Saturday, May 2, 2009

Question of the Day - May 2, 2009

"B" Sides

Eddie Comacho asks:

I’ve been a Chili Peppers fan for a long time and I’ve noticed that they have a lot of great songs that never made it onto their past albums. I feel like many of their b-sides are far better than some of the songs that actually do make it on the album. YouTube used to have all of their b-sides available but I guess they took them off because of some legal issues. A bunch of YouTube users would also make the same comment about their b-sides.Who has the final say on what songs make it onto the album? Why not make a double album every time like their last album, Stadium Arcadium? Is there a reason for that?

Hartmann responds:

Its all about the songs. The artist usually has the last word as to which tunes get to be on the album. And this is how it should be. A&R people often try to influence this process and that is part of their job. Some times executives from the other divisions of a record company may lobby to get a certain song included. It is of major concern to the promotion department as they are supposed to get the "single" on the radio. Their influence is a determining factor a lot of the time. If you don't give promotion the song they want they have a perfect excuse to fail at this very difficult part of the process. This is where the manager has to play intermediary and make sure that the artist and the label are both comfortable with the final selections. An act of the Chili Peppers stature would surely have control of this process. They may have intentionally isolated their "B"sides to the flip side of the singles in order to make them special. Fans tune in to this sort of habit and might buy the single in order to have the b-side in their collection even though the "A" side is available on the album. The Red Hots musical credability should eclipse anybody else's opinion. Double albums are always risky. If they bomb you have wasted twice as much money, time and material on a one shot effort. It is extremely rare for any artist to have enough quality songs to justify double albums.

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