Home Celebrity 30 New Albums Coming in Next 2 Weeks Even as Top Group...

The record industry is in a free fall. Maroon 5 could not be better known right now or more in the demographic that buys music. Yet their newest album, “V,” is a bust. It sold 168,000 copies in its first week and fell about 51% to 78,500 copies in its second. No wonder Adam Levine doesn’t depend on record sales for income. He’s diversified into about ten different areas including TV and movies.

And we know the U2 story. They sent their album for free to half- a billion people. Only about 200,000 of them wanted it– and it was free. Some actually complained about getting a free album! Apple has had to add a Remove U2 button to iTunes. Where is the logic? It’s free! Take it, already. It’s good.

Roughly 30 new albums will be released in the next two weeks to make the Grammy deadline of September 30th. Most of them will be ignored by the Grammys, but let’s not rain on their parade.

The biggest titles are from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, and Annie Lennox. Prince is releasing two albums. And there are several big names from country including Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton.

Something has to stick. This week follows many successive weeks of lowest sales ever. The number 50 scanned album is only selling about 2,000 copies. That’s a third of what that number used to be, and that was in dark days. These are darker days.
“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor is a find from L.A. Reid and Epic Records. A little Cyndi Lauper, a little Bette Midler and very tuneful, the record harkens back to something that sounds organic and artistic. If only there were more of that in music.

PS The news about Robin Thicke is most disheartening of all. He turns out to be a total fraud, a low point and the worst example of what the music industry has become.

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48 replies to this post
  1. The biggest titles are from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, and Annie Lennox. Prince is releasing two albums. And there are several big names from country including Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton.

    Who are these people? I’m 67 and only listen to NEW artist and NEW music, of which, there is a ton out there. Check websites for new music people and listen to it with an open mind….then buy it…..I, of course, lived through the 60’s and there were some great music and some great groups……but, people, it’s over……Tony Bennett? Annie Lennox…??? Maroon 5??? Prince???Really? Do you think they’ll sound like anything but the same stuff they’ve been doing for 50 years??? Do you really think they’ll do anything different?

  2. Re: Free U2 album
    People just don’t want things pushed to them, they want control and choice. Personally, I’m not a fan of Bono’s politics, so I don’t want to even look like I support U2, so I don’t want their free album either.

  3. U2 has been blown as a papal make the kids happy band
    and since when has hollywood stooped any lower
    the wood has always been a low blow loballer
    be happy you don’t live anywhere close to hollyweird
    the kaiser in holly has a messanine looks like it has
    art work that channels energy to the scientoligist
    the whole town is a cesspool

  4. NIce article but there is someone selling downloads (500K) and an album that comes out in a month. As a journalist I thought that fact would make a great contrast to the rest of the industry. Epic fail on your part. Keep up the good work.


    I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% 0ff, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift
    cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

  6. There’s a lot of ‘junk’ out there in music. I believe that’s a good part of the reason sales are down.
    There are alternatives as well, like streaming etc. Yet I believe mainly, it’s the ‘same ol same ol’ in creativity and the ‘gimmicks’ they put out is a bit of a turn off as well.

    Raise the game in talent… bet they’d get a better result.

  7. Actually, no, nothing has to stick. Every artist you named (except maybe U2) is pure crap. The Digital Age may have a lot to do with it, but the biggest problem is the sorry state of popular music.

  8. There is a wealth of interesting and inventive music out there in the world. Just don’t expect to find it on the radio. The music business has long ago been prostituted to suits who have no interest in the music; they are only interested in the business.
    Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but I still buy CDs (I feel it offers more lasting value than a download). I just don’t buy the junk this article refers to.
    If you are willing to stretch your boundaries and listen to real music (not pop formula songs) here are some artists you could try:
    Porcupine Tree, A.C.T., Anathema, Anglagard, Anthony Phillips, Anubis, Ayreon, Beardfish, Big Big Train, D Project, Discipline, Disperse, Dream Theater, Druckfarben, Echolyn, Edison’s Children, Flower Kings, Frequency Drift, Fright Pig, Frost, Glass Hammer, Haken, Iamthemorning, IQ, Magic Pie, Moon Safari, Mostly Autumn, Myrath, The Mystery, Neal Morse, Opeth, Panic Room, Riverside, Seventh Wonder, Sky Architect, Subsignal, Sylvan, Symphony X, The Tangent, Therion, Transatlantic, Unitopia, Vanden Plas.
    This only scratches the surface.
    Music has never been better. The business has never been worse.
    Go figure.

