Gorillaz - Song Machine

Discussion about the band and related projects.

Moderators: tom_cas1, Caitlin, MrMagpie

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 903
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 09 Feb 2021, 13:54

Mr Brightside over 1 billion streams...crazy. I imagine it's been taken into another generation of emotional youths that don't understand their feelings

John_d
Posts: 133
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:55

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by John_d » 11 Feb 2021, 11:04

stephen wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 13:54
Mr Brightside over 1 billion streams...crazy. I imagine it's been taken into another generation of emotional youths that don't understand their feelings
I'm a wedding DJ (in UK). It's an unbelievably huge song!

John_d
Posts: 133
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:55

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by John_d » 11 Feb 2021, 11:13

idreamofpikas wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 05:44
A numbers comparison. In a previous post I highlighted of how despite the Song Machine songs not being super successful on youtube, the project itself was beneficial for their catalogue with all their songs getting a push with new releases.

I was curious about its performance on Spotify but did not really have the data to show how well the channel had performed in other years, so instead have done a comparison to Oasis and Radiohead (simply due to them being 90's bands who are still hugely popular).

At the end of 2019 Chartmaster did a rundown on the biggest channels on Spotify https://chartmasters.org/2019/12/spotif ... d-artists/
  • Gorillaz 3.027 billion
  • Radiohead 2.843 billion
  • Oasis 2.678 billion
  • Muse 3.171 billion
  • The Killers 3.212 billion
As of today each channel has increased by
  • Gorillaz 1.127 billion
  • Radiohead 947 million
  • Oasis 566 million
  • Muse 761 million
  • The Killers 984 million
(they also had an album out in 2020)

Now minus the 165 million streams for Song Machine and there is barely anything between Radiohead and Gorillaz's streams in the last 13 months on Spotify. But the increase over Oasis is pretty significant. In that time Gorillaz have also overtaken the likes of Muse and Daft Punk in terms of Spotify streaming numbers and close the gap between them and the Killers from 190 million to 50 million as of today.

The album itself has still, likely, disappointed Damon and Jaime in its performance, but the project itself and the format of monthly releases has benefitted them.
As you know, I love this stuff! By what metric(s) do you think the album has underperformed? Individual songs not getting loads of plays on YouTube and Spotify? I see Rhinestone Eyes as a Plastic Beach "single" (and a very good one) so I'm happy it's very popular. I think OMH is a lovely song. You could argue it's slightly bland, like a washed out OMD album track perhaps. But it's still a sweet little song I think. And in the context of Plastic Beach, listeners deserved something quite poppy/straightforward amongst some other pretty challenging and ambitious songs. ps Louis Theroux had FKA Twigs on his podcast last week. She bristled when he asked if her new album's "numbers" had been affcted by covid-19. She claimed she had never ever thought about commercial "numbers" before. Struck me as pretty dishonest of her.... pps in December I cut and pasted some of your stats to r/gorillaz - giving you credit. Folk loved it and said they wished there was more of that content !

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 903
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 11 Feb 2021, 14:06

John_d wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 11:04
stephen wrote:
09 Feb 2021, 13:54
Mr Brightside over 1 billion streams...crazy. I imagine it's been taken into another generation of emotional youths that don't understand their feelings
I'm a wedding DJ (in UK). It's an unbelievably huge song!
Yeah I know, it's had over 1 billion streams :?

idreamofpikas
Posts: 99
Joined: 05 May 2015, 16:02

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by idreamofpikas » 11 Feb 2021, 15:04

John_d wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 11:13


As you know, I love this stuff! By what metric(s) do you think the album has underperformed? Individual songs not getting loads of plays on YouTube and Spotify?
Yes, as well as sales being way down on the previous two albums.

https://kworb.net/itunes/artist/gorillaz.html

There was only a two-week period that Song Machine was outselling Plastic Beach and Demon Days(great that those two are still strong sellers, but disconcerting for Song Machine). There have been many times Humanz and Gorillaz have been outselling it since it release. This is pretty bad. Not disastrous, or even a failure and I'd say Covid has played a large part in this, but this can only be seen as an underperformance.

When it comes to streaming the album has done brilliantly for helping the Spotify and Youtube (and presumably the other platforms) channels and the overall Gorillaz catalogue but the album itself has underperformed in comparison to both the previous two albums and the positive response from both critics and fans

https://www.metacritic.com/person/gorillaz

Now I imagine the format of a new unreleased single each month was designed to have multiple hits rather than no hit singles. The hope was for more than 1 to repeat or come close to the success of Humility or Saturn Barz. That none did even a 3rd of those numbers was probably a shock.

