Decca has unleashed a salvo of big Q4 albums in recent weeks - and almost all of them have hit the mark.
Andrea Bocelli and Rod Stewart have both had big comebacks, Alfie Boe made the Top 10 without Michael Ball, and the new album featuring Buddy Holly & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has continued its ascent into the Top 10. Only Katherine Jenkins is so far under-performing, albeit with a first week sale (14,303) that would have likely secured a Top 3 finish at any other time of year.
Last week Decca made No.3 in the Artist Albums Top 75 market share (11.21%), with five records inside the Top 30. Here, label president Rebecca Allen talks Music Week through some of the big Q4 records and a couple of significant artists on the roster who made an impact this year…
Si - Andrea Bocelli (Peak: No.1, Sales to date: 128,589)
“Classical has never gone away. Classical music has been around for hundreds of years and it will outlive all of us. I just think you have moments where brilliance shines through. What is really exciting is that there are these young artists - the likes of Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Jess Gillam - that are coming through, whilst we’ve got the excitement of Andrea Bocelli. On a global level there is still no one greater than Andrea. He has a huge physical footprint but also his digital footprint is significant globally. We’re in such a global position now, we’ve got great label mates in America, equally we have fantastic relationships with our French team, our German team and our Australian team. We have some brilliant people all fighting the same battles and working our artists so hard. It just feels really incredible now that we’re working on projects like Bocelli, Rod Stewart, Jeff Goldblum, Sheku, artists that have this global footprint and [international] teams who are helping us amplify what we do.”
True Love Ways - Buddy Holly (Peak: No.8, Sales to date: 52,546)
“It feels incredibly emotional actually because his widow, María Elena Holly, is really involved in the project. There’s a wonderful heart to the whole project, a wonderful story that really connects Buddy’s music with the orchestra. She has endorsed it and has given us so much time. So it’s quite an emotional record, people will connect emotionally with the music.”
Blood Red Roses - Rod Stewart (Peak: No.1, Sales to date: 146,010)
“Rod Stewart is the hardest working artist, and he’s so dedicated to his career and to the music. He’s one of life’s joys to work. The music is sensational. He was saying he can’t stop writing music. He sort of stopped writing music for about 20-odd years, and he said he’s in such a happy place now with his family and his life that it’s unlocked this writing inside him and this music. This album is just so full of joy and happiness, it’s such an uplifting record. The reason that these artists are at the top of their game is because they work incredibly hard, they take nothing for granted and everything is about excellence. Rod is definitely that kind of artist.”
Your Queen Is A Reptile - Sons Of Kemet (Peak: N/A, 5,549 sales)
“The energy coming out of this kind of area is just so exciting to see. Jazz, a bit like classical, has never really gone away. Exceptional artists will come through and open up the discussion and bring the excitement. The feedback I got from the night at the Mercury Prize was that if the award was given based on the performance alone, then they should have won. What did us so many favours that night was their performance was so electric, and there were so many industry and media people in that room. People were just so captivated by their performance, now it makes our conversations so much easier when you’re going in and discussing them. It was a great moment for them in the industry. They are a great act, they are signed to our sister company in America, Verve, who we work really closely with. Great management, great label, they are a fantastic band.”
Nat King Cole & Me - Gregory Porter (Peak: No.3, 219,299 sales)
“He’s just exquisite. We’ve got a Gregory Porter live album [One Night Only] from the Royal Albert Hall - it’s basically his greatest hits with an orchestra. It’s a perfect [Q4] gifting opportunity. Then coming into next year it will be all about a new record with him, which I cannot wait for, because he’s working with different producers and writers. I just think it could be very exciting for 2019. It’s also Decca’s birthday, we turn 90. It makes us one of the oldest British labels alive. We don’t look it, but we are very old!”