Why do some bands hit it big and others just sort of get passed over by the label machine? Right now, you're probably thinking "Allyson, why are you still so naive? Why do you believe bands are signed based on merit and not luck and connections?"
Well, I'm a romantic.
I still believe true talent rises to the top of just about every industry and eventually it's that skill that separates the wheat from the chaff.
In all seriousness, I always wonder why certain Glam bands got major deals and why others were sort of passed over despite having a good sound, cool look and great songs.
Since Glam is back in style these days, a few labels are popping up to promote classic 80s bands that never really got a fair shake at the big time. We already know a lot of these bands are slated for side stages at both Rocklahoma and the South Texas Rock Fest...and most likely Rock the Bayou. The fact that a promoter wishes to book such bands tells me there is a definite market for Glam talent. So, why can a band like Blue Tiger play a side stage at a major festival now...but couldn't break big back in the day when the genre was huge?
So, was it truly a case of right place, right time for bands like Winger and Warrant or was it just a sign of the times? Sure, bands like Quiet Riot, Motley Crue and W.A.S.P. most definitely came first, but they presented a unique sound that the second wave of Glam manipulated and turned into almost a new subgenre. Most would agree you can cut classic Glam into three waves, starting with the early 80s and going through '85 and then to '88 and finally ending with the early '90s bands to about 1992. In each case, the bands were Glam but had a distinct sound...presumably label sharks were looking to replicate that sound to cash in big.
Ok, fine. Replicate the sound, therefore we've got a genre we all know and love. The guitar tone of Glam bands is so recognizable, it takes just a few bars of music to determine the genre. The same is true of grunge, thrash and alternative Metal just as it is for rap and country. So, why are certain bands signed and others unfairly passed over for no seemingly good reason?
Alleycat Scratch and Big Bang Babies are good examples of talented bands being ignored. Perhaps it was just the time they hit the scene, but I still think there's some mystical factor between bands and the machine. Hell, maybe it is luck. I just wonder if a band like Nickelback would have landed a deal in 1988? Would they have been as successful as they are today?