Robin Thicke was moaning this week. He’s getting good at it. He’s had to moan about his video being empowering to women when it’s clearly sexist tripe. He’s had to moan about being sued by Funkadelic and Marvin Gaye’s estate who he claims not to have plagiarised. He’s had to moan about Blurred Lines being banned when it’s ‘not naughty it’s just sexy’. Sadly for him an incitement to non-consensual sex is considered rapey in most civilised societies.
Having complained about the song not being played in places he’s now having to complain that people are playing it too much. Behind every hit is a writ and, like it or loathe it, Blurred Lines is a big hit. This is the problem that Thicke has this week. Blurred Lines is so big that he can’t get DJs or radio stations to play his other songs. It should be a nice problem to have and it is strictly an ‘old school’ issue.
When you’re with a major record label and you record a bunch of songs – one of which is considered to be a sure-fire hit – the label gets out its big-guns and you have a release schedule. That schedule is fixed around the hit with the focus meant to be on the album that contains the hit. This is why it’s so old school, the album should follow the chart impact of the hit by around a month at which time a second prospective hit is planned.
When your hit won’t die it throws the schedule out. The label struggle to get play for the second single which is intended to show your diversity or the mass of possible hits that people might get if they buy the album, they struggle to get this play because so many people are still playing the first mega-hit. People keep claiming the album is dead but the artists and labels still love the album, their entire schedule is based around it and this pattern seems unlikely, certainly unwilling, to change.