Songs You May Have Missed #616

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: “Find Yourself” (2017)

Self-described “cowboy hippie surf rocker” Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real have frequently opened for Lukas’ father Willie Nelson, and Lukas follows his own live set by playing in dad’s band.

Here he duets with none other than Lady Gaga on the roots rocker “Find Yourself”, with Gaga channeling Bonnie Raitt to deliver exactly the type of muscular performance the song requires.

On a personal note, this song, like others I’ve posted here, came to me at the exact moment–literally the very hour–when its message was most pertinent in my life:

I know the love that I deserve

I hope you find yourself before I find somebody else to be my lover

Video of the Week: Lady Gaga Sings ‘Born This Way’ for Mexican Foster Home

Katy Perry: Cheating Her Way to the Record

Teenage DreamTeenage Dream: The Complete Confection

I was rereading the previous post (just to experience the nausea one more time) and the claim that “Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album” caught my attention. I think it’s only fair to point out Katy’s tally of number ones is manipulated, shall we say, by some unconventional tactics.

After her Teenage Dream album had peaked and was nearing the end of its run Katy recorded new material, including eventual number one single “Part of Me” and, instead of releasing it as an EP or part of a new album, she released Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, a sort-of “deluxe edition” of the album with the additional material included.

So what was the original version of Teenage Dream–the “incomplete collection”?

Lady Gaga used the same strategy when her The Fame album was later expanded into The Fame Monster, which included additional hits “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Alejandro”.

Are these ladies competing on a level playing field with the Michael Jacksons and Beatles of the world when using previously unknown record release methods to jack up the sales statistics of their records? When Madonna’s new album is offered by a major online retailer for 99 cents during the first week of its release and it shoots to the top of the pops, is its resulting number one status legit? In fact, in Madonna’s case, when the record sets a record for sales drop in its second week on the heels of said 99 cent offer, can we even legitimately say she deserves to call it a number one album? When Madonna runs out of body parts to flash (just one left) and her career finally sputters to an end, she’ll have some great statistics to affirm her greatness. But only close examination will reveal which ones are wholly valid. MDNA is not a number one album in my eyes.

This is how, in some cases, modern-day artists’ claims of exceeding the sales feats of pop music immortals are made–by moving the goalposts, as it were.

The FameThe Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]

Were the Beatles so inclined, or had it foremost in mind to compete with the incredible sales feats of Elvis Presley, they would have avoided releasing EPs and non-album singles entirely. Songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “I Feel Fine”, “We Can Work it Out”, “Paperback Writer” and “Hey Jude” (all number ones, by the way) would never have been single-only releases. They could have been tacked onto albums to inflate the numbers, and who knows how many number ones an album like Magical Mystery Tour could have had? But since it wasn’t done that way back then, it just seems unfair to compare apples (or Apple Records) to oranges.

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