Dandies starting their own label

Capitol Records dumped them after their last album sold only 38,000 units, so now the Dandy Warhols are launching their own label. The Billboard article reveals some interesting details about their contract with Capitol:

“Our records were recouping and making money for them because of all the licensing, but they weren’t promoting us or paying attention.”

…Capitol owned 50% of the masters in perpetuity. This meant the band had to split any licensing income with a label it felt was doing nothing else for it. Faced with the knowledge that their licensing income had outweighed their sales income, the Dandys wanted to create a deal where they could call the shots and reap the benefits of their placements.

Hand-picked Best of the Dandy Warhols videos after the jump…

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Bohemian Like You” (2000, NSFW)

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Boys Better” (1997)

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth” (1997)

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “All The Money or the Simple Life Honey” (2005)

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Smoke It” (2005)

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “We Used To Be Friends” (2003)

8 thoughts on “Dandies starting their own label”

  1. I went to our city’s junior hockey league game last weekend and they typically play rawk songs during warm-ups. They included the Dandy’s “Bohemian,” which I found strange.

    Chicago beat us 2-1 with under a minute left, and I blame Courtney for the loss.

  2. “1997’s The Dandy Warhols Come Down, has sold 103,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan; 2000 follow-up Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia has moved 164,000.” – Billboard

    Licensing or not, those are not major label numbers. They’re lucky they didn’t get dropped after the second one.

    If I’m not mistaken, the rule of thumb was to sell a minimum of at least 250,000 copies each, at the time of the DWs’ deal. Unless you’re a prestige artist–someone who doesn’t do much in the way of sales but their presence on the roster is image beneficial to the label–they wouldn’t keep you on. The fact that the DWs didn’t sell–for a major–and weren’t a prestige artist means they probably had a close ally w/much power at the label that enabled them to stay on for a decade.

  3. I’m not sure about that, Kiko. In the mid-90s, when the Dandies were signed, there was still the idea of nurturing (some) bands. I mean, this is the same time Sparklehorse signed to Capitol. I’m betting Sparklehorse has never come close to those numbers…

  4. I say this as a fan of the Dandys.

    Maybe Odditorium would have sold more than 38,000 copies if wasn’t such a meandering piece of crap.

  5. Good point, Jake. But if both the Dandies and Sparklehorse were signed to the same label around the same time, it also kinda reinforces my speculation about someone in the company wanting to champion these bands and ‘have their back’ as long as s/he was around. (Ex: Former Sire/Warner Bros exec Howie Klein stating how the Wilco fiasco would not have happened on his watch.) Cases like Brendan Benson’s and his buddy Jason Falkner seem to be the more common examples of artists signed to the big guys around that time.

    “The majors were falling all over themselves to sign ten Pixies in hope of attracting one Nirvana.”

    Absolutely. Which is precisely why DGC signed Sonic Youth.

    I could be wrong but I’ve always felt, as far as major label dealings are concerned, the ’90s were a lot like the ’60s: the suits had no clue what the kids liked so they snatched up anything with a female bass player in it. Ha!

    Seriously, we saw a bunch of artists signed to majors that had no business being there. (Butthole Surfers and The Melvins come to mind.) I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was happy for these guys if it meant real progress for them. But deep down many had a feeling that the majors would not hold up their end of the bargain and it would end up being detrimental to the artists in question.

    worpswede, you may have something there, but if the Dandies were signed here in the US, then Capitol would license the record to the European labels for an amount upfront and get a percentage from sales. I don’t know if that really meant anything to the company, since they were probably more concerned with US sales, first and foremost.

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