How to retain the music of & # 39; Star is Born & # 39; created an even greater success – Variety

adminOctober 9, 2018


With horror movies, there has always been a maxim: hide the monster as long as possible. Now the musical films have a similar wisdom of their own: Hide the music.

At least, that was the thought in preparation for the release of the soundtrack for "A Star Is Born," which came out in the light of the film starring Lady Gaga and directed by Bradley Cooper. Conventional wisdom used to be that you published any type of soundtrack album before the movie, to help anticipate any film that focused on music. But that wisdom lately has been overturned on his head. In the case of "A Star Is Born", the early release of the songs would have been the most feared of all things in 21S tFandom century: spoilers.

The decision to retain the music certainly does not seem to spoil the sales of the soundtrack. The numbers will not be available until the end of this week, but as of Monday night, the so-called explicit version of "Star is Born" kept the first place in iTunes, while the edition contains part of the dialogue of the movie, slightly censored, it ranked at number 5. This is a good omen for your prospects when the final results of the week are announced, even with the release date of October 5, which will also see some of the most anticipated albums of the year, including new ones. of Twenty One Pilots, Eric Church and Steve Perry, plus a strong second week of Lil Wayne.

Cherry pickers are also making their way, as seen in iTunes' digital singles box, which on Monday was monopolized by the tracks of "Star is Born" that contain the first four spaces, and six of the first eight.

"There was a lot of discussion about how music marketing would take place," says Steve Berman, vice president of Interscope, ongoing conversations between the label (which also houses Lady Gaga), the studio and the Cooper and Gaga camps. "This is a special movie and music is not just a soundtrack; All music is part of the film's history. And that's why it was very important to give people the opportunity to assimilate it (in theaters) and then have the success of the soundtrack. That was a great, big bet. " He pauses. "I do not want to say" bet. "That was a great discussion. And it really came down to confidence in the movie, confidence in the music, and let's continue this vision to the end. "

They reneged, slightly, on their strategy of keeping everything behind, when they decided to release "Shallow" about a week before the movie. That was a last minute decision: the long-time intention had been to maintain even that until October 5.

"You really have to treat it as a living breathing organism," says Anthony Seyler, executive vice president of marketing and film and television license at Interscope. "Putting music so far ahead of people who are able to experience it the way Bradley and Gaga intended to experience it, against the image, would underestimate it, but ultimately it was reduced when we changed our strategy recently. In "Shallow", for several reasons, until recently we were going to keep everything until October 5, so we allowed the audience to have the same discovery we had, but the demand for that song was incredible, after the people will experience the emotion of that scene in some parts through the trailer. " (An excerpt from the melody provided the climax of the preview … and was the only example of Gaga's belts seen in The Publicity.) "On top of that, you're dealing with a global release, the movie has already been released in several countries, for what I thought was right. "

If you want to know how things have changed, consider the release of the last album of the soundtrack of a movie of "Star is Born", that of Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, in 1976. When the movie premiered in mid-December. that year, the album had already been in stores for three weeks … which meant that for many Streisand fans, "Evergreen" was already an evergreen tree, before they saw it represent the writing process in the screen. (The album focused on Streisand was finally certified four times platinum).

It may be interesting to see if more people choose to experience this new soundtrack altogether or a la carte. The album includes significant amounts of film dialogue between the tracks, which could be a blessing for movie lovers who want to re-experience the arch of the film at home, or a detour for music fans who prefer the idea of ​​an album by Lady Gaga. with occasional interruptions of country rock character Bradley Cooper.

"Between Gaga and Bradley," says Seyler, "they thought it was the right thing to do, extend that experience through the soundtrack. And many of those moments of dialogue really lead directly to the songs. "

Berman adds, "We are getting closer to wanting to serve everyone in this, Gaga has a huge fan base, but this film is such a great work of art that we feel it will reach so many different audiences, and we want to be prepared for it. to serve all those audiences with the way they consume music, there will be people who see this film who never again buy a piece of product that they take because it is a memory and a memory of the film. We wanted to set it up where all the fans could receive the same service. "

What consumers who buy may or may not be aware of this is that they are buying a live album … at least as a way of speaking. "The voices are live, and that obviously was a challenge," says Seyler. "Warner Bros. and the filmmakers brought the best of the best in terms of the technical team that needed to come to capture the live voices, not just in the studio and on stage, but in very open spaces like the Greek and Coachella. Bradley and Gaga was really important that this was not a lip syncing situation. "

Interscope is on a good run with soundtracks coming back after being seen as dying on the vine from its peak of the '80s and early' 90s. Their success is not only making the soundtracks feel relevant again, but also the very concept of the albums.

"These albums we've made are very different," says Seyler. "We just did 'Black Panther', which was a huge success." La La Land "was an incredible journey." Slumdog Millionaire "out of nowhere was simply magical." Throughout the Universe ", some people They do not even know it, and others are obsessed. "Great Gatsby" was an invaluable moment in my career, I recently published a soundtrack with a little movie, "Sorry to Bother You", which attracted me mainly because we had an incredible director who He had a vision … Trusting a great success, it's good when it happens, but I'd rather have a full and cohesive body of work, and something like "Star Is Born" gives you that. "


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