or some sketch being filmed for a Will Ferrell movie?
The addition of Maroon 5 was not only a mistake, it was an insult. This ‘made for elevator band’ is perfect for pop radio to fill sounds between ad-breaks but as a showcase for a global event, again …WTF were they thinking?
Maroon 5 are a great band – check out “No Curtain Call” from their 2010 album Hands All Over, but this performance was not thought out well at all. It lacked just about everything.
Adam Levine and the band didn’t do the usual press conference prior to the game, and he promised a big surprise … what was it?
Embarrassing for sure.
BACKSTREETS BACK— Via Roger Friedman/Show Biz 411: Backstreet Boys, middle aged men who used to be a boy band, are back on top of the charts.
Their DNA album is their first in 18 years to hit number 1 on the charts.
A little more than I predicted earlier in the week, DNA sold 236,000 copies. They were almost all CDs and paid downloads, and very little streaming. Their older audience wanted it that way.
But their older audience also didn’t actually buy those CDs and downloads. DNA came with concert tickets. Backstreet Boys are a nostalgia act now, and they’re wisely cashing in on good feelings from fans who loved them in the 90s. The albums were part of the price of the ticket. The RIAA counts those as sales.
Next week when the ticket bundle is gone, DNA will sink at least 80% or maybe drop out of the top 50 altogether. There’s nothing to support it on the charts, no hit single. The days of “I Want It That Way” are over.
Curiously, the Boys didn’t turn to their old songwriters for tracks on the new album. The result is good vocals applied to not very compelling songs. And the Boys don’t have any publishing credits on the songs, so they’re not going to get that revenue.
Without the DNA sales, overall sales of music would have been pretty skimpy this week. An album by rapper Future, whose insistence on using his own music instead of Curtis Mayfield’s destroyed the Superfly remake last year, sold 57,000 copies– mostly via streaming.
I wonder if New Kids On The Block will have a new CD in anticipation of their Mix Tape tour this summer with Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and Salt-N-Pepa. I bet there will be.
BISH IS BACK— Stephen Bishop has a very busy 2019 planned — in fact, his list of major projects goes “On and On.” The veteran singer-songwriter will be releasing a new studio album, a documentary and an autobiography this year, and also will play a variety of concerts.
Bishop’s forthcoming album, titled We’ll Talk About It Later in the Car,features what he says are “songs that should have been hits 40 years ago.” He initially planned for the album to be a collection of demos of tunes he penned early in his career, but eventually decided to make it a full-fledged studio record.
“There’s a little bit of country, pop, and a few tracks that are more brokenhearted love songs,” he explains.
Bishop says the album’s title comes from something he overheard Carrie Fisher say to someone on the phone while he was dating the late Star Wars actress.
“[S]he said to the other person, ‘Anyway, we’ll talk about it later in the car,’” he recalls. “I thought it was something to do with me, but as it turned out, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, would say that when she was mad and wanted to get out of the house.”
The phrase is repeated in the title of Bishop’s upcoming documentary We’ll Talk About It Later in the Car: The Untold Story of Stephen Bishop.
The doc features film clips and TV appearances, and examines Stephen’s songs and the impact he’s had on fans and the stars he’s worked with, including Dionne Warwick, songwriter Jimmy Webb, Richard Marx and Toto‘s Steve Lukather. The movie also focuses on Bishop’s recent tour of The Philippines, where he’s hugely popular.
Bishop’s upcoming autobiography, meanwhile, is called On and Off,which he maintains will be “wild and crazy, like the life I’ve led.”
SHORT TAKES — Penske Media has bought the remaining 49% stake in Rolling Stone magazine, giving the company full control of the storied publishing brand. Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which took effect January 22. Along with the online and print magazine, the transaction includes all event and licensing rights, as well as the parallel entity Rolling Stone International. PMC acquired a 51% stake in Rolling Stone in December 2017 before buying the remaining the 49% from Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, a collective of music brands including its namesake social music platform. BandLab had acquired its stake in 2016 from Wenner Media, the company created by Jann Wenner, who founded Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967. It’s the end of an era for sure. Rolling Stone used to be printed on actual newspaper and folded in half. I just ended my magazine subscription after decades because the current version of Rolling Stone looks nothing like it used to. Sure, there’s still music news, but far removed from its heyday. Sad for sure … New York Fashion Week begin this week; we’ll file reports from the various shows we’ll attend … Glady Knight singing the National Anthem last night at Super Bowl 53 was pretty awesome. Kudos …Last Thursday’s Will & Grace, titled Family,Trip was just perfect. The cast drank some chocolate milk laced with something naughty and soon they were acting out their most innermost thoughts. It’s amazing what this show gets away with and this episode was pure gold … and, Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s film Whispers and Witnesses is out this week to possible distributors.The film, done with her husband photographer Alan Kaplan, was shot in Camerron and raises the awareness for the plight of chimpanzees and gorillas.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Roger Friedman; Richard Johnson; Ian Mohr; James Brady; Heather Moore; Dennis Arfa; Larry Yasgur; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Doug Morris; Flea; Jellybean; Randy Murray; Randy Alexander; and, CFS.