Adam Lambert | News

Adam Lambert Walks Away from RCA Contract After Label Demands 80's Covers Album

Adam Lambert has walked away from his contract with RCA records after the label demanded an 80's covers album, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

LambertThe singer is walking away from his RCA contract after two full length albums, 2012's Trespassing and 2009's For Your Entertainment, along with several EPs and a live collection -- all issued by the Sony Music label.

Lambert revealed the news in a letter to THR...In it, Lambert notes "the oft-cited 'creative differences'" as they related to his next project, stating: "my heart is simply not in doing a covers album." To the contrary, Lambert adds that he's "deep into writing new material with some very talented colleagues," which will surely delight his audience of diehards.

The "evolution" continues, he says. "This music is where my heart is." But it won't be at RCA, where a typical American Idol recording contract stipulates that the artist and the label be on the same page creatively.

THR has a full letter from Lambert.

It was recently revealed by creator Ryan Murphy that Lambert would be joining the cast of season five of Glee.

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  1. What the heck is a "covers album?"

    Posted by: Jim | Jul 13, 2013 11:11:21 AM

  2. Good for him and that picture is the first time I thought he looked really handsome. I prefer him make-up free

    Posted by: RONTEX | Jul 13, 2013 11:11:31 AM

  3. Onya Adam.... that's a HUGE risk to take for your principles. Hope it works out for him!

    Posted by: Jacki | Jul 13, 2013 11:15:59 AM

  4. A cover is recording a song first originally recorded and released by another artist. So the label wanted Lambert to do an album of songs originally released in the 80's.

    Posted by: kiki | Jul 13, 2013 11:18:48 AM

  5. @RONTEX - I agree he looks much better without the makeup.

    And as much as I love 80s music, I generally think covers are best left to unknown/unsigned artists as a way to showcase their talent and attract attention from a bigger audience than their original music would get them on its own.

    Can't honestly say I'm a fan, but I respect his musical ability and believe Adam is far beyond the point in his career where it would be useful (or even very entertaining) to release covers of other people's hits. If he's REALLY into the 80s or any other particular era, Glee should give him more than adequate outlet for expressing it.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 13, 2013 11:20:24 AM

  6. An 80s cover album? Did they really think that would do well? My first thought was that they asked him to do that in order to get him to walk away from the contract...

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 13, 2013 11:21:26 AM

  7. A covers album suggests that RCA doesn't have confidence that Lambert has sufficient talent or a large enough fan base to make an album of original music and make that album profitable. Perhaps RCA suggested such an album because they knew Lambert would balk and walk. Well played RCA.

    Posted by: Mitch | Jul 13, 2013 11:28:02 AM

  8. This is exactly what happened to Cyndi Lauper. Her record company pretty much forced her to do remakes of old songs. Epic Records wanted for her to do a oldies album, she instead released "Merry Christmas Have A Nice Life" in response to the record company's efforts. After that her music stop getting promotion at all.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 13, 2013 11:53:43 AM

  9. not a fan (nor anti-fan)

    BUT this = respect for Adam lambert

    definitely the right stance/decision by him

    Posted by: Moz's | Jul 13, 2013 12:03:48 PM

  10. Who the heck is working at RCA these days? Dropping the worst single on Trespassing during the Christmas season? I've never, ever heard anyone releasing a single during that time. It was unfair to Adam. Then they release the second one with no promo, and very, very little radio play. Adam don't walk, run.

    Posted by: Melissa | Jul 13, 2013 12:14:09 PM

  11. I got his last album on a whim and it was surprisingly great (much better than the first one). Worked with some talented writers and producers (including Pharrell). It def wasn't promoted properly, the song Cuckoo was a radio hit and wasn't even released as a single. This was the right decision. He's the rare type of artist that will have a full career in entertainment no matter which avenue he goes down.

    Posted by: Jj | Jul 13, 2013 12:21:30 PM

  12. RCA is such a joke of a company. They simply are horrible at managing artists. Good for Adam that he left.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 13, 2013 12:33:19 PM

  13. As we say in the South: "he gettin a bit too big for his britches". At any rate, this strategy worked out great for George Michael.

    Posted by: franklin | Jul 13, 2013 12:57:30 PM

  14. PRO: He is better of following his muse and his last album was great. They did mis-handle it -- with proper marketing it should have been Top 20 album with at least 2 Top 10 hits,.

    CON: I would have bought the 80's album :s

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jul 13, 2013 1:17:31 PM

  15. Um, just because the pic is in black and whit does NOT mean he isn't wearing make up. I've been a professional artist for 22yrs, let me assure you that he is wearing make up and that all men and women and boys and girls who are on tv or in photographs are wearing it.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jul 13, 2013 1:24:01 PM

  16. Yeah. He has a pound of makeup on in that pic. LOL. Lots of luck to him. I think he will be successful at whatever it is he does, whether it's music or Broadway. I just hope he doesn't make any other cheesy appearances as himself on "Pretty Little Liars".

