Why Andrea Bocelli is top of the pops

Decca claims he’s the first classical artist in quarter of a century to top the Billboard 200.

Actually, he’s neither classical nor pop. He’s perfect MOR.




share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • Gehauchtes, nichtssagendes, verkitschtes Gesäusel

    Nothing to care about at all but there will be enough people to buy and he will earn a lot of money with this “Schmarrn”

  • Neither fish not fowl. An insult, travesty, sham. Congratulations to Decca, Gergiev, Mehta, other singers and others in the industry who should know (or should have known) much much better than lending their continued support to this fraud.

  • look, if he makes people happy, good. (same reason i don’t bag on andre rieu. he found an audience. nice old ladies love him. he makes them happy)

    but: this is not classical by any stretch of the imagination. it’s frankly embarrassing even by pop standards. and it is brand-deminishing for decca to claim this as ‘classical.’

    (this will sound snarky but i don’t mean it to. he is clearly very wealthy but i’ve always wondered what he spends money on. i mean, a view is not important. a big house, who cares. visual art, no. i guess it must be the other senses- sound, taste, touch, feel.) i’m happy that he has found an audience and is successful. but please do not call this classical music.

    • “it’s frankly embarrassing even by pop standards.”

      Not sure why it’s “embarrassing”. It just strikes me as undemanding MOR, and honest entertainment so long as it’s not marketed as classical. A certain female singer also springs to mind.

      It seems hugely hypocritical when people in the pop/rock world sneer at MOR, or any music widely enjoyed by people who are middle aged or above, simply because they don’t snarl, and spit at their audiences. In 2018, the pop/rock world is the establishment. Trying to appear edgy and rebellious is nothing more than a pathetic affectation.

          • The story here is really how much did it cost Universal to get to “Number One” ? I’m guessing that they spent nearly a million on the marketing and combine that with the fact that the CD was part of a concert ticket package it’s all for ego. A false #1. In additon, the bigger story is the drop off in week two of sales. Keep your eye open for this weekending charts.

    • off topic but just to clarify what i mean by the last pp in (): if one thinks about it. it’s quite extraordinary how much one’s income goes towards what is visually attractive.

  • Certainly Bocelli is not a “classical” artist and such a claim is ludicrous and demeaning to classical music.

    But he is a singer with a pleasant enough voice and stage manner — lots of people enjoy listening to him, as these dales figures demonstrate.

    HE is not making the classical claim — he is hardly the only MOR singer to have included some arias in his repertoire. Although he has clearly had aspirations to be considered classical, given his appearance in several full-length, staged operas. With, I might add, the support of several top figures whose classical credentials are unexceptionable.

    But on the whole, it seems unnecessary to sneer at him for singing popular songs that give people pleasure. I distinguish between his and Andre Rieu because the latter only seems to perform watered-down classical repertoire while Bocelli sings songs from contemporary to hymns to the odd aria.

    But around here there are some to whom purism tops humanity and a live and let live attitude.Criticise Decca on this story by all means, but leave someone who has not uttered on the matter alone to do what he does.

    • He’s recorded full operas with real established opera singers and orchestras. And released opera recital CDs. He very much claims the ‘classical’ label.

  • The marketing side of the music/record business does not use the word “classical” as we would have them use it (that being: accurately).

    I have not seen an issue of Billboard in years but back when they did have a “classical” sales chart they said, in effect, if it is classical music, or if it is music performed by classical music artists, or — I am gradually arriving at my point here — if it comes from the “classical” department of the record company, yup, it’s classical enough for us.

    Arthur Fiedler and Andre Kostelanetz made money for the “classical” wings of their labels hence they were classical regardless of repertoire, and both recorded plenty of MOR items. If a classical artist did a crossover album, it was classical.

    Of course there are artists difficult to classify. Branford Marsalis had a genuinely lovely album of genuine classical music, but unlike his brother he never claimed to have a toe in both waters.

    I can recall a Philip Glass LP on Columbia that had a unique green label, neither pop nor classical – evidently there were reasons why they did not feel he belonged on the “Masterworks” label or perhaps did not want sales to be hurt by marketing it as classical.

  • I can’t imagine Bocelli would want to be called a classical artist. Why would he want to sell only a hundred copies of his albums?

  • So, what is ‘classical’ music? As someone who works in the industry it is actually a really unhelpful term that should sure have been supplanted with something else by now.

  • As someone with LOTS of music retailing experience I can assure you Bocelli is marketed as classical music by Decca and the audience who buys his recordings (old and generally pretty nasty, ignorant rich white women) very much consider him classical. His quasi-operatic style and repertoire is deliberate crossover shtick. I have no problem with anyone deriding his work or his audience. Also, pop/rock hasn’t been edgy or rebellious in over a generation. On the whole it is comprised of far greater corporate whore/hacks than Bocelli.

    • “old and generally pretty nasty, ignorant rich white women”

      I seriously object to that.

      Substitute “black” for “white” and it would have been removed.

  • Sounds very much like a standard Andrew Lloyd Webber number/performance. Isn’t he a great classical composer?

  • Re-quoting a renowned worldwide conductor, composer and musician: “It is not a question whether he is a good or bad singer, he simply cannot sing in the category we consider an opera singer.” Amen

  • As stated above: The success of this project during its first week is that it was part of a ticket package that included the CD. Period. Sales the 2nd week have no been reported and they dropped to 16K scans – a decrease of 87%.

    The reality is and has been for the last 25-30 years: the audience for “core” classical recordings is not growing. While this project may not net any profit based on whatever the initial marketing costs are, it is thee crossover albums that help pay the bills for the 44th version of Mozart’s Requiem to be put out by the same label over and over and over again. It is the ultimate “cover” genre.

  • >