Phillip Phillips Album Goes Gold, Graces Billboard Cover with Jimmy Iovine (PHOTO)

Look who is on the cover of the next issue of Billboard! It’s American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips and his Idol mentor, Jimmy Iovine!

Phillip Phillips’ coronation single “Home” just sailed past 3 million downloads, and his album The World From the Side of the Moon, released on Nov. 19 last year,  went Gold this week!  The album, which landed at #11 on the Billboard 200,  sold 58K copies  for a total of 533k! Congrats Phillip.

Jimmy Iovine graces the cover with Phillip, because, not only is he the official American Idol mentor, doling out criticisms and shepherding the contestants through the rigors of the competition during the show, but he’s also the chairman of the singer’s record record label, UMG.

Jimmy and UMG took over the job in Season 10 held by Sony since the show premiered in 2002–signing and releasing the albums of Idol winners and alums in partnership with 19 Entertainment.  So far, Jimmy and company have done a great job.. Before Phillip, Clear as Day, the debut album from Season 10 Idol winner,  Scotty McCreery, has sold over a million copies.

The front page story is timed perfectly with the premiere of American Idol 12 next week at movie theaters across the country.  While X Factor and The Voice just crowned shiny new winners, it remains to be seen if they can launch record-selling stars.

  • getaway1

    With all the drama, controversy in the news with other Idols, it’s refreshing to hear about someone and their music.  Jimmy Iovine has been pretty much behind the scenes pulling the strings all this time.  Looking forward to what he has to say.

  • Anny_nanny

    *clinks glasses with a monitor*

  • hayes

    Not too shabby for someone many thought wasn’t going to be very successful (I was one of them).

    Idol is a star factory, no doubt about it.

  • hellomusicgirl

    Wow, great promo for Phillip and for Idol!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Phillip Phillips’ coronation single “Home” just sailed past 4 million downloads”

    It’s 3 million downloads.

  • http://twitter.com/LexieONeill Lexie O’Neill

    Congrats to P@ and Jimmy:))

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “the premiere of American Idol 12 next week at movie theaters across the country”

    Really? I hadn’t heard this.

  • jpfan2

    Nice picture. It’s funny to see the guitar right in the middle of the cover. WGWG#5 for sure.

  • sporkle

    Say what you will about Jimmy, but he’s more of a mentor to those kids than the XF “mentors” ever will be. Well done to them both! 

  • durbesque

    It will be 4 million….just looking ahead.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4JTC7ZSC6SK5SGV5NZMCHB5BHQ Cherry

    Wow..amazing..good for Phillip & Jimmy!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    That doesn’t change the fact that the blog post is incorrect.

  • http://twitter.com/Free_in_march El oh El

    “releasing the albums of Idol winners and alums in partnership with 19 Entertainment.  So far, Jimmy and company have done a great job..”

    except for Pia and Haley……

  • http://www.facebook.com/marjanaisweird Aakash Mansukhani

    Congrats to Phillips and Iovine! His album is one of the best idol albums that I’ve ever heard. Definitely well-deserved. 

  • Anny_nanny

    Don’t you like the album of Haley?

  • girlygirltoo

    Nice photo :)

    Congrats to Phillip on his album going gold!

    But one small nitpick…I don’t think “Home” has gone past 4 million downloads (yet, anyway)

  • girlygirltoo

    Who was the last Idol before Phillip to be on the cover of Billboard? I remember Kris & Adam were on it together right after their season ended. Has anyone from Idol been on the cover since then? Carrie or Kelly or Scotty, maybe?

  • CB40

    I like Jimmy, he’s better than the judges even.

  • hellomusicgirl

    I remember Carrie was when her album came out last year.

  • justmefornow

    I agree. Congrats to P2, but the first thing I thought when I saw this cover is how crappy it must make Pia and Haley feel. And I have a bad feeling Jessica may suffer the same fate.
    Jimmy always came off a little chauvinistic to me and his track record with the AI women doesn’t help with that perception. 

  • http://twitter.com/AwesomeWillis Willis White

    Nice press right before the new season. The cover did make me laugh. Jimmy’s dressed like the oldest teenager ever. They should’ve given him a skateboard to hold.

  • Axxxel

    The judges have to give their opinion on the spot, directly after the performances of the American Idol finalists…So they only have 5 minutes to think about it.. Jimmy has a whole night to think about the comments he is going to make in a pre-recorded video the next day after the performances… so no idea how many takes were taken to get the perfect shot.

  • http://twitter.com/Free_in_march El oh El

     I love her album! They did a great job letting her make the album she wanted and at least she got to release one unlike Pia. Afterwords was a different story; so I was referring to that part of the quote.

    “and alums in partnership with 19 Entertainment.  So far, Jimmy and company have done a great job..”

    Of course its easier to have success with a popular winner (bigger budget) than one of the also-rans but not guaranteed so congrats to Jimmy and company.

  • http://twitter.com/Free_in_march El oh El

    I think Interscope will ride the Phillips train as long as possible. Jessica could be in danger of geting shoved aside with all the other budget cuts they had to make but they’ll probably at least release an album with the publicity of her Glee stint.

    I don’t know about Pia but Haley has moved on to the next so she could gaf about a billboard cover. She says she’s going to London to record her next album; with who or what remains to be seen.

  • Listening

    I bet it eats Phillip up inside that Jimmy is somehow getting credited w/ molding/steering/guiding him to stardom. From what I recollect Phillip had to fight Jimmy b/c HE wanted to change him.

    I know i’d be annoyed if I were Phillip.

  • CB40

    Except the judges have dress rehearsals and more than 5 minutes. 

  • getaway1

    No worries.  At 22 and just starting his career, having the CEO of a major record label take interest in his career is hardly a negative. Phil is having the time his life living his dream.  He is over the moon with how his CD turned out.  He got to pick the producer and the musicians he wanted to work with.  He chosed the name of the CD.

  • windmills

    girlygirltoo: Who was the last Idol before Phillip to be on the cover of Billboard? I remember Kris & Adam were on it together right after their season ended. Has anyone from Idol been on the cover since then? Carrie or Kelly or Scotty, maybe?

    Carrie’s been on the cover of Billboard twice since the s8 finale (once before Play On came out and once before Blown Away came out) and 3 times in total. 

