Okay, I've just been listening to Flying in the Face of Love (lets call it FITFOL from now on) and the fact that I didn't register anything on first hearing was a bad sign, not a hook, not a lyric, not even a jot of connection. Now because it is a Finn song I have re-listened several times and the best words I can come up with are beige, bland and dull. 

I hope and pray I can have an epiphany and change my view but at present I don't see that happening.  Divebomber wasn't much fun, I can't say it's an enjoyable piece of music but it made me think and feel, FITFOL just seems to slide off.

Now I could have just added these thoughts to the main FITFOL thread but after some thought I decided that maybe my concerns were bigger that just not liking the first single because there is a touch of deja vu going on here.

I remember first hearing Don't Stop Now and being distinctly unimpressed with it as the first single from Crowded House in over 10 years.  I remember loving SS as an acoustic piece but less so as the first single off Intriguer.  I loved ESOTW but knew it should never have been a single at all!

I remember being very upset when the best single of Intriguer TIYL and the best single off PJC,TNT for 2, were allowed to  sink without a trace at the tail end of a series of poor single releases.

So why has this happened in the past? and is it going to happen again? because I don't see FITFOL doing anything other sinking without a trace as a promotional song. 

This doesn't bode well for Dizzy Heights and now I'm wondering what lovely music gem of a single track Neil is going overlook or leave till last when it will also sink unappreciated.

Please tell me I'm wrong, I don't want history to repeat but it appears singles wise Neil is stuck in a cycle of poor choices.
we like it different passion & commitment
Original Post

I admit, I'm often confused by the choices for first single as well. As you pointed out, as fans, we know sometimes Neil's songs are slow growers, so we're used to giving them time to do that, but the general public isn't going to wait for something to grow on them, they want something more immediately accessible. Regarding the current album, so far my reaction to FITFOL is also pretty lukewarm....it may well be a grower, but as said, maybe growers aren't the best first singles. Dizzy Heights, on the other hand, has been an ear worm since the webcast, and I simply cannot get enough of, the exquisitely beautiful, In My Blood and White Lies and Alibis. I don't know how he decides on singles, but maybe he should just ask us!

Agree with both of the above. The poor single/first single choices have been happening for years now...

 

Sinner as his first ever solo single, then single choices like Rest of the Day Off, Wherever You Are, Edible Flowers, Don't Stop Now, Saturday Sun, Either Side, Tell Me What You Want, and now Dive Bomber & Flying in the Face of Love as the first taste of the new album.


Although post-1996 Neil has been just as amazing as pre-1996 Neil, his single selections fall way short when compared to opening singles like Mean To Me, Better Be Home Soon & Distant Sun.

To me, these were some of the obvious single choices over the past 15 years: She Will Have Her Way, Last One Standing, Driving Me Mad, Anytime,,Hole in the Ice, Turn and Run, Won't Give In, Part of Me, Part of You, Anything Can Happen, Nothing Wrong With You, She Called Up, Pour Le Monde and Twice if You're Lucky.

So they did occasionally get some right

Ok so just read ahead and dive bomber isn't the first single and flying in the face of love is... Which I've just heard... First thoughts are not really liking it. Very plonk a long... Sounds like from a friend to a friend (which was better) as some have said. I was excited about dive bomber as a single..now I'm just thinking, yep he's going to go unnoticed yet again...

I'm inclined to agree, kittybear, although I surmise that Neil's record company likely picks the songs they think they have best chance of servicing to radio. I very much doubt that Neil chooses the songs (although he possibly gets a right of veto). You'd be amazed at how little say the artist actually gets in much of this.

 

Even going back to Neil's first solo album (She Will Have Her Way was the first UK single) I wasn't immediately taken by it. The song still feels forced to me. I adore Wherever You Are and it has a special place in my affection, but Anytime was THE single off One Nil. 

 

I'd suggest that Neil's record companies have always struggled marketing his songs. It perhaps doesn't help that each territory is slightly different (I mean, there is no definitive CH discography because everywhere released something different). Bu in the UK, I'd argue that Better Be Home Soon was a poor choice of single, Chocolate Cake proved less than popular...

 

And yes, I didn't rate Don't Stop Now or Saturday Sun as singles either.

Originally Posted by FutureDave:

For the record I believe don't stop now, and Saturday sun to be the best choices for singles..

 

I agree. I don't know why those two get grouped in with this. "Don't Stop Now" is your classic pop song, and given what it represented--Crowded House reforming after a decade--it was pretty much perfect. And as for "Saturday Sun," Intriguer was so subdued as a whole (not a criticism) that I think there was only one other song that even could have been a single--that being the significantly weaker "Twice If You're Lucky."

I think single choices for Crowded House have been pretty spot-on, but for other projects, perhaps less so. I think I will ultimately like "Flying in the Face of Love" quite a bit--it has the feel of a grower--but I think there are likely more immediate songs on the album that would have been a better fit.

 

-Comp

Originally Posted by jane:

I think White Lies & Alibis is the hookiest of what we've heard - that would have been my suggestion for a single.

Absolutely the sweetest song I've heard too. FITFOL just sloughed right off me without leaving a trace.

