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  1. #1
    5150 What a Rocker 1973's Avatar
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    11.11.17 @ 08:55 AM
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    Default Payola for Fair Warning to go Platinum?

    So I was curious to hear people's take on Noel Monk's claim that Warner Brothers paid off the radio stations to play Fair Warning so it would get certified Platinum. I know it's the lowest selling album of the original six-pack, but a lot of people consider it Van Halen's best album. What are your thoughts on Monk's claim?

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk JUNGLE DRUMMER's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:48 AM
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    Default

    It's hard to say. But I do find it curious that the album supposedly tanked, all the while VH had one of the biggest and hottest tours going that year. That doesn't make much sense to me, especially since the crowds loved and we're just as rowdy for the new FW tracks as they were for the songs from the previous three albums, based on the bootlegs I've seen or heard.

    It's not really a big deal to me, since I almost always like deep cuts more than pop hits, which makes sense that WACF and FW are my two favorite albums, and that I enjoy CVH more than Van Hagar.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 05:21 PM
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    Default

    Could not care less.

    That's the business side from their end, that I have no part of and really no interest in.

    They released a great album and went on a legendary tour to support it, that's all a fan can ask for.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:58 PM
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    Default

    I don't doubt any of it. Sounds par for the course with the music business. It's a dirty business from top to bottom. Was just reading about how the music industry basically blackballed Irene Cara in the 80s because of a dispute over money. Record companies don't like giving out more than a tiny sliver of the money generated from an artist's talent.

    And who knows what any "certification" really means? We do know that RIAA only does it when the artist pays them to do it. So they aren't really interested in providing accurate numbers....they are interested in being paid. Who knows how accurate any of that stuff is. If an artist doesn't pay...they have a lower number of sales. And this makes me wonder if paying might give an artist an artificial boost to their numbers as well.

    Also believing Monk's story about being asked by Billboard where they wanted the album to land on the charts in its first week. That sounds par for the course too. So that calls into question any "#1 album" claims. Who knows if that is real? That could all vary act to act depending on how important they believed the pub from "#1 album" was.

    And of course payola exists. That's common knowledge. But here I wonder if the stations really played the songs. I wouldn't be shocked if they took the money and did nothing. I say this because I was in New York City when the album came out and I had to find out it was released from a fellow Coast Guardsman. I seriously never heard a track from the album played on the radio in NYC once. Not once.

    Maybe I was exceedingly unlucky and just kept missing it or something...but that doesn't seem likely. Maybe NYC was more expensive and they didn't bother with them? I can't speak for other parts of the country. I do know the Madison Square Garden show was the most epic concert I ever saw and the crowd was insanely into it. So there definitely was a market for the band in NYC.

  5. #5
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    12.11.17 @ 09:08 PM
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    Default

    Agree with Harpospoke, Fair Warning did not get much radio play especially in the first few months it was released. I can easily understand how payola played a part in pumping up sales of the album. There was huge demand for the tour and I'm pretty sure every date in '81 sold out. The 3 LA shows in June were tough tickets and they could have easily added 2-3 more shows to that stand.

    Objectively, I get why it's the original six pack's lowest selling album. It's dark, weird and really only has a couple songs that I've ever heard on the radio. There's little there for the casual fan. The only reason Diver Down sold more is because of "Pretty Woman" which generated huge buzz when it was released as a single almost half a year before the album itself was released.

  6. #6
    Good Enough VH1988's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 05:56 PM
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    Default

    Even after paying to prop up a failing album it still is their worst seller of 78-96.

    Proving that sales mean nothing as FW is a killer album.

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  8. #7
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 07:55 PM
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    Default

    I really don't care if they did pay

    I don't know how much you know about the business of grocery stores and I don't know much about them either, but I do know that food producers pay grocery chains for shelf space for new products. It's called "slotting fees" then there are also "display fees" where companies pay for prime placement...like on an end cap or a special display, and then there are fees for products to remain on shelves.

    sometimes it comes in the form of a discount on the product, but sometimes it is just cold hard cash. and it is legal


    now I get it that the grocery store is not a regulated entity like broadcasting but which affects my quality of life more? what is playing on the radio or what food products I have access to?

    I'd reckon I am more affected by good quality food products that cant' make it on to my grocery shelves because of the presence of some over priced highly processed food conglomerate product that is paying for shelf space and blocking the other product

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

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  10. #8
    Atomic Punk japeape's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:57 PM
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    Default

    Seems very odd to me.

    VH were a pretty huge band by that point.
    Three successful albums & major tours.
    They were all over the covers of rock magazines.

    Not sure why radio would resist playing a new album by a major band.
    It would be like The Police releasing "Ghost" and radio saying:
    Who are you guys again? Pay up & we'll give it a spin.

    I know, in Boston, they were playing the hell out of it pre & post release.
    I knew what i was getting when i purchased it.

