Can A Song Sell Itself?

Believe it or not, Soul Daviders, this is actually the first time in a busy schedule that I’ve had time to reflect, debrief, relax, and post something since my last blog. Yep, it’s been that kind of busy – and it took a snow storm to get me my down time!

So, since a few folks have wanted my opinion on David’s new single, “Don’t Run Away,” here’s the basic truth: I love it! 🙂  Yes, it reminds me of “Crush” just a tad, and I even think it could have been the kind of song that would have worked as a follow-up to “Crush” in his debut album years.  It’s got gravity and an emotional intelligence that David’s vocals capture eloquently.

The only thing is: back then in his debut album years, David was sooooo young – in appearance, in outlook, in image – and this song clearly needs a man and not a boy to sell its pathos.  It’s the kind of song, if David is looking to get into mainstream pop, that could certainly land him comfortably in the current music scene, and with pop rock making a comeback with songs like “We Are Young” and “Hey Ho,” this song has enough of a rock edge with a soft center that really shows off David’s vocals.

But David is away, no time to go out on a PR tour to promote the song, and NO!, I do not want a rushed job on some uninspiring and unimaginative music video. Sorry, but as someone who was weaned on the early years of MTV’s music videos in the ’80s and ’90s, I believe the music video needs to come from an inspired place and not some generic mashup.

Which brings me to my main question: Can a song sell itself?

If “Don’t Run Away” were just put out to radio, and they actually played it, could it take off on its own? Either the song is catchy on its own (think “Call Me Maybe”) or it’s not.  And either the vocalist convinces on a song – no matter what it sounds like (think Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You”) – or s/he doesn’t.

I guess I just want this new song to have some life on its own, to really exist in the public sphere, for enough people to hear it and LIKE IT, than to just fizzle into obscurity.

So, that’s the main struggle: if we as David’s fans think “Don’t Run Away” could be a hit, how do we make it one?


Posted on February 8, 2013, in music. Bookmark the permalink. 83 Comments.

  1. Thank you Hg for the wonderful post. Yeah what a shame that he’s not here because, first of all, I love the song, second, it really should be a hit, but we’ll see…the chances of that happening, who knows, the label Eone has been doing a pretty good job so far…so we’ll see…for me, no matter what happens to the song and album, I’m so happy that I do have more music from the man.

  2. Good post hg. David’s fans can’t make this song a hit single IMO. So I don’t believe a song can sell itself with no marketing or promo. However, I do really like this song, DRA. It should have been the follow-up song to Crush 5 years ago. Another missed opportunity. Also can’t wait too hear the new album but again my expectations are very low in terms of sales and radio play.

  3. However, I would like to be pleasantly surprised by DRA doing well. lol.

  4. Really like DRA, but I don’t think we alone can make it a hit either. We couldn’t do it when the number of fans gifting was probably much greater than it is now. It needs spins. We’ll see what Eone can manage.

  5. I imagine they can increase sales by getting some of David’s music played — reminding the less invested fan that he makes music and getting them to look for it. I’ve heard that Running was played on the Today show recently, and some Tweets have popped up saying that people have heard one of David’s catalog in various stores. I think EOne is managing that aspect quite well.

    A big hit? I doubt it can happen without David’s support. I’ll participate actively in promoting though, when the music is available.

    • I think Eone has been doing a good job so far of promoting the song and the Album. I know fans will be supportive. May not bring in New fans. David’s name is still out there. I’m pleasantly surprised how much has been released this Year. I expected nothing after the announcement and to get a Mini Series and all this music has been wonderful

      For those interested : GCT DVD is now 2.99 and Chords of Strength is now 4.99 at
      Ordered a bunch for gifts and have donated to the Local library. Prefer the BluRay Dvd for myself but the regular one is great if you are giving it to someone who might not have BluRay.

  6. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do think a song can sell itself. For example, when I was younger there was a radio station where I lived who had song “play-offs”. The DJ would play three new songs by singers no one ever heard of and listeners would call in their favorite. The results could be a great singer becoming a star over-night with a career in their future or a song becoming a super “one-hit wonder”. Some of those rock’n’roll “one-hit wonders” are still played now & then on the classic stations, I’m sure. The songs remembered for the melody or lyrics, but the singer almost all but long forgotten. This SIMPLY CANNOT happen with David. A “one-hit wonder” (Crush) cannot be his destiny!

