Bad choices for lead-off singles

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by R79, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Just as well the thread is about bad choices for lead-off singles then and not about career-saving and redefining ones then.
     
  2. marc with a c

    marc with a c Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    "Squeeze Box" from Who By Numbers.

    Nothing could have been less representative. I wasn't alive at the time, but I have to imagine that if "Success Story" came ragin' out of your speakers for a first choice, or "Slip Kid"? That album wouldn't be so misunderstood.

    People seem to like SB well enough, but it's a hard album to recommend to people when it's the only song they might know from it. And then follow it up with "no, really, the rest is like Pete's suicide note!", and they're never gonna play it, haha.
     
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  3. Cachiva

    Cachiva Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    His biggest hit ever.
     
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  4. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    I still try to!

    EG.
     
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  5. MassHysteria

    MassHysteria Manic Vintage Enthusiast

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Michael Jackson's I Just Can't Stop Loving You as the lead off single for Bad was definitely a bad decision lol. The one song on that album I can't listen to.
     
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  6. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    I think Epic would say it did its job perfectly. Launched the album and got to #1 without burning any of the potential big hits, which could be dragged out over the next 2 years.

    EG.
     
  7. pwhytey

    pwhytey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yep, totally agree. It’s just as horrible as ‘The Girl Is Mine’. And there were so many better songs to choose from!
     
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  8. With R.E.M. they were riding on a critical and commercial crest of a wave and would have had the confidence to lead off with an unconventional and moody choice, knowing that at that stage, their career was in no way hanging on that first single, plus they would have known they had Man On The Moon, Everybody Hurts, Sidewinder etc. The chances of it dying a complete death were incredibly slim. Their imperial phase appeared to be at an end by the time of E-Bow, which to some fans may have come over as another brave and daring decision, but to others, just a bit of a tuneless album track pretentiously bumped up to lead single status. Of course, the next album's first single was the most R.E.M.-by-numbers song they could have managed at that stage and didn't even suggest the new direction they'd actually taken with Up.

    It reminds me of Radiohead triumphantly launching OK Computer with Paranoid Android, but several years later sticking out Pyramid Song off Amnesiac and to me it was more a case of "righto, not sure why you're bothering here".
     
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  9. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    The thing is, what might seem an artistic or creative "bad/poor" choice is sometimes a deliberate move designed to achieve a certain objective. Lead singles that tanked the campaign or put the whole album on the back foot, that's a different matter.

    EG.
     
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  10. Joseph Sipocz

    Joseph Sipocz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    But easy to portraying him as a pretty boy rather than as a credible rocker. Short term gain, long term pain.
     
  11. MassHysteria

    MassHysteria Manic Vintage Enthusiast

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I actually don't mind the girl is mine that much, even though it's on the cheesey side. But, I understand where you're coming from.
     
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  12. MassHysteria

    MassHysteria Manic Vintage Enthusiast

    Location:
    Minnesota
    True, but I always thought had they picked a better song from that album, it could have competed better against the titan Thriller.
     
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  13. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    In retrospect, the songs weren't really *there* on Bad - apart from a small handful of catchy tunes. The whole thing felt like an attempt to keep up the hype and match Thriller, rather than move forward very far. I suspect that was Epic's influence, by all accounts Jackson had some songs rejected for the album, replaced by bland filler and Thriller-lite.

    EG.
     
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  14. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    First single from the album with "If You Leave Me Now":

     
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  15. MassHysteria

    MassHysteria Manic Vintage Enthusiast

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I see what you mean. You can't really blame them, or even Michael though. Where do you go after the most successful album of all time? Anything would have been hard to compete with that, for Michael.
     
  16. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    The pressure of expectation must have been intolerable. Interestingly for Dangerous, they/he abandoned the strategy of bunging out a drippy ballad to soft-launch the album, and went straight off with a cracker.

    EG.
     
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  17. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I love Fine Line, killer single. Jenny Wren is great but not exactly a single in my mind.
     
  18. Mr.Sean

    Mr.Sean Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I like that tune. The only other song that could've been a first single from that album that I can think of is "Sad Sad Sad"
     
  19. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    I blooming LOVE Fine Line!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    EG.
     
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  20. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Forum Resident

    ELP, "Lucky Man".
    Yes, it was a hit but it was hardly representative of what that band was really all about.
     
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Stodgy; clunky; march-tempo; barely-decipherable lyrics at first listen. Unfocused. Un. Hip.

    That is what "Questions 67 & 68" sounds like to me. Sounds like some institutional radio jingle written by the kid whose dad worked in an actual Transit Authority office somewhere, or something.

    Not even a groove there, until halfway through all the introspective suffering.

    Face it, I do know a few people here who love the single (for some ungodly reason), but, admit it...
    ...who would have ever give this a second listen, before they'd already been exposed to three other outstanding single releases from that band by the time it even grazed a chart.

    You just can't have had this as a first exposure to Chicago, and come to the conclusion that this was a group that was going someplace.
     
  22. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario, canada
    'Stand' was the obvious single from Green, while 'Orange Crush' was a song about "Agent Orange" (ie chemical warfare - a war crime - that the US was responsible for during the Viet Nam war).

    'Shiny Happy People' and to a slightly lesser extent 'Near Wild Heaven' were the obvious singles from 'Out Of Time', while 'Losing My Religion' was not.

    I doubt either of those songs was guaranteed a single release if it were up to the record company alone.

    'Drive was most definitely an "oddball" choice compared to what else was on AFTP.

    'Kenneth' I'm ambivalent about as far as how obvious/not obvious it was as a single, as in different ways it can be seen as both obvious (for its time) yet also not obvious since it was totally alien to anything the band had done before. Kinda like when Jewel did a dance-pop album. Yeah dance pop was undoubtably THE MOST commercial music form at the time that Jewel did it, but who wanted to hear that from Jewel, and who wanted to hear grunge from REM?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  23. aravel

    aravel starchitect...then, father!

    Location:
    GDL - MEX
    ::: Right, but the album cover took a big bite too!
     
  24. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

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  25. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    “Drive” may have been a bold choice, and I agree entirely with what you point out about how they could afford to take a risk, if it was one.
     

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