Sunday, May 19, 2024

Susan Boyle Makes Sony An Offer it Can’t Refuse


You know, I love to harpoon the record companies when they do something weird. Warner Music is a favorite subject because they can’t get anything right, don’t do much to market their new releases, and recently got rid of a slew of marketing people.

But sometimes, people get it together. Sony Music’s Columbia Records has the #1 and #2 albums this week: Susan Boyle‘s “The Gift’ sold over 330,000 copies, and Jackie Evancho‘s Christmas album did around 240,000.

Not only that: the “Glee” Christmas album came in around 160,000 copies. Wow.

This means that Rob Stringer has three big hits in the top 10. None of them are likely to go away, either. And then on December 14th, Stringer launches Michael Jackson’s “Michael.”

Columbia also has both Bruce Springsteen releases on the charts this week–his box set and the individual album, “The Promise”; plus Susan Boyle’s original album came back. Not bad!

And: stand back, because Columbia Records will be the home of “X Factor” next year.

Wait: did I mention Train, which had the most ubiquitous record of the year with “Hey Soul Sister”? (I bark when I hear it at this point.)

Even so, Stringer got strung up today when the NY Daily News, otherwise on the money, picked up some wacko story from a blog saying that Stringer was like the “Fredo Corleone” of Sony because he’s the brother of Sony chairman Sir Howard.

While not everything Stringer does is perfect–he didn’t get the new Paul Simon, for example–the numbers don’t lie. And contrary to a recent, misguided report, Sony’s Epic label was in trouble long before any of these people came along. The last time there was a sign of life at Epic was when Charlie Walk buzzed through there like Sammy Glick, making records like Shakira and Wyclef’s “Hips Don’t Lie” and Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” sizzle on radio.

Fredo Corleone? Wrong brother. I’d say Michael Corleone. Pay attention, kids.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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