    David’s fans will do their part as we always have. We buy, gift, request, buy, tweet, gift, buy some more. Whatever it takes. But it’s never been quite enough to put him on top or give him another hit. Can DRA be hit number two? Miracles do happen. He is not here to promote the single or NMHF himself, but that is precisely what makes it different & special & quite miraculous. I hope this label who so far is doing a good job, and David’s team continue to push & promote DRA, NMHF and David.

    I have to admit I did not fall in love with DRA immediately because I listened to the leaked version the first time. Then I listened to the soundcloud version with my earphones and WOW! What a huge difference in the quality! David’s vocals are sublime. It’s still not my favorite by David but I really don’t have an all time “favorite” song by David since it depends on what’s going on in my life as to which of his songs I want to listen to over & over. I can listen to CFTH for days at a time all year ’round. 😆

    I do think DRA has great potential & it lies squarely on the Label & David’s team to get it there. That’s their job.

    Jus’ Sayin’

    • I saw that Kari Sellards sent a tweet out that she was in LA at rehearsals at the Staples center. That is where the Grammys are being held. I bet Kari is there in connection with JT’s Grammy performance as she worked with him before. I hope that David gets to go to the Grammy’s one year. I like Kari and I am glad she is a big part of David’s team.

  7. “…if we as David’s fans think “Don’t Run Away” could be a hit, how do we make it one?”

    as much as i like the song, i agree with some others that the existing fan base can’t make this a hit. with david being away, i think he would need luck on his side. e.g., the song becomes tthe soundtrack for a movie or major tv show.

    i think david will be just fine without another radio hit if he can continue to draw people to come out and see him in person.

  8. for those of you in the northeastern part of the u.s., how’s the weather? 😉

    • It is not good where I am in new york state but I am glad that I don’t live right in the areas of the east coast where they are really getting the worst of it. I feel so bad for those already still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

  9. Hey fans of David, Let’s give it one more try and see if we can’t POWER VOTE for David in the polldaddy poll at 11:00 am EST. I understand it saturates David’s timeline but sometimes we need to take the bad with the good. Think of all the tweets we were saturated by from the philipines about NA, concerts, pictures, videos…..

    Jackryan and the other pinoys have come through for us everytime and they more than us know how much David deserves this award. So if you feel we should support them by helping them vote then great. If not, then just ignore this post! No tomatoes are appreciated! 🙂

  10. Last night I had a “David” dream. David was the first guest on the Conan OBrien show (a show I never watch). Every time Conan would speak to David, David would become animated and start singing songs as part of his response. Conan laughed so hard that he kept D in the guest seat the remainder of the show. 😀

  11. I would like to say that I’ve become somewhat addicted to DRA.

    LOL. Not surprising to ANYONE. ;p

    Seriously though. The more I listen, the more I love it. And it sounds amazing in my car (and it’ll prob sound even better when I have a true HQ download as opposed to a rip from yt). I have it on a mix tape, sandwiched between Suit & Tie and Thrift Shop. Ha. It holds up well.

    I have no idea about commercial success on it because I’ve learned that you never know what the hell is gonna happen. I have an educated guess but mainly am trying to adopt the wait and see mindset for my own sanity. Meanwhile, I’m diiiiiigin the song alot.

  12. DRA has grown on me, Ali. Already. Not to the level (yet?) that Look Around did, but it has and his voice sounds absolutely luscious on it.

    Love the dream, too, desertrat. Sounds both feasible and like something we’d all love to come true.

  13. I REALLY LOVE this song, especially the 2nd half. It has a cool groove to it and his voice sounds amazing !! I really believe these songs are being released as a gift for the fans AND hopefully to keep David in the public eye on you tube. Hope his team and label will push for radio play.

  14. this is my fav david/ai7 group number performance. for some reason, i still find it funny watching david dancing in between brooke and syesha. then, a minute later he pops out solo with the “pack up the babies and grab the old ladies” line. and poor jason, smiling as if he couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of performing in the group number. 🙂

    • somehow “apologize” came up; let me try the “neil diamond” night group number again.

      • i give up …. 😦

      • LOL Youtube is super frustrating with changing things around. If a video is part of a playlist, you have to get rid of that part of the URL to embed it as a single video. So when you’re at the vid you want to post, click on Share under the video itself, take the checkmark out of the box before “Share with playlist starting from” and then copy the link right below that. Hopefully that works for you!

        Love that group performance too!! I think my favorite might be 9 to 5 because it was such a fun one.

