Indigo Girls Sign With Hollywood Records
I was just reading the latest news on the IG front:
IG's signed a new record deal a few days ago with Hollywood Records. We are really excited to have a fresh start and quite frankly, thankful that anyone in the music industry still cares.
Hollywood is a small label with a limited number of artist releases each year. They have the staff and time to focus on each project and are not put off by our politics or our queerness.
It's been in the works for a while. We went through a long process of weighing our options. I struggled a lot with the corporate ties of Hollywood, they are owned by Disney. But in the end feel good about the decision. Honestly, I was won over by the enthusiasm and willingness to get creative with a contract that offers us things more important than money, i.e. creative freedom and vast opportunities to grow musically. We did weigh this against other offers, including independents, but didn't find the level of enthusiasm or understanding of our music that Hollywood showed. We did consider putting our own label together, but it just wasn't in the cards. In the end, we felt that for the Indigo Girls, this was the best road. The deal also allows us to pursue our solo interests and specifically for me, gives me the space to focus on my indie label-Daemon Records.
This is fascinating to me. The backstory is that Indigo Girls have been with Sony/Epic Records since the late '80s, and fulfilled their final contractual obligation with them a year or so ago. Over the years, IG have become less mainstream - no real "singles" to speak of, although they still pack houses when the tour - and as such, they've become understandably disenfranchised with the whole "major label" thing. They remained mum after parting ways with Sony, but it was assumed that they'd either go with a small indie or start their own label. So this news is surprising.
I'll have to wait and see how it turns out. I hope it rejuvinates them - not that they need rejuvinating - and that Hollywood can somehow bring them back to the forefront a little. Hollywood Records is the American record label for Queen, so I'm relatively familiar with them in that aspect. They had a solid start on the Queen front back in the early '90s, when they released every Queen album on CD, remastered with various bonus tracks and/or remixes. However, since then, obviously the possible output from Queen has been limited, so Hollywood has put out the following Greatest Hits releases:
- Classic Queen (1992)
- Greatest Hits (1992)
- The Queen Collection (combining the above two) (1992)
- Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2 ) (1995)
- Queen Rocks (featuring only uptempo songs, save for a new song by the three remaining members, "No One But You") (1997)
- The Crown Jewels (box set featuring their first 8 albums) (1998)
- Greatest Hits Vol. 3 (attributed to "Queen +," as it had to really scrounge around to find tracks for this disc, and as such, picked some tracks without Freddie on 'em) (1999)
- Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition (I could try to explain this one, but it's really difficult. Erlewine gives it his best shot here) (2004)
Now this is pathetic. From the press release:
(Burbank, CA) April 11, 2006, The mighty legacy of rock band Queen is brought back to the fore for a fresh hearing in Stone Cold Classics, a new CD collection of 12 of the band's biggest hits and timeless rock classics, with the additional bonus of two new live tracks performed by Queen + Paul Rodgers, recorded during their first tour together.Do you see why I'm a bit worried about Hollywood Records?
Stone Cold Classics showcases original versions of a selection of the songs being performed by the eight finalists of the U.S.'s No. 1 rated entertainment television show American Idol during a special Queen edition of the show which airs April 11 and 12 on Fox.
As I said before, I recognize that they really don't have much more that they can do with Queen. Freddie Mercury has been dead for almost 15 years (yes, it's been that long). They're currently touring with Paul Rodgers, and, well...Hollywood has already released a live CD/DVD from that venture. But is the solution to keep churning out the same old hits, again and again (with a truly uninspired, half-assed cover, I might add), in the hopes that someone who hasn't bought them already will now be convinced? And while I do think it is possible - that someone who watches "American Idol" will be inspired to find out more about Queen - unless "Stone Cold Classics" is drilled into their heads during the broadcast (and who knows, it might be), how are they going to know which one to buy? If the answer from Hollywood is along the lines of "Who cares? As long as they buy just one," then I'm not convinced it's the right home for Indigo Girls.