  9. Digital technology has been unfriendly to music. Autotune sucks the life out of vocals, quantize functions drain the tracks of feel, audio compression and loudness wars vamp away the sparkle. And, at the end of the day, the image of the artist is reduced from roughly a square foot (the LP) to a postage stamp on iTunes. Where is the soul of these songs? Bleached and flattened. Couple all of that with a sheer lack of artistry coming from record companies that literally don’t have educated musicians anywhere near A&R, and you have what are the makings of a desolate wasteland that was once the music industry. But, we also must acknowledge that video games have long taken most of the young generations away from buying songs and records. I should know.

  10. Why? Because unlike almost every previous generation, music is not as important in the lives of the current youth generation. Over 35…you can recall spending hours just listening to music, of getting that next LP from your favorite group, singer,musician was priority. Music was and still is, a part of your life. Where does the 35 and younger spend their time?!! Think about it! Their face is stuck into their cell phone – playing games, watching videos (often of a very low intelligence value), and feeding their narcissism within a social media outlet. Let’s be honest, today’s music….sucks. It all sounds the same, Rap…almost no difference. Pop….synthesized vocals, lame lyrics,…. even Country….Country rock-rap…what is Country music?! Even my old favorite bands that turn out a new LP….they are lacking the fever, desire, the belief in their own music and it all comes out – corporate. ‘Just take those old records off the shelf…”

  11. Why listen to tired music when you can read an exciting new book like The Polity of Beasts or New York Stories? Rock and Roll is dead, but this is the golden age of a new literature in English.

  12. It’s “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor it’s catchy and way overplayed. Pop music sucks because it all sounds the same and it’s played over and over again. There is so much good and original music out there but it’s not on the charts. It’s on Youtube and Facebook and Kickstarter. Basically music has gone the way of network TV and books. Networks and publishers are afraid to take a chance on something different so they just keep churning out the same thing that sold last time.

  13. Nobody wants to listen to sell outs who try to influence us towards darkness!
    Take your illuminati pyramid crap, your “rainman/sasha fierce” B.S., and disappear until your judgement hour!

  14. Sorry, but this is a very poorly written and researched article.

    Yes, album sales have hit historic lows this year but Maroon 5’s second-week sales decline is hardly abysmal nor unusual. Miley Cyrus’s album last year fell over 70% in its second week. Taylor Swift is arguably one of the few major pop stars in the industry who can still sell records, and her album declined 72% in its second week. So a 51% drop in Maroon 5’s sales warrant an article about panic in the music industry?

    You’re also conflating a perceived decline in the music industry with people who are annoyed by a U2 album that popped up out of nowhere on their iTunes and raised serious questions about privacy? Let alone the fact that some iPhone users have reported that the album plays unexpectedly and without being prompted at all hours during the day?

    The truth is is that the music industry is not dictated by album sales anymore, nor has it been for years. It’s about single sales. It’s about streaming and on-demand airplay. It’s about touring and live appearances. It’s about building brands well beyond music. And why blame so-called ‘talentless’ artists like Adam Levine for the trend? It’s the ushering in of the digital age, and the appeal of the multi-talented artist–Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper being prime examples (singers, actresses, businesswomen, models, etc. etc.)–that has shifted the focus away from album artists and towards artists who can sell on multiple platforms.

    Somehow people keep on talking about the death of the recording industry…and yet via consolidation, mergers and acquisition, and expansion into management, record labels are making just as much, if not more money, than they did 25 years ago. Go figure…

  15. The liberal politicans that these artists pushed into office have left us broke. Music, and cinema do not keep a roof over your head, or food on the table so they are the obvious choice as the first thing to go from any budget.

  16. The money making side of the record industry may be struggling, at least under their current model, but that will not stop artist from choosing new avenues to get their music out to listeners. Let the new albums come. Let the people decide what they want.

  17. When I walk into my local music store, the sections of interest to me are very small. I generally find more of interest in used music stores. I’ve noticed that a lot of the new albums of interest to me come as DVDs or BluRays. I don’t really want to watch the performers. I want to listen to the music. I REALLY don’t want to pay a premium for a DVD or BluRay (btw, I don’t own a BluRay player).

    Produce stuff I want to listen to and I’ll buy it.

  18. Technology used to focus on better sounding music delivery systems. Now, digitized, squeezed down music files are listened to on single speaker sardine cans and it’s a music buying environment where people like a song for 10 minutes and they download it or just bring it up somewhere on the web. The environment that created the music fanatic is gone. People don’t generally have dedicated music systems any more. Music has lost its place in the home and in people’s lives. People who listen aren’t simply focused on what the record labels and radio stations shove down our ears anymore because indie bands are more reachable and other music in general is more reachable with the internet. The gate keepers have oppressed the FM radio world that used to have freedom and revelations for the listener. The excitement and interest has been turned into relentless playlists.