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  12. #9
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    Default

    I think Noel is still hungover from 1985..... but wouldn't doubt the story.

    Radio was a shady biz back then and probably still. I remember a friend worked on this project back then (1998) at the label.

    ----


    LIMP BIZKIT CAMP PAYS FOR RADIO AIRTIME
    MANAGER ARGUES APPROACH IS ETHICAL AND SAYS SONG NOW IS PART OF KUFO'S REGULAR ROTATION.


    Thrash-rap rockers Limp Bizkit were having a tough time breaking onto radio in Portland, Ore. So their record label, Interscope, came up with a novel but potentially controversial idea for getting the band onto alternative station KUFO (101.1).

    They bought the airtime.

    Not unlike a three-minute musical informercial, Interscope paid for radio play of the song "Counterfeit" from their album Three Dollar Bill, Ya'll to air on the station -- a relatively new practice called "pay-for-play" -- for five weeks with an announcement before or after the song that made note of its sponsor. At best, it was an unusual step that raises questions about radio content and the free flow of musical ideas on the public airwaves.

    "When you have a band like Limp Bizkit, who sell out 3,000-seaters, playing music the kids want to hear, finding a way to get them on a radio station without prostituting them is a huge plus for everybody," said Jeff Kwatinetz, the band's manager. Kwatinetz, who also manages Korn, another thrash-rock band he said has difficulty getting airplay, said he has no problem with the arrangement and doesn't see it as either unethical or illegal.

    "This is honest; payola was about fraud," said Kwatinetz about previous record industry scandals that began in the early 1960s, in which radio programmers accepted bribes in exchange for spinning certain songs. "Payola was about DJs defrauding the owners of their stations and potentially hurting ratings by not making musical decisions. Then the FCC required people to say that a spin was paid for, so the fraud element was taken out of it. By us saying this is brought to you by Interscope, you know the money is going to the station. If stations want to make bad decisions, then their ratings go down."
    Last edited by thismusicsux; 11.03.17 at 10:12 AM.

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  14. #10
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    Default

    It's no secret that FW wasn't selling well, and comparably never has. It's VH's dark horse, it's not terribly radio friendly, it's their hardest album and their main fan base likes their VH dusted with a lotta pop. Monk's story is well corroborated with others, as well as the band's own recounts. 'Pay to play' was always a common practice.

  15. #11
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:49 AM
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    Default

    And Warner didn't even release a single, did they?
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
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  16. #12
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    Default

    paid or not... they were getting decent airplay in 1981 w 4 singles charting at once (although this is Rock Chart, not the Billboard Top 200)



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  18. #13
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:58 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T.B. View Post
    Objectively, I get why it's the original six pack's lowest selling album. It's dark, weird and really only has a couple songs that I've ever heard on the radio. There's little there for the casual fan. The only reason Diver Down sold more is because of "Pretty Woman" which generated huge buzz when it was released as a single almost half a year before the album itself was released.
    That's if we can trust the "certifications". For all we know, FW caught and passed DD years ago. Among people who buy VH albums, I'm going to estimate that 10% of them think DD is the better album. (wild forking guess)

    Quote Originally Posted by japeape View Post
    Seems very odd to me.

    VH were a pretty huge band by that point.
    Three successful albums & major tours.
    They were all over the covers of rock magazines.

    Not sure why radio would resist playing a new album by a major band.
    It would be like The Police releasing "Ghost" and radio saying:
    Who are you guys again? Pay up & we'll give it a spin.

    I know, in Boston, they were playing the hell out of it pre & post release.
    I knew what i was getting when i purchased it.
    Exactly my thought. After all those years of playing VH songs. ...And one year after willingly playing EWS and Cradle .....Mean Street and other FW songs were something they wouldn't touch? And then one year later they were falling all over themselves to play PW and DITS without being paid?

    Keep in mind that 1981 radio had zero problem playing Crazy Train, Dirty Deeds, and Tom Sawyer. No "pop" in those either.

    I smell BS all over this one.

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  20. #14
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 11:29 PM
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    Default

    I do remember Fair Warning getting far less airplay here on the rock radio stations in So Cal than the following albums that were also released in 1981:

    In chronological order of date of release ...

    Paradise Theatre - Styx
    Moving Pictures - RUSH
    Don't Say No - Billy Squier
    Hard Promises - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
    Foreigner - 4
    Escape - Journey
    Tattoo You - The Rolling Stones
    Allied Forces - Triumph
    Ghost In The Machine - The Police
    Get Lucky - Loverboy
    Business As Usual - Men At Work
    I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
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    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

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  22. #15
    Eruption
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    12.12.17 @ 12:57 AM
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    Default

    To quote Cheryl Crow, Lie to me; I promise Iíll believe.

    Donít care. They are unquestionably one of Americaís biggest Hard Rock Bands ever. Their live shows in their prime couldnít be touched. Good enough for me.

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