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Too Much Promotion

Mike Sudhalter  |  May 5, 2007

I hate to admit it, but I once fell for a marketing ploy by a country artist.

Last year, I purchased a Garth Brooks box set, which contained five albums and a DVD. Among the albums was the 11-song Lost Sessions, which included songs that Brooks never released.

It was great to hear these tunes, including "Fishin' In the Dark" and several songs that his former guitarist Tyler England recorded on his 2000 CD, "Highways and Dancehalls".

That's not the point though.

A few months later, I noticed the same "Lost Sessions" CD with six more songs on it.

Because I'm a big Garth Brooks fan, I gave the old album to a friend and purchased the new one. I can probably count on one hand the number of artists that I'd pay $10 to get six songs. That's why I rarely buy Greatest Hits packages for one or two new songs.

Releasing a bonus track on an album for say, the albums that are sold at Target or Best Buy, may be good marketing. Sometimes, you get a complementary DVD.

Miranda Lambert is over promoting bonus songs, and it's frustrating to the fans who want to hear all of her songs.

Lambert released bonus tracks on her sophomore album, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", released last Tuesday.

According to her web site, if you buy the disc at Target, you'll get "I Just Really Miss You" and "Take It Out On Me". Best Buy customers get "Nobody's Used To Be" and those ITunes downloaders at home receive "Girl Like Me".

The site even has in parentheses you'll like this particular bonus song if you liked "New Strings or "What About Georgia".

I can just picture some big Lambert fan downloading the album on ITunes, driving to Best Buy and Target to get all three of them. Those folks, however, are few and far between.

As a relatively new artist, Lambert should get as much of her music out to as many people as possible. That's the way you become a country star.

If marketing and promotions has come to this, it's pretty ridiculous. People will rush to the store to get the same Garth Brooks album with six different covers (remember "Double Live")?

By doing these bonus track promotions, Lambert, in essence, is telling country fans that they're as hungry for her material as they were for Brooks', and she's got a long way to go.

:: Posted at 4:34 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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