BBC : British Acts Shunned in US - U2 France

BBC : British Acts Shunned in US

jeudi 12 octobre 2000

Source : BBC

From BBC :

British Acts Shunned in US

Radiohead’s new album Kid A has soared to the numberone spot in America but British acts such as Oasis andRobbie Williams find US success elusive.

Breaking America remains the Holy Grail of popsuccess for British stars, though few have drunk fromthe cup in recent years.

It has become an annual pilgrimage for a British act totravel with high hopes over the Atlantic only to returnrefuses to acknowledge their greatness.

The Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Oasis andRobbie Williams have all returned to Britain and into thebosom of compatriots after failing to crack the world’smost important music market.

That Radiohead have notched up a number onealbum with little promotion and with a record that willspawn no singles, and therefore no radio play, willbe galling to many British stars.

The band’s success has stemmed from the crucialnetwork of college radio - their 1990s single Creepwas a huge success with US students and a loyal fanbase has emerged.

Robbie Williams, whose innate cheekiness andshowmanship prompted many to tip him for success inAmerica, has failed time and time again.

He may be an MTV Europe award nominee and Britaward winner but a number one album in Britain meanslittle in global terms.

Sing When You’re Winning, his latest album, is atnumber 110 in the US charts.

As he told Billboard, the US chart compilers, "Americahas always baffled me."

"I don’t know how you get a record played there.

"I’ve resigned to selling no records there. And that’sOK."

The Manic Street Preachers ran into trouble when radiostations refused to play their record If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next because the title was too long.

While Oasis have gone quiet of late after their earlypredictions of becoming the biggest band in the world.

The problem often is the sheer effort needed to crackAmerica - although Radiohead seems to have done itwith minimal effort - and the stranglehold R&B and hiphop has on the American charts.

The traditional British rock sound - guitars and drums -is on the wane in the US and until it returns to fashionBritish bands will struggle.

The only British acts to have tasted success in theStates in recent years are U2, the Prodigy and FatboySlim.

The musical diversity of those three acts makes it allthe more difficult to predict who or what will be a successin America.

The hotly tipped Craig David is much fted in the UKbut in America, where smooth R&B crooners arecommonplace, he may find it more difficult.

British acts like Bush and, to a lesser degree, DonnaLewis found fame Stateside before they were recognisedin the UK.

And Bush only found success when it decided to soundas though the band was formed in Seattle, and notShepherd’s Bush from where they actually hail.

British bands may claim they are no longer interested incracking America but while success is still determined inrecord sales the US cannot be ignored.

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