Another thing that has backfired is there is now little interest in the album tracks not released as singles. They are all struggling for views on both Spotify and Youtube. The album visualizers for the Now Now album tracks got triple/quadruple the streams that the Song Machine album tracks are on course to get.



To be clear, the album will do better than the Now Now*(2.5 years old and 310 million on Spotify) but much worse than Humanz (3.5 years old and 610/700[including remixes and extras]) in terms of success, at least that is what it is on course to do. A hugely successful Song Machine 2 could change that for the better.

*And that is only due to album length, 11 vs 17 songs makes a big difference in the streaming age.

Overall if Gorillaz could redo this project I'd hope they would have made three different choices
  • Release the album much earlier. The 'singles' would have got similar streams had they been released after the album than before (the Last Chord will be overtaking both Strange Timez and Friday 13th this month on Youtube, sometime in the next 3 months on Spotify) and it would have drawn more interest to the album itself
  • Changed the release order, stronger singles first. Friday 13th would have been last or bumped in favour of the one of the songs that was not a single, but 13th and How Far back to back killed off some interest
  • Put out a video for Valley of the Pagans, the first or second most commercial sounding song on the album. It had 2.5 million when it was pulled down after a week



John_d wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 11:13
I see Rhinestone Eyes as a Plastic Beach "single" (and a very good one) so I'm happy it's very popular. I think OMH is a lovely song. You could argue it's slightly bland, like a washed out OMD album track perhaps. But it's still a sweet little song I think.
I really like both of them. Both benefit from the synth pop revival this last decade.

John_d wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 11:13
. ps Louis Theroux had FKA Twigs on his podcast last week. She bristled when he asked if her new album's "numbers" had been affcted by covid-19. She claimed she had never ever thought about commercial "numbers" before. Struck me as pretty dishonest of her
Definitely. I can see an artist the size of Taylor Swift or Drake, making that kind of claim but FKA's streaming numbers are not that great(her 2019 album has done half the amount of streams as Song Machine on Spotify for comparison) and given the amount of producers, songwriters and musicians she uses, it can't be cheap.

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 903
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 11 Feb 2021, 16:51

It's absolutely nuts, and of course its always only an opinion. Some of the tracks from song machine are of much better quality than the now now and humanz...i guess the difference being not only the way they got released but 2020 was supposed to be another large tour for Gorillaz. So I guess there's a chance they'll get some bumper numbers if and it's a big if the European festivals go ahead in the summer

John_d
Posts: 133
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:55

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by John_d » 12 Feb 2021, 06:43

idreamofpikas wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 15:04

Overall if Gorillaz could redo this project I'd hope they would have made three different choices
  • Release the album much earlier. The 'singles' would have got similar streams had they been released after the album than before (the Last Chord will be overtaking both Strange Timez and Friday 13th this month on Youtube, sometime in the next 3 months on Spotify) and it would have drawn more interest to the album itself
  • Changed the release order, stronger singles first. Friday 13th would have been last or bumped in favour of the one of the songs that was not a single, but 13th and How Far back to back killed off some interest
  • Put out a video for Valley of the Pagans, the first or second most commercial sounding song on the album. It had 2.5 million when it was pulled down after a week
I think, for better or worse, they had to stay the course and not release an "album" til late on. They were claiming it was a new way to release songs.

Do you think it's possible that the songs were genuinely released as they were made (allowing Jamie a month for a video)? There's the story about Damon bumping his head in lockdown and waking up to Robert Smith's email. Possible exceptions are Pink Phantom and Valley of the Pagans - they had been rumoured since January 2020. It looks like Pink Phantom was deliberately held to be released around the "album" release.

Which leads to the very weird situation that was the Valley of the Pagans video. I can't believe they went ahead with that without permission to use the Grand Theft Auto graphics. Even then, "driving video" is something Jamie has already done at least twice, with relatively huge budgets (19-2000, and Stylo). Jamie has done wonderful work in Song Machine, but botching the video for perhaps the catchiest song is odd. Was he burnt out at that point? I assumed that they would perhaps re-upload the footage from Song Machine Live as a replacement video, or somehow use that Beck "hologram" performance.

vitekm
Posts: 262
Joined: 14 Feb 2016, 12:33
Location: Czech republic

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by vitekm » 12 Feb 2021, 09:57

Are we even sure Gorillaz will start Season 2 in the situation where another festival season is highly uncertain due to covid? Glastonbury was already cancelled. Is there a will in the Gorillaz camp to pursue another season of releasing youtube singles with finale of an online gig? My guess is they´ll postpone Season 2 to next year.

