domingo, 4 de julio de 2010

Bon Jovi tour rolls on with sellouts; CD sales slow.

Original lineup: David Bryan, Alec Jon Such, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres.

Listen up, fellow Bon Jovi fans: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Our ‘boys’, our band, our reason for the season and our cause celebs---The Hardest Working Band In Rock-N-Roll---need our undivided attention and assistance.

If you are wondering where this is going, get hold of a copy of USA Today, or go to the web site and take a look at record sales for 'The Circle’ and the Bon Jovi catalog in general.

Rare it is indeed when a rock band goes out on a tour as large as this one, and record sales don’t go UP. So, the fact of the matter is, we in JoviNation need to treat them as good as they treat us!

Keep in mind this discussion isn’t pimp-slapping fellow fans who have supported the band and bought ‘The Circle’. It’s merely pointing out an immense contradiction: a band that’s been around for well neigh thirty years, is touring everything but the solar system, and that’s been pulling classic songs out of their treasure chest every night like a magician with a rabbit coming out of his hat should have MORE record sales of their current release to date than they do for all of their effort.

In short, if some of us claim to love the band but don’t support them by buying the CD’s, we in JoviNation who do need you to step up and get into the ring.

It doesn’t mean we have to stop trading youTube videos or burning discs for one another or cease the occasional MP3 download. What it DOES mean is that at the end of the day, the music industry is a business, measured by how many ‘units’ of a CD are sold, and how many cheeks large and small fill the seats at live shows.

There’s an old saying, “Nobody appreciated him until he was gone”.

Case in point? Michael Jackson. Before he announced his final tour, his record sales had dwindled to 10,000 a month; after his death, they shot up to 430,000 a month for the entire catalog and three of his records took the Top 3 positions on the Billboard charts.

Did that get your attention?

Good, because the fact of the matter is, if we want Bon Jovi to remain relevant; a force in our lives for strength and happiness and firmly entrenched in pop culture for the next generation of new fans to enjoy, we need to have the same chip on our shoulder about the unfairness of the music industry as Jon does about not yet being in the Rock Hall of Fame.

Right about now you’re wondering, “What’s this guys problem?” ‘The Circle’ has sold 2 million copies so far and it hasn’t even been a year. True, but now whip out your copy of USA Today and look in the Life section and tell me what you see on all of the music charts listed?

According to USA Airplay charts compiled by Mediabase, Bon Jovi appears nowhere in the Top 40, Hot Adult Contemporary, Adult Contemporary, Active Rock, or Adult Rock charts. Granted, the Active Rock chart---a more mainstream name for ‘metal’---has Ozzy Ozbourne perched at #1 with 'Let Me Hear You Scream' so it’s no big deal that Bon Jovi isn’t on that one.

However, what is starkly surprising is the Adult Rock chart, which has Jack Johnson at #1 for 'You And Your Heart', Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at #5 for 'I Should Have Known It' and 7-10 consists of Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and Sheryl Crow.

Wherefore art thou, Bon Jovi?

The Billboard Music charts are just as disparate. Understandably since 'The Circle' was released in November, 2009, no single from the record charted in time to make Billboard’s Top 100 for 2009. The album did debut at #1, however.

Currently, no ‘classic rock’ or ‘legacy’ rock bands are on the Billboard Top 100; the Top 200 has Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Journey’s Greatest Hits, The Rolling Stones re-issue of Exile On Main Street, Daughtry, John Mayer, James Taylor Greatest Hits, Michael Jackson Number One’s, Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits, Susan Boyle, Slash, Guns-N-Roses Greatest Hits, Hanson, Jimi Hendrix, Carole King, Led Zeppelin, Daughtry, Bob Seger Greatest Hits, Motley Crue Hits, Eminem Hits…and well, you get the idea...

This is not to discredit any of the artists that are on the list. It’s just evidence of how much the music industry has changed. Despite supporting the CD with sold-out shows practically everywhere they have played since the tour began, neither ‘The Circle’ nor the re-issues has caught lightning in a bottle twice for the band on the charts.

'The Circle' debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts the week of November 29. It also was #1 on the Top 200 Album Chart, #3 for Digital Albums, #3 for European Albums, and #1 in Canada.

Yet despite the strong start, the album has sold anemically, especially when one considers all the global channels of distribution for recorded music now on the web, and of course in the traditional brick and mortar record stores, bookstores, and electronics retailers.

Regardless, there are no easy answers to the dilemma.

Bon Jovi’s fan base is global, ironically with stronger record sales overseas than here in the U.S. It is a multi-generational conglomeration of fans, so one would think that that would pump up record sales and performance of singles like ‘Superman Tonight’ on the VH1 Music Countdown.

Finally, with over 2.6 million fans on the Facebook Bon Jovi page and countless hundreds of others inhabiting the other social networking sites, one would expect close to 3 million copies sold.

The good news is the tour rolls on, and the band has several projects in the works; among them are rumored to be a two-disc Greatest Hits anthology with two new singles recorded with ‘Circle’ producer John Shanks, and untitled and untold DVD releases from their current world tour.

Cleary Bon Jovi and his band mates don’t need the money; but they are out there busting their humps on the road, silencing their critics and proving to one and all that they deserve their rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The least we can do is pony up and buy the product! Hell, if you already have it, buy it and baptize someone else into JoviNation!

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