Originally Posted by con struct
What labels were these that were investing long-term into bands for most of the history of the music business? I mean, big labels with that kind of money didn't exist for most of the history of the music business. It was usually one or two guys who took out a second mortgage on their houses to put records out.
In the examples I gave.
I.E. it was common practice in the 60s/70s/ and even part of the 80's that if a bands 1st album didn't sell, (major) labels would still invest in a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th album until the band broke and turned a profit.
From the 90s onward, if a band didn't turn a profit right away, the label would drop a band like yesterday's newspaper.
Much of this change corresponded with Mo Ostin being forced out of Warner Brothers in the 90, and the consolidation of various labels that occurred around that time, although the changes were certainly not limited to the WEA family of labels.
Granted, bands were still signed to un fair deals, some bands were signed strickly for the tax write offs with no hope of getting released, and all sorts of other problems, but at least there was still active band development.
Labels cry over lack of sales, but they don't bother to put in the effort to make those sales. Some of the biggest selling albums in history were by bands who were not particularly popular in the beggining.
The biggest example is Pink Floyd. While they had some minor pop hits around their 1st album, for the most part they released album after album that were not big sellers. But despite their relative lack of success, the label kept investing money into new recordings.This paid off with Dark Side of the Moon, one of the most popular albums of all time.
That just does not happen anymore with the majors.