Sunday, April 14, 2024

Someone’s Got It In For L.A. Reid with Epic Attack


Someone’s sure got it in for L.A. Reid as he arrives at Epic Records. This is worse than when he took over Arista Records a decade ago. Reid has just arrived at Epic under Doug Morris’s new regime at Sony Music. He had a hugely successful run at Island DefJam before that. Today’s Page Six–totally manipulated and without one fact or named source–paints Reid as “Mr. Nasty” who only wants “beautiful people” in the office. There’s also an insistence that he’s already at war with Sylvia Rhone, who’s come with him from Universal Music Group to run Portrait Records at Sony/Epic. It’s all hilarious and quite untrue.

When I read Page Six I flashed back to the numerous times I was brought up to Island DefJam to meet staff members and listen to new music from NeYo, Mariah Carey, Duffy, or Lionel Richie. The staff loved Reid and was very devoted to them. Also, and I mean this nicely, they were not exactly a Vogue photo shoot cast. They were nice looking — no one had a horn or a huge hairy mole–but they were normal people. (I know that p.r. director Laura Swanson is doing a spit take right now reading this!) As for the whole L.A. Reid vs. Sylvia Rhone invented feud, I think it smacks of implicit racism that the two best known black record executives in the business have now been pitted against each other before they even start working. It’s just wrong.

Reid, meantime, does arrive at a good time. Epic has just released Incubus’s really wonderful album “If Not Now, When?” This album is just a delight to listen to, a refreshing rock pop CD that everyone in my ancient age group would love if they got to hear it. Reid’s first task will be to make Incubus into a breakthrough act. In time he’ll bring back big stars like Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez. But he also has a great eye for new talent (for better or worse, he gave us Justin Bieber). And he’d do well to look around for some legacy artists who don’t have major label recording contracts like Motown legend Gladys Knight and Alison Moyet (the original, ahem, Adele).

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.

Read more

In Other News