    Congrats P2 (and Jimmy I guess). I’m curious to read the article, it should be interesting! 

  • girlygirltoo

    Cool, thanks for the info.

    I’m interested to read this story. Hopefully it won’t take potshots at some of the former winners (although it probably will)

  • mouse999

    My comment just disappeared.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PSHFTD4YV3QOE3INABJUXZSWMU hillstreetblooz

     I tell ya – I’m having a ball watching Philips’ sales and promo and his good fortune, especially because I never believed he would be this successful w/his debut single or CD!  Jimmy I, Interscope and whoever else on his team pulling strings and making it happen for him deserves kudos.  It’s nice watching someone like Philip defy a lot of folks, mine included, expectations… Rooting for him to take it and ride this wave as long as he can… nothing beats success!

  • mouse999

    Nvm

  • durbesque

    Even if Phillip is so deluded that he thinks he did it all by himself (which I doubt), somebody had to allow him to do it.  And who picked ‘Home’?  I think it was Jimmie.

  • durbesque

    Even if Phillip is so deluded that he thinks he did it all by himself (which I doubt), somebody had to allow him to do it.  And who picked ‘Home’?  I think it was Jimmie.

  • Trina

    I find it even more impressive that hes on the cover without any other Idols. What an honor to share the cover with Jimmy.

    Not too shabby for someone many thought wasn’t going to be very successful (I was one of them).

    Hey I’M one of those people that also predicted that and even I can laugh my ass off! WORST.PREDICTION.EVER.

    I know i’d be annoyed if I were Phillip

    But Jimmy is the one who handed him Home. For that alone Phillip should be grateful to Jimmy. I doubt hes annoyed at all. Not to mention I bet Jimmy is doing a lot we dont see behind the scenes.

    I agree. Congrats to P2, but the first thing I thought when I saw this cover is how crappy it must make Pia and Haley feel. And I have a bad feeling Jessica may suffer the same fate.

    Haley and Pia should move on. But Jessica, heh. P2 must be his special little snowflake now LOL

  • windmills

    girlygirltoo: I’m interested to read this story. Hopefully it won’t take potshots at some of the former winners (although it probably will)

    Billboard’s print stories usually don’t editorialize too much so I’d guess any mentions of former winners would involve numbers or maybe record deal status only and not be too bad. I hope so anyway. They may also just choose to focus on Interscope-era Idol and what Jimmy Iovine’s changed from the label side. Obviously Home will get a lot of the focus and I’m really glad that will be an industry trade mag. It’s really quite the story what this song has done.

  • Listening

    The judges may have dress rehearsals but say during the actual live performance the contestants sound worse or better they still have to answer on the spot. Also my big gripe on how Jimmy is viewed as this amazing critiquing genius is we get his responses after the public has already gone off on social media either blasting or praising a performance so he could gear his comments to coincide w/ public opinion. Also I believe he sees the results too so during his crittiques when he says someone’s in danger and it was unexpected he comes off looking so insightful and connected to the public’s psyche when in actuality he simply had a sneak peek.

    I’m sorry I just don’t buy it and i’m not gonna believe his opinions aren’t bolstered/influenced by foreknowledge of how the public thinks until he delivers them at the same time the judges do.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I’m no Jimmy apologist but I have to say that I don’t think its entirely fair to hold Pia and Haley against him. For all of idol’s existence the people you have the best chance of successfully launching are the people who walk off the show with the biggest fanbases their year… typically (but not always) the 1st and 2nd place finishers. And even with that, only one of them is likely to sell big and the other might do okay if you are lucky. Beyond that it is a real crapshoot.

    Last year Scotty did great and Lauren did okay, enough to get her to a second album at least. He gave Pia & Haley a chance, and it didn’t work out, but the odds were against both from the beginning. Pia did a lot of recording with heavy hitters but the label apparently wasn’t buying into the finished products. It happens. He let Haley actually produce a good album that really fit her but it wasn’t all that commercial.

    Its like we are expecting the guy to pull platinum albums for everyone out of his ass. That is unrealistic. The most he can do is what he did, give people a chance to record quality records in the studio, then roll the dice if the finished product sounds like it has a chance to be commercial. That’s what he did. I’m not mad at him personally.

  • jpfan2

    I saw  star quality in P2 the last few weeks of Idol. Before then, I just fast forwarded him on the show!   I knew Home would be a smash if given half a chance. And Jimmy has certainly made sure it got that and more.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7Y7GLRUZ3DEDNAV4O4VWVN62TA Donne

    Congrats to Jimmy! He’s all behind this.

  • elliegrll

    I think that Jimmy’s track record speaks volumes.  Not everyone will make it, that’s just the reality of the business, but Jimmy has made Interscope into a Powerhouse.  His artists are mainstays on the radio, and have set the standard that other labels are trying to imitate.  

  • elliegrll

    All of this is true.  I’d also add that the track records of AI alums is probably similar to what happens with most new artists.  Just look at any label, the vast majority of the artists are not selling 500,000 copies of their album.

  • tibitibis

    To me  big part of this success has a name …and is ‘Home’ , the single gave to him notoriety , acceptation , career direction … put in people minds an idea of the commercial route for PP to follow , a route that has many fans in the market today like we can see on the sales and that fit PP interest and voice . Of course he is attractive and talented kid and that is always a plus ;), but the vision is more Jimmy’s job. So Congrats to Idol because their new partner is a really smart guy who knows how take profit of the winner of each season ….because i think too Scotty is a success taking in consideration the skepticism of many of us after he win same with PP.

  • durbesque

    I just watched Phillip’s recent performances in Toronto.  They’re all about ‘Home’ and GGG.  The craze is riding on those 2 songs.  What will Jimmie do when they run their course?  Single #3 will be the real challenge.  Or will he go right to Album #2?  That will be Jimmie’s real test.

  • Listening

    Oh I didn’t know Jimmy gave/found/suggested Home for Phillip that has proven to be Phillip’s pot of Gold. He deserves a bit of credit simply for that. The sales of  Home have been impressive and multiple sources are snatching it up for commercials, advertising, Olympics etc. That’s probably got to be a record as well as it’s sales.

