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Topic: Another critic on Jagger and McCartney's inablility to sell their new material... Return to archive
01-01-02 04:38 PM
Jaxx Rocking Chairs

Aging rockers Jagger and McCartney find their solo careers aren't sitting pretty

By Karla Peterson

Jan 1, 2002

Considering the mileage on his odometer, Mick Jagger isn't the wreck he should be. His knees are holding up. He's still got his pipe-cleaner figure and his rock-gent hair. But when it comes to age-related indignities, neither bad backs, litigious ex-wives, nor wrinkles the size of drainage ditches can match the ego-busting power wielded by the aging rock 'n' roll fan.

"If an artist could come up with a formula to drag their fans from one era to the next and keep them passionate about their new music, they could bottle it and sell it and never have anything to worry about," said Tracy Johnson, program director at Star 100.7 FM.

As 2001 staggers to a close, Jagger and fellow rock deity Paul McCartney have a few reasons to furrow their famous brows. Both artists released solo albums last month, and neither of them received the surge of support they might have expected.

McCartney's "Driving Rain" album debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard charts. Three weeks later, it was down to No. 68. Jagger's "Goddess in the Doorway" album debuted at No. 39 and dropped to No. 59 after two weeks. His ABC special "Being Mick" came in 90th in the Nielsen ratings, where it tied with "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and a Fox-TV airing of "The Wedding Singer."

So in addition to watching their albums being eclipsed by everyone from Britney Spears to Puddle of Mudd, Jagger and McCartney have once again been reminded that the fans who grew up with them don't necessarily want to mature with them.

"These artists face a tough challenge," said Johnson, whose adult-contemporary station isn't playing tracks from either album. "Their core fans, the older consumers, want to hear what they're familiar with. They want to hear Mick Jagger do 'Brown Sugar' again, or even 'Miss You.'

"The younger fans just can't wait to see what Britney or *NSYNC is up to next, and they'll spend their hard-earned minimum wage money and get that new album. Then you've got the older consumers who can afford to drop the money on a CD, and it doesn't take up the same priority in their lives. They can say, 'Oh, I've got my classic Zeppelin CD, I can listen to that.' "

Unlike Aerosmith, whose cheeky bad-boy flash and pop-conscious singles give them an MTV-ready appeal, Jagger and McCartney have an elder-statesman aura that doesn't seem to register with younger record buyers. They also face resistance from radio programmers. Classic-rock stations only play the oldies, and mainstream rock stations -- where Jagger's "God Gave Me Everything" is performing respectably -- are dominated by the new-metal stylings of Incubus, P.O.D. and System of a Down.

And it hasn't helped that Jagger and McCartney's mixed-bag albums didn't receive the critical kudos awarded to Bob Dylan's recent "Love and Theft," which -- glowing reviews aside -- hasn't been a commercial blockbuster, either.

But with 7 million people turning The Beatles' "1" into 2001's best-selling album, you would think McCartney's "Driving Rain" could have stayed in the Top-40 for at least a few weeks. Or that the fans who routinely fork over big bucks for Rolling Stones concert tickets would spend $19.98 for some quality time with Mick.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, consumers over the age of 40 accounted for 33.4 percent of last year's music sales. And the 45-and-up bracket has doubled its share of the market since 1990. From such adult-oriented discs as Enya's "A Day Without Rain" to the best-selling "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, the Billboard album charts are not a complete teen-pop wasteland. It's not that boomers aren't buying albums; they just aren't buying albums by certain boomer rock stars.

"We have a lot of success with singer/songwriter types like Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams," said Lou Russell, owner of Lou's Records in Encinitas. "I'll sell more of Jack Johnson's 'Brushfire Fairytales' in one month than I'll sell of Mick Jagger for the whole year. People of all ages are picking up on him (Johnson). The kids like him because he's a surfer, and the adults like him because he's mellow and rootsy."

Older music fans seem to fall into two camps, neither of which favors new music by old faithfuls. There are the classic-rock die-hards, the ones who will be listening to KGB's Beatles-Eagles-Zeppelin loop until the day they die. Then there are the explorers, whose musical curiosity leads them away from the mainstream where rock's big fish swim.

