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Aiken: Measure of a Man: Billboard Number One

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Boplicity, Oct 22, 2003.


  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A few of you may recall that Clay Aiken finished a close second to Rubben Studdard in the American Idol season two reality series. After that close loss, Aiken set a record for the most singles ever sold in the first week of release with his "Bridge Over Troubled Waters/ This Is the Night" single, besting Rubben Studdard's single.

    Now, having released a full CD several weeks before Studdard's "Soulful" CD hits the music stores, Aiken's "Measure of a Man" has sold 912,000 units in just five days and will sit at number one on the Billboard albums chart.
    this Friday.

    What I find interesting about this acheivement is that the geeky-looking Aiken is the very last person one would have ever expected to take the record-buying public by storm. I mean he is the very antithesis of hotty Justin Timberlake. In fact, it has been reported that Aiken and RCA head Clive Davis clashed over the content of "Measure of a Man" because Davis fervently believed the songs should be "sexier" with much more edge and innuendo than Aiken was willing to accept. Davis believes that male singers MUST exude overt sexuality like Timberlake and R.Kelly to succeed, but Aiken syas those who voted for him on American Idol wanted him to remain true to the boy-next-door image they voted for.

    Davis and other top execs at RCA are said to be so upset over the tame CD, they may not push it for radio play. EXACTLY WHY I hope it succeeds and sells many millions more...just to show those execs that the American public is sick of having record company suits dictate what music we will hear and what acts we will see on MTV.

    I bought the CD...for my 84-year old mother who is a huge fan of Aiken's. But I listened to it plenty first. Not my cup of tea. I prefer Trent Reznor, Mike Patton and Eddie Veddar types, myself...heck even Axl Rose in his better days. The music is quite processed and heavily orchestrated. That is unnecesary for Aiken's pure tenor. He doesn't need that Bon Jovi style, but that's what most of the CD is. I can hear Bon Jovi singing any of those songs. "Invisible" is my personal favorite cut on the album.

    Anyhoo, congrats to Clay Aiken for standing up for what he believes in and not giving in to industry bullies who have a separate agenda. I hope Aiken's next album will be a better showcase for his voice and will show growth and more risk. But at the same time, I hope this CD is the year's most successful...just to give Clive Davis and friends something to ponder over about what really sells records and who the public really want to see. Could Aiken become the Frank Sinatra of the 2000s?
     
  2. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Okay, I admit it... I saw the American Idols tour when it came to Portland... It was actually fantastic, with a jaw-dropping live band behind the singers...

    I agree with you that none of the top three are 'typical' pop star types, (though I have always been attracted to the Kimberly Locke type myself :) ), but there's not doubt they can sing. Clay came across much more genuine live, and even though Reuben seemed a bit under the weather, he didn't disappoint. Kimberly Locke absolutely stole the show... Anyone of these would be a great concert on their own, and I hope, (probably in vain), that some record exec will see them as viable musicians rather than somewhat out of the 'norm' video fare...

    JMO,
    -robert
     
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'm glad to know how well the actual tour was received and perceived. It's odd, but the local newspaper music critic said almost what you did, that Ruben did not come across as well as Aiken and Locke. In fact, he called Studdard's performance "wooden." The guy might just not be used to the rigors of the road yet. He might just need more time to grow into his newfound fame. I think he will with time.

    I know we are talking about pop idols here and pop music is seldom discussed in the records folder at Talkbass. Still, there may be a few here who find it interesting.

    By the way, Aiken, Studdard, Locke, Clarkson, Guarini and Tamara Grey have made a Christmas album (debuting at 75 on this week's Billboard chart.) Each one has solo songs, plus there are some duets. I have read that Kimberly's solo song is particularly good.
     
  4. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Well, I said that Reuben seemed under the weather and didn't disappoint... I should have expanded on the Clay statement... "Clay came across as more genuine live than I thought he did on TV.'... I think Reuben warmed up a bit eventually, and he smoked Clay in their 'The Girl is Mine' duet. Clay absolutely owned 'Can You Feel the love Tonight'... I went fully in support of Reuben and was pleasantly surprised with how well Clay came across... (A gal from work is a Clay fanatic and when we compared notes the next day, she said the same things about Reuben that I said about Clay... We were both pleased!)

    I do believe that Reuben's maybe less suited for touring... at least with this first tour... Portland was pretty late, (August 27th), and I know that I myself would have been near death by that point! :D

    The wife and kids are major fans, so it looks like there'll be a new Christmas CD on the way, (Just received the 'Christmas Songs with the Ray Brown Trio' a few days ago... Can't wait for December!). Thanks for the tip!

    -robert
     
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I bought the Ray Brown Christmas CD last year and really enjoyed it. In fact, I palyed it long after Christmas was over.