Saturday, 9 January 2010

Florence & The Machine - Lungs. A 6 Single Phenomenon.

It’s pretty rare when a single album has 6 singles taken from it. The norm is 1 or perhaps 2. Lungs’ next single will be. ‘Hurricane Drunk’ in March. Now whether or not you like Florence & the Machine you can not deny their success, with Lungs being certified platinum; selling 300,000 copies in the UK alone. And reaching No.2.

Clever marketing by her record label, Island, has seen tracks from the album appear in Channel 4’s hit teen drama Skins as well as appearing on the sound tracks of American blockbusters aimed at US teens such as Jennifer’s Body.
It is interesting to note that singles have been released over 2 years with ‘Kiss With A Fist’ being released summer 2008. Long before the album was even recorded. If you listen to the song with the rest of the album it seems strangely out of place from the album as a whole.

The critical aclaim of the album, with the Brits’ Critic Choice award being won even before the albums release, along with the considerable hype created by NME mean that upon release it was almost certain to be one of the years ‘big’ albums, it has been voted just that in several ‘Album of the Year’ articles. Held from the top of the chart only by MJ’s untimely death and an unprecedented out pouring of grief and cash on the hastily assembled MJ best of.  Incidently MJ's albums 'Bad' & 'Dangerous' had 10 singles taken from them.

The reason for this post is not to review the actual album and whether you like the album or not you have appreciate how unusual it is for and album, a debut at that, to have 6 singles taken from it. Especially so when none of the singles reached the top five. With ‘Rabbit Heart’ reaching #12 during the albums period of maximum hype. It is also interesting to compare Robbie Williams’ ‘comeback’ album ‘Reality Killed the Video Star’ which was also a No.2 album; being narrowly beaten by JLS’ debut. Robbie’s album has had just 2 singles taken from it both reaching the top 10. So is it possible that Florence & Island Records are chasing a top 10 single or perhaps a No.1?

I think the main reason so many singles have been taken from Lungs is because the album has been in the top 40 UK for 26 consecutive weeks, a long time. It’s half a year exactly, in the music business that’s a lifetime.
While Florence’s label may have been expecting a bigger hit, than #13 with ‘You’ve Got The Love’ perhaps they feel they’ll strike gold with ‘Hurricane Drunk’. To finish on a cliche, only time will tell.

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