Monday, February 25, 2008
Case Study: Hear'Say
The public loves to take an artist... bring them up and then watch their star fall... the harder it falls... the better.
One of the most prominent examples for this is with the band - Hear'Say from the Uk.
Am I the only one that liked them?! I mean ok their second album was crap... but who's to blame for that?! And you have to admit they sure did have a great use of the apostrophe in their name! No band had had such great use of an apostrophe since N'Sync.
Hear'Say was the first band created through the "Popstars" format. When the band won the television show back in late 2000 they were on cloud nine! When their debut single 'Pure and Simple' was released in March 2001 you couldn't go anywhere without hearing it. The single sold over a million copies and spent 27 weeks in the top 100. When the album was released 3 weeks later the band became the first british band to have a number one single and number one album at the same time.
The album was an extremely strong debut from a manufactured pop band. The entire album was full of good songs. I remember playing it for ages when it was released. By the time the second single was released there were hints that something wasn't right.
The second single was a remixed version of 'The Way To Your Love.' I just think if a record company has to remix an album track in order to release it, they must not have a lot of faith in the song. Nevertheless the single also went straight to number 1 in the uk singles chart.
Here's where things get fishy. After a second single the band went on tour and started to record a second album. There were no more singles released from their number 1 album - Popstars. It started to become clear that a lot of people were only looking to make a lot of money from the band and they had no interest in making smart decisions.
In November 2001 a new single was released, the first from their second album which came out in December.
In case you missed it lets look at this timeline again.
Debut Single - March 2001
Debut Album - March 2001
2nd Single from the first album - June 2001
Band goes on tour - No more singles from the first album
First single from second album - November 2001
Second Album - December 2001
THE SECOND ALBUM WAS RELEASED 9 MONTHS AFTER THE FIRST ALBUM!!
Does anyone else see a problem with this? Clearly the band had no control in what was going on. When the second album peaked at #24 in the album charts it was clear there was a problem. At this point lead singer Kym Marsh left the band after becoming the center of attention in british tabloids.
There were no further singles taken from the second album! An entire album with only one single?! What was the point of even releasing an album then?
So after Kym left the band did the next logical step... create ANOTHER T.V. show. It would put them back in the public eye and they would use the show to select a new member for the band.
Good idea? Perhaps... until allegations came out that the entire audition process had been rigged. Johnny Shentall was announced as the new member of the band... the problem? Johnny had worked with the band in the past as a dancer. Johnny had also been in a band himself previously. People that had auditioned said Johnny had bypassed all the line ups and was given preferential treatment throughout the entire show. It was said that the show was just a ploy to get more publicity for the band, that the band never intended to choose someone from the public.
Once Johnny was selected the band recorded a third album and went on a festival tour of the Uk. By this time the public had turned on the band. At every show the band performed at they were met with booing and abused by members of the public. At one point the band was actually threatened by an armed man on the highway. When the reports came out the public accused the band of making the entire story up to get publicity.
The band held things together and released a new single in August 2001 - Lovin' Is Easy. I always thought this was their best single. It was a more mature sound and should have been their comeback. The single entered the charts at #6... their record label wanted a top 5 hit. A month later the band announced they had split up due to negative public reaction and hostility and industry pressure. Although the third album had already been recorded it was rumoured that Polydor records had never intended to release the album after Lovin' Is Easy failed to meet expectations.
How does a band go from 2 number one singles and a number one album to basically being dropped by their record label 9 months later?!
They may be gone... but personally I will always remember them for their brief shining moment in the world of pop.