Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
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Friday, January 4, 2008

Taylor Hicks Buys Out Contract with J Records?

If this EW article is to be believed, then Taylor, Clive and JRecords have parted ways. Or, to be exact, "Taylor is going to record his next album on his own,” said a label rep.

Obviously, Taylor bought out his contract from J Records. That's the only logical conclusion I can come up with. I mean no record label in their right mind drops a platinum selling artist, do they? Hopefully more details with be forthcoming from Hick's camp in short order.

To date, Taylor has sold approximately 825,000 copies of his album WorldWide and 700,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan totals - with Gold and Platinum Certification from the RIAA. His debut album placed #74 on Billboard's Top 200 albums of 2007. That's not half-bad considering he achieved this with no airplay on Top 40 radio, no payola, no push and no support from his own record label - JRecords. Wow! Talk about climbing an uphill battle, eh? Could these totals not be good enough for Clive? Holy Crap!! Does he need a pint of blood too?

But seriously, here are my thoughts on the matter. I personally see this is as a monster weight off of Taylor's shoulders. Obviously he was forced to rush out an album in a mere 6 weeks after the Idol tour, compromising both on his choice of producer (Matt Serletic) and on the songs he was given (it must have taken Taylor's last ounce of strength not to gag when singing that insipid Diane Warren song that Clive pushed down his throat). Even so, I thought this was a good album and I still listen to certain cuts to this day. But I know that Taylor is capable and has the talent to produce a GREAT album - an album that will show off his deep soulful voice and the emotional connection he can attach to the right song. With a producer with the same vision, a producer who knows how to showcase Taylor's unique talent and voice, well, the possibilities are endless for that "masterpiece" he talks about from time to time and most likely dreams about on a regular basis.

Last week Taylor told us in an interview with the Sirius Satellite Network, that he'll be writing with Steve Cropper, one of the founding members of Booker T & the MG's and co-writer on two classic soul songs - 'In The Midnight Hour' and '(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay'. He has strong connections to the STAX Record Label - a label that produced some of the greatest soul singers of my generation - a label that Taylor has been promoting and wearing proudly on his chest for the past 6 months. If I were a betting person (and I am), I would put my money on this label as the next step in Taylor's recording career. I have no inside info, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.

You have to give Taylor kudos for staying true to his musical truths and being stubborn about the integrity of his music. He refused to sing the initial coronation song American Idol wanted him to sing on the finale - even walking out of the gab session. You show 'em Taylor! Apparently, he will not cow-tow, under any circumstances, to the whims and winds of the current music trends or stupid enough to sing a piece of garbage music. That's what 10 years in the business does for you. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Seems so in this case.

It takes a person of great integrity and a strong sense of self and self confidence to acquire the willpower not to surcome to the pressures of the BMG music conglomerate such as the one headed by $Clive Davis$. We are behind you 100%, Taylor! I'm a true believer in things happening for a reason - that nothing is coincidental. It's so reassuring to see people like Taylor with some real guts to do what needed to be done and not be strung out by his balls by this corporation. Good riddence J Records, Clive Davis, Nigel Lythgoe, Simon Cowell and all the rest!

Bottom line is that Taylor is a working musician and lives and breathes to perform for the people. This is his life. In his autobiography, "Heart Full of Soul", he says, "Ultimately, music is all about the people you can connect with - not those with whom you can't." I trust he will continue on his merry way, making albums, touring the country, riding on that tour bus and singing the blues!

'SOMEHOW'
Taylor Hicks

Look at the people around you
stabbing at your heart
but you still smile in kindness
for not knowing who they are

And their stories have ended
And they've lit up the town
And it's time to go home
As they go and lay their bodies back down

There's too many things
Left to be unsaid
So I live in a dark hole
Sometimes in my head

But I'm all right
I'll get by
Somehow

Stay tuned....

12 comments:

juliegr said...

Hi Soulthing: Skeeter226 and I were just discussing your previous poll about Taylor's next CD and whether it should be acoustic; blue-eyed soul; top 40; jazz; or pop.

