Created By: azul120 on May 8, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on March 13, 2014

Not Hearing A Single

Record company/management doesn\'t hear a marketable single.

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So after several months of hard work and hundreds of thousands of dollars, your new record's finally ready. Not so fast! The record company doesn't hear anything they can put on the radio. The answer? Get back in the studio and record an actual single!

Subtrope of Executive Meddling.

Is This Tropable??

  • Bruce Springsteen had the entirety of his 1984 album Born in the USA in the can for two years. With one notable exception: buckling to record company demands, he went back in to the studio to record "Dancing in the Dark" shortly before the album's release. Not that anyone's complaining: the leadoff single went all the way to #2, his most successful showing ever on the Hot 100.
  • Rumor has it that Love & Rockets was pressured into coming up with a radio-friendly leadoff to their eponymous 1989 album. The result was the surprise crossover smash "So Alive", which peaked at #3.
  • In an inversion, Def Leppard went back into the studio to record "Pour Some Sugar On Me" after Joe Elliot and Robert John "Mutt" Lange had a sudden spark of inspiration with the song, with the already troubled Hysteria behind schedule. The song gave the album the crucial push from breaking even to blockbuster status.
  • Warrant's sophomore album was finished and would have been named "Uncle Tom's Cabin", until Don Ienner, Columbia Records' president at the time, demanded a rock anthem along the lines of "Love in an Elevator". The result: "Cherry Pie", the new title track and leadoff single. Jani Lane once claimed to not have been very fond of the song.
  • When INXS finished recording tracks for Listen Like Thieves, the record producer was concerned there were no hits on the album. One day later, they cut a new song, "What You Need", the band's first American smash hit, going top 5 and setting the stage for the multiplatinum success of the subsequent "Kick" album.
  • This trope is referenced in "Into the Great Wide Open" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers:
    The AOR man said "I don't hear a single!"
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • May 8, 2013
    DracMonster
    This would really be trivia for Real Life examples. Should be ok as long as it doesn't become a complaining page. Title is somewhat obtuse, but I can't think of one which is clearer.

    Related: Hitless Hit Album, No Hit Wonder
  • March 12, 2014
    azul120
    Left this for awhile. I doubt it would become a complaining page. It is what it is.

    • Warrant's sophomore album was finished and would have been named "Uncle Tom's Cabin", until Don Ienner, Columbia Records' president at the time, demanded a rock anthem along the lines of "Love in an Elevator". The result: "Cherry Pie", the new title track and leadoff single. Jani Lane once claimed to not have been very fond of the song.
    • When INXS finished recording tracks for Listen Like Thieves, the record producer was concerned there were no hits on the album. One day later, they cut a new song, "What You Need", the band's first Billboard top 5 megahit.
  • March 12, 2014
    Paradisesnake
  • March 12, 2014
    Duncan
    Mentioned in-universe in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along; the main characters are told by an executive that their music will flop because:
    There's not a tune you can hum.
    There's not a tune you go bum-bum-bum-di-dum.
    You need a tune you can bum-bum-bum-di-dum-
    Give me a melody!

    Why can't you throw 'em a crumb?
    What's wrong with letting 'em tap their toes a bit?
    I'll let you know when Stravinsky has a hit-
    Give me some melody!

    Ironically years later (earlier) the same song, slowed-down, becomes a mega-hit.
  • March 12, 2014
    Prfnoff
    @Duncan: That fits the name, but not the definition. This badly needs a better title and laconic.
  • March 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Contrast Nothing But Hits.
  • March 13, 2014
    Arivne
    Capitalized the title.
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