    The music BUSINESS has pushed redundant PRODUCT at us for far too long and now we don’t have to take it! We have the internet to find what we really want to hear or to keep searching because the status quo is no longer our primary option. Rock music has become recycled and the lyrical competition of who can be more shocking, vulgar, deranged, evil or decadent is long past being spent. We haven’t had any NEW and SERIOUS guitar heroes since the 80s!!! The guitar heroes are still the same higher shelf players from the 70s and 80s!! The people that are propped up from recent years don’t have the musical sense or playing skills of those guys from the era of guitar greats. Country music is hinting at going down that locker room lyric path at times too and the tempo from song to song never kicks up. It just picks up musically, lyrically and in tempo from the last one. Pop music is also extremely generic and redundant and RAP music was redundant on DAY TWO! Music is in a sorry state. There are exceptions, but every music show on TV shoves yet another wardrobe malfunction or twerker in our faces and it’s simply become a circus and not about MUSIC!! What we want is great music and great performances. Keep your clothes on and show us what REAL talent is. The music industry has become a JOKE and it’s lost credibility. Music used to be front and center, but to more and more people, it’s in the back seat with the fast food wrappers.

  19. Maybe its because most music is just crap and don’t even get me started on the pop groups and other so called ‘popular’ artists most of them are auto-tuned messes that seem to think spelling words in their songs and talking about the cars and women are real music.

  20. Well I guess the excessive marketing of tripe is finally catching up to the musical industrial complex, the majority of “artists” mentioned in your article’s primary talent seems to be that they take a nice picture……………….
    Musical ability and imagination haven’t been part of the equation for years……………

  21. The music is BORING. Those mentioned in article – their music is BORING. Music lovers DO NOT CARE about albums. Let also THEIR albums. Any of these 30 albums to be released – is there one SINGLE song people will want to hear more than once? Doubt it. And if so – will they allow the people to buy just the single – or must buy the album? They ALL want to sell albums – they still believe that means something in this age – like people do not have a choice of listening to the possible one song they want to hear, maybe of the 30 albums on Youtube, Spotify etc… (well except for the “artists” that will not do streaming their music! Yes some still refuse.)

    Still trying to sell and release music like it is 1970. Make an album every 3-4 years and think they STILL have fans – or will make new fans. NO!

    Music is a commodity now. And many people can do not care. Musicians can thank their record labels and publishers for that.

    Some of the younger music artists get it. It’s about their fans. They interact with them, send them a song a month via Twitter, Youtube – not make them wait years for anything. But Lady GaGa? Music? LOL

    There are Youtube musicians that get 3-5 million views/listens of their music from their fans. Devoted. Voluntary. Not the U2 forced way and claim people care about their new music. 3-5 million?! Prince would give his right… never mind…for that amount of devotion. And these Youtube people are not “stars” as defined by the very people that have ruined music and their artists.

  22. There’s a fascinating world of music being released independently, and it’s a lot more than 30 albums in the next two weeks. If you want to quit being let down by boring, expensively-produced albums, just ignore the garbage from the majors for a few months (or maybe the rest of your life).

  23. I’m a 58 year old man and thanks to the “new economy” I’m living below the poverty line. I must sustain myself pretty much from pay check to pay check with no “extra” money left over for “entertainment”, if these “entertainers” (music, movies, sports) are hoping for me to subsidies their lavish lifestyles they can forget about it, because I’ve had about all the “bread and circuses” I can stomach, but God bless them if they can find someone else to support them.

  24. I think Roger Friedman is a total fraud. There’s more good INDEPENDENT music being made by more artists than ever…who gives a crap about the big record companies or their top artists. Nobody cares…it’s the dinosaurs of the industry…today artists sell directly to their fans and cut out the big corporations.

  25. 30 albums? That’s all? Apparently, you’re only counting “legitimate artists,” not those independent people who foolishly operate without the official corporate authorization.

    Transatlantic is putting out a massive live album from their most recent brilliant tour. I sat in wide-eyed awe at that show! (And I’m a drug-free teetotaler!) So much talent and genius on one stage! …But they’re not famous, so… forget ’em, huh?

    Sad that there’s still an idea out that some music counts and some doesn’t.

    Treat it all equally and you might find yourself in a whole different world!

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