Re: I don't care if I get flamed for this...

[email protected]
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 09:00:55 -0400

Good points -- but I still point to the fact that -- the reviews of the album were good. The
reviews of the first concert were good -- and U2 got considerable media coverage when the album came
out. The album still drifted off the charts (in the U.S., which was enough.). Of course the media
could (and should) have continued to champion U2. Especially considering the great reviews they had
given the album. But once it drifted -- it was referred to as only a commercial failure -- or
cheezy techno, or whatever. My opinion is that the media looked at the record sales, and the
reports of some not-sold-out shows -- and took the opinion that U2 was on the way out.

Media games, like building up someone (a mediorcre band) to tear them down, is a little different.
If the press are the ones who made them, then they can get away with breaking them. People don't
care about one-hit wonders. But they aren't going to sell a lot of paper if they tear down someone
that the majority of the people love. Who did the British press side with, Charles or Dianna?

By the way, I don't have faith in the media -- I don't think that trying to follow the public's
consensus when reporting is what journalism is about at all. Even in the music industry. It is
commercial pressure from high-above that almost forces this to occur. There are of course
exceptions to this -- but across the mainstream press -- I think you will find it to be the truth.

[email protected]
08/31/98 10:53 PM

To: Tom OConnell/PR Newswire
cc: [email protected]
Subject: Re: I don't care if I get flamed for this...

[email protected] wrote:
> Robbie wrote:
> >Don't you mean U2's popularity with the *media* is down.
> >The media in general tried to ignore or even put down U2,
> >especially in the United States.
> J wrote:
> Yup, you are right on there Rob. I think what makes U2 "past their
> popularity prime" is only relative to what the media portrays.
> However, the media play a big role in informing or misinforming the
> people, and they have done the latter to America concering U2. It is
> sad. But I don't give a damn. No one gives a damn if U2 is popular of
> not to the new spice gilrs/hanson generation. Even if U2 only had
> one fan left in this world, as long as that fan is me, I'd still be
> happy...
> -------------
> Sorry guys, but it is the other way around. The media almost always follow the public. As you
> mentioned Robbie,
> the reviews of Pop were good, the reviews of the first show were even good, considering the
> that occured. But
> once Pop started drifting off the charts and the stadium shows weren't sold out -- that showed a >
decline in U2's popularity.
> For the media, that means it's time to jump off the bandwagon. Considering their almost deity
> status in the industry from 86-93,
> any slight showing of a decline meant they no longer had to kiss their ass.
> There are millions of examples of this -- they occur almost daily. Most obvious in the political
> arena. The media tries its best
> to figure out what the consenus of the public they serve is, and for the most part follow it. The
> problems occur when they are
> only partly right about what the people think -- because then they start to drive the "on the
> audience. Which is what
> I think happened to U2 last year.

Jeez, you have a lot of faith in the press.
They don't follow the public, the public follows the
press. Everybody knows that. The media can force any
crappy band like the Spice Girls/Hanson (the usual expamles)
down the publics throat with heavy hype. Think of all the
bands that suck that are in the charts. They're there because
the press hyped them, not because the people discovered them
and the press followed the people's lead. It's been well known
for years that a favorite game of the British music press is
building up some mediocre little band for a while with hype and
then doing a hatch job on them just as a little power exercise.
Shows 'em whose boss.
The press knows they can sell a lot of paper by tearing down
popular celebs and bands. Sell a lot while building them up and
sell even more by tearing them down.
If they'd decided to continue to support
U2 as much as they support bands like, oooh, Garbage, the
record sales would have been higher and the press would have
been lickin' their boots like they have for the last 10 years.
I think they were ready to do the hatchet job when AB came out,
but U2 threw them such a curve in their drastic change in
music and staging, they couldn't.
There were really a lot of things going on that
I didn't put in the post because we were just talking
about the media and I didn't want it to be too long.
It's been talked into the ground on Wire over the past
year or so.
Basically, the press are lazy bastards. They
see which way the press bandwagon is going after the first
three or four shows and everybody else jumps on it.
The agenda was set that for 1997, the American press was going
to bash U2.
The tour sold more tickets than any other tour in the USA
in 1997 and it was the biggest tour in the world last year.
We all know the shows were great. Did anyone in the press
ever change their tune later? I strongly suspect the negative
press was part of the reason the album sales were lower last year.
The negative press about the U2 tour bled over and affected
the willingness of people to try out the album. Less people
were buying the album, so the ultra-conservative radio stations
in America were leery of playing the singles. Little single play,
less albums bought. For some reason, Island wasn't promoting
hard enough. It would have been a lot better if they'd figured
out a way to get the press on U2's side somehow.
Case in point about the people that review the concerts.
These jokers are usually assigned to review shows.
It's very unlikely they are a fan.
They usually know little about the band.
Usually just enough to (maybe) get the names
of the bandmembers right.
They have to leave the show to write their
review and phone it in in time for the next
edition about 3 songs into the show.
They are very likey to have check previous
reviews of the shows to plagiarize, uh, I mean
to get an idea of what other reviewers thought.
Of course, most of the previous reviewers did
the same thing, so there was a pretty consistant
bashing of U2 going on. Hey, it's easier than risking
writing you own ideas, bsides, how can you form any
ideas of the quality of the show from 3 songs anyway.
Oh, this is enough! In fact, it's probably too much.


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