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 903
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 12 Feb 2021, 13:55

vitekm wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 09:57
Are we even sure Gorillaz will start Season 2 in the situation where another festival season is highly uncertain due to covid? Glastonbury was already cancelled. Is there a will in the Gorillaz camp to pursue another season of releasing youtube singles with finale of an online gig? My guess is they´ll postpone Season 2 to next year.
As someone who is personally quite close to Rock Werchter, there's no signs that it's not taking place which in my opinion is ridiculous. They pulled the plug late last year as well

idreamofpikas
Posts: 99
Joined: 05 May 2015, 16:02

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by idreamofpikas » 12 Feb 2021, 15:08

vitekm wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 09:57
Are we even sure Gorillaz will start Season 2 in the situation where another festival season is highly uncertain due to covid? Glastonbury was already cancelled. Is there a will in the Gorillaz camp to pursue another season of releasing youtube singles with finale of an online gig? My guess is they´ll postpone Season 2 to next year.
So many factors, but I'd presume that the project will be delayed a few months due to the script for the Gorillaz movie. Jamie will have a lot more on his plate, I also presume that is why there was no video or visualizer for Chalk Tablet Flowers and Dead Butterflies.

I'd imagine that Damon's okay with the workrate and creating more songs, that if it was up to him he'd carry on releasing Song Machine songs and just extend the project rather than take a hiatus and come back to it. Damon does not seem to be short of material. The bigger problem would be the video expense of the Song Machine singles and I have no idea how much they are costing, whether the band are making a profit from them, breaking even or losing money. The visual element of the band seems to be the bigger problem than the audio element. Outside of Elton I'm pretty sure the artists involved were on performing and songwriting royalties rather than being paid to play on the album.

One thing I would say is that so many artists are going to be coming back in 2022 to tour, there is going to be an over saturation from so many returning to the touring scene, which is going to mean many artists make less profit with fans only having so much money and time.

User avatar
daii
Posts: 547
Joined: 20 Sep 2014, 12:33
Location: Argentina

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by daii » 12 Feb 2021, 15:40

before song machine live Damon said that the next season could be something like another virtual show, maybe they could release 1 or 2 videos and then do a gig revealing the rest of the songs

User avatar
stephen
Posts: 903
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
Contact:

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by stephen » 12 Feb 2021, 16:10

Why doesn't he just sack the cartoon stuff off and do some blur :D

User avatar
Sledge Hammer
Posts: 789
Joined: 21 Feb 2015, 07:30

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Sledge Hammer » 14 Feb 2021, 09:18

stephen wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 16:10
Why doesn't he just sack the cartoon stuff off and do some blur :D
What a waste of the Albarn/Coxon genius we have lost for so many years, Damon would rather be with his gange suppliers.

The 91/93/94/95/97/99 run of Blur albums is simply amazing, Gorillaz and the rest of it comes nowhere near.
Image

idreamofpikas
Posts: 99
Joined: 05 May 2015, 16:02

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by idreamofpikas » 14 Feb 2021, 15:27

Sledge Hammer wrote:
14 Feb 2021, 09:18


What a waste of the Albarn/Coxon genius we have lost for so many years, Damon would rather be with his gange suppliers.
The irony of this statement is that Damon likely did far more drugs and socialized far more with 'suppliers' while he was a member of Blur than he has in the 21st century.
Sledge Hammer wrote:
14 Feb 2021, 09:18
The 91/93/94/95/97/99 run of Blur albums is simply amazing, Gorillaz and the rest of it comes nowhere near.
Part of the greatness of Damon and Graham is that they constantly evolved as artists, and eventually they were both going to outgrow Blur. It has meant that they have had far richer artistic legacies than the vast majority of their peers from the 90's, even if some of that music is not to the tastes of some of their fans.

While it is admirable that the Stereophonics, Manics and even Suede (pretty much) are hanging in there as a band, I'm actually glad the members of Blur went their separate ways. The fact that their reunions were done on their terms and because they wanted to work with each other, rather than needed to, makes it a little bit more special in my opinion.

User avatar
Sledge Hammer
Posts: 789
Joined: 21 Feb 2015, 07:30

Re: Gorillaz - Song Machine

Post by Sledge Hammer » 14 Feb 2021, 21:39

I bet you loved Yoko Ono aswell ;)
Image

Post Reply