I would have blogged about this last week but I'm in the middle of a move. My life consists of waking up, going to work, driving down to Albuquerque in search of a new house, coming home and going back to bed and then repeating it all the next day. In the middle of all this, big Cher drama! It goes like this:
Many years ago Cher fans heard a rumor that Cher had recorded a new Lady Gaga song called "The Greatest Thing." Many years ago fans also heard a rumor that its release was eternally pending. It was a solo or it was a duet or it was a solo featuring Gaga. It was one of those mysterious Cher things.
Months ago we found out the song had been shucked of the new Cher album due to reasons from Gaga herself.
Suddenly last week, the song was leaked onto the Internets amid other Gaga song leaks. (Cher's single "Woman's World" was also leaked last year.) A new rumor has it the leak of "The Greatest Thing" came from someone on Gaga's team.
The truth of these many rumors may never be known. But Cher fans suddenly found themselves able to finally hear the song. (Check Cher World for more details.) Meanwhile, Cher posted angry tweets about the leak:
"Just heard TGT ! F--K ! IT'S NOT EVEN THE RIGHT F---ING VERSION!!! WHY DO PPL THINK THIS KINDA LEAKING S--T IS OK ! I'm so Fg DISSAPOINTED," she tweeted to her fans.
"Disappointed ( Ive Sat on fkng song 4 over a yr ) NOW SOME A--HOLE LEAKS WRONG VERSION ! GaGa's SINGLE IS GREAT, & THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS."
News reports said Cher was referring to Lady Gaga's new ballad, "Applause."
Looking at a leak from "two sides now" (as Joni Mitchell might), you can see the artist's side of it. In these days of hackers with nothing else to do but break into other people's stuff, you probably need to have your hot songs under a kind of Mission Impossible lock and key, reachable only when Cher and Gaga are together in the same room with some fingerprinting device. Artists should have some kind of control as to what product enters the ear-o-sphere.
Also, they do not get paid. What if they've already paid their musicians, engineers and whutnots. Here is where "this leaking shit" is not OK. There's something to be said to having all the same employees working one album and where they can all benefit from the profits of the whole album. Then a leak of one song wouldn't be so financially detrimental. It would be a preview.
But there are four small positives to a leak of this nature:
1. It's press coverage: more build-up for her album release in late September. July is a long way from September and her press for "Woman's World" has died down. This is better than a sneak peak. It's drama.
2. It's mind-boggling: In search of an answer to a submitted question to Cher Scholar, I'm re-watching all the Sonny & Cher TV shows, (yes, that's how dedicated I am to Cher scholarin), and this gives me pause to consider that Cher was huge in 1973 and now 40 FREAKIN YEARS LATER we are talking about a leak to a new Cher song! At this point, its beyond phenomenal. And on the flip side, would anyone have cared about a leak of a song from Cherished or I'd Rather Believe in You? Nobody's writing about leaks from new Jackie DeShannon albums (God love her).
3. It shuts down crabby fans like me who will eternally complain about their cravings to hear it. Which is mind-boggling that we even feel this way being Cher fans. When you consider all her 32+ studio and soundtrack albums, six seasons of TV show songs, (at an average of four songs per episode...if you break the Sonny & Cher medley into two), and all the material from other special TV appearances, our catalogue of Cher songs is really an embarrassment of riches. But we seem to be the insatiable zombies I have always thought we were.
3. It's a good song, even this version, and it's given me a new Cher fantasy. If only you knew how I hate it when artists ask their crowds to sing parts of their songs for them. They turn the microphone out to the audience and the masses sing the chorus of some hit. Manipulated love and what a rip off. Like I don't need to pay to hear myself sing, you know. However, this song has made me reconsider my grouchiness on this point. What a moment that would be to hear all Cher fans in a big crowd singing the lyrics of "The Greatest Thing" back to her. I get verklempt!
4. My life was in the shithole last week and for three minutes it wasn't. If I can send money somehow to Cher or Lady Gaga I would be happy to.