Tuesday, April 20, 2010

heaven eleven

Here it is, kittens! The artwork for Kylie Minogue's eleventh longplayer, "Aphrodite", has just been revealed.

AMAZEBALLS! Quite clearly, it is a gay man's dream. In fact, if you listen closely, you will hear squeals of delight around the planet today.

The album will "hit shelves" on July 5 while the first single from it, "All The Lovers", will be available the previous week. Huzzah!

By the looks of things, I would bet a new line of perfume is in order. Brand extensions, ahoy! I am a marketing genius.


  1. It's all very exciting. and so close to the scissor sisters release! Ooo, etc. And apparently a Kish mauve written track.

  2. and Stuart Price producing too YAY!

  3. I shouldn't really comment on the snippet because it's only 30 seconds and there aren't any vocals but I'm a little underwhelmed. What do you think, Vinny? Also, this album really is make it or break it for Kylie and for EMI.

  4. @Paul - It's gonna be a gay old summer!

  5. @Philip - Exciting stuff! Can't wait to hear the results.

  6. @Shayne - Not sure what you mean by make or break for Kylie and EMI. It's her fifth studio album with them. EMI needs Kylie more than she needs them.

  7. What I was getting at is that Kylie as massive international popstar - with loads of promotion, expensive videos, costly remixes, A-list producers and using loads of hot songwriters - is, I would imagine, a very costly proposition for EMI. IMHO, Kylie needs All the Lovers and especially Aphrodite to be massive so that EMI can justify the expense of keeping her. If Aphrodite is a flop or even a modest seller along the lines of X then I think it's over for Kylie as a huge international megastar. Of course, EMI need Aphrodite to be huge so that don't go bankrupt.

  8. @Shayne - Thanks for the clarification. It's my understanding that the production and marketing budgets are shared by EMI and Mushroom. That's a much better deal for Mushroom than EMI.

    Having said that, EMI is in bad shape. They were even when I worked there. I love Kylie. And this is in no way a judgment on her music or talent, but she isn't likely to have a hit as massive as "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" again.

    After 11 albums, not many acts can generate the same sales they were able to previously. It's the law of diminishing returns.

    Keep in mind this is a lengthy discussion which I have with friends all the time. So it's not easy to have this dialog in a detailed manner on a blog. It would be a dissertation!

    I like that you have a defined opinion about the situation and I'm always up for an in depth discussion about my passions. These are the kinds of engagements I was looking for with this blog. It's not all kisses and glitter. Is it? :)

  9. So I guess it's nothing short of amazing that Pet Shop Boys are still going strong after 25 years? Also, Vinny, what's your least favorite Pet Shop Boys single?

  10. @Shayne - Well, EMI used to be a premiere label in the UK. The US label used to screw things up terribly after they merged with Chrysalis and SBK. For a minute there they had a good run in the early 90s.

    In the UK, Pet Shop Boys had magnificent management and a visionary marketing team at EMI. Such a shame to see the label in its current state.

    My least favorite single from PSB? That's not an easy question to answer. Nearly every one of their singles is flawless. If someone held a gun to my head and had to answer I would pick "Yesterday When I Was Mad".

  11. First, apologies for bringing this up in a thread about Kylie, but do you know why EMI/Capitol dropped PSB in '95? They weren't having big hit singles in the US anymore but Very sold well in the 'States. What happened?

  12. @Shayne - That's OK. Going off thread can turn into an interesting dialog.

    I was PSB's marketing manager at EMI in the US from 1991 through 1995. I started with "Discography" and worked through "Alternative". From a marketing standpoint, I've been told I did a fantastic job. However, the radio promotion team had a number of problems after EMI, Chrysalis and SBK merged.

    Before that, EMI did a pretty good job of getting PSB on the radio. "Domino Dancing" did OK reaching #18. But there was resistance from radio to play "So Hard", the first single from "Behavior". The title was problematic. Too suggestive. Keep in mind, a music director at a radio station will always find an excuse to not play a song. Since radio promotion guys a labels don't want to rock the boat with the guys that play their songs, they will cave at the first opportunity.

    Once that issue came up with the title on "So Hard", EMI execs couldn't sort out what to follow up with. They didn't think "Being Boring" would cut it. It was "too sophisticated" for American radio. At least that was what I was told.

    When I came on board to work at EMI, it was with the release of "Discography". Imagine how excited I was working with some of my favorite acts like PSB! When "DJ Culture" was chosen as the first single, I immediately loved it. But it really didn't fit in with American radio, a reoccurring problem for PSB at EMI. Thank goodness European record buyers have more diverse tastes in music! :) Plus, it was getting increasingly more difficult to get a dance record on the radio, especially one that sounded lush.

    When I heard "Very" before it was released, I knew they had a gigantic hit on their hands with "Go West" and possible "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing". By this time, the EMI merger had taken place and three problems stood in the way.

    Firstly, with the merger, the new heads of EMI seemed to have an unspoken policy in place where all the acts on EMI that had any success before the merger were completely ignored and not promoted. Secondly, Neil's coming out made the perfect excuse for radio programmers to pass on playing any of the singles from "Very". And then people with long careers in radio - and there are a lot of them - remember the disco backlash all to well and never moved on from that. So, with "Go West" being a cover of a Village People song, another convenient excuse sealed the fate of "Very".

    As a marketing director, my efforts were rewarded with the sale of nearly a million copies of "Very" without one lick of radio promotion. Neil and Chris were thrilled. I left EMI at the end of 1995 and so did PSB. That was purely coincidence. Although, I did tell them I was leaving before I jumped ship.

    So, the short version of the story is that PSB left. They weren't dropped. The reason? Terrible radio promotion staff at EMI who were only interested in promoting newly signed acts.

  13. Thanks for the frank insight. Damn, major labels suck. If I had a nose full of nickles for every artist who was signed by one A&R guy only to have the company re-org immediately afterward and end up suing to get off of the label that signed them and didn't let them record because their new A&R guy didn't have ownership of them (phew!)... I'd be a wealthy man. Has there ever been a corporate merger that didn't exist for the sake of a handful of people at the top of the corporate ladder at the expense of everyone else?

    It's true that PSB had respectable hits on the first two albums in The States but the release of "Disco" probably sent up red flags. By the time that "Introspective" came along, you just didn't see PSB on MTV anymore. But I well remember the opening night of the US tour in Miami very well. It was the closest I ever came to a Broadway revue, only with better music! When they dropped "When The Streets Have No Name/Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" all of my friends and I were completely gobsmacked, to put it mildly. My solid run on PSB also came to an end with the conclusion of the EMI era.

    Most of the expensive singles of remixes I was buying from "Very" were no longer giving me value for my hard earned dollar, so in a pragmatic yet severe move, I stopped buying/listening to PSB cold turkey. If I couldn't like it all, why bother collecting them? See also: Depeche Mode & Erasure.

    Vinny, thanks for going off thread to this more fascinating "industry" talk. The only Kylie Minogue I've ever heard was her duet with Nick Cave on "Murder Ballads." But you're absolutely right. That cover is a perfume campaign waiting to happen.

  14. Aphrodite will be a success. Chant it over and over.