    I find it the definition of Irony that the one thing I remember about Home and Phillips well at least original feelings towards it is he didn’t like it or want it. I believe the very first interview he had regarding that song Phillip distanced himself from the song. I think he said something like that’s not his type of music or song/style he wants to make. It was along those lines and now look it became super popular. I bet Phillip’s liking it a whole lot more now. LOL

    I guess I can’t get too much on Phillip’s case he wouldn’t be the first artist to dislike / not appreciate a song that the public latches on to and loves.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    Yes, this will be done at 11 theaters across the country on Wednesday at 7:00 PM EST.  After that Ryan wil appear with the Idol judges at 8:30 PM with a list of questions we have submitted.  This is something new and I hope I’ll get in.  It is a first come first serve, but you have to register first and will get an invite.  No guarantees though.

  • getaway1

    I believe the very first interview he had regarding that song Phillip distanced himself from the song. I think he said something like that’s not his type of music or song/style he wants to make.

    The finale was over 7 mos ago.  There is no new information that hasn’t been hammered to death.  At what point is Phil allowed to move on?  Isn’t it more important that he has grown and evolved – with time and experience. 

    It’s unfortunate that his comments on what the song has meant to people, especially the victims of Hurricane Sandy are never given the equal air time it deserves.

  • girlygirltoo

    The song has finally reached the point of oversaturation, at least for me. I’ve heard it used on half a dozen commercials, in promos for multiple tv shows (most recently on the HGTV network), etc. It is literally everywhere, and that is the point where I get sick and tired of songs. So, for me, anyway, it’s beyond time to move on to GGG and try to turn that into a hit.

  • Listening

    Phillip’s allowed to move on anytime he wants. But just b/c someone else has moved on doesn’t mean others have to move along w/ him.

    I don’t really follow Phillip and hadn’t heard any of his comments regarding Sandy and his song. I think the reason people are more aware what happened during the finale and his feelings towards the song b/c that’s when people’s eyes were most focused on him. Phillip was at his peek interest. I know that was the case for me during the show Phillip was one of my favorites and I absolutely loved his Volcano performance. I thought it was the best of the season out of everything, he just didn’t make me a follower where I seek out his stuff after the show. I’ve caught a couple of his songs from this site but I listened simply out of curiosity. They were nice though.

    I couldn’t tell you if Phillip’s grown or evolved or not but even if he hasn’t and he’s stayed the same that’s still pretty good. I wish him the best he’s talented and funny, loved his interactions w/ Heejun. I don’t fault Phillip for not liking a song that others did. That’s no big deal I just thought it was Ironic and funny. One of my Favorite Idol’s David Cook had a similar situation regarding his coronation song, Time of My Life, just like Phillip. He wasn’t to keen on it either and it became really popular.

    It’s just an interesting fact not trying to attack Phillip. I get it.

  • Anny_nanny

    Inerscop gave Haley album what she wanted. Period. And she got the radio tour. Call 19 and ask, why girl’t go to the tour even to the opening. James best manner and as if I had not loved him, he still is in business and gained new fans. And at the James everything is fine.
    I’m not defending Jimmy, I don’t think that it is only his fault.

    Yes, they have not found the material for Pia, but they let go of the girl in the end of it all, and she seemed to be now over something that works. And Haley has plans ahead and qualitative album behind, and they have the opportunity to blame others for errors, not yourself. Let’s see what will happen next.

  • http://twitter.com/Free_in_march El oh El

    I agree…..I think

  • Anny_nanny

    I agree with many, but the judges receive a salary for their work. And she was more than worth the endless “goose” and “beautiful.”
    But I thank them for the Top-10, they have done a good job at auditions, although I couldn’t say that looking at the episodes.

  • LongKissGoodnight

    Ok, all of this might come to a screeching hold if Gone, Gone, Gone underperformes but what I see right now is a kind of buzz build up that leads to a actual hit album!
    And I don’t mean the album that some people might pick up because they heard a hit song from it, but an album that people specifically go to check out because that they heard a good things about the whole bode of work!

  • springboard2

    I
    bet it eats Phillip up inside that Jimmy is somehow getting credited w/
    molding/steering/guiding him to stardom. From what I recollect Phillip
    had to fight Jimmy b/c HE wanted to change him.

    I know i’d be annoyed if I were Phillip.

    I think that leaving Idol Phillip was just a young guy with the idealistic view common to many budding musicians that he won’t compromise himself with commercial music and will stick to his own artistic vision.
    After 7 months with a major label, he most likely had time to appreciate the reality of being a recording artist, which is to produce music that sells. I am convinced that all successful artists deviate from their artistic vision to some extend in order to be more accessible to a large audience.

    That said, I like Jimmy. Last year he was the only  judge or mentor with something of substance to say, and he seems to have grown in his role since season 10.

    His success with Phillip is good for the show, at least it gives me more incentive to watch the new season.

  • MellyPer1692

    Lol, in the bubble he’ll never get to move on. Hell, my favorite still has stuff brought up that happened over 3 years ago. People still bring up stuff from Idol season 1. Seven months ain’t nothing. :)

    Congrats to Phillip!!!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “And who picked ‘Home’?  I think it was Jimmie.”

    I’m curious to see how the selection of Home is explained and whether or not P2 will spin the fact that he was forced to record that song against his will, and have it as his first single.

    ETA: Trina wrote:
    “But Jimmy is the one who handed him Home. For that alone Phillip should be grateful to Jimmy. I doubt hes annoyed at all. Not to mention I bet Jimmy is doing a lot we dont see behind the scenes.”

    Exactly. Just imagine if P2 had gotten his way and “Drive Me” was his first single?

  • LongKissGoodnight

    Another thing that might have been overlooked in the flurry of good year-end Idol news is that with post-Christmas “defrosting” of AC and to a lesser degree HAC & AAA charts Home have see highest level of radio exposer yet, going up 8-6 on Hot 100 Airplay chart!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “He got to write or co-write the majority of the songs on his CD.”
    Other Idols have done this as well. The fact that his first two singles are not his own compositions doesn’t reveal anything about the appeal or commercial potential of his own music. 

    “He got to pick the producer and the musicians he wanted to work with.”

