Making Adjustments

From the looks of it – according to my last poll – most of you are playing David’s recent music (BEGIN. and No Matter How Far) on replay. What is interesting to note, however, is that many of you are all over the place in terms of what you’re listening to, even including his debut album, and I’m still amazed at David’s outpouring of musical efforts, considering his still very young age.

Still, because some of you brought up his debut album, I found myself revisiting it over the weekend, and it hit me how much I’ve had to make “adjustments.”

What I mean is: back when David had a hit song with “Crush,” fresh off his appearance on Idol and while signed to Jive (back when they were still a thriving label), everything seemed so possible, and the sky really was the limit. Nowadays, we know better (I hope).

After all it didn’t take long before things hit a snag. Jive wanted to market him as a bubblegum teen star (marketed to tweens of course), and then it looked like David’s “team” took him in the classical direction by having him work on a Christmas album, and then nothing much happened with his sophomore effort.

And then, David and Jive “parted ways,” and then David went on his mission.

What is fascinating to me, in revisiting David Archuleta, is how much Jive had wanted to capture David’s innocence while also wanting him to grow. The serious album cover (still a favorite of mine), the bold red colors, the opening shot of his music video for “Crush,” in which he’s playing on the piano. I saw “teen pop” meets virtuoso and an attempt to at least cast David as a serious musician with a young pop side.

As a fanbase, we were pretty unanimous as far as this particular direction. However, it was telling when we started bickering around the time his label couldn’t decide to either give “A Little Too Not Over You” a chance or to quickly move on with “Touch My Hand.”  The self-assuredness in marketing “Crush” was not replicated in marketing any of these gems, and I’ll never understand why “Zero Gravity” didn’t get a chance.

I’ll always maintain my personal belief that “Waiting for Yesterday” was the “obvious” second single release (but of course wasn’t so obvious since it was released on the deluxe edition of the album).

Then again, Desperate and Running were also promising. Not to mention a ballad could have worked.

Oy! Musical identity crisis!

However, since radio hits are no longer a guarantee for success, maybe artists can now get back to focusing on the music for a change? Maybe David will get support in that way, if nothing else.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in David's career. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I will always wonder why ALTNOY did not become a hit. My guess is that it was because it did not get a big enough push from Jive. Since I became a fan of David I have also learned about the music business and have found that there is a lot more going into radio play than having a good song. I really don’t think it mattered what song was picked for the second single. Radio was not going to play it without a big push from Jive, but we will never know for sure what went wrong.

    My other thought was that if Crush wouldn’t have become a hit David would not have gotten his other two major label albums, CFTH and TOSOD or his tours and many other opportunities. David said in an interview that he owed his music career to the songs Imagine (which helped him on AI) and Crush.
    We shall see what he will do to help his music career when he returns. What can he do to jump start his career?

  2. Fabulous article as aways Hg, thank you.
    Love of my favorites…
    I’m with you about zg…a puzzle why it wasn’t given a chance?!?!
    Grammyj, yes, he will need something big to give him the push to jump start his career when he returns. Let’s just hope there is a plan in place.

  3. I too think Jive didn’t give enough push. Zero gravity came out around the same tiime Jistine Bieber came along and he would do anything his label told him to do. In my opinion he would jump when the label would pull hiS strings. David’s label was going down hill and JB’s label and managment are brilliant. Teenage girls go with the flow. JB is cute and some what entertaining and radio wasn’t playing David that much anymore.David has it all, looks, voice and he is personable, but as i say jive was in trouble and I don’t think David would be pushed around to keep his lable happy.I so admire David for who he is, and am soo glad he did not go the JB route. Had David gone the JB route I would not be following him now.

    • JB and David are two completely different artists, JB’s a performer and David’s a vocalist and their music is also totally different. I think that there was enough room for both of them in the music industry and JB’s success didn’t prevent David to be successful too. Also, David agreed to release “Crush” as his first single, he even said that he liked it immediately and he was surprised that his older fans liked it too. I think that the main problem regarding David’s career was his management. HG asked “what’s the plan ?” on the last thread and unfortunately, I think that there never was a real plan or a vision for his career in a long term aspect. They seemed too preoccupied to please his existing fanbase (nothing wrong with that to a certain degree) instead on working on expanding it imo.

  4. Nicely written post hg. I enjoyed reading it.

  5. I think that we’ll never know what went on behind the scenes between Jive and David (unless he decides to publish a tell it all book but I’m not counting on it lol) so we can only speculate
    My opinion is that there were conflicting views between Jive and David and his team and it was difficult for them to “work” together and to agree on a plan career.
    I instantly loved Zero Gravity when he performed it live and I thought it would have been a huge hit and I instantly disliked the studio version of the song and I knew that there were zero chance for them to release it at a single. I mean, its production sounded so amateurish, it’s like they just wanted to please the fans who were very vocal about the song. And I think the same thing happened before that with “A little not too over you” which was a fan’s choice, if I remember well Jive wanted “Touch my hand” as a second single. I’m surely biaised because I never really liked Mike Krompass (especially when it comes to his skills as a producer), but I think that he pushed for “his” songs to be released which is normal for a songwriter and a producer but he was also David’s friend since he was 12 (or something like that) and David’s guitarist so his opinions had a great impact on the fanbase imo. Also, David’s dad clearly excluded the possibility of “Desperate” as a single and David barely sang it live.

    I listened to his first album yesterday and there were so many possible hits on it like “Barriers”, “Your eyes don’t lie”, “Running” or “To be with you” and they can appeal to all ages and not only to teens. I think it’s my fav of his albums.

    • I completely agree with you about Zero Gravity. Love love love the live version but find the studio version lacking. I really think it’s such a fan favorite because of the way David performs it live, not because of the way the recorded version sounds. I feel the same way about Everything & More, which I think is fantastic live but fairly boring production on the studio version. It sounds too sweet and muted.

      I think I’ve said this here before but if a producer ever finds a way to capture the way David sounds live (the enthusiasm, the tone, the power and richness) and can put it in a studio recording…it will be golden.

      Almost without fail, I prefer live versions of songs by David over studio. Ironically, one of the few that I feel studio is as good as or better is Crush. Which is kind of interesting considering it’s his one big hit. Another I feel that way about would be Falling Stars. To me that says that FS should have been the single off of TOSOD. Lol that’s my logic anyway.

    • I agree with your comment afan. I think what you wrote is very accurate. I never liked Mike K. because you are right that he pushed for his songs.

  6. David’s voice sounded incredible when singing Waitinf for Yesterday live. I read thru some of his old blogs and he mentioned that Joy Williams was one of the cowriters on it. Zero Gavity was so much fun. I never joined in the pogo jumping but it was fun to watch.

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