Madonna Stiffs. By, Bob Lefsetz

Posted on April 10, 2012 by


Well there goes that paradigm.

The Super Bowl sells tickets, it does not sell albums. Not if you’re an ancient superstar dashing for cash. Oldsters just want to hear the hits, and youngsters…just don’t care.

Madonna should have gone on the Home Shopping Network, like Lionel Richie, it would have helped her more. Hell, if she didn’t pull an album with ticket scam with Ticketmaster, Lionel’s sales would have killed her:

We no longer live in one big homogeneous society. Madonna is now niche. Just like Rihanna. Talk to hipster rockers, they can’t sing “Umbrella”, they’ve never listened to a single Rihanna track, they don’t have to, now you can ignore the dying mainstream quite easily in America.

And Madonna didn’t realize this.

She tried to play the young person’s game. By associating with the hitmakers du jour, by getting plastic surgery and working out to the point where she can dance the night away. The only problem is young people see her as their mother, she’s got no momentum, and old people, her contemporaries, have saggy, lumpy bodies and cringe at someone clinging so hard to youth.

How could Madonna be so out of touch?

Getting old doesn’t have to be a death sentence. You’ve just got to embrace your age. You can inject your face with fillers, but that doesn’t change the age of your insides, of your heart and mind.

Madonna still believed it was the MTV era, a one outlet game with all of us paying attention. We’ve driven so far from that that not only does MTV air no videos, the newspapers, the conventional media Madonna depends upon is dying. And what did Bob Dylan so famously sing? “He not busy being born is busy dying?” For a while there, Madonna kept reinventing herself. But this time she blinked.

And the hippest outlet online outed her.

The headline of that article linked above is:

“Madonna’s New Album Bombs, Sets Record For Biggest Sales Drop”

The debut week, artificially inflated as per the “New York Post” article linked above, was 359,000. This week, 46,000.


But the people Madge wanted to impress, all those youngsters who don’t read the newspaper, go to Radaronline all the time, it’s got a reputation for breaking the best gossip, even better than TMZ. In other words, Madonna’s efforts worked against her.

Madonna never should have put out a new album.

Or, if she did, she should have taken a left turn, like Mr. Richie above… Duetting with country stars? Sure, it’s a cheap shot, but at least Lionel knew these country stars had strong constituencies.

Rumor has it Madonna’s ticket sales are great. Then again, who’s going to tell the truth in that organization. But, she’s positively old school. Charging a fortune and playing huge venues. It’s like a going out of business sale. What do you do next?

Now was the time for Madonna to make a change.

Since all the money is in touring, she should have given this album away free, or sold it at a discount via Groupon, before that service goes out of business. She should have known that the marketing was more important than the music. She should have come up with an innovative way of making people aware of the tunes that let them hear them for free. Madonna needed to be inclusive instead of exclusive. Didn’t Lourdes teach her that? Young people are all about the group, baby boomers are into domination. Madonna should have come down off her perch and hung in the pit with the rest of us, illustrated that she’s truly just like us.

And she is, even though she won’t acknowledge it.

Wanna create a commotion? Play unannounced club dates. Have your picture taken with fans. Dish the dirt on “The Talk” or “The View” or Howard Stern. Invest in your future career, your longevity, instead of trying to rip people off one more time.

But Madonna’s lost touch. Put her at the end of an endless line, everyone from executives to artists, from Tommy Mottola to Madge herself, who didn’t realize that times changed, that not only is the music different, but the whole environment.

Lionel Richie Moves 20,000 CDs in One Hour on HSN:

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