RivalSons Great Western ValkyrieI have to throw this out there simply because I’m a bit perplexed. But it could also be that perhaps we HAVE changed that dramatically.

On April 8, I mentioned the upcoming new release for Rival Sons called Great Western Valkyrie. Rival Sons is a blues/rock band originating from Long Beach, CA. Here is the link to revisit that post along with a video previewing the songs from the new album. Great Western Valkyrie was released in the US on June 10, the UK, on June 9, and the rest of the world on June 6.

I’ve received an email detailing the album’s reception in each location where it was released. Here are the results:

Official Album Chart Positions:

UK: #14
USA: #125

Now, I do not propose to change the tastes of America or the world for that matter. Nor am I chastising anyone. What I am interested in, however, is what is the US primarily listening to? With such a wide divide for this excellent band between the US and the rest of the world in reception, I sometimes am forced to remember my own sayings, which is that the UK, Japan, even Canada, enjoys music on a much wider scale than we may.

And so, I’m opening the floor for discussion on what might be the divide. Does Rival Sons appeal only elsewhere, and not the US? Is the US preferential to only a certain kind of music that relegates the rest to obscurity?


By MARowe

8 thoughts on “The Taste For Music In The US And Elsewhere : Rival Sons”
  1. I’ve got one of their albums. They’re a decent band.

    Using the premise that the younger demographic still drives the success or failure of newer bands with respect to album sales, my conclusion is that the younger demographic in the US sucks. The music industry has always been driven by image as much as the music itself but it seems to have gotten to an unhealthy level in the US.
    Rap, hip-hop and pop are what’s being marketed and the new path to success are glossy shows like American Idol and the like. Forget about being able to play your own instrument or write your own songs, it’s all about how much you sparkle.
    Shallow music for a shallow generation.

    1. It really surprised me that this album, which is good (in my opinion), is on the US charts at #125, more than 70 spots behind from the least charting country in Europe. And this is an American band.

  2. This is also a reflection of crappy radio in the US, I think. Since this has no chance of being played on American radio, the prospect of this charting any higher on US charts is slim to none. Word of mouth and fringe radio exposure might help some, but most likely not much. It’s a shame. Criminal, really. Bill B is right – if you don’t fit inside that “don’t I look great” box, you don’t have much chance of getting anywhere in today’s music industry. Just my opinion, of course.

  3. I wonder if the media isn’t driving the UK showing here? Classic Rock reviewed it as 10/10, and had them on the front of the latest issue. On the strength of that, I went for Spotify and was underwhelmed. They are OK, but I’m not going to buy the record.
    In that vein, give me Alter Bridge or Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltry any day!

  4. I agree with Bill B; it is not so much content as image and what the product and marketing can sell. Besides that, how many young people overall have Blues/Rock on their portable devices – and would want it even if they heard it?

  5. I received this CD Monday from Amazon and I think it’s very good. I think the real problem here in the USA is lack of exposure, particularly via radio. Unless you live in one of the large markets, there are very few stations that play the Rival Sons’ music. Sure, you can stream a lot of great stations from anywhere on the Internet, but most still listen in the car, to the limited choices of local radio stations. I live in Cincinnati and Clear Channel has a near monopoly and they won’t compete with themselves. That means only one or two stations of each format. They only play what is popular and seldom break a new artist.

  6. Simple issue in my opinion: where can I buy it? Oh, I know I can order from Amazon or any other on-line retailer, but typically whenever I get around to making such a commitment I get distracted: “Since I’m now here ordering things, let me order this-and-this instead..” I bought the first Rival Sons CD while visiting San Francisco, a city home to many great retail outlets, and was able to pursue my traditional approach to buying music acquired from my youth: I’ve got an extra ten bucks, so let me head over to the record store and buy SOMETHING/ANYTHING that fits my wheelhouse. Today? Got an extra 20 bucks and want to pick up a great retro-rock outfit like Rival Sons but only have BEST BUY or Walmart/Target as your retailer…you spend it on the latest ‘NOW’ cd and had that over to your wife/daughter. So there you go.

  7. There are a lot of artist who experience more success over seas. I think this is a problem because we should show more support to artists in the states. I think a lot of people are biased to music that society deems popular and they do not broaden their horizons.

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