‘You become an arse overnight’: the pitfalls of having a hit novelty single

Kung-fu fighting! Crazy Frog! What does the fox say! And so on… Very fun read.

Holmes admits that while Right Said Fred used a novelty single as a trojan horse for a more conventional band launch, one of his later signings was less artistically driven. Years later, stranded in Thailand after the 2004 tsunami and, watching television in the only part of his hotel that hadn’t been destroyed, Holmes could not ignore one particular TV ad. It featuring a rather distinctive frog. “Every five minutes there was a fucking advert for this ‘ring-ding-ding-ding-ding’ ringtone,” he recalls. “I thought: ‘That would make a great record.’” The cash from Crazy Frog’s records meant Holmes’s label, Gut Records, could develop other artists, including a young Jessie J.

“My bank manager loved me,” Holmes laughs. “The downside is that you’re instantly an arsehole. Credible artists won’t sign to you. I’d worked with U2 in 1982, but as soon as I did I’m Too Sexy I was an arsehole, overnight. The music business should remember it’s about entertaining people. There’s room for everything, and novelty records are just moments of fun. Gangnam Style is an example that you can blow up on YouTube if you’ve got a massively entertaining video.”

via The Guardian (h/t MediaREDEF).

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