"People in that age group poke around for stuff rather than buying the hits," said Russell. "Older people who are active music buyers will say, 'Let me find out about someone I've never heard before.' They know Paul McCartney has a new album out, but they would rather check out Oscar Peterson or Alison Krauss."

When older audiences do reunite with the gods of their musical past, they want to do it in person. And they don't want any surprises. Jagger's album may not sell a million copies, but if the Rolling Stones make good on their promise to tour in 2002, they can charge a mint for their tickets, and they will get it. Some tickets for the group's 1999 arena tour went for more than $300 apiece, and there were no empty seats.

"People know what to expect with a concert," Russell said. "With the Stones, you get the greatest hits and a great show. Seeing a Stones concert is like going to a football game. You take the whole day off, you meet your buddies there early to party, and you make it a major event. And if you're 25, you might want to go so you can say you saw the legend. You might not buy the album, but you'll go to the show."

But the main challenge facing ambitious rock 'n' roll veterans is one they will never win. Because the biggest competition for their fans' affections is the legend everyone remembers, and the songs no one will forget.

"Seeing these bands perform is a way of recapturing your youth, and people want that nostalgic feeling that you get when you see them play in concert," Johnson said. "If you watch the audiences at any of these shows with legendary performers, when they play their old songs, everyone is up and dancing and singing along. And when they play the new stuff off the new album, everyone gets up and gets a beer."

01-01-02 06:02 PM
Gazza >Bob Dylan's recent "Love and Theft," which -- glowing reviews aside -- hasn't been a commercial blockbuster, either.

By who's standards? Britney Spears'? It sold half a million in its first couple of weeks,went top 5 in most major markets and went gold in no time at all - by Bob's standards,one of the fastest selling albums of his career!! Not bad considering its hardly MTV material and didnt have any singles to promote it..

01-01-02 09:53 PM
yellow1 It seems to me that other former MEGA sellers have been down on their luck lately...
Look at Henley's "Inside Job" or Stevie Nicks' "Trouble in Sahngri-La" just to name two. They just didn't sell.
It's probably no coincidence that all these artists once belonged to groups that were hugely successful.
01-02-02 01:51 AM
Jane Wyman It's very simple. According to me Jagger has made a bad record. So it's no big surprise it doesn't sell well. But what's the point anyway? Those things happen.
01-02-02 09:01 AM
Mathijs In the article there's one word missing: quality. As long as Mick or McCartney keep producing bad albums, they will sell very poorly. Mick's Goddess album isn't appealing to any market: teenagers don't want to hear 80's dance music with Mick's voice, and older people ("stones fans") don't want to hear Mick's voice with 80's dance music. Mick is now trying so hard to be modern and fashionable it starts te be pathetic; If you have to hire Wyclef Jean to buy yourself some hit music, there's something wrong. It's few people given to be fashionable for a longer duration; Mick's been fashionable for 25 years and lost it, Madonna is fashionable for 20 years and still has it. When will she loose it?

The Rollling Stones in Review

The Lowdown on the Guitars of Keith Richards
Bootleg Reviews
Brussels Affair 1973
Vinyl Gang Productions / The Swingin' Pig

01-02-02 09:20 AM
Cardinal Ximinez JANE!

You, my dear, have hit the nail squarely on the head.

I guess nobody has considered that Mick and Paul's albums just aren't very good.

The question was asked in the review, if they spend up to $300.00 for a concert ticket, why won't they spend $19.98 for the solo album. And I think you answered it perfectly. The record isn't very good. But the Stones show will be FABULOUS. To me it's a no brain decision. Look at it like this, what would you rather have, Mick's new solo disc, or a nice bottle of wine. I'll take the wine thank you. "Goddess" would make an interesting coaster to sit the wine on though. At least it's good for something.

BTW, other than some of my cyberpals, I don't know ANYONE who has a copy of "Goddess". I might get it if I find it in the "used" bin for under $5.00.