    I wasn’t aware of this. I know that P2 was able to have his BIL Ben play on the record, but did he really choose the producer and session musicians who played on the record? What is the source for this information?  

    “He chosed the name of the CD.”

    Other Idols have chosen the name of their CDs as well.

  • springboard2

    Just imagine if P2 had gotten his way and “Drive Me” was his first single?

    It is no different to any other idol alums who write their own songs that, given half a chance, they would have picked as singles, and who knows how they would have performed? It happened that Phillip was more candid than others for whatever reason, but otherwise he is in the same situation as, I think for the first album, all other alums except for Daughtry.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yes, it isn’t any different, so that’s why I wrote that it has yet to be determined how P2′s own music will fare and whether it will appeal to the people who love “Home”. This is only further emphasized by the fact that I have not seen any fans cite “Drive Me” as their favorite song on Moon, but lots of fans have raved about GGG, the only other song not written/co-written by P2. It’s yet to be determined if the massive commercial success of Home will be a situation akin to TOML for Cook – a “double-edged sword” of sorts.

  • maymay

    PP wrote and co-wrote 11 songs on his debut album which probably has sold about 600k so far. That means PP`s own music has its appeal and commercial potential. The World from the Side of the Moon has become a hit album.

    Will his album sell over 2 platinum? Will he become the third bestseller behind Kelly and Carrie among Idol winners? Time will tell.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “PP wrote and co-wrote 11 songs on his debut album which probably has sold about 600k so far. That means PP`s own music has its appeal and commercial potential. The World from the Side of the Moon has become a hit album.”

    I don’t think that one can conclude that at this point, especially since “Home” is not representative of P2′s own music. At this point, as many others have observed, P2′s sales are primarily from his Idol fanbase. As with anyone else from Idol, the reception of the sophomore album will indicate if P2 has managed to transition from Idol to the non-Idol public.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Singles are released to sell albums. Since “Home” and the “Gone, Gone, Gone” weren’t written by Phillip, it’s safe to say that TPTB are not expecting Phillip’s writing skills to sell the album. It doesn’t matter how many writing credits Phillip has on his album – singles sell the album and Phillip has no writing credits on those.

  • Karen C

    It’s yet to be determined if the massive commercial success of Home will be a situation akin to TOML for Cook – a “double-edged sword” of sorts.

    There is a difference in that Home is in the same genre and is being accepted in the same format, AAA, that the rest of his music is.   Where TOML was much more AC than the rest of Cook’s music.

  • Karen C

    Singles are released to sell albums.

    Singles also show what type of artist someone is. It would be better to release something that is more representive of Phillip as an artist while he is building an audience, maybe as a third single if they didn’t want to do it as a second single after Home.  There is much more of a chance for long term success if a song that Phillip has written is successful, along with Home and the album.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I understand that, but “Home” does sound different from P2′s own songs on Moon, which are less melodic and sound more like the covers that he did on Idol. In that sense, P2′s performances on Idol were more representative of his own music than Home or GGG. Once I heard P2′s own songs on Moon, I better understood why he arranged and sang the covers on Idol the way that he did.

  • MissMyEm

     He’s more of a mentor to the Idol singers than anyone on Idol ever was before him.  These kids don’t know how good they have it with Jimmy as their mentor.  Even if they weren’t the favorite, Jimmy still supports them.  I have to respect that.

  • arkboy

    I have said it before, but I’ll say it again. Phillip, in the long run, has a big time shot of becoming the biggest Idol contestant since Carrie. 

  • Anny_nanny

    So, the second liqueur yesterday was once clearly. *looked* War? I’m a glass of substituting, drip me a little bit of poison, will come in handy.

    What I like in the picture – it’s photo of two homeless. And do not say that one of them funky businessman. No, I understand and even appreciate that Tommy could not get Jimmy.
    Tell me, when magazine out? And does anyone know the exact dates of the releases of Jessica and Colton? I remember that we talked about January, yes?

  • BonnieDee

    My husband and I like the song Home, but after hearing it on yet another commercial for the umpteenth time, we’ve had enough.  They need to stop overhyping it.  It’s already a huge seller.

  • potatorocks

    Those who voted for Philip on Idol most likely really like Wanted is Love, Man on the Moon, Drive Me.  Those who buy the album for  Home will be exposed to his original sound for the first time.  Do they like it?  Will they buy more?  Will everyone be so turned off by So Easy(tampon commercial) that they never listen to Philip Philips again?   Will people who go to live performances follow him for life because he is so charismatic and exciting?   This is really what makes Idol so interesting—being there at the beginning and watching it all play out.
    I hope he is the next big star.  I think he could be.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Sure he does, and he’s off to a promising start, but the exact same thing was said about many Idol contestants since Carrie and none of them have gained that level of mainstream success. The reception to the sophomore album (or even earlier, the reception to a P2 composed song released as a single) will tell the tale in that regard.

  • cheese1

    I think songs like Home, Gone Gone Gone and Can’t Go Wrong will represent a facet of who Phillip will be as an artist moving forward.  He wrote several of the songs on the album at the age of 19 or so – does he have to freeze his artistic development right there and never evolve?  If a major criticism of the album was that it sounded like two different albums, then I would expect a solution to that problem to unveil itself on the sophomore effort. This thing was thrown together even more quickly than most Idol winner’s due to Phillip’s recovery.

    If this were 1991, I could maybe believe that people are just buying the album for “Home.”  But when you can listen to a full 20 minutes of the album on iTunes before buying it, I think it makes more sense to conclude that plenty of people like what they hear beyond Home.  A song doesn’t have to be radio-friendly to be appealing, and most people like more than one specific style of music.  The whole album is acoustic rock and much of it is laced with folk instrumentation. Like any other album in the genre, it only has a certain number of tracks geared for radio.

    Anyway, by the time Interscope has to worry about a third single, it might be summer and Phillip will likely have sold 5 million singles, have a platinum album, etc.  I don’t think the label will have any huge headaches. It wouldn’t really be a surprise if he gets the boot song on Idol, too. 

  • Karen C

    In that sense, P2′s performances on Idol were more representative of his own music than Home or GGG. Once I heard P2′s own songs on Moon, I better understood why he arranged and sang the covers on Idol the way that he did.