      • thanks ali! now everyone can feel my joy. 🙂

      • Whoop, there it is!! I had to watch it again since you got it to post 😉

        The pack up the babies, grab the old ladies line is totally the best of the whole shebang. And I’m not biased at all. lol.

      • Love that group number from AI S7.

    • I’m so glad that in a post about what can we do for DRA you attached a 5-year-old clip of a group # from AI

  15. I loved that group performance, though, desertrat. And at some point, I had a tee shirt with that lyric … pack up the babies and grab the old ladies … and then something about going to see David Archuleta in concert. *Sigh.* I can’t wait to have that feeling again. Tickets in hand and concert date approaching.

  16. re. the “9 to 5” group number, in my mind, i can still see Jason’s dreadlocks swinging all over the place as he danced. 🙂

    re. the “pack up the babies” tshirt, you have me beat. my concert traveling buddy made a bunch of necklaces consisting of a heart a pair of angel wings. during the bonnie hunt show, we wore them proudly. 🙂

    i’m just catching up on my twitter feed and i found something hilarious posted by an Archie who lives in Toronto. i can just imagine an Archie trying to get to Chile by any means necessary. 🙂

    TV news interviewing peeps stuck at T.O. airport ‘cuz of storm, incl. one going to Chile … Hubs: “Do you recognize her?” ROFLOLOLOL

  17. Ahhh, twitter, the place of multitudes of information! Just saw this posted — possibly the single cover art?

    Clearly unconfirmed but, if it is, I so aproooooove 😀

    • nice! i prefer this picture to the one on the album cover.

    • It would make sense if it were the cover art since that’s the pic used in the background on the official video of DRA that’s up. Only this is a much higher quality version.

      I really like the album cover as well but this one does make David look older, which we all know is a problem he struggles with. I saw some comments on MJ’s that said he still looks 12-15, which is a bit extreme be he doesn’t really look 22 in the album cover pic. He does look like DAVID though. What I love most about it is his smile. But I’m a crazy fan so that’s not surprising. This single cover art has a more mature feel and look to it. I like them both so I guess I’m happy all around.

  18. I really like this picture. Off topic but I made the mistake of watching SNL last night and the Biebs was hosting. He was just awful. Not meaning to be critical but JB should never have been hosting and be the musical guest as he can’t act, can’t sing, and can’t do comedy skits. lol. It was bad and that is being nice about it. Bruno Mars was the best host SNL has had on this year. Bruno was the musical guest too and he just killed it. Now Bruno is one talented guy as he can do it all. Hope David can go in Bruno’s musical direction and have his success.

  19. I finally got Forevermore CD from Amazon. ( off topic). Ok, strip me of my virtual Archie badge, and kick me out of the compound.. as I do know how long it has been out.

    But, wow, I his voice is just glorious and front and center in all of the songs. I really like the simplicity of many of the productions.
    I was familiar with all the songs on Nandito Ako” and some of the standouts like You are my song but this sweet and earnest song really is lovely and full of of yearning- perfect for David’s voice.

    • Welcome to a year ago of being a fan.

    • Forevermore is a gorgeous album. Some of the songs really aren’t my thing, lyric and melody-wise but damn does he sing them well. I would have liked a change of tempo at some point as that many slower tempo love ballads in a row does tend to make a person zone out a bit. I think some of the stand out songs on there actually would have benefitted from that as they tend to get lost in the chain of continued similar songs.

      My favorites are You Are My Song, Wherever You Are (although I prefer his live version), Nandito Ako and Hold On. The remix version of Rainbow too but that’s not on the original album, obvs.

      I think the simplicity of the production is what appeals to me, as you mentioned. David’s voice doesn’t need all that much production done to it and it takes something away when they do. Once again, one of the reasons I tend to prefer live to studio.

  20. There are things we could do, but the crazy days of being an Archie are obviously over. It would take a lot of time and effort and we would have to overcome our cynicism and defeatist attitudes. I’m not pointing the finger here….I definitely am a cynic about this release and really wonder what the dealio is with it.

    We could, for example, start a “Play DRA” campaign. We could target a particular (nicer) DJ at one of the bigger radio stations and start sending him/her valentines, cookies, pizza, whatever, from all around the country with a constant request/message to please play DRA by David Archuleta. We could time it so that every 1/2 hour while s/he’s at the radio station she receives some kind of package, delivery, letter, flowers, food, snow shovel, gag gift, etc., from an Archie. Someone obviously would have to coordinate this effort.

