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Creative excuses for late records

Creative excuses for late records — Plenty of big name musicians have kept us waiting for their latest album, including Bell Biv DeVoe, Cyndi Lauper, and more

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You didn’t know it, but you were supposed to be reading a review of Eazy-E’s new album in this issue. You’re not, because something came up: the trial of the four L.A. cops accused of beating Rodney King. Eazy-E — whose rap group N.W.A made its name with the notorious ”F— Tha Police” — took time out from making his new album to watch the biggest show in town, thus delaying his second solo album.

Hey, at least he’s got an excuse. Meanwhile, where are all those new albums the record companies promised us months ago, the ones from Bell Biv DeVoe, Big Daddy Kane, Cyndi Lauper, Ric Ocasek, Aztec Camera, D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, UB40, New Order spin-off the Other Two, Violent Femmes, and the Simpsons (their Yellow Album was promised a whole year ago), among others.

Ask people at their labels and they’ll typically blame culprits like ”scheduling conflicts” (meaning they’re releasing another album that will compete for the same market share) and ”getting all your ducks in a row” (a charming way of saying the label wants to make sure the timing of the album, single, video, and trade-publication ads are all in synch). Could it ever be because the album stinks and the artist has to redo it? Off the record? Sure: Aerosmith’s Get a Grip was reportedly delayed six months to get it up to snuff, and that also seems to be the case for Bell Biv DeVoe, who need a sizable hit to compete with their 1990 multiplatinum Poison. Lauper’s label, Epic, will only say that she is ”a perfectionist.” Her record, Hat Full of Stars, due in early April, will finally be released June 15.

For real excuse power, though, few artists can top the reason singer Julianna Raye’s recent and well-received debut, Something Peculiar, was held up for four months. ”Her manager [Nigel Thomas] dropped dead,” says Bob Merlis, senior VP and director of media relations at Warner Bros.

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