    I did too, actually, I understood more of what he was trying to do with Idol.  That’s why I think they should release a single he wrote, or one that does represent him better.  

    Along the same idea, I think that other than TOML, the reason that Light On was David Cook’s most successful single because it did represent him most as an artist, and was most representative of what he did on Idol, especially since it was written by Chris Cornell, and the connection with his version of Billie Jean.  Even there were songs with similar alt rock influences on both his albums, they were not used as singles. 

  • Karen C

    I think songs like Home, Gone Gone Gone and Can’t Go Wrong will represent a facet of who Phillip will be as an artist moving forward. He wrote several of the songs on the album at the age of 19 or so – does he have to freeze his artistic development right there and never evolve?

    That would be fine if that were the direction he wanted to go in, but he himself has said it doesn’t.   Of course that might change, and might have already changed,  but I hope if it does it comes from him as a songwriter and not because a certain sound was forced upon him.

    But when you can listen to a full 20 minutes of the album on iTunes before buying it, I think it makes more sense to conclude that plenty of people like what they hear beyond Home.

    But there might be an audience also that would like his own sound that aren’t even giving the album a chance because they don’t like Home.  If a song isn’t released that more represents him, they might never even get to where they are sampling the album.

    Even within acoustic rock, there are different sounds.

  • jpfan2

    I’m more than ready for Home to die and GGG to be released. Then I’m extra ready for single #3 which would be one of P2′s own songs. I think the album has “legs” and will be around for awhile.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I did too, actually, I understood more of what he was trying to do with Idol.  That’s why I think they should release a single he wrote, or one that does represent him better.”

    Exactly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    @ Tinawina:  I agree with what you wrote.  Let me add, that AI is still the only talent show (besides Star Search) that has legitimized itself with finalists who have gone on to have a career.  Let’s not forget the Broadway stars – Diana DeGarmo and Constantine, and now Bo.  Broadway loves the AIers because they have a strong work ethic and they have been “groomed”….those that don’t make it in any medium, are just not talented enough (or lucky).  I do believe that AI wants a female “star”…desperately, so maybe that’s why two pop/hip-hop princesses at the table.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    @hello music — I wonder how much $$ Philips royalties are?  Those record contracts are killers.  They squeeze every penny from the promoting of the CD, and I think Philip will earn his money from touring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    @getaway — keep an eye on Jessica Sanchez — they are just now starting to push her.

  • Emmuzka

    I’m still at odds with Phillip’s success. I don’t see any star quality, charisma or longevity in him, yet there are three million people who think so. I think that I’ll have to write this off as an American thing, that us europeans just don’t get. 

    That said, I’m waiting for season 12 like mad. God for AI to have P2 to showcase as Idol’s star making power (never mind that it seemed to be lost a few season). It has it’s risks, though. The WGWG meme is obviously out of the bubble and if the next winner presents the same genre, the whole competition can turn looking like a meaningless charade before the next WGWG gets the prize. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    @Listening — the person who really scored big time is the WRITER of the HOME song.  You never hear from him, because he’s busy counting his ka-ching$$.

  • jpfan2

    I read somewhere that the artist gets 9 cents a download from iTunes. So P2 will pick up $360,000 from the single. Not that much really compared to what the writers get but it’s something. I don’t think he’ll make much from the album unless it goes at least platinum. Although it appears to have been a cheap album to make.

  • http://twitter.com/ItsMyT1me Lori

    At one point does the Idol fanbase sales cease to be the main contributor to current sales? I would think that if the Idol fanbase is so strong, they would have bought the song 7 months ago and the album 6 weeks ago. I know I did.

    Is it really feasible that the over a quarter-million sales of Home last week came from the Idol fanbase? Or that P2′s album is predicted to return to #5 for the upcoming week due to Idol fanbase sales in it’s 6th week?

  • Anny_nanny

    Phillip must work out an advance, and Jessica too. If we may judge from the rest, the label becomes happy if the album is sold over 300K. I think this means that Phillip had already earns for himself. + We must remember that he wrote/co-wrote most of the album. Only he gets money for “Man On the Moon” which is also seen on itunes chart.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I think that sales of Home have reached beyond P2′s Idol fanbase because of it’s massive mainstream promotion (luck mixed with imaginative promotion). Album sales are different and most of those are due to P2′s Idol fanbase. The difference is that for some Idols, the sales are far more front-loaded because of a huge rabid online fanbase (Clay, Adam), but I think that P2′s fanbase isn’t like that. I may be wrong, for any Idols, the real test of whether they have transitioned to appealing to the non-Idol public comes with the reception to the sophomore album. I’m curious to see how quickly Jimmy has P2 in the studio again, which I guess will depend on how the 2nd and potential 3rd singles do in sales and radioplay.

  • Karen C

    The WGWG meme is obviously out of the bubble and if the next winner presents the same genre, the whole competition can turn looking like a meaningless charade before the next WGWG gets the prize.

    It’s not meaningless because most of this type have had success with their albums. If anything it has meaning that there is an audience for this type of music that is being otherwise ignored by the record labels. And especially since Phillip has been the most recent, and is finally getting radio play in the type of radio that most represents this type of artist.

  • Karen C

    I think that sales of Home have reached beyond P2′s Idol fanbase because of it’s massive mainstream promotion

    I think there most probably is too.  And that’s the other problem with not releasing a song he wrote, because people that hadn’t heard him on Idol don’t know what his sound is like.

    Maybe it’s too risky to do this on the second single, but I hope there is a third single that does.  

  • http://twitter.com/ItsMyT1me Lori

    WGWG… what does it mean? You’re either a guy or a girl. You either play a guitar or you don’t. So what percentage of artists in the music industry are WGWGs? I would imagine the ratio is pretty darn high. Is it really so off that 5 guys, mostly very different artists (1 full on rock, 1 full on country, 2 folky-rock, and 1 pop-rock) won? Yeah, the WGWG meme is outside the bubble now, but guess what? There have been WGWGs dominating the music industry for… well… ever!

  • potatorocks

    Are we not over the WGWG thing yet?  I think those four letters should be banned everywhere.

  • Karen C

    There have been WGWGs dominating the music industry for… well… ever! 

    Exactly!!  And they  have had the most longevity in the music industry also.

