Which record label should release "Bonfire Of Teenagers"?

Hi all,

Just want to quickly introduce myself to the forum.

My name is Dario Western. I'm 50, a musician and singer/songwriter, originally from Withington in Manchester but have been living in Brisbane in Australia since 1982.

I've been into Morrissey's music since 1989 and The Smiths since 1992. Like Morrissey, I also have a soft spot for what I deem 'heritage' record labels. In fact, I first became a Morrissey fan when I discovered that he had reactivated the HMV label for his solo career following the dissolution of The Smiths because nobody else would have done so.

In an interview that he did with RAM magazine, he was asked "Why did you ask for HMV to be reactivated as your new record label?" He answered: "I was offered a whole array of defunct labels and designs, things like Decca. I didn't want to be on EMI, and Parlophone was the obvious mod suggestion, which I didn't really want either. His Master's Voice had a certain perverted grandiosity to it and thus spoke to me very clearly. I'm the only artist on it".

RAM: "And the last artist to be released was Joyce Grenfell nearly 20 years ago".

Morrissey: "Yes! Spot the difference?"

RAM: "That pleases you?"

Morrissey: "Completely. I just hope that other artists don't sign to HMV though. People like...The Icicle Works. That would be AWFUL! I have hundreds of HMV records in my collection. People like Paul Jones and Johnny Leyton. He was best known for the song "Johnny Remember Me" in 1960, but then he had a ragbag of semi failures like "I'll Cut Your Tail Off" which for some inexplicable reason staggered and died in the lower 30's."

In 1994, Morrissey caved into the mods and defected from HMV to the Parlophone label for the Vauxhall And I album. After his tenure with EMI was up the following year, he signed with RCA for his 1995 album Southpaw Grammar and used the old design RCA Victor that was used from the late 60's to late 70's before the "Victor" was dropped from label designs. Then in 1997, he signed to Island and Mercury for his Maladjusted album and used the 70's Island label for the UK pressing and the Mercury design from the 50's to mid 60's.

After a 7 year hiatus, he then reactivated the 70's reggae label Attack for his next two albums You Are The Quarry and Ringleader Of The Tormentors. Despite him apparently dissing reggae in the 80's calling it "racist music" and a "celebration of black supremacy", he later admitted he only said it to just rile the NME's PC readership.

In 2008, he signed to Decca Records which was slowly making its way back into the pop and rock market again after being restricted to classical music in 1981 when its former CEO Sir Edward Lewis passed away and the label being bought up by PolyGram and its subsidiary label London (formerly used to release US indie artists in the UK) being revamped for modern UK and later US pop and rock artists.

In 2014, he signed to Harvest Records which had its heyday in the 70's as a progressive rock label for acts like Pink Floyd, Edgar Broughton Band as well as glam rock act Wizzard and Brisbane punk band The Saints who had a freak hit in the UK in 1977 with "This Perfect Day" despite not having a Top 50 hit in their homeland until the 80's with the classic "Just Like Fire Would" on the Mushroom label.

Now that he has been unceremoniously dumped from the mighty BMG label by one of the A&R people and has been trying to whip up other record labels into a bidding war to fund the release of his new album Bonfire Of Teenagers, I wonder which label he should approach to release it?

Here are my suggestions:

Bell Records - a quintessential rock and pop label of the 70's, the main powerhouse of the glam rock explosion (opposed only by RAK Records) and the American pop and dance market. It was bought by the original BMG Records in the 80's when they acquired its parent label Arista Records and reactivated in the early 90's for some select dance and pop records and to re-release the Bay City Rollers back catalogue before being put in hibernation again in the mid 00's. Currently owned by Sony Music, which was one of the last majors to offer Morrissey a record deal but he turned it down at the time because they weren't prepared to give him a large enough advance.

