Saturday, April 20, 2024

Harry Styles Shades Columbia Records Over Choice of Singles at Radio City Music Hall Debut


Harry Styles didn’t seem so happy with Columbia Records last night At his Radio City Music Hall debut in front of 5,000 screaming pre teen and tweenage girls. Styles did something a little unusual– he played one song twice.

The song in question was “Kiwi.” He told the audience: “I suggested ‘Kiwi’ be the next single. I guess if we play it once more Columbia will get the hint.” So he played it again, as the encore. (A fan on Twitter says Styles actually mentioned this three times lest anyone to Sony-Columbia not get it.)

Columbia, it seems, favored his song “Two Ghosts”– maybe because it sounds a lot like the Allman Brothers’ “Melissa.” (Check them out.) That song didn’t chart in the US at all, went to 58 in the UK.

So far Styles hasn’t had a lot of sales action or much in the way of radio play. The album, released in May, itself has sold 326,000 copies (downloads and CDs)– far from going gold (500,000). A first single, “Sign of the Times,” was a middling hit in sales but garnered little radio play or streaming. Its five minute length and repetiveness may have been the issue. It went to number 4 on Billboard, which was kind of them.

Since then, Styles has floundered while the other members of One Direction, especially Niall Horan and Zay Malik, have a lot more luck on the charts with their individual releases.

But Harry’s had something they didn’t — a hit movie. Styles acquitted himself very nicely in “Dunkirk,” where he showed he had acting chops.

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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