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Thread: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

   
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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    I don't really care what the general public want. The "general public" as a whole are not exactly very smart IMO. At least not musically. The general public are the ones more likely to make a Greatest Hits release a success. In fact, that's generally all they're interested in. I want Michael to reach the real music fans out there. That's how how you have consistent success. The one's who buy the many rarity releases of all the classic artists. People who appreciate all genres and the history of music. Those are the one's that will buy Bad25 and appreciate the art, rather than looking for a hooky song to dance to. They're also the ones that will probably turn their noses up at the remixes on the disc also. I think Bad25 is doing fine and will continue to do so. I think the estate are on the right track finally with this release.

    And honestly, I think MJ fans as a whole are WAY too hung up on sales and have been ever since Thriller. Just enjoy a great release and be grateful that you have been given the opportunity to own it.
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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Commercial success obviously isn't everything. The reason why I'm interested in sales though is that they do say something about an artist's popularity and relevance. If nobody buys Michael's albums, doesn't that mean that nobody is interested in his music? That's the last thing I would want to happen. I believe Michael cared a lot about his legacy, I think he would love it if future generations discover his music too. And I care about his legacy too.

    I'm not saying I want the Estate to release some garbage regardless of the quality just to get commercial success. I don't think any of us want for example a remix of Earth Song featuring Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, even if it did make it to #1. I just couldn't honestly say that I don't care about how much a new MJ album sells as long as I'm happy with it. Because it's not just about me personally, it's about Michael's legacy. And in the long run he does need new fans for his legacy to continue.

    Bad25 is obviously a release mostly intended for MJ fans, and I think it's fine. It's a really great release for fans, and I'm very happy that we have it. Not every release needs to attract new fans. I just hope the Estate finds a balance between respecting Michael as an artist, keeping the fan base happy and attracting new fans.

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunwalker7 View Post
    This is an interesting topic, because I feel like unrealistic expectations is something that Michael had to deal with pretty much his entire life. He certainly seems to have set himself too high expectations that nobody could reach. I get that being a perfectionist is just part of who he was, but it makes me sad that he never seemed entirely happy with anything that he achieved.

    And then there's the media of course. They're so eager to point out that Michael's albums after Thriller didn't sell as many copies. They're far less eager to mention that no album ever has sold as much as Thriller. It's like it's Michael alone who's supposed to always sell more and more and break records and be more successful than everybody else. Nobody can do that, and it's so unfair to demand something of Michael that nobody else can do either. I feel like it had to be an enormous pressure and burden on him when he was still here.
    Sometimes I almost wish Thriller had not sold so big. It certainly put a big pressure on Michael and also made the media's and fans' expectations (and maybe Michael's own expectations) unrealistic. So Bad was considered a "failure", even though it produced 5 Nr1 hits and is among one the biggest selling albums of all times. Likewise Dangerous (which IMO was Michael's artistic peak).

    Yet, until this day these albums are considered a "flop" and that is the perception that people have of them, not that they were very successful albums, among the most successful albums of all times. And these (false and unfair) perceptions also compromises their marketability compared to Thriller. Image is everything - even in the case of an album.

    It has to be noted that the lead song of the successful ELV1S album was a remix, Little Less Conversation, that was a big hit at the time. So yeah, Elvis' was sold again on the back of a modern remix. The rest of the album were classic Elvis hits.

    I'd have very ambivalent feelings about such a success in Michael's case. First of all, a remix made by others is not the original artist's work, it's someone else's. And while in Elvis' case it's bearable because he did not write that song, he just sang it, but in Michael's case we know that he was very much hands-on in the studio, writing his songs and having his own vision about them, so I do not really like to see people mess with his concepts.

    I don't know how Elvis fans felt about the LLC remix. Maybe they thought if it helps people to re-discover Elvis and helps to sell the ELV1S album they can put up with it. Maybe they even liked it. IDK. But if such a remix of an MJ song would top the charts I could not really consider it an MJ song, to be honest. So my feelings would be at least ambivalent.