Originally Posted by Paul H:

       

I'm inclined to agree, kittybear, although I surmise that Neil's record company likely picks the songs they think they have best chance of servicing to radio. I very much doubt that Neil chooses the songs (although he possibly gets a right of veto). You'd be amazed at how little say the artist actually gets in much of this.

 

Even going back to Neil's first solo album (She Will Have Her Way was the first UK single) I wasn't immediately taken by it. The song still feels forced to me. I adore Wherever You Are and it has a special place in my affection, but Anytime was THE single off One Nil. 

 

I'd suggest that Neil's record companies have always struggled marketing his songs. It perhaps doesn't help that each territory is slightly different (I mean, there is no definitive CH discography because everywhere released something different). Bu in the UK, I'd argue that Better Be Home Soon was a poor choice of single, Chocolate Cake proved less than popular...

 

And yes, I didn't rate Don't Stop Now or Saturday Sun as singles either.


       


Hi Paul

I'm not sure the record company is in control here.  Neil has signed up to Kobalt and on their website it says they provide record company services "without giving up ownership or control" so Neil can buy from them what he wishes in terms of label services.  Knowing how controling Neil can be with his music (and understandly so) I would guess he is calling the shots in this case, which is a mistake since Neil has openly admitted that he cannot recognise a single, for example he didn't recognise the single potential of WWY.

I agree that record companies have often struggled to market Finn music effectively but Neil doing it himself doesn't seem to work either. Surely what Neil needs some external more objective input. 

Half Full may have been joking when she said maybe he should ask us, but I think that is not a bad idea.  The logistics of having an outside mini-focus group to give advice maybe an issue but not one that is insurmountable. 

So Neil ask your fans we want to help
Originally Posted by mikelm:

       
Outside of pop music, singles simply don't mean sh*t anymore...


I'm sorry Mikelm but you are wrong.

If it didn't matter beyond the charts, then bands that don't chart wouldn't do singles but they all still do because it does matter.  It's still a valuable marketing tool.  Because it's the charts that don't really matter anymore, loads of successful bands and artists operate regardless of the charts.

So what is the point of the single to a band or artist that doesn't chart? 

Quite simply it's an advert, a signpost for the album or EP a band or artist wants to sell.  Since time immemorial music lovers want to try before they buy,  unless they are already a committed fan most people won't buy an album on faith they want a taste of what they are going to get before hand over their dosh, so the single acts as an appetizer to the album main course

But, if you want to sell the main course you have to entice the buyer with your best, most radio friendly song first, leaving the best to last, as has happened in the past with DDIO, TIYL and other good singles is a big mistake.

It's also a way for an artist to interact with fans, with a single often comes a video, fans enjoy hitting YT, they enjoy commenting on the artist's creative vision (or not) on the video clip. They enjoy hearing it on their radio or hearing it played live in a radio session.  But if the first one is poor, the lighter weight fans aren't going to wait with baited breath for single No. 3 to connect with them

A good single can't be a grower, it has to catch the listener very quickly and too often Neil misses the song that is the single and puts out the song that isn't.  I guess he or whoever else picks his singles are too close to the music.
Radio singles won't happen, how many hit Arcade Fire songs do you know? Wilco hits? None. Yet the sell albums.
Neil put out "dive bomber" and I saw indie websites and Facebook pages sharing and saying check this weird tune out.
Got him loads more attention than some pop single that gets swamped by Katy Perry's latest number.

Well said Harry Trousers.  Confirmed by the fact that 'Flying in The Face of Love' has been on Youtube all week but has only had about 1500 views - whereas 'Divebomber' has had more than 15,000 views in the short time its been available on Youtube.  I reckon people find Divebomber genuinely intriguing.

 

Makes me wonder why 'Flying in the Face of Love' has been released at all.  It's not going to get any airplay on either mainstream or alternative radio - or sell many copies in its own right.  So I just don't see any promotional value in it.  It was given a big 'exclusive world debut' on Triple M radio - which is a big commercial network here in Australia - but I haven't heard it played once since then.

I LOVE the songs and the musical arrangement on the 1 November Webcast. (even if Neil said it was the 1st of October in NZ) But Divebomber does nothing for me at all.  Guess he is giving the record company/management a bit of freedom to "do things new and different".  I just hope Dizzy Heights, white lies & alibis and  In my blood get the airtime they deserve.  All are great!!!!

I've done a 180 on this topic over the years. There's just too much that falls to personal opinion. History is littered with "can't miss" singles that missed and the reverse. If picking the right single were so easy, everyone would do it.

FTR, I think "Don't Stop Now" and "Saturday Sun" were the absolute best choices for singles from those respective albums (well, considering my favorite Intriguer track got cut from the album).

Originally Posted by Kittybear:
...Half Full may have been joking when she said maybe he should ask us, but I think that is not a bad idea....

So Neil ask your fans we want to help

 

i've actually asked him something along this line- during the webcast in 2001 (?) - i asked if he ever makes decisions based on the opinions of fans, things he may read on the forum etc...he took a second or two before giving out a flat no (with a little chuckle to follow). there was more elaboration but i don't have it memorized. sorry!

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