And as for L & T no being a commercial blockbuster....wait til it wins a Grammy for "Album of the Year". Time Out Of Mind didn't sell big at first either, but then it won a Grammy. When that happens, it's instant platinum status. I doubt "Goddess" or "Rain" will even sniff gold.
01-02-02 09:27 AM
nankerphelge I think Jane makes an excellent point -- according to "her" Mick's release was not good. It's not so much that we "old timers" don't want to hear the new music from these guys -- we want to hear real music from them. The reason we love the old stuff and (from my prespective) despise the new music is because it is so freaking manufactured. Perhaps that is the reason Dylan's work sold well for him is because it was the real deal.

Some day, the kids that are listening to all the crap out there will come to the realization that they are being rooked by marketers. They will realize that without the dancers, and headsets, and taped music, and lip syncs, and belly buttons, all they have are pretty little things with zero talent.

Then, after listening to the Stones box set, they (like me with Hot Rocks) will realize that for a period of time, the music industry was actually staffed by "bands" -- groups of individuals that could write and play music.

01-02-02 11:13 AM
Cardinal Ximinez Dream on Nank. These kids (with some noticable exceptions) are clueless. They will continue to be clueless. They will continue to buy whatever is forcefed to them. I see no hope for them. A lost cause.

Honestly, I'm glad about it. I don't have to compete with them for tickets.
01-02-02 11:25 AM
nankerphelge Let me recast my prediction -- someday there will come another generation that appreciates our music for what it is. That day won't be any time soon because the music we appreciate is not "in" now -- if it were, the marketeers would loose the money-making machine that is Spears/In STink and the Back Door Boys. Only those independent types that are capable of seeing and listening on their own will appreciate it now. There are some -- we have seen them here and there at the various boards.

But someday, after the true musicians are long gone, the marketeers will proclaim how great they were and will recpature that spirit either by marketing knock offs or riding the glory of the past. Then they won't be greedy wrinkly rockers anymore but visionary musicians with important messages that younger bands can learn from.
01-02-02 12:44 PM
Maxlugar Wrong! It did not matter how good or bad Godess is.

Before anyone had a chance to hear it, it was being praised far and wide.

Five fucking stars in Rolling Stone!

The buzz was incredible leading up to its release.

I have a friend who's girlfriend told me she heard "Mick Jagger's new album is supposed to be really good" like four months before it came out. And she is not a Stones fan at all!

This album should have sold big time in its first week out no matter how good or bad it really was. The word was out that it was going to be big. People would have scoffed it up before they even knew if it was good or bad.

But no. It sold pitifully in its first week.

Mick Jagger has new album out that was getting nothing but good press and NO ONE BOUGHT IT right away.

The fact of the matter is Mick Jagger does not rate on his own much. No one would care if he made his own personal Exile part 2 and put it out.

"Hit me with Lester Bang's dead, rotted corpse, Ronnie!"
01-02-02 02:10 PM
Cardinal Ximinez I only read 2 positive reviews before Goddess came out. Jann Wenner's taint licking article, and a European newpaper...I forget which one. HOWEVER, you are correct in that there was lots of "word of mouth" hub-bub about the new Jagger album. But NOT in the MTV/Spin/Vibes circle. It was all geared towards us Maxy. It was aimed sraight at people who buy Stones albums. Where they miscalculated, was that Stones fans want to hear the STONES. Not part or parcel, but the whole Rolling friggin' Stones. On top of that, Mick put out an album that is filled with music that is in a style that lots of Stones fans just don't care for. We aren't a pop radio bunch. We are Rock n Rollers, for the most part. I'm not saying that NONE of us can appreciate Mick's new record...certainly there is a segement who like "Goddess" a lot. But it's pretty obvious just by reading comments here, that "Goddess" isn't recv'd like a new Stones album is. Having said that, Mick's album is far superior to, say, the new 'NSync album. My 15 year old neice plays that CD from time to time, and it's AWFUL. Sounds like 2 cats with their tails tied together trying to get away from the other one. Every song sounded EXACTLY like the other ones, no imagination, no creativity, mediocre musicianship(when there are even musicians playing, most of it sounded like it was a computer programmed sequence). Now here's the kicker, who do you think my 15 year old would want to see...Mick, who's album is light years better, or 'NSync, who's album is crap...she'll go for Justin every time. Why? Because he's cute, and he's young. Music has NOTHING to do with it. Mick is NOT cute or young anymore, therefore he is not relevant to today's mass consumption market of 13-25 year olds. To compound that, he made a record that his core audience doesn't really want to hear either. So who does that leave to buy the damn thing? You, and 150,000 of your best pals. Now, how many of those people are gonna dump that sucker on ebay or your local used CD store?