    All in all, I agree with WildStyle that the most important thing for the Estate now is to focus on emphasizing Michael, the artist. Not to sell him cheap, not to cheapen him. That's why IMO the Michael album was such a mistake. IMO it cheapened Michael as an artist with the poor production, the poor cover art work etc. If you want to project the fact that Michael is a serious artist you don't put such a cover on his album, sorry. It may seem like a small detail, but even such details are important for perception. And I'd wish the production work on the album would have been a lot better. Again, if you want to show that Michael is a serious artist, you cannot afford cheap and sloppy production on his albums.

    I agree that Bad 25 is the right track. I'm very happy with this release.

    One more thing is: artists like the Beatles and Elvis have such an advantage in the media. They are always praised, no matter what and the Beatles virtually cannot do wrong for many critics. And that fact isn't just about the music, but about certain biases within the media. While in Michael's case we all know what kind of relationship he had with the media - and most of that too did not have to do with the music. So that's a big handicap because often that makes music journalists biased and unfair against him. I think something started with Joe Vogel and some others now on that front but that too needs to be encouraged. I have heard about academies now discussing Michael, the artist and hopefully that's a start of something good.

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    I think it's intended for music fans, not just MJ fans. Sales have been good in comparison to other releases of this nature. A quality release is a quality release IMO. I don't see how anyone could pick this up and not enjoy it. New fans, old fans and casual fans alike. I just think fans should lower their expectations a little bit sales wise.
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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunwalker7 View Post
    Commercial success obviously isn't everything. The reason why I'm interested in sales though is that they do say something about an artist's popularity and relevance. If nobody buys Michael's albums, doesn't that mean that nobody is interested in his music? That's the last thing I would want to happen. I believe Michael cared a lot about his legacy, I think he would love it if future generations discover his music too. And I care about his legacy too.

    I'm not saying I want the Estate to release some garbage regardless of the quality just to get commercial success. I don't think any of us want for example a remix of Earth Song featuring Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, even if it did make it to #1. I just couldn't honestly say that I don't care about how much a new MJ album sells as long as I'm happy with it. Because it's not just about me personally, it's about Michael's legacy. And in the long run he does need new fans for his legacy to continue.

    Bad25 is obviously a release mostly intended for MJ fans, and I think it's fine. It's a really great release for fans, and I'm very happy that we have it. Not every release needs to attract new fans. I just hope the Estate finds a balance between respecting Michael as an artist, keeping the fan base happy and attracting new fans.
    I hear what you say and I agree that Michael's legacy needs to live on. My point is that we should not panic if a release does not set the charts afire. Especially at this point when there has been an overexposure of MJ in the last three years. Even in the greatest cultural icons interest fluctuates over time. I don't think MJ will be forgotten. He's too big, too unique of a phenomenon to be forgotten. But he too might have periods when the interest isn't that big in him. Then there's a change in the public mood and his music is everywhere again.

    (And one of my biggest wishes is that the public would finally see that he was innocent of the allegations. That would relieve a lot of people regarding Michael and make it again OK and not "embarrassing" to like him. I believe a lot of potential fans of his music and art are lost because of the allegations. Not, us, hard-core fans who made an extensive research in them and know that he was innocent, but those potential fans who would like his music but do not dare to associate with him because they are unsure about the allegations. It's pretty sad how these lies overshadow his career. I really, really hope one day the truth would become crystal clear for everyone.)
    Last edited by HIStory; 29-09-2012 at 03:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Quote Originally Posted by respect77 View Post
    I hear what you say and I agree that Michael's legacy needs to live on. My point is that we should not panic if a release does not set the charts afire. Especially at this point when there has been an overexposure of MJ in the last three years. Even in the greatest cultural icons interest fluctuates over time. I don't think MJ will be forgotten. He's too big, too unique of a phenomenon to be forgotten. But he too might have periods when the interest isn't that big in him. Then there's a change in the public mood and his music is everywhere again.
    Oh, I agree. I didn't mean to suggest that we should be worried about Bad25's sales, or panic if any future releases are not huge successes. It's just that the comment about fans maybe caring about sales too much got me thinking about why I even care about sales, so I was just more thinking out loud why IMO commercial success is important too. But I agree that there will probably be periods when people are not that interested in Michael, and it doesn't mean we should start writing eulogies to his legacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by respect77 View Post
    (And one of my biggest wishes is that the public would finally see that he was innocent of the allegations. That would relieve a lot of people regarding Michael and make it again OK and not "embarrassing" to like him. I believe a lot of potential fans of his music and art are lost because of the allegations. Not, us, hard-core fans who made an extensive research in them and know that he was innocent, but those potential fans who would like his music but do not dare to associate with him because they are unsure about the allegations. It's pretty sad how these lies overshadow his career. I really, really hope one day the truth would become crystal clear for everyone.)
    Again, agreed. Those allegations and the media treatment of him have such a huge impact on Michael's image and career, it's so unfair and wrong but that's the way it is. The problem is not just that people don't know the truth about Michael, it's also that they don't even realise they don't know the truth about him. The media has portrayed Michael in a certain way so consistently for such a long time that it doesn't even occur to most people that what they think they know about Michael isn't actually true at all.

