“I am now on Epic Records and finally working with LA Reid again (he signed me when I was 15) re-inspired :)” reads the message on Avril Lavigne’s Facebook page, thereby confirming to her fans (though she did mention the label move previously in a radio interview last month with Montreal’s 92.5 THE BEAT) that she was leaving RCA to work with her old producer/mentor, who became the head of the Epic label in July of this year.
The move can at least partially (if not wholly) be attributed to the poor sales performance of Lavigne’s last album “Goodbye Lullaby”, which – thanks to the failure of the set’s singles to pick up steam on pop radio – as of last month had sold “only” 277,000 copies since its release in March (a huge drop from her three previous LPs). To give a better sense of the pop songstress’ waning popularity in the States, “Lullaby” has sold roughly 100,000 more copies in Japan than it has here in the U.S., a disparity I imagine would make even the likes of Jennifer Love Hewitt shudder.
Clearly the pop star is hoping to recapture the magic that catapulted her first two albums (boasting combined sales of nearly 30 million copies worldwide) to astronomical success under the stewardship of Reid’s Arista Records, where he served as label president from 2000-2004 before being pushed out. The following year Arista was merged with RCA Music Group’s J Records, thereby making it an operational arm of RCA, under which Lavigne’s last two albums – “Lullaby” and 2007’s platinum-certified “The Best Damn Thing” – were released (believe me when I tell you that’s the simplified version).
Now, if you listen to the BEAT radio interview (just try to ignore the typically ass-kissy DJ if you can), it’s clear that Reid’s departure succeeded in sending poor Avril into a soul-crushing creative tailspin the likes of which I can’t quite wrap my head around.
Moral of the story: when you’re feeling lost and alone in the great wilderness of fame (and declining sales), run back home to Daddy as quick as you can.
Lavigne is currently prepping her as-yet-untitled fifth album.