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Thread: Pink Floyd leaving Capitol for Columbia question

  1. #1

    Pink Floyd leaving Capitol for Columbia question

    So the band scores the largest selling record in the bands history (due in large part to Capitol Records publicity) and then it's revealed that they are "Disenchanted with their US record company Capitol Records" thus Pink Floyd and O'Rourke negotiated a new contract with Columbia who gave them a reported advance of $1,000,000. Surely there's more behind this story than this..

  2. #2
    I suspect their agent probably talked them into it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Surely there's more behind this story than this..
    What's the mystery? Like any actor in a hit movie or athlete on a winning team, they just capitalized on their momentum.

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    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    I think the million bucks says it all.
    Lou

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    Going on comments made in the DSOTM Classic Albums documentary, the band seemed to feel that Capitol hadn't pushed their earlier albums enough. Things obviously changed with DSOTM, when Bhaskar Menon got involved in the promotion, but I guess the band felt it was too late by then.

  6. #6
    Jon Neudorf
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    I say good on them. There are alot worse examples of capitalism running rampant than Pink Floyd.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Probably of no relevance whatsoever is the fact that Floyd's first three albums had been released in the UK on the EMI-owned Columbia label, which was a sort of cousin of the American Columbia, having started as spin-off way back in 1917.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Going on comments made in the DSOTM Classic Albums documentary, the band seemed to feel that Capitol hadn't pushed their earlier albums enough. Things obviously changed with DSOTM, when Bhaskar Menon got involved in the promotion, but I guess the band felt it was too late by then.
    I guess that's my point.. they should have had leverage at that point with a label flush with cash..
    I just watched a documentary on Clive Davis on Netflix and he was obviously gobbling up as many artist as he could in the mid to late 70's and scoring Pink Floyd prior to their next bit hit The Wall was just icing on the cake for him..

  9. #9
    FWIW, Columbia fired Clive Davis in 1973 and he started Arista. I have read that he was involved in the Floyd deal so maybe he did that right before the end.

  10. #10
    Funny how this is becoming ancient history. Labels are as relevant today as rotary phones.
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  11. #11
    I am very glad they did!!

    I was fantasizing about approaching Bernie Grundman & trying to set up a custom mastering of Pink Floyd albums, because the Capital releases from 2011 (?) were so crappy

    I went through about 4 defective pressings of WYWH, and then it turns out their master was screwed up, had to get a replacement from a Euro plant

    when I heard the news Bernie was involved with the new batch of releases ( the whole catalog, I think? ) I was over the moon!!

    fantastic job

    I was sick of hunting down old vinyl pre$$ings, to find decent quality. Now you can buy fresh, new copies

  12. #12
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    FWIW, Columbia fired Clive Davis in 1973 and he started Arista. I have read that he was involved in the Floyd deal so maybe he did that right before the end.
    Never heard of Davis getting fired from Columbia before. Seems almost impossible because of all the good things he did for the label (including Floyd apparently).
    I mean CBS had the JR/F market cornered to almost monopoly dimensions, just leaving crumbs for others.

    Arista is one of the worst label in the 70's recuperating bands dropped elsewhere, and TBH, outside The Dead's Terrapin Station, I can't think of another album I would wish to own.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Never heard of Davis getting fired from Columbia before. Seems almost impossible because of all the good things he did for the label (including Floyd apparently).
    I just watched the documentary about the Clive Davis last week. Him getting fired was really BIG news. Industry was shocked.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Arista is one of the worst label in the 70's recuperating bands dropped elsewhere, and TBH, outside The Dead's Terrapin Station, I can't think of another album I would wish to own.
    Arista's jazz line was crammed to the gills with awesomeness.

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Arista is one of the worst label in the 70's recuperating bands dropped elsewhere, and TBH, outside The Dead's Terrapin Station, I can't think of another album I would wish to own.
    Two pretty good Happy The Man albums came out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Columbia who gave them a reported advance of $1,000,000.
    Cool, that should be a decent enough budget to get started on their next album.

  17. #17
    "Columbia who gave them a reported advance of $1,000,000." Seriously?! Are we sure Dr Evil didn't sign them?

  18. #18
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I just watched the documentary about the Clive Davis last week. Him getting fired was really BIG news. Industry was shocked.
    I could easily understand why, too!

    But I was 10 at the time, so I guess that flew over my radar

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Arista's jazz line was crammed to the gills with awesomeness.
    Yup, I'd agree, but I was thinking of the rock part of the label. It looked like a preview of the catastrophic Geffen label of the 80's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Two pretty good Happy The Man albums came out there.
    ooopssss you're right, but again this flew over my radar at the time.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by progholio View Post
    Cool, that should be a decent enough budget to get started on their next album.
    And this would have been the time frame for the "Household Objects" project?
    Household Objects
    Following the success of The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd were unsure of their future direction; they worried about how they would be able to top that record's huge popularity. In a return to their experimental beginnings, they began work on a project entitled Household Objects, which would consist of songs played on household appliances, hand mixers, rubber bands stretched between two tables, wine glasses and so on. The planned album was soon shelved. Two tracks recorded at these sessions, "The Hard Way", and "Wine Glasses" (later incorporated into the opening of Shine On You Crazy Diamond), were released on the Pink Floyd reissues in September and November 2011 on The Dark Side of the Moon (Immersion Box Set) and Wish You Were Here (Experience Version and Immersion Box Set), respectively.

  20. #20
    I've never really heard why, but several times I've over the years, I've heard it said that Clive Davis was indeed fired by Columbia. Wikipedia says he had been accused of using company funds to bankroll his son's bar mitzvah, and that's why he was terminated.

    Here's a few of the bands and performers who I think released some decent music, one way or another, through Arista:

    A Flock Of Seagulls
    Anthony Braxton
    ABWH
    Happy The Man
    Caravan
    Camel
    The Church (Arista managed to bungle their reissue of their pre-Arista catalog, and apparently there was mucho label interference on the records they recorded for Arista, though the results still were generally quite excellent)
    Dave Edmunds
    The Eurythmics
    Happy The Man
    Gil Scott Heron
    Thompson Twins
    Aretha Franklin

    I think signing Happy The Man, and releasing the Thompson Twins stuff Stateside make up for such things as Kenny G, Whitney Houston, Alan Jackson, and those late 70's Grateful Dead records (of which only side two of Terrapin Station really live up to anything, and even then there was Keith Olsen's stupid decision to erase Mickey Hart's timbale solo and sticking that choir in on Terrapin Reprise).
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 01-28-2020 at 02:25 PM.

  21. #21
    BTW, my understanding was the Columbia deal was negotiated while they were readying Dark Side Of The Moon for release. Capitol wasn't even given a chance to make a counter offer. So DSOTM is released, the label actually gets behind it and it takes over the world, and meanwhile the band was already committed to Columbia.

  22. #22
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Here's a few of the bands and performers who I think released some decent music, one way or another, through Arista:
    What, not the Kinks? Misfits in particular is a fucking great record.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    What, not the Kinks? Misfits in particular is a fucking great record.
    Damn, I forgot about State Of Confusion. That had some good songs o nit.

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    England's Garden Shed was on Arista. It's all that awful MOR stuff that Davis did with Rod Stewart, Santana etc. that I find beyond the pale.

    In Mark Blake's Pigs Might Fly biography, Bhaskar Menon says that he knew the deal with Columbia was already in the works. I suppose everyone benefitted from the eventual success of DSOTM.

  25. #25
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Hermann Szobel made a pretty good album released by Arista.

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