President Records - an inveterate indie label which has been around since the 1950's in the US and the 60's in the UK. Their first major hit was multi-racial rock band The Equals with "Baby Come Back" which went to No.1 in 1968, and later a hit for Patto Banton in 1994 and Australian pop singer Melissa James in 1995. Also later signed acts like Rick Wakeman, Lena Zavaroni, Peters & Lee and punk pop girl duo Robots In Disguise who gave the label a hit in 2006 with a cover of "You Really Got Me".

Rabid Records - Manchester indie label which released Jilted John (before EMI International picked up on him and hit with his eponymous novelty song), The Nosebleeds (Morrissey's first band which he joined just prior to its demise). Don't know who owns the rights to it now, but hey, might be worth him coming full circle seeing it's unlikely that Rough Trade will welcome him into the fold again after all the financial disputes he had with Geoff Travis.

Carrere Records - Their most successful artist was Sacha Distel, whom Morrissey has been seen holding his albums in photos taken in the recent years. Their last UK release was with one of Morrissey's all time favourite bands Sparks for their album Interior Design in 1989 shortly before being folded up when its parent company PRT (formerly Pye Records) was in severe financial trouble. Just goes to show that rebranding is very risky business, especially if you've spent years being successful with your former name - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The label continued to be moderately successful in France when it was bought up by Warner Music in 1990, but put into hibernation by the mid 90's. Carrere has had a very strange distribution history. In the UK, it was initially distributed by EMI in 1978 but quickly bought by WEA the following year then RCA in the early 80's, whilst in Europe it was distributed by PolyGram in some countries until 1990.

Dawn Records - Pye's progressive rock label in the 70's, set up to compete with EMI's Harvest Records, Decca's Deram Records and Philips' Vertigo Records. Nowhere near as successful as them, but it gave the world Brotherhood Of Man with the hit "United We Stand" and of course Mungo Jerry.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I don't entirely get the importance of being on a label in 2021, but that's fine... I'm not in the music industry. It doesn't seem likely that he's going to develop a long-lasting relationship through a new deal... so really any label is fine if it means we'll see Bonfire soon. At the risk of sounding cynical, we might get an album or two and then probably back without a record deal.

What I'd like to better understand are the pros/cons of going 100% independent.
 
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Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I don't entirely get the importance of being on a label in 2021, but that's fine... I'm not in the music industry. It doesn't seem likely that he's going to develop a long-lasting relationship through a new deal... so really any label is fine if it means we'll see Bonfire soon. At the risk of sounding cynical, we might get an album or two and then probably back without a record deal.

What I'd like to better understand are the pros/cons of going 100% independent.
Being on a major laber and getting a sizeable advance seem to be of crucial importance to Morrissey himself above all, which is sad. I wonder if it makes a difference, but Bonfire is the first album he has financed himself and if he can't get it released, he has no chance of recouping the costs. This might make him settle for a lesser deal.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Being on a major laber and getting a sizeable advance seem to be of crucial importance to Morrissey himself above all, which is sad. I wonder if it makes a difference, but Bonfire is the first album he has financed himself
Wasn’t the recording of World Peace also initially financed by him?
and if he can't get it released, he has no chance of recouping the costs. This might make him settle for a lesser deal.

or not release it at all. Though he did say the record will go to the highest or lowest bidder.
So maybe his expectations or demands of getting a contract on his terms only are not as high or set in stone as some here think.
 
M

Musician

Guest
Although it has been discussed many times before here, I think sitting on an album waiting for the "right label" is actually working against Morrissey. I fully understand how he's proud and thinks it's one of his best - musicians usually think their latest stuff is the closest to them, and it's totally understandable. However, even with a big label it's not guaranteed his music will reach more people/will sell, as his latest album proves it. BMG, big label, still basically zero promotion. So, as time is against him now, he should just release it, "let it out of his system" and go on the next project. If it1s any good, radios WILL play it, fans WILL buy it.
However it's his decision of course.
 
B

Bonfire Now

Guest
I think I speak for many on this forum when I say I’d like nothing more than to the listen to this record! Perhaps there will be no teasers or singles - so a full album to discovery and dissect.

Morrissey’s an interesting solo artist - his albums are never boring, although we will fiercely debate the merits of each one.