    We could also compile a list of all the TV shows that have a live segment where they go outside. Good Morning America does this, I believe. We could have Archies show up at these shows for a month or so with posters and T-shirts and ask the TV show to play DRA as bumper music or somesuch.

    We could also raise funds through paypal and buy a billboard or one-page ad in a bigger newspaper.

    These are just some ideas.

    HG, I agree with you about the uninspiring music videos. Sadz.

  21. I think it is up to David and his team to promote this album not the fans. David is not here for another year so it is going to be virtually impossible for him to promote it. So there you have it but I do believe that you might be sarcastic about the ideas which is OK with me. But maybe you aren’t which is OK too but I don’t plan on doing anything except buying the album. That is just me. I am looking forward to watching the Grammys tonight. Would have loved it if David was there but maybe he will be in the next 5 years.

  22. The fact that the same management can get a lesser known idol better opportunities in the U.S. but schlep David off to the Philippines to do melodrama.

    The fact that David was advised to and apparently willingly shot three bad videos in a day.

    The fact that “they’re” now releasing musical leftovers when even Adele with a 7x platinum album doesn’t release leftovers.

    And the fact that LadyV is now bragging on twitter that she has a Cody Simpson valentine day song co-write.

    What do all these facts add up to, I wonder? LOL.

    • Why add the LOL at the end of this comment that totally minimizes and criticizes everything that David has done. Not much LOL about that comment just putting a negative spin on all that David has worked on. It’s a method of undermining good will and good feelings, followed by LOL or oh, just teasing that teenagers do when they give a very backhanded compliment.

    • anon not the same management ,and the people here in the syates go all gaggaa over foreingers weather they have talent or not, they kicked the american to the curb, ,plus if you tell people over and over that they can sing the gullables belive it

  23. You know, I don’t expect that David is asking for anyone to promote the new album other then buying it if you want and listening to it. Is he asking for more? Does he ever? Some people are in a slot that says you have to promote, you have to be exceptional you have to beTHE BEST because you have the talent!

    The album that I favor is “BEGIN”, simply because David chose the songs, decided to do it for the people who admire him for singing reality songs and they were the last songs recorded live before he left. Each of the songs was chosen by him with a purpose, a message. This was David and not a contract to sing someone’s favorite love songs. He does not live in a make believe world, far from it.


  24. I know it’s in the best interest to just ignore trolling comments where the person is obviously looking for negative response but mostly I just want to ask…why are you here? If everything that David and his team and his fans have done and are doing is so beneath what you feel they should be doing, why subject yourself to it? There are “A-List” artists out there who are selling millions and winning the big awards and showing up on entertainment shows daily. Why stick around with an artist who clearly brings you no joy any longer?

    I wouldn’t. Life is too short for that kinda crap.

  25. Anon I have no honestly have no idea what you mean and I am kind of glad I don’t. lol. Now back to watching the Grammy pre-show to see what everyone is wearing.

  26. The reality is David is gone. It’s impossible to get good opportunities for an artist that is out of the country. I think David did the acting and modeling in the Philippines to provide money for his family, pay for his mission and keep his music going while he was gone. Don’t we all sometimes have to take jobs that aren’t exactly what we want to do to earn money? David is no different even though he is very talented. That’s life. Somehow I don’t think David qualifies to play Patsy Cline. But it is nice that Gina got that opportunity for Crystal because maybe when David returns she can get him a plumb role too. You need to be like David and look at the other side of down! Lady V is going to be excited about all the artists she works with not just David. She writes music for a living and wants her songs to take off so she can earn a living. Really, David is not the only artist out there.

  27. As far as the new album and song,I think as fans the best thing we can do is buy his music. You could also promote it with social media, but getting radio play is up to the label, artist and their team. In today’s radio landscape it is harder than ever to get AirPlay so I really don’t have much hope for this song. I will enjoy it and am looking forward to buying the album. I have lowered my expectation for David’s career and have decided to just enjoy the music he records and will watch his career unfold in whatever form it takes. So far it has been very interesting. The ups and downs actually make it interesting.

  28. Re. the Grammys, I haven’t watched it in years. I’m looking forward to seeing Carole King, The Temptations, and Ravi Shankar honored.

  29. Re: David’s work in the Phillipines: I feel that performers shouldn’t snub their International fan base. David has fans there. Also, David’s family on his mom’s side only recently came to US. He is surely well aware that people are people (and money is money.)