    I agree they are very different artists, but other than Scotty, they could have fit into AAA radio, but this wasn’t tried,  and it is significant that Phillip is having success in this format.

  • Karen C

    Are we not over the WGWG thing yet? I think those four letters should be banned everywhere.

    I think so too.  Far less demeaning to call them musicians.

  • Mateja Praznik

     No, we are not. Some of us would like to see a different kind of contestant win Idol for a change.

  • Sara M

     No, because white males keep winning. It doesn’t matter if Phillip is successful. As a competition show, it is boring if only white males can win. If a 6th white male wins in a row this year, do people start admitting only white males win? Will it take 10? 20?

  • TheOther

    Here we go again.  In the Idol bubble of fan wars, Phillip will always be frozen in time as a 21 yr old on Idol, where every comment or mistake is forever rehashed and made a bigger deal than it is. But that’s the same bubble that has a history of abandoning their Idols when it comes time to spending $

    Phillip’s career trajectory has always proven the naysayers wrong. And people in the real world, who are spending money on his music aren’t dwelling on the he said, she said of my Idol vs your Idol. YAWN.

  • elliegrll

    At what point does the Idol fanbase sales cease to be the main contributor to current sales? I would think that if the Idol fanbase is so strong, they would have bought the song 7 months ago and the album 6 weeks ago. I know I did.

    I don’t think that this is an easy question to answer with the first album.  But, I do think that history has shown that AI albums need to have legs longer than six weeks in order for us to come to the conclusion that an artist is reaching those outside of the bubble.  History is littered with too many alums who sold 700K or more copies of their debut albums, but then saw drops of 60% or with the second one.

    I think the thing to keep an eye on is radio play for followup singles, that’s the thing that will make those outside of the bubble aware of the alums, and change them from being former reality show contestants to relevant commercial recording artists.

    In a way, that’s what we are seeing with Home. The airplay has brought it to the attention of people outside of the bubble, and now, hopefully, these people are going to notice Phillip with the help of that song and the other songs that are released.

  • elliegrll

    Phillip’s career has just started.  Only time will tell if he’ll get radio play for his other songs.  He wouldn’t be the first idol alum to get spins for his first single, but then be ignored by PDs.  Thankfully, he’s releasing a song that is a good followup to Home, but we still don’t know if PDs will embrace it.  And who knows whether or not he will make the same mistakes that some other alums have made, or if 19 will do as horrible of a job managing his career as they have some others.

  • girlygirltoo

    Well, that depends. There are a lot of reasons why someone would by an album (reason #2 only applying to Idol/TheVoice/XF/AGT/BGT artists, lol) : (1) they personally know the artist; (2) they voted for her/him/them on a reality tv show & want to support her/him/them, regardless of whether they actually really like the music (this does happen, esp. w/ 1st albums); (3) they heard the first single on the radio (or elsewhere) & that was enough for them to purchase the album; (4) they saw the artist perform in concert & that spurred the album purchase; (5) they liked the 1st single, checked out the other album snippets and liked enough of them to buy the album (there may be more reasons, but those are the main ones I can think of).

    Aside from Home and GGG, none of the other songs on the album got very high on the iTunes chart (that I remember), which suggests that those are the two songs with the broadest appeal — although that result is also at least in part due to the fact that buyers know those songs are the singles, and would want to support P2 by purchasing the singles.

    Until one of the songs Phillip wrote or co-wrote himself is released as a single (or used in some other way that will give it major exposure to an audience outside the Idol bubble, such as being on a movie soundtrack, tv show or commercial, for example), we won’t really know if the music that best represents him as an artist has big commercial potential. Given the huge success of “Home,” it does appear that P2 will be given a 3rd single (eventually) that he had a hand in writing, although that probably won’t be released until the summer (unless GGG tanks (which is unlikely), and they decide to rush a 3rd single out).

  • springboard2

    At what point does the Idol fanbase sales cease to be the main
    contributor to current sales? I would think that if the Idol fanbase is
    so strong, they would have bought the song 7 months ago and the album 6
    weeks ago. I know I did.

    The die-hard fanbase will buy as soon as the music is released, but there is the general Idol audience made of people who may not even have been fans during the show but know the alum and, in my opinion, are more likely to buy the album than non watchers. This is why Idols’ sales stay high for the first year, in various degree of course, depending on whether they  like the music or not, and I believe that it is true for singles as well as albums.  It is probable that non Idol watchers make a substantial proportion of the Home buyers, but it is also likely that the sales to Idol watchers are not negligible.

    There is nothing wrong in tapping into the Idol casual Idol audience though, and this the first step for an Idol, imo, particularly if we assume that they are more discriminate with the material than the core fanbase.

  • girlygirltoo

    Jimmy’s/Interscope’s track record of hit & miss with the Idols is pretty much in line with the percentage of how many overall artists on that label (or any label) have huge success. If you look on the list of artists currently signed to Interscope (or any major label), it would be clear that only a very small percentage of them have had huge hit albums, or even huge hit singles. The majority of artists signed to any major label will have had little to moderate commercial success, which is why there can be a lot of roster turnover in a short period of time. Some of those artists will remain signed because they have had critical success (winning Grammys, for example) despite modest sales. Others will remain signed because the label will try and “develop” them over a longer period of time (although this probably happens less than it used to), others will remain signed because the A&R person championing them has a lot of power at the label. But many of them will get dropped, without the publicity that occurs when one of the ex-Idols loses his or her record deal. So while it is too bad that Interscope struggled to find a way to make Haley and Pia successful (saleswise for Haley), it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, given how the music industry as a whole is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.thompson.505960 Don Thompson

    I don’t believe that Pia and Haley were Idol winners.

  • TheOther

    In as far as the demographics of Phillip’s Idol fan base, and who is buying The World From The Side Of The Moon, Interscope would have access to all that consumer data. Just like they knew the % of votes Phillip was getting each week on Idol as well as his Itunes sales. I would also add that Jimmy must have had a pulse on the whole AAA sound becoming very popular and marketable.

    Jimmy Iovine has been the CEO of Interscope for 22 years. He hasn’t been able to keep that position by contiunally making bad decisions.