The prospect of another LP from him is always a blessing. I hope he recognises that he is a cult artist with an audience who knows and appreciates him. Insofar as it has resulted in this fact, his career has been a success. Putting out the albums despite the controversies is the sign of a defiant creator.

Release Bonfire now and save 2021!
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit 444

Guest
Hi all,

Just want to quickly introduce myself to the forum.

My name is Dario Western. I'm 50, a musician and singer/songwriter, originally from Withington in Manchester but have been living in Brisbane in Australia since 1982.

I've been into Morrissey's music since 1989 and The Smiths since 1992. Like Morrissey, I also have a soft spot for what I deem 'heritage' record labels. In fact, I first became a Morrissey fan when I discovered that he had reactivated the HMV label for his solo career following the dissolution of The Smiths because nobody else would have done so.

In an interview that he did with RAM magazine, he was asked "Why did you ask for HMV to be reactivated as your new record label?" He answered: "I was offered a whole array of defunct labels and designs, things like Decca. I didn't want to be on EMI, and Parlophone was the obvious mod suggestion, which I didn't really want either. His Master's Voice had a certain perverted grandiosity to it and thus spoke to me very clearly. I'm the only artist on it".

RAM: "And the last artist to be released was Joyce Grenfell nearly 20 years ago".

Morrissey: "Yes! Spot the difference?"

RAM: "That pleases you?"

Morrissey: "Completely. I just hope that other artists don't sign to HMV though. People like...The Icicle Works. That would be AWFUL! I have hundreds of HMV records in my collection. People like Paul Jones and Johnny Leyton. He was best known for the song "Johnny Remember Me" in 1960, but then he had a ragbag of semi failures like "I'll Cut Your Tail Off" which for some inexplicable reason staggered and died in the lower 30's."

In 1994, Morrissey caved into the mods and defected from HMV to the Parlophone label for the Vauxhall And I album. After his tenure with EMI was up the following year, he signed with RCA for his 1995 album Southpaw Grammar and used the old design RCA Victor that was used from the late 60's to late 70's before the "Victor" was dropped from label designs. Then in 1997, he signed to Island and Mercury for his Maladjusted album and used the 70's Island label for the UK pressing and the Mercury design from the 50's to mid 60's.

After a 7 year hiatus, he then reactivated the 70's reggae label Attack for his next two albums You Are The Quarry and Ringleader Of The Tormentors. Despite him apparently dissing reggae in the 80's calling it "racist music" and a "celebration of black supremacy", he later admitted he only said it to just rile the NME's PC readership.

In 2008, he signed to Decca Records which was slowly making its way back into the pop and rock market again after being restricted to classical music in 1981 when its former CEO Sir Edward Lewis passed away and the label being bought up by PolyGram and its subsidiary label London (formerly used to release US indie artists in the UK) being revamped for modern UK and later US pop and rock artists.

In 2014, he signed to Harvest Records which had its heyday in the 70's as a progressive rock label for acts like Pink Floyd, Edgar Broughton Band as well as glam rock act Wizzard and Brisbane punk band The Saints who had a freak hit in the UK in 1977 with "This Perfect Day" despite not having a Top 50 hit in their homeland until the 80's with the classic "Just Like Fire Would" on the Mushroom label.

Now that he has been unceremoniously dumped from the mighty BMG label by one of the A&R people and has been trying to whip up other record labels into a bidding war to fund the release of his new album Bonfire Of Teenagers, I wonder which label he should approach to release it?

Here are my suggestions:

Bell Records - a quintessential rock and pop label of the 70's, the main powerhouse of the glam rock explosion (opposed only by RAK Records) and the American pop and dance market. It was bought by the original BMG Records in the 80's when they acquired its parent label Arista Records and reactivated in the early 90's for some select dance and pop records and to re-release the Bay City Rollers back catalogue before being put in hibernation again in the mid 00's. Currently owned by Sony Music, which was one of the last majors to offer Morrissey a record deal but he turned it down at the time because they weren't prepared to give him a large enough advance.

