Bear with me. You can all visualise Popeye eating spinach, yes? There’s a brief period where nothing happens – but then…oh my!
Popeye Interruptus is when we don’t wait for the result and just watch him eat the spinach. Turn off the telly at that point and it’s fair to say you haven’t had the full Popeye experience. It you had just waited for a bit, you’ll see all kinds of things happen.
After a very good first album, Tears for Fears released a terrible, terrible, single (“The Way You Are”) and it sold badly despite R1 airplay, TOTP, Pebble Mill, Swap Shop, Cheggers. “Mothers Talk” came along after that and was a bit better but not convincing. A more ruthless label would have dropped them there and then – just at the time when their best material was imminent.
So…which bands/acts do you think would have been household-name National Treasures by now if only their label had given them a bit more sustained support in the early years?
This is inspired by mention of Gilbert O’Sullivan and his unhappiness over his label’s lack of investment in his work etc. But at least he “made it” to the big time and was able to make a living.
When people like him, Cliff, the Bee Gees and Status Quo moaned about not getting label backing or airplay after all their success – I want to play the world’s tiniest violin and then stick it right up their noses!
The people I feel for are those who had a brief time in the mainstream pop arena but you feel never really broke through properly. They ate the spinach…we can see the bulge in the throat…but then they’re gone. If they had been given Tears for Fears resources, we might have seen some fantastic material come through. Martin Stephenson and Momus are my starters for ten.