I think that this is actually gonna be a good thing for the Stones in the long run. Perhaps Mick's bomb will finally put the solo pop superstar notion out of his head for good, and he'll focus his energy on what he does best...front the greatest Rock band on the planet.

That's my 2 cents anyhow.
01-02-02 03:24 PM
The Eggman Unfortuantely these kids do not hear Goddess

They think of Madonna as a LEGEND (Gees i think of as still a pompus 80's shit pop star) and Jagger as a old guy (Dad rock to be more correct)

The truth WE havefta to forcefeed Jagger and the Stones to thme to like it, instead of MTV!
01-02-02 03:36 PM
Cardinal Ximinez But Eggman, if you or I forcefeed the younsters Mick, or the Stones...they'll shut it out. We're just a couple of old dads forcing "old" music on them....but if it comes from MTV or Vibes it's hip and cool...even if it's the same thing that we're trying to get them to hear.

It's a matter of perception...
01-02-02 04:43 PM

...not fer "nuttin", but why should we even be surPRised by this? I mean,my LORD, Mick's got himself QUITE a band as it is. This didn't surprise me in the least, really. Not at all. Not ONE wit. Not even a HALF-raised eyebrow!

He's got deSTONES, fer crap's sake, you know? As SumSumbitch once "said" so eloquently,it truly IS "Ain't no hangin matta"

01-02-02 05:12 PM
The Eggman But are you saying MTV plays OLD STUFF (the 60's and 70's Stones stuff aka, the good stuff for us) , becasue thats the stuff they sthut out, cus it's old. and for no other reason

If we show GODDESS on VIBE or MTV for the kids , they think it's a pathetic comeback just as you did Cardinal for Mick's new album
01-02-02 05:16 PM
The Eggman It's a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE world it music comes down to looks
aka. NSYNC...shit, that name just screams CRAP and MONEY, and little 12 year old girls cry out for them
01-02-02 08:26 PM
Happy Motherfucker Well, You have to realize that the 12-20 market has always been there for pop music. The Stones where right in the thick of it in 1965. The music and bands have changed but the preception of what sells, has never wavered much. The fact that todays youth "don't get it" really does'nt mean much. Another ten years the kids will not even remember Nstinc. The Stones legacy goes above and beyond all preconceived notions of what popular music is about. It comes in cycles, and there will be a day when it is hip for the youngters to listen to The Stones while waring lapping tongue patches on their jackets, smoking dope in a room of haze and black lights. When this artificial sound, that some call music, runs it's course and the search is on for the new flavor, there will still be The Stones. Jagger solo or The Stones will never capture the pop worlds eye again, and that in a way, is a good thing. But, they will be hip again to the young ones, thats for sure. I really don't think that Mick made this record to appeal to the pop world, he does'nt have to. He's been there and done that. Maybe, just maybe he made this for the sake of being an artist and having something to say. For all we know, he might not give a flying fuck what you or I think of his solo work. Yes, I'm sure he would want people to like it, but I doubt he cares if he sells well or not. He knows that his legacy will always be the lead singer for "The Greatest Rock'n Roll Band In The World"!
01-03-02 09:04 AM
Cardinal Ximinez OK, first off...Eggman, you misunderstood me. I'm NOT saying MTV plays old stuff. What I meant was, that IF MTV showed Mick's vids in heavy rotation, and made it a "buzz" clip, the kids would dig it. But if you or I showed those same kids that video, they would HATE it because it was just to old fucks forcing them to watch "Granddad" music.

