Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Adam Lambert Leaves Record Label, Says No To '80s Covers Album

Adam Lambert by Tony Duran

On paper, Adam Lambert is everything you'd want from a pop star.  In fact he is the one boy in the industry that is 'equipped' to give the best girls in pop a proper run for their money.  

His voice - at the top of it's register is even more impressive than Kelly Clarkson's.  His songs - are as carefully crafted and radio friendly as Rihanna, Katy and Ke$ha's.  He wears and says what he likes - granted, with varying degrees of success.  But, at least his style is his own.  On the weekends he sings with Queen - do you?  And his debut single, For Your Entertainment, is still, in my opinion, which is obviously the definitive opinion on my blog, one of the finest pop singles to be released by a male singer in the last decade.

Adam Lambert by Tony Duran black and white

So why the hard sell? God only knows.  But for a label to say that they are only prepared to support an '80s covers album, tells me that Adam Lambert hasn't shifted nearly enough copies of his last album to retain creative control of his sound at RCA.

So who is to blame here?  Is it Adam Lambert?  Or does the fault lie with his label and their inability to market an openly gay singer with a progressive pop sound to a global audience? 

This is the letter Adam released on The Hollywood Reporter last week which addresses his departure from RCA:

"Thank you for your continued interest in, and support of, my musical career. After reading your article on July 8th, and seeing the very impassioned responses, I thought it would be good to write and let you know what is actually happening with my next album.
I've had an amazing few years working with the team at RCA; I admire all of them a great deal, and truly appreciate the energy & enthusiasm that went into making both "Trespassing" & "For Your Entertainment" successes.
That said, at this point, we are indeed having the oft-cited "creative differences" as to what my next project will be. Your article was correct, the label is "pushing for an (80's) covers album," and feels that this is the only kind of release they are prepared to support. While there are lots of great songs from that decade, my heart is simply not in doing a covers album.

Over the past four years, I have been truly fortunate to work with an amazing roster of producers, writers and engineers. Thanks to them, I have grown as both a songwriter and a vocalist. Artistically & professionally, I think it is essential that I continue with this evolution. I am already deep into writing new material with some very talented colleagues for a brand new album, and I can't tell you how excited I am to share this new sound & direction. This music is where my heart is, and I believe that is what my fans want to hear. So after careful consideration, I have made the decision to respectfully part ways with RCA. My passion for the music & respect for the fans will always come first. I am excited to find a new label team who shares this vision.

Good for him.  There's no denying that an album filled with '80's covers sang by Adam Lambert is, as a side project, an attractive proposition.  Who wouldn't want to hear Adam put his own spin on a Max Martin-produced Journey cover.  But if you are a fan of pop music you will be more pleased than disappointed to hear that an artist like Adam Lambert is unwilling to compromise his sound for the sake of sales.

I just pray, for the sake of a really good third album, that when Adam says he is working with some very talented colleagues he means many of the producers who worked on his first two albums - and some new ones that will take his sound forward and back to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart which is where his second album, Trespassing, debuted.

It won't be easy but I'm seriously rooting for this one to pull a Solange.



  1. Enjoyed the article & agree with you about FYI .There are so many great songs on both cd's that I love & should have been played on radio.

  2. Excellent opinions :)

  3. love your article but many don't agree with Adam doing only Pop songs. He recently told Ryan Seacrest in interview that he is going in a different direction and getting back to his Rock&Roll roots which is reason he tried out for AI in first place. His fans are so excited about this new album and some rock songs. Adam is so talented & just doing pop is a mistake. Yes you can make more $ but he's just too good. He mentioned Queen's influence. Hopefully a song or two written with Brian/Roger.

  4. I addition RCA did not support Trespassing album. They basically stopped doing any promo right after it was released in US. Album is doing well in many countries and already Gold and Platinum in some. RCA should have released Sleepwalker, Fever, and Sure Fire Winners off FYE just to name a few. They also should have released either Trespassing or Cuckoo as 1st single off TSP. Too many mistakes made for that label. I am proud that Adam walked away for that antiquated label

  5. Beautifully written! Thank you for 'getting it' so few do!

  6. Adam has done amazingly well for having a Label that promoted all the mediocre talent they had and ignored him. He didn't even have Radio play. How was he supposed to sell without that? Adam never says anything bad about anyone, but deep down he KNOWS RCA screwed him over. The best move he ever made was to dump that absolutely clueless Label and move on to better things. Adam is what Legends are made of and will go down as one .. AND the fact that he's doing a Rock influenced Album is so exciting ! Brian May & Roger Taylor know he is the real deal.. Take it from Queen.. who better would know? And how odd is it that RCA has not even commented about Adam leaving.. so telling of the complete embarrassing fools they really are.... GO ADAM !!!

    1. I enjoyed ready your reply and agree with every word. RCA has let a multi-talented artist walk out their door w/o even commenting to anyone what happened. Shame on them.

  7. Well said thank you:)

  8. Radio today is filled with mostly auto-tuned mediocrity [with a few exceptions]. Adam Lambert is one of those RARE talents that sound far superior live than recorded. With his stage presence and showmanship he outclasses all others. RCA was simply out of their league. So proud of Mr Lambert for the way he handled this and, well, everything. Class act all the way

  9. What annoyed me with RCA was their intent to see how Trespassing went in US before they would give us single's here in Australia. How the hell was he supposed to do well if they refused to release songs worldwide? Same with video's we were made to wait as well. He did promo both here in Australia and in New Zealand, did we hear any promo from them, NO. The time was perfect to get a single out there while people saw him and knew who he was. The wasted yet another opportunity to give him the promotion he deserved.

    I have always had the belief they just couldn't be bothered to get him out there and I will never forgive RCA for that.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish IMO.

    Onwards and upwards and a new direction.

  10. Well we all know what a great talent Adam Lambert is. this is really about well I don't want to say it. what a shame such great music. what a brave man I love him!

  11. Kudos to him! I love that he's a POP ARTIST with integrity. There aren't many of those. Go make an awesome, awesome POP album, Adam and conquer!

  12. Adam held up his end by producing a flawless album which debuted at #1 and received critical acclaim including 4-stars from Rolling Stone. RCA failed to promote the album. (By promote I mean to fork over payola to the radio stations to get it played like they do for other artists.) Why??? Anyone's guess. But the fault clearly lies with them. I am confident Adam Lambert is entertaining offers from other labels and is busy creating a new sound and direction for his next album. I respect his decision 100%.

    PS I LOVE the design of your site.

    1. You got it right girl.

  13. Dear Sharon Sullivan, you really need to stop talking for fans on every blog, just say YOU, because you don't speak for anyone but YOU! Thanks!
    Great article, RCA destroyed years of this talented artist's integrity, they did nothing to promote his last album which was filled with pop masterpieces, hope he's picked up by a label who believes in him and gives him free reign, this guy has lots to share with us!


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