Anonymous said...

I think Taylor was dropped because the label felt he was washed-up and unmarketable to the public, with no future sales potential. He never caught on with the general public and only had his core fanbase supporting him. But that's ok, he can go back to playing clubs and bars like he used to.

Stephanie said...

I say good riddance to JRecords and Clive Davis!

To anonymous above, if you knew your music history you would know that those artists with a dedicated fanbase are the one's who have longevity.

soulthing said...

anonymous:

Is that so? How is selling 700,000albums in the US "unmarketable"? Is it his fault that J Records gave him no radio support? Where does the fault lie there?

For an "unmarketable" person, he was able to tour the country 2x (about 160+ dates) to theaters and clubs averaging about 2,0000 seats per show - as the headlining act - by himself, grossing well over 3-4 million dollars.

The point you're not seeing, my friend, is that you can't fit a square peg in a round hole. Taylor's market is not the same as those competing with Timberlake and Spears. If you understood that, you'd be able to see the big picture.

There was talk from Taylor's camp at least 3 months ago and his desire to buy out this contract from J Records. How wonderful that he had the balls to follow through on his convictions and do just that. BRAVO!!! He is now free of Clive's balls and chains.

Be on the lookout for his new DVD, Whomp At The Warfield this spring and his new CD this summer and tour to follow.

Anonymous said...

Taylor is a legend. It's good that he is separating himself from this label. This way he can follow the foosteps of Elvis. He's going to be in history books.
Katherine Mcphee better watch out. She sold virtually less than gold and I have no doubt that she will be let go soon. Her fans are going to flip out since they think she's a goddess. HAHA.

Anonymous said...

aww, good for taylor...i hope now he can have more hits like lean on me and that bobby mcgee songs i really like that kind of music that he can do it well. he must have really lot of money to buy the agreement for a few million us dollar..does this mean he will relocate? he can do really well if he goes anywhere in the earth. he is with a lot of soul and you can tell a lot about his manners. go to the seoul patrollers!!

gadadoit said...

Someone on another board made the definitive point. If Taylor was not dropped, he would not be allowing the label and the media to spread the news that he was. If he bought out his contract or it was a mutual agreement, he would be announcing something to that effect. His silence is proof positive that he was indeed dropped.

cochem said...

gadadoit,

So be it..Either way he is FREE of the clutches of Clive...and he won't have to do a covers album like Clay....

cochem said...

I was always afraid that when Kelly Clarkson was having trouble putting out the music she wanted to..and fighting with Clive..I thought if she has been going for 5 years now and can't do that how in the hell would Taylor be able to...Also, Rod Stewart was told by Clive to do cover albums...so Taylor is better off without Clive's nose in his music...

soulthing said...

gadadoit - sorry, that proves absolutely nothing - what is said or not said in the public. Actually, there's been no official statement from either camp. Just an entertainment feature by EW. But, I'm reasonably sure that the contract was bought out because Taylor said he had plans and wanted to do that at least 3-4 months ago. Either way, he's free from the corporation and free to let his music 'breath' in the REAL soulful direction he should have been able to do on the album with J Records. I'm into the future now - not the past.

blondebabe said...

I agree. Until Taylor comments, we need to just wait and listen. It is obvious to me that Taylor was not dropped...but rather came to some sort of agreement. He was making them money...however, without the airplay and what I have to say is ...SABATOGE...IMO...he was unable to go all the way. He is the victor in all of this. I wish him great success. I am also very excited to see his next move. The right place...that is where Taylor is now.

WOOTaylor said...

I read under comments on the EW blurb (which really said nothing substantiated)one of the posters said that being dropped would leave Taylor without a publicist-like that would be the terms of the separation-no public statements. Not knowing music contract law, I was intrigued by that. I know in the medical field there are non compete clauses. So I was just wondering if there was a leagal reason why Taylor has not commented or if the agreement's ink was not dry and those bastards leaked it to the press.