    Downton Abbey has priority for me tonight, and then I’ll flip for some of the Grammys.

  30. Taylor Swift opened the Grammy Awards tonight. Lamest opening in the history of the Grammys ever!

    • I guess it’s how much you sell not so much your musical talent, but the Grammys did leave out Bieber this year.

    • TS looked awkward; she’s better behind her guitar. Not everyone is meant to move around on the stage.

  31. I agree with you about Taylor. lol. I see that Rhianna and Chris Brown are officially back together as they are sitting next to each other. Who cares as it is their business. I liked Ed Sheeran and Elton John singing together.

  32. I’m really enjoying the Grammy’s this year. I enjoy many different genres of music so it’s fun for me to hear so many different performances. I liked the speech that “Fun” gave when they won about how they really aren’t that young and have been touring for 12 years making hardly any money so thanked their parents for supporting them. True musicians do music because they love it. I know that is why David sings too. We his ODD fans think he should be winning Grammys now, but it will really mean more to him to earn them later in his career which I hope happens for him.

  33. I agree these performances are great. No auto tune. I really liked JT’s performance.

    • Yeah Marie,
      I reeeally enjoyed JT’s performance as well. His song is getting a lot of publicity as well, the alcohol ad. I also really want David accepting an award one day. Carrie Underwood won again as well…sigh.

      • Kelly Clarkson won….sigh. Say what you want about the Voice and XFactor, Idol is still where its at for high visibility of its alumni. Not to compare apples to oranges but David needs his time in the sun as well. Hopefully more innovative career moves are in the works.

  34. I enjoy music across genres but I don’t get the appeal of Mumford & Sons. With their high record sales, I feel like the world recognizes something so obvious that I just can’t see.

  35. Glad Kelly won. She deserved it. She is always just so natural and sincere and funny.

  36. When you stop watching the Grammys, put in your ear buds and listen to BEGIN and see who could have been the performer of the night. Seriously…


  37. I like Kelly too and she just seems so genuine. I actually like Mumford and sons. I would consider them a folk group. I guess music is in the ear of the beholder. Rap is what I do not like.


  39. Bruno and company were amazing. I agree that David belongs at the Grammys with his amazing voice. I am not a fan of rap either Grammyj. I really have enjoyed most of the performances tonight.

  40. I really like that all different music artists are winning and the awards are not just going to one artist.

  41. Been going back and forth b/t Grammys and Downton Abbey. The Bob Marley tribute and JT are my faves so far. 🙂

  42. It’s crazy to see Janelle Monae in the audience (a fabulous performer) while someone like Rihanna got to perform twice!

  43. What the heck is Frank Ocean singing?? It’s awful and pitchy and he won 2 Grammys tonight. Yeeesh!

    • Yeah, my husband and I were making fun of his segment. The lyrics were dumb. He couldn’t sing in tune and the video was horrendous, yet he won a Grammy.

      Another British act, Mumford and Sons received the big Grammy award. It’s too bad that the U.S. glorifies acts that can’t sing like Taylor Swift so we have British winners. Maybe David will have to go to Europe to get respect in the music biz.

    • I don’t really get the appeal of Frank Ocean. I listened to his album when it came out because of all the hype around it and wasn’t really a fan. The few times I’ve seen him perform live on awards shows since have been underwhelming to me. idk.

      I did think there were some really good performances tonight. Loved JT, Kelly was awesome as always, enjoyed the Levon Helm tribute and the Maroon 5 / Alicia Keys combo. Those are the ones that stick out in my head after the show.

  44. I don’t quite get Frank Ocean’s appeal either. Some really amazing performances.

  45. I fell asleep during the last hour of the show. From what I did see, I enjoyed Kelly C. and Bruno Mars the most. I just watched Frank Ocean’s performance and I don’t get get his appeal either.

    I’ve seen websites re. Timberlake’s performance saying that it wasn’t as big as it was meant to be and that Biebs music is selling much better. I thought JT did well last night and I doubt at age 30 something he’s trying to become the king of teen/tween pop.

    • I seriously doubt the Biebs will be that popular at age 30. Based on his awful performance on SNL I really can see his popularity decreasing in the next few years when he is no longer a teen himself. JT can actually sing and act unlike the Biebs. I like the Grammys as the ones that get the awards are not based just on sales but on talent. The AMA are just based on sales and make for an awful show. I doubt Mumford&Sons sell as well as the Biebs and Taylor. But I could be wrong.

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