  • Mateja Praznik

     They weren’t but it’s been a long time since a female won Idol. 2007. Season 6. So, if only Idol winners are destined for success/deserve success and if chances of a female winner are so slim, what’s the point of having female contestants on the show at all?

    We would like Idol to launch a successful female contestant again. That’s all.

  • Karen C

    Jimmy’s/Interscope’s track record of hit & miss with the Idols is pretty much in line with the percentage of how many overall artists on that label (or any label) have huge success. If you look on the list of artists currently signed to Interscope (or any major label), it would be clear that only a very small percentage of them have had huge hit albums, or even huge hit singles.

    This is true, and also the percentage of artists that have had success with their first album, or a hit song, but not as successful with their second is probably not that much different for non idols than for idols.  It is very rare for an artist to have more than one platinum album.

  • shell29

    Is it really feasible that the over a quarter-million sales of Home last week came from the Idol fanbase? Or that P2′s album is predicted to return to #5 for the upcoming week due to Idol fanbase sales in it’s 6th week?

    The sales of “Home” moved beyond his Idol fanbase a long time ago.  You won’t have a triple platinum selling single on your Idol fanbase alone.  As far as the album goes, I’m not ready to say that the sales have moved beyond his Idol fanbase yet.  I want to see how this album fares once the usual January downturn in album sales hits.  If this album can sell at a decent, consistent clip in the next month or so (settling in at between 10K to 20K per week), I’ll get a sense that it has moved beyond the Idol fanbase.  At this point, I feel confident that it will happen (thanks to the continued exposure of Home, potential Idol promo and the potential of the next single GGG).  I think P2′s album will end up selling *at least* in the range of Jordin, Cook and Scotty’s debuts.  What happens beyond that I’m not sure.

    Regardless of P2′s success, I still don’t think having yet another “WGWG” winner would be a good look for the show.  Idol does not want the audience or potential auditioners getting the impression that only a certain type of contestant has a real chance at winning.  I think the thing that Idol does have in its favor is that they’re the only show so far that has produced several post-show success stories: not only among its “winners” but the runners-up as well.  The other shows (X Factor, The Voice) can’t say that yet.  If that trend continues, I think that will keep the hopefuls showing up to audition for Idol even if we have WGWG#6 for season 12.  If The Voice or X Factor (U.S.) can produce real commercial success stories in the near future, that might change things.

  • Karen C

    Regardless of P2′s success, I still don’t think having yet another “WGWG” winner would be a good look for the show.

    In a way I actually agree with this, just because it is such a dismissive term, and isn’t helping those that have this label who are all actually very different artists.  I think that Phillip doing well has helped lessen the negativity about having that label, though.

  • maymay

    Home is the key to let people have a chance to touch PP`s album. They can only buy Home but not buy his album. PP`s album is catchy. That is why people buy it. The other songs are less commerical than Home and Gone Gone Gone, but they still catchy and have commerical potential. 

    Don`t forget the radio didn`t play Home much in the begining until after Olympics. That means a catchy song still needs the radio to play.

  • getaway1

    If that trend continues, I think that will keep the hopefuls showing up to audition for Idol even if we have WGWG#6 for season 12

    The music business is tough. It’s never
    been about fairness or who is the most deserving, etc. If that actually stopped
    someone from auditioning, I would seriously question whether they can survive
    in business.

    That said, there will always be enough people
    who will want it bad it enough. But no matter who wins, Jimmy has said he
    expects them to have commercial success. He said that should be the expectation
    of the AI winner.

  • Anny_nanny

    I remember that “Home” became “golden” BEFORE the Olympics. With Phillip which month did not appear in public until 7/4. The Olympics gave the impetus for the acquaintance with the song outside of bubble and to tipped the radio. But Phillip worked active radio-tour during AI’s tour. And I still regret that no one was added for him with the original material during this radio-tour. Ugh!

  • IrisandLilies

    As a fan of Phillip who makes a point of reviewing comments about his album on the internet, I’ve seen a lot of posters who listed Drive Me as one of their favorite songs from the album.  I’ve also seen fans list Man on the Moon, Wanted is Love, Hold On, Get Up Get Down, Can’t Go Wrong and Wanted is Love as among their favorites. 

  • IrisandLilies

    “I’m still at odds with Phillip’s success. I don’t see any star quality, charisma or longevity in him, yet there are three million people who think so. I think that I’ll have to write this off as an American thing, that us europeans just don’t get.”

    It probably is a cultural thing.  I’ve watched videos of performances by winners of European and Australian talent shows and wondered what anybody saw in them to make them the winner.  As for me, Phillip’s talent hit me right away the first time I saw him.  I didn’t watch or pay attention to AI for most of Season 11, but I saw a ten second snippet of Phillip performing Volcano on an entertainment news show here in the U.S. and it prompted me to check out the rest of his performances on AI.  Since then I’ve been an ardent fan.     

  • HKfan

    Maybe thats true, I’m European and I just don’t get it either. I don’t see anything special either, no IT factor, he’s just so vanilla. 

  • TheOther

    There are other Idols that I don’t get either, but they have fans that support them – as they should.  Just like Phillip has his fans that get him and like him.  It’s all good.

    It would be cool if Phillip was presented with his Gold Album on Idol by Jimmy Iovine, who is now his boss.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I’m still at odds with Phillip’s success. I don’t see any star quality, charisma or longevity in him, yet there are three million people who think so. I think that I’ll have to write this off as an American thing, that us europeans just don’t get.”

    That may be true for some people, but for me, it’s simply a musical taste issue. It remains to be seen if P2 can parlay the commercial success of Home into establishing himself as a solo artist with the non-Idol public.

  • Incipit

    HKfan and Emmuzka, I don’t believe it has anything to do with a European vs American thing at all – I believe it’s just a question of music tastes. Everybody doesn’t like him…and it’s NBD, IMO. 
    I have no interest in Phillips’s vocals, his acoustic music, or any of his songs, not “Home”, and not the other Mumford knockoff – and not any of the DMB songs on the album, or his own compositions either…and I’m certainly not European…it’s perfectly understandable if this isn’t a type of music or singing you would ever like, KWIM?

  • TheOther

    Every performer is different. Trust me, it impossible to find any performer out there who is universally liked who never makes a mistake, let alone a 22 yr old. That doesn’t exist.

