Artists get Dropped From Labels
By Chris Standring
is it that so many albums don't get released once a label signs
Answer: A few things can go wrong. First, it can take a
long time for a record company to court an artist or group, and
then another good amount of time while attorneys are going back
and forth getting the contract right. Once the deal is locked
in, the label has to schedule the release and the band have to
make the album. From the beginning of courtship to the time an
album is slated for release could quite easily be 2 to 4 years.
During this time several factors can cause a project to go south.
If the A&R man, that originally championed this act, gets
fired or leaves the company, 9 times out of 10, the company will
drop that act. Unless the act has had past success, the new A&R
guy on board usually has his own vision, or bands he or she is
courting, and doesn't get involved.
During the courting/signing and scheduling period, if the project
is a band, then it is likely that this band may fall apart for
many different reasons. It could be personal, or they decide they
can't stand each other. Quite often bandmembers are not good business
people and their lack of grounding gets in the way. I do see a
trend away from this these days as labels are more and more reluctant
to get in bed with artists who are losers at life, despite their
Finally, the band might deliver a rotten album. If the album does
not contain any marketable songs, IE: something radio can strongly
get behind (labels can usually do research to see if a song will
be a hit before it is released), then the label will either drop
the artist or have them re-record as much of the album as needed.
This is where hit producers come in to lessen the odds of disaster.
If the project is over budget and a crappy record comes through,
usually the band get dropped as it doesn't make good business
sense to keep them on.
Last but not least, the record company can go bankrupt, causing
a band to be stuck in limbo until legal things turn around. This
can be the worst scenario of all.
| Chris Standring
is the CEO and founder of A&R Online (www.aandronline.com).
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed to
Ultimate Vibe Recordings. For more info on Chris' recording
career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com
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