In this New York Times profile of ubiquitous mewler James Blunt, we learn a lot of little factoids about the crooner–women who eat at “trendy meatpacking district restaurants” somehow find him sexy! he’s probably shut down the Ibiza party scene with the power of his own blandness! he’s buddies with Kid Rock!–but probably the most enlightening part of the story is the breakdown of just how, exactly, the world came to be throughly sick of “You’re Beautiful” a year ago:
In Britain two singles preceded “You’re Beautiful.” But Atlantic Records, which issues Mr. Blunt’s music in America in partnership with Custard, released that song first. Though it stalled on the charts at the beginning, a flurry of commercial licensing made it inescapable on television. It was used in a Sprint ad campaign, in prime-time dramas like “Smallville” and “ER,” on daytime soaps, in promo spots for “Extreme Home Makeover” and even in the 2006 Winter Olympics. That exposure helped its popularity on radio, and after seven months it hit No. 1. To date the album has sold 2.6 million copies in the United States.
As Ms. Perry sees it, all that licensing backfired: “You’re Beautiful” became as hated as it was loved.
“When you have a really big song and you want to see some legs on a record,” she said, “you don’t start putting that song in commercials and on TV shows and keep oversaturating it. Because that’s when people get sick of it.”
And if anyone should know about oversaturation of a song, it’s Linda Perry. But guess what, everyone? We’re going to need some extra airsickness bags, because Atlantic Records’ high-rolling chairman Lyor Cohen knows that Blunt’s signature blend of stubble and soft-rock caterwauling will, at the very least, allow enough licensing money to roll in so he can keep helicoptering Rolling Stone-employed lapdogs between New York City and the Hamptons:
Mr. Cohen said fears of piracy kept him from sending out the songs on “All the Lost Souls” for licensing in advance of the album’s release. But now that the album is out, the saturation can begin.
“We will license these records, in movies, TV and commercials,” he said. “Trust me, you will hear these records.”