Secondly, the way I looked at Mick's new record, and the way the younger generation looked at it are two completely different things. I looked at it from a fan's perspective. The younger generation CAN'T look at it like I did because they know nothing about Jagger. They don't care about him. He's old, and irrelevant to them. Our persectives are completely different. We may have come to the same conclusions, but they were arrived at in completely different methods.

Now, Happy Mofo...

I completely disagree with you about Mick and his legacy. I think Mick DESPERATELY wants to be known for something OTHER than being the Stones frontman. He wants to be known as a Rennaisance Man. I don't think Mick feels that the Stones are enough for him. He wants MORE. You mentioned that perhaps Mick was making "Goddess" for artistic reasons. I have a couple of problems with that. One is that "Goddess" is a pretty lame artistic expression. It's like Dali painting a picture of a fruitbasket in a realist style. Secondly, what artistic notion does he need to express that he CAN'T express with the Stones? Holy shit, he fronts the best band in the world...a band capable of playing in any number of styles. So why does he need to artistically express himself with an inferior band, playing inferior music? It makes no sense! Except for one thing, $$$$$$. Mick got big money out of Virgin for solo albums. I can't see any other valid reason for doing solo albums except for cash.

Just my 2 cents, again. That's almost a whole nickel that I put into this discussion. Hope you all appreciate my expenditure.
01-03-02 09:20 AM
nankerphelge Speaking of Renaisaance men -- remember that time we all got fucked up in Cleveland. Man that was great.

And you'll be happy to know that soon, I, nankerphelge, will obtain a huge compliment of Rennaisance chiba for my glistening pleasure.

Here's what some of the critics are saying:

"Stuff's damn near hallucinogenic" - FPM, Cleveland 2001.

"You guys were flying" - Joey, C10.

" " - SDH, Cleveland 2001.

01-03-02 10:37 AM
Joey Nanky ,

In my honest opinion , I don't believe Tony has completely recover yet from that weekend in Cleveland .

He may never recover ...............

And that is a way !

" Bite ME Arse Ronnie "

Joey , C10

01-03-02 11:01 AM
Mathijs I agree with Cardinal Ximinez, the promotion of Goddess was aimed at us and not at the MTV generation (even though I consider myself still being part of that). In Holland, known as having a relatively big amount of Stones fans, the only promotion was an interview for a TV talk show with a 62-year-old interviewer. The profile of the audience is well-educated middle class 35 – 50 year old liberals. That was it for promotion –until the album flopped. Then we sometimes had a commercial for the album and even a lame “Mick jagger Special” with the Voodoo Lounge and Stripped specials. The album received bad critics in most “important” magazine’s, with “Oor Magazine” being the most important one for youngsters –the magazine gave the strong advice to throw the album in the bin.

In my opinion Jagger desperately wants to produce music –either with or without the Stones. Thing is –with the Stones he can only do it every 4 or 5 years. Part of the myth of the Stones is that they tour so little (three tours in 20 years) –you have to be there at this very concert or else you must wait for another 5 years! But, at least in Holland, from 1995 to 1999 the Stones have played a bit too much, and they simply lost the crowd’s interest. In 1995 the Stones played in front of 200.000 people in Holland, in 1997 in front of 400.000, in 1999 for just 80.000 people and tickets didn’t sell well. It seemed that literally every Dutchman has seen the Stones at least once (which is felt like a sort of “Must Do’s In Live: see the Stones once), and the bigger Stones fans are fed up with the monster shows. I feel that if Jagger wanted to tour with the Stones in 2001, he would have found little (I mean for Stones standards!) audience to watch, and therefore there was no tour. I strongly think that if the Stones will do a “normal” tour this year, they will have hard times to fill up bigger arenas. Unless the Stones officially enounce the tour “The Last Tour Ever”, or they choose to do a NS-like small arena tour, I surely doubt this new tour will be much of a success.