    It all makes me so angry and frustrated, but I just don't know what to do about it. It all just seems so overwhelming. How do you change such a widely shared perception of Michael? I feel like I'd like to do something, as a fan, to help clear his image, I just don't even know where to start.

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Legacy

    Since his death, Tupac has become an international martyr, a symbol on the level of Bob Marley or Che Guevara, whose life has inspired Tupacistas on the streets of Brazil, memorial murals in the Bronx and Spain, and bandanna-wearing youth gangs in South Africa.
    Vinyl Ain't Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture[110]
    At a Mobb Deep concert following the death of Shakur and the release of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Cormega recalled in an interview that the fans were all shouting "Makaveli,"[111] and emphasized the influence of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and of Shakur himself even in New York at the height of the media-dubbed 'intercoastal rivalry'.[112] Tupac Shakur was also one of the few rappers that were paid a tribute during the Up in Smoke Tour that featured many west coast hip-hop artists.
    Shakur is held in high esteem by other MCs – in the book How to Rap, Bishop Lamont notes that Shakur “mastered every element, every aspect” of rapping[113] and Fredro Starr of Onyx says Shakur, "was a master of the flow."[114] "Every rapper who grew up in the Nineties owes something to Tupac," wrote 50 Cent. "He didn't sound like anyone who came before him."[3] About.com for their part named Shakur the most influential rapper ever.[115]

    To preserve Shakur's legacy, his mother founded the Shakur Family Foundation (later renamed the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation or TASF) in 1997. The TASF's stated mission is to "provide training and support for students who aspire to enhance their creative talents." The TASF sponsors essay contests, charity events, a performing arts day camp for teenagers and undergraduate scholarships. The Foundation officially opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA) in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on June 11, 2005. On November 14, 2003, a documentary about Shakur entitled Tupac: Resurrection was released under the supervision of his mother and narrated entirely in his voice. It was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2005 Academy Awards. Proceeds will go to a charity set up by Shakur's mother Afeni. On April 17, 2003, Harvard University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled "All Eyez on Me: Tupac Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero." The speakers discussed a wide range of topics dealing with Shakur's impact on everything from entertainment to sociology.[116]
    Many of the speakers discussed Shakur's status and public persona, including State University of New York at Buffalo English professor Mark Anthony Neal who gave the talk "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian" in which he argued that Shakur was an example of the "organic intellectual" expressing the concerns of a larger group.[117] Professor Neal has also indicated in his writings that the death of Shakur has left a "leadership void amongst hip-hop artists."[118] Neal further describes him as a "walking contradiction", a status that allowed him to "make being an intellectual accessible to ordinary people."[119]

    Professor of Communications Murray Forman, of Northeastern University, spoke of the mythical status about Shakur's life and death. He addressed the symbolism and mythology surrounding Shakur's death in his talk entitled "Tupac Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone)". Among his findings were that Shakur's fans have "succeeded in resurrecting Tupac as an ethereal life force."[120]

    In "From Thug Life to Legend: Realization of a Black Folk Hero", Professor of Music at Northeastern University, Emmett Price, compared Shakur's public image to that of the trickster-figures of African-American folklore which gave rise to the urban "bad-man" persona of the post-slavery period. He ultimately described Shakur as a "prolific artist" who was "driven by a terrible sense of urgency" in a quest to "unify mind, body, and spirit".[121]

    In Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, Michael Eric Dyson indicated that Shakur "spoke with brilliance and insight as someone who bears witness to the pain of those who would never have his platform. He told the truth, even as he struggled with the fragments of his identity."[105] At one Harvard Conference the theme was Shakur's impact on entertainment, race relations, politics and the "hero/martyr".[122] In late 1997, the University of California, Berkeley offered a student-led course entitled "History 98: Poetry and History of Tupac Shakur."[123]