President Records - an inveterate indie label which has been around since the 1950's in the US and the 60's in the UK. Their first major hit was multi-racial rock band The Equals with "Baby Come Back" which went to No.1 in 1968, and later a hit for Patto Banton in 1994 and Australian pop singer Melissa James in 1995. Also later signed acts like Rick Wakeman, Lena Zavaroni, Peters & Lee and punk pop girl duo Robots In Disguise who gave the label a hit in 2006 with a cover of "You Really Got Me".

Rabid Records - Manchester indie label which released Jilted John (before EMI International picked up on him and hit with his eponymous novelty song), The Nosebleeds (Morrissey's first band which he joined just prior to its demise). Don't know who owns the rights to it now, but hey, might be worth him coming full circle seeing it's unlikely that Rough Trade will welcome him into the fold again after all the financial disputes he had with Geoff Travis.

Carrere Records - Their most successful artist was Sacha Distel, whom Morrissey has been seen holding his albums in photos taken in the recent years. Their last UK release was with one of Morrissey's all time favourite bands Sparks for their album Interior Design in 1989 shortly before being folded up when its parent company PRT (formerly Pye Records) was in severe financial trouble. Just goes to show that rebranding is very risky business, especially if you've spent years being successful with your former name - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The label continued to be moderately successful in France when it was bought up by Warner Music in 1990, but put into hibernation by the mid 90's. Carrere has had a very strange distribution history. In the UK, it was initially distributed by EMI in 1978 but quickly bought by WEA the following year then RCA in the early 80's, whilst in Europe it was distributed by PolyGram in some countries until 1990.

Dawn Records - Pye's progressive rock label in the 70's, set up to compete with EMI's Harvest Records, Decca's Deram Records and Philips' Vertigo Records. Nowhere near as successful as them, but it gave the world Brotherhood Of Man with the hit "United We Stand" and of course Mungo Jerry.


:rolleyes:
WTF? CARRERE RECORDS????? DAWN RECORDS????
you suggest 'imaginary' labels:straightface:
we already have imaginary tours
and imaginary no 1 vinyl singles
so perhaps its best to pass on the idea...:hammer:
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Wasn’t the recording of World Peace also initially financed by him?


or not release it at all. Though he did say the record will go to the highest or lowest bidder.
So maybe his expectations or demands of getting a contract on his terms only are not as high or set in stone as some here think.
Like this link shows, the contract with Harvest was done in January 2014. And the album was recorded in February, so I would assume it was paid by the record company.


The "lowest bidder" I take as usual Morrissey humour. But he might indeed go in a huff and shelve the album if he doesn't get a deal he considers worthy. Which would be a shame.
 
T

Trans

Guest
He stated that he paid for the recording of world peace. I also doubt that there will be a large advance as everything is 360 now which I’m sure someone In his position is pretty against
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
He stated that he paid for the recording of world peace. I also doubt that there will be a large advance as everything is 360 now which I’m sure someone In his position is pretty against
If true, he at least had a deal for Harvest to put it out when he recorded it.
 
T

Trans

Guest
True. Lots of people and acts do what he’s doing now though. The death set are a band I like who did just the same I.e recorded an album and shopped it around to labels. His stuff with harvest
And bmg really just felt like distribution deals. For a new young artist just breaking a label can be very helpful but with someone in Morrisseys position I’m sure what the label gives him anymore especially with some of the choices he makes like not really having opening bands etc
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
How about split across 4 EPs , a YouTube concert you have to pay for, and a video meet and greet for $200
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
How about split across 4 EPs , a YouTube concert you have to pay for, and a video meet and greet for $200

Well, that's the support you get when you're signed to a decent label. Hopefully Morrissey can find a company that supports him as well as BMG supports Johnny, although I think any meet and greet is taking the piss unless you do what James do and invite you to the soundcheck amongst other things.

The CEO of Dreamstage - Thomas was EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at music major BMG where he ran the merger process with Sony Music.


 
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