I heard this on the radio today.
Supposedly Adele just signed a $131 million contract with Sony records.
Considering she only has three albums under her belt (unless I am missing anything beyond 19, 21 and 25) and this isn’t exactly the most lucrative time for record sales- it sounds kinda crazy.
But taking into account the success she’s had these past couple years and how the music world explodes whenever she puts out new music, I can see where she and Sony were coming from.
But I can’t help but be a little… concerned.
Because I know a thing or two (literally, only a thing or a two) about what happens when record contracts go south.
I’m not a big fan of Adele personally. When she has new music out, she’s always overplayed on the radio. It’s at the point now that I immediately change the channel when one of her songs comes on. Of course I like some songs on her 21 album- Rolling in the Deep, Set Fire to the Rain and I’ll be Waiting.
But her music doesn’t appeal to me on a personal level. I’d never been in a relationship so I don’t know what a break-up feels like- but her music feels like something I’d put on to prolong my post-break-up depression instead something to help me through or make me feel better.
That being said, she has an amazing talent. And even though I don’t get her style personally, so many people love her and she’s one of those people that need to be celebrate. Especially in a time where so many people are cookie-cutter and it’s hard to find unique talents and wholesome people in the industry anymore.
I just hope that this deal does right by her.
Prince is somewhat of a unique case. Even by 1992 standards, his recording contract deal of $100 million is crazy. I read one article that said his next 6 albums need to fetch $50 each to fulfill it. But he is worth it.
The issue that caused the breakdown is his creativity. He hit such a creative stride that he wasn’t satisfied with putting out only one album a year. So he decided to change his name, scribble “slave” on his face and worked to release albums so he could get out of his contract as soon as possible.
I believe The Black Album (which he stopped the release of 7 years before it was finally released) and the Hits compilation contributed to this. I think also changing his name also allowed him to release albums as Prince (the two I just mentioned) and as O(+> (The Gold Experience, Chaos & Disorder). So he got out of his contract in half the time he would have otherwise.
Even now, going through his situation gives me a headache and I’m still not sure I have all the facts right.
I do know for sure that he started fighting for other artists’ rights after his ordeal with Warner Bros. He wanted them to be properly compensated for their time and dedication to their craft.
…I promise there’s a point here somewhere, but I don’t quite know how to put it into words…
Except that Prince getting out of his record deal with Warner Bros. may have ruined his career… He never had another record that was a mainstream hit. [Diamonds & Pearls from 1991 was probably the last one]
Sure, that may be more of his doing than his record company. But he had to have things his way.
He also said at one point that even though it don’t work for him, he didn’t hate record companies because “they work.”
And so far, Sony has been great with Adele, doing all kinds of promotion for her and so on. I just hope that continues with this new contract