    Posted by: AJ | Jul 13, 2013 1:35:40 PM

  17. A record contract requires the artist to release a certain number of albums, typically 3-5. The label has the sole option to pay the artist to leave. Adam did not walk away from RCA, they dumped him. That said, label management teams are fairly uncreative, risk-adverse, and don't know what to do with unique artists. I hope he finds a new label with a grasp on the current market.

    Posted by: Steve M | Jul 13, 2013 1:59:53 PM

  18. Earth to RCA: This 80s cover album was already released last year. It was called "Rock of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". And yes it was pretty damn DOA stinky. Just because Adam's voice is pitch perfect to knock these out of the park doesn't mean it should be done = Uncreative Low Hanging Fruit Money Grab. [Savvy and classy move, Mr. Lambert]

    Posted by: Fell's Angel | Jul 13, 2013 2:00:57 PM

  19. good for him for sticking to his vision.

    that said, i'd kinda love for him to wrap his killer pipes around Til' Tuesday's "VOICES CARRY".

    because he'd rock it.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 13, 2013 2:19:21 PM

  20. I like Adam (I enjoy his recorded voice far more than his live voice, which I find nasal). He is very talented, and I agree that while both good albums, neither was quite the same caliber as his contemporaries'. There were missed opportunities for singles ("Fever," "Cuckoo" and "Naked Love" spring to mind), but most were solid songs that would not play on Top 40 radio ("Soaked" is an incredible Bond Theme, and tracks like "Broken Open" and "Outlaws of Love" are luscious but too slow for radio).

    I support this move creatively, but find it a little odd that he's turning down a covers album while signing up for a role on GLEE, where he will undoubtedly be recording an album's worth of covers...

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER I | Jul 13, 2013 2:36:26 PM

  21. I distinctly remember Cyndi Lauper saying that she too left her record label because they wanted her to do an album of 80's cover songs. Who is telling these record labels that consumers are gaging for 80's covers? So strange. But it worked out for Cyndi, she released a brilliant Blues album and won a Tony. Lets hope Adam can find success.

    Posted by: Thomas | Jul 13, 2013 2:48:13 PM

  22. So let me see if I have this correct. Just after Adam signs to join the cast of Glee, a show which is comprised almost solely of cover songs, he chooses to walk away from his recording contract because RCA wanted him to record an album of cover songs? Something seems fishy. I bet RCA dumped him. Too bad. Given the right songs and right producers, he could have a solid future. Good luck to him.

    Posted by: Crasher | Jul 13, 2013 4:07:07 PM

  23. in a fairer world Adam would be much more successful. His last album had some some songs on it that should have been singles (done with Pharrell an Nile Rogers who are having a resurgence) but RCA had him record some insipid songs at the last minute that adam didn't help write then failed to support them. He was probably furious. Also, radio and out gay men never seems to happen so maybe RCA knew this and thought he wasn't worth it if radio wont play him.

    RCA is a talent killer. They are safe and risk adverse. When Adam first came off Idol there was an assumption that he would be huge because he really did seem like he had the it factor plus the talents to back it up. He just needed a few good singles and promotion. RCA gave him safe boring singles when people expected him to be more exiting.

    Adam may never make it big but i'm guessing he's pretty happy to get away from these guys regardless of the circumstance surrounding the split.

    Posted by: IAN F | Jul 13, 2013 4:17:53 PM

  24. RCA didn't handle well the two first eras. There was a lot of buzz about Adam after Idol, and they killed it with Time for miracles and For your entertaiment. The first was just a nonsense, why send to itunes a song that you don't have any intention to promote, and the second was just too explicit to begin a career on mainstream. Fortunately for him, Whataya want from me save the day.
    On both albums were several songs (Sleepwalker, Cukoo) wich were clearly singles, but RCA keep releasing songs wich weren't the best suited for success, or not releasing anything at all (there's really no reason for not releasing Sleepwalker after If i had you went top 20 on radio).

    I'm not against covers, or even an album of covers, but that must be a project of the artist and not of the label. Something personal, and probably after a lot more original albums.

    He is still popular, and with his appearence on Glee, i'm pretty sure he'll get enough exposure to find another label, once that really believe in his talent.

    It's sad how badly most idol careers are handle, no matter how talented is the guy (or girl), for the label they are nothing more than another talent show contestant to exploit for a couple of years. Only breaking big can change that, or not, because it's known that Kelly Clarkson had a lot of differences and fight with her label too.

    In my opinion Adam only needs a little change, probably a toned down image, maybe only for the video (in my opinion he looks way better without make up, but that's him and i respect that) and a ballad as single (people loved his ballads on idol), and he will do fine on radio (the success of Same love could be only the beginning of a less conservative pop radio). A hit could open the door for his more dancey songs

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jul 13, 2013 4:22:32 PM

  25. Well done Adam! I prefer an artist to do what they want and not the 'safe road'. I'm a fan and 'For Your Entertainment' went platinum in Aus, thanks to Whatdaya want from Me? and If I had You which went double platinum. Unfortunately radio ignored him on the second album which did reach #10. Never Close our Eyes is a great track which radio just seemed to never play.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jul 13, 2013 4:32:43 PM

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