    In late 2003, the Makaveli Branded Clothing line was launched by Afeni. In 2005, Death Row released Tupac: Live at the House of Blues. The DVD was the final recorded performance of Shakur's career, which took place on July 4, 1996, and features a plethora of Death Row artists. In August 2006, Tupac Shakur Legacy was released. The interactive biography was written by Jamal Joseph. It features unseen family photographs, intimate stories, and over 20 removable reproductions of his handwritten song lyrics, contracts, scripts, poetry, and other personal papers. Shakur's sixth posthumous studio album, Pac's Life, was released on November 21, 2006. It commemorates the 10th anniversary of Shakur's death. He is still considered one of the most popular artists in the music industry as of 2006[update].[124]
    According to Forbes, in 2008 Shakur's estate made $15 million.[125] In 2002, they recognized him as a Top Earning Dead celebrity coming in on number ten on their list.[126]

    On April 15, 2012, a "hologram" of Tupac Shakur (technically a 2-D video projection[127]) performed his songs "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with Snoop Dogg[128] at the Coachella Music Festival, the effect was created using an optical illusion called Pepper's ghost.[129] The video footage was created by visual effects company Digital Domain.[127] The Wall Street Journal reported Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were in talks of a possible tour involving the two rappers and the hologram version of Tupac,[130] which was later turned down by Dr. Dre.[131]

    "I'll never let you part, for you're always in my heart."

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how fans of these other artists reacted to the success (or lack of thereof) of their posthumous releases? Like, if a posthumous release didn't sell well, were fans disappointed? And what was the general public's or media's reaction if the releases weren't hugely successful?

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    It's hard to tell, because back in the 80s and early 90s there wasn't Internet yet. And again: what is success and lack of success in the case of a re-release by a dead artist and what is norm?

    BTW, wasn't Thriller 25 the most successful re-release of an album ever in terms of its peak on the charts (or at least would have been if it had been allowed on the main charts at the time)? I'm not sure but I remember to have read that somewhere. But then Michael was still alive.
    Last edited by HIStory; 02-10-2012 at 05:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Thanks a lot for this!

    I actually did the same thing - checked other legendary artists' posthumous performance sales-wise.
    MJ is doing pretty well, on all accounts.

    We have to remember also that we are now in the internet generation - that anyone can easily look up in you tube for MJ's songs, even the ones in BAD25. I would say many did not buy copies of BAD25 too coz they are happy just listening to the songs the cost-free way (youtube, etc.)

    Elvis, Beatles (post-John Lennon), Freddie all posthumously enjoyed the period when it was still very popular to buy the physical copies and there was no convenience at all to look up and listen to their songs in the internet.

    Plus, nobody sold like MJ after he died (and of course, even before).

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    Default Re: Posthumus careers of other artists - putting Michael's prospects into a context

    Quote Originally Posted by Billie Jean 78 View Post
    Now imagine a Bad 25 release consisting of the original CD and the DVD in a 2 CD package. They could of course still release the Deluxe version as it is, but just imagine the DVD being released together with then original album! We could have had a 25 year old nr. 1 album all over again.

    Yes, I know, woulda, coulda, shoulda...
    Or maybe the DVD AND the CD Live? I would have jumped on that.

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    Default

    With people in general today being more into streaming than buying a physical product, most new popular acts don't sell a lot of CDs/records/tapes. So expecting reissues of old stuff to get huge sells is not realistic. The RIAA now considers a certain amount of streams as a "sale" when nobody actually bought anything, not even a download. A lot of younger people do not even own a stereo to play something on and CD or tape players are not put in newer cars as a default. There's a reason new acts get signed to 360 deals where the major record labels get a part of touring & merchandising money. That didn't usually happen pre-internet. Napster was the beginning of the end. There's an entire generation that has grown up with free music. So there is less value in music compared to music fans pre-internet. Yet video games sell millions of discs today and people camp out all night when a new console or a new game in a really popular series comes out. Grand Theft Auto 5 has sold more than any other entertainment item in history including the Thriller album. GTA5 has also made more money than any movie.

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