Sunday, March 18, 2007

Simon channels Vince

If you didn't see 60 Minutes tonight, Anderson Cooper was interviewing everyone's favorite American Idol judge Simon Cowell about his career. Apparently, in the 80s, Cowell was the music genius behind wrestler-songwriters. In the 80s, when the WWF would go overseas on their Manchester and London tours, Cowell saw them sell out the stadium every single time and saw - as many others would later do - an untapped market. So he got Macho Man et al. in a recording studio. Results were lauded but lucrative. The money quote below:

AC: So you saw these American wrestlers come to London, sell out a stadium. You said why not give them a record contract?
SC: Yeah, and we sold a million, million and a half records
AC: Didn't matter that they (the wrestlers) couldn't sing?
SC: No, of course not.
AC: But why, then?
SC: Why not?
AC: Radio one called you the anti-christ of the music industry.
SC: (Laughs) Yeah. I couldn't care less. I couldn't care less. It's a business.

Bada bing.


Sam Ford said...

I actually think I've heard the album in question. Have you? With Macho Man and Big Bossman and others singing...

Brian "Louxchador" Loux said...

I can't be too sure. The clip from the piece focused on Macho Man. I have heard a few clips from an 80s record that had Jesse Ventura, Vince, and Mean Gene doing the DJ/comments in between each song. I'm not sure if that was the same one. I have heard Macho's SLAM! album.

I thought the whole "business" quote was just perfect after the debates with Josh and his own reference about American Idol. The rest of the interview was actually pretty good from a CMS standpoint as well: how Idol had to be tailored when it was broadcast to America, how one acts as a culture salesman, etc.

Sam Ford said...

This isn't that 80s record. It came out in the mid-1990s and features a song from several different wrestlers. I don't remember the details, but I've heard several of the tracks. They are terrible but enjoyable for their camp value, of course.

Joshua Shea said...

Sadly, I can set everybody straight on this, and provide some details.

Brian, glad I'm on your mind. The album you are referring to is "The Wrestling Album", the first WWF album. It's probably best known for the ensemble "Land of 1,000 Dances" (go find this on YouTube)and Junkyard Dog's "Grab Them Cakes" This came out sometime around 1984/85 as David Wolff and Cyndi Lauper had a part in producing, but didn't take credit. Most of the producing credit went to one-hit-wonder Rick Derringer.

The Simon Cowell-produced Wrestlemania: The Album, came out a lot later. I think I was in high school, so I'd guess 1992 or 1993. The only song on this album that anybody will remember is the Wrestlemania theme since it was used for the big show for several years, and is still used as Linda McMahon's entrance music.I don't know how the album did here, but I've read it was a modest success in the UK.

Sam Ford said...

Joshua, thanks for the info. I couldn't think of the name of the album for anything. Wrestlemania: The Album. Never bought the actual album, but I had several of the tracks on my computer. I do, however, have a copy of The Wrestling Album.