01-03-02 05:00 PM
Happy Motherfucker Cardinal X, What I was trying to state is that from an artist point of view, you can approach the music differently. Let me explain my take on this: As a misician and songwriter myself, I know the need to step out side of my respected band and do projects on the side that only aply to what I want to create. Sometimes it's nice to have complete control over the direction of the music without anyone else having a say in it. I just feel that is what Mick was trying to acomplish by doing his solo thing. I really don't think that he was doing it for the money. My God, how much fucking money do you need! He has plenty to last him several life times! I believe he must be working in some compacity, and with The Stones having down time, why not just do your own thing even if it only pleases yourself.
01-03-02 11:03 PM
Cardinal Ximinez I also have been in bands, and written songs. It has been my experience that when I hit on something that worked, I didn't try to fix it. Why? Don't you think Mick has control over the songs he writes for the Stones? Hell, Keith wasn't even involved with Out Of Control, or Might As Well Get Juiced offa B2B, for example. Mick is in control of those songs. So what are you saying? That Mick's ego is so overblown that he has to have ALL the songs on an album be HIS? I don't buy that. And let's face it, if you or I step away from our bands, we aren't stepping away from THE BEST BAND ON THE PLANET. I just don't get why Mick wants to work with anyone else. It's never as good as when he's with the Stones.

As for Mick just wanting to stretch as an artist....please point out ONE SINGLE THING on "Goddess" that is so different from what the Stones do? I don't see any stretch. In fact, I can see the Stones doing ALL of those songs...only better.

As for the are right, Mick has all the money he needs. But you forget that he has PILES of offspring that he wants to provide for, as well as grandkids...he's being a good provider for his children. It takes a lot of cash to keep all those kids, and ex's, in the manner in which they are acustomed. Mick spends piles of cash too. He spends more in taxes in one year than I'll make in a lifetime. No, dude, it's DEFINATELY about the money.
01-04-02 12:10 AM
The Eggman Actually i think Keith had alot to do with Might As Well Get Juiced

to be honest i kinda liked it

i hated Out Of Control
01-04-02 02:23 AM
Happy Motherfucker I agree that The Stones would have done the material better then the musicians Mick had working with him on the solo deal. But, The songs are not what The Stones would put out. The big question is not why he does the solo things, but, why not? I really believe he just wants to put a different slant on the music and have complete control over the process. I mean, Charlie does his jazz thing because he loves it and it's not something that he can do with the boys. All of my favorite bands have done the same when it comes to solo gigs. Garcia done solo records and toured with JGB when the Dead had down time(which was'nt very much). I know that he did'nt do it just for the money, he liked to explore and express his music in other ways. Mick is one of the best song writers in music history, but somethings may just appeal more to the solo side. Anyway, You can't blame the man for trying. As long as he is having fun with it and it does'nt affect the real deal, I say, more power to him! There you go knuckle head! Just kidding, I think you're starting to grow on me, until the next great debate, Rock on!
01-04-02 07:24 AM
Maxlugar Mick made the album as a therapy to get over his breakup.

He did it alone so as not to change his original idea of the album.

He played with some musicians that he felt like playing with.

Like it or not, he has some things to say and he took a risk by making a different album.

Not much more to read into it.
01-04-02 08:30 AM
Cardinal Ximinez Maybe you guys are right...maybe I am...I guess only Mick knows for sure. I suppose I'm a bit jaded when it comes to "artists". Especially name brand artists like Mick. I am a firm believer in money corrupting morals. And I don't really think there is any question that Mick loves his moola, but I hope you are right. I hope this is just an "art" thing.

Thanks for the jousting. It's been fun.
01-04-02 10:10 AM
Maxlugar I personally think Mick knows he would have made more money putting out an album of Blues classics than trying something different.

Mick is aone of the most creative people in music of all time. Some things we like some things we don't. But he's always trying new things and that's why we still have him.

Anyway, it's Friday and my BCI is rising....

My liver is parched........

My ears are pre-cumming....

Feels like a good night coming up.

On June 16, 2001 the hit counter of the WET page was inserted here, it had 174,489 hits. Now the hit counter is for both the page and the board.
The hit counter of the ITW board had 1,127,645 hits when it was closed and the Coolboard didn't have hit counter but was on line only two months and a half.