The release of the new George Michael single (featuring Mutya) – This Is Not Real Love – has been put back by almost a month. The new release date is either November 6 or November 13 (which, incidently, is the likely release date of the album). On the surface, this looks like a really strange decision. Could there be some sensible reasons behind the move, or is it just the record company being clueless? Read on to find out…
Possibly the most dramatic consequence of this change in release date, is that the new date doesn’t appear to leave any time for George to release his new Christmas song – which he thinks is “good” – as a single. A (remote) possibility is that, Sony are going to release This Is Not Real Love as a surprise “double A-side”, with This Is Not Real Love being played on the radio until December, and then “flipping it” to play the Christmas song after that. That could give George pretty much continual radio airplay between now and Christmas.
George’s tour will be in full swing during December, so the media is bound to be full of “George stories” then. I really thought both Sony and George would have wanted to release the Christmas song as a “present” to the fans. We can but hope , then, that the above is in Sony’s plans.
Also, at first glance, it seems likely that the new release date may hurt the chart performance of the new single. Why? Because, unless there is an interesting new track or two on the single, George’s fans won’t be buying the single with at most a week to go before the album is out.
What might qualify as “interesting”? Well, the new release date would allow a live performance from the tour to be included on the single. And, perhaps, a “live” video to be recorded from the tour, if Mutya joins George on stage.
So, to sum up. The release may have been put back to:
- Allow a “live” video for the single to be recorded, making the most of the £15M stage design.
- Enable a live track from the tour to be included as a “B-side” on CD 1; and enable the new Christmas song to be included to make a “double A-side” for CD 2. The two single formats being released to maximse the chances of the song going to Number One!
Of course… it goes without saying that the real reasons for delay may be – none of the above! And, whatever the reasons, it has to be said that this is bad planning. Why? Because it means the record went to radio too early. I can tell you from the search engine hits on this blog that, right now, public interest in This Is Not Real Love is massive – much, much bigger than for An Easier Affair. Whether this public interest will be sustained until mid-November is an open question.