    Regarding musical taste. I am not a fan of Country music and I never will be, but that doesn’t mean that Scotty McCreery is less of a performer and could indeed be a star. But like Phillip, only time will tell.

  • iani

    I followed just a little S11 and I didn’t  pay attention to P2 at all, I skipped his videos most of the time, didn’t like his selections, style, I used to name him “the guy with a constipated-voice/style” for the way he interpreted some songs… But surprisingly  I like his music and his style fits perfectly his music, the CD is pretty artistic, “interesting” is his key word to make his music/artist image different than other male idols even though it was promoted on HAC format first and I see no “vanilla” at all. As a person who goes back and forth in the last 5 years US-EU I’ve traced my personal idea about US music and I don’t think P2 is a cheesy artist, vanilla-flavored or a metro guy. General speaking, you may not like his style and his music,  maybe it’s missing some “spice and flavor” in, but the “different” is there though in MO and makes his music be different than male idols first albums or even second ones, a pretty well bland of rhythm, contemporary, abstract, soft in cheesy element, interesting lyrics taken them simplistic enough to understand his turns and meanings…JMO

  • IrisandLilies

    Musical taste obviously does play a large role, but I wouldn’t discount the impact of cultural differences.  Culture influences musical taste.  American country music has a following in Ireland, Canada and Australia but not, I believe, in England, France, Germany, or Spain.  Moreover, some cultures with a history of pageantry and ceremony may be more drawn to theatrical performances over lowkey, intimate performances. 

  • jpfan2

    P2 does tap into a style of music called Americana which may not be that popular outside of the US. But obviously his stuff isn’t for everyone in the US either. Sometimes I look at P2 and see somebody that could reach the success of the Idol Big 3. That’s not because I was a big fan of his during the season (I wasn’t). He just seems to have something that connects with the American pulbic.

    Will he have longevity as an artist?  Ask me again in two to three years. ;0
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  • http://twitter.com/annmgee Ann Gardner

    There are some curious things about Phillip that make me think he could make it big. The album was cut in 3 weeks and I feel it is very strong musically. Past the vocals and the Mumford, Matthews sound there is excellent instrumentation and genuine emotion in the music. I don’t care for ” A Fool’s Dance” because while it is depressing lyrically, it is equally depressing musically and I think that was the point. The lyrics and music are very heavy. And why is a classically trained cellist, Dave Eggar, (Harvard graduate and Doctorate from Julliard) traveling around with Phillip going to radio shows, etc. I don’t think Dave would pal around with a 22 year old reality show winner if he didn’t think Phil was talented. That doesn’t mean album number 2 from Phillip will be any good, either, but I do think Phil has something special. It is exciting to watch. 

  • bridgette12

    Whether P2 will become popular outside the US and Canada, depends upon whether they will promote him overseas. If people don’t know you, it’s hard to sell your music.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Dave Matthews is very popular in Europe (at least from his boxscores of his concerts). Given that P2 has been compared to Dave, I don’t see why P2 would necessarily be unpopular among Europeans when Dave is so popular.

  • b_james

    It really is all about the songs.  “Home” has done wonders for this guy.

  • maymay

    PP`s album has the Mumford and Son style. Mumford and Son is very popular in the UK. All his album needs is great promotion if PP would become world star.

  • Chrissie H

    “I’m still at odds with Phillip’s success. I don’t see any star quality, charisma or longevity in him, yet there are three million people who think so. I think that I’ll have to write this off as an American thing, that us europeans just don’t get.”—————————————————————-Well, I´m another European who can nod to the above. I don´t get it-  don´t get him. I see Home selling huge in the US and I see his album selling well and I have such a hard time believing it´s real ppl buying. Nobody I know is taken by him or his music and strange thing- he is the first Idol ever to not being mentioned at all.All the past years each new Idol winner was on radio and a bit in the media- and even Scotty got lots of airplay and was in the papers even though country music is as popular in DK as Scandinavian folkdans might be in the US.  But Philip – he is just non existent and the few I met who´d watched AI don ´t get him either. So, no, I don´t think it´s just a question of promotion. I wouldn´t exclude culture and cultural taste playing a role.

  • TheOther

    I see Home selling huge in the US and I see his album selling well and I have such a hard time believing it´s real ppl buying. Nobody I know is taken by him or his music and strange thing-

    Real ppl? I think the 3M+ that bought Home and the 500K+ that bought his CD (so far) qualifies as real people.  I am always very skeptical when I hear “Everyone I talk too doesn’t like him”.  Because everyone I talk to likes him.  Seasons 10 and 11 are over.  If Phillip succeeds, it is not a reflection on Scotty.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I have to admit, this recent wave of folk/rock/indie/whatever radio hits made me check out all those songs and artists: Phillip Phillips, Dave Matthews, Mumfold & Sons, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men etc. and I have to say, I didn’t like any of those songs. This new fad can’t pass fast enough for me.

    .fun is okay, but their music is a bit different.

  • tucker davis

    Don’t know where to put this but it’s funny. When I was visiting my grandmother last week in a nursing home, they were playing ‘Home’ and all the residents were singing along & clapping…especially the ‘ahhhs’. A worker told me it’s the most requested song in the home now! Guess it gives new meaning to ‘if you get lost…you can always be found’!  lol Anyway it was so touching seeing & hearing all the older folks singing along to ‘Home’. This song really does touch all generations.

  • maymay

    Phillip Phillips: The Billboard Cover Story
    by Phil Gallo | January 07, 2013 5:00 EST

    The ‘Home’ star has turned the top-selling coronation song in “American Idol” history into a gold album

    During the final week of 2012, the most recent “American Idol” champion, Phillip Phillips, saw his debut album cross the half-million sold mark. It occurred at a rare moment of rest for Phillips, who was enjoying his first break after a nine-month whirl of activity.

    Phillips’ “The World From the Side of the Moon” has sold 533,000 copies in six weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the fastest-selling debut from an “Idol” winner since the self-titled debut from season-seven champ David Cook sold 811,000 copies in the same time span in 2008.

    Where Phillips stands alone is in the success of a single first performed on the show. His coronation song, “Home,” written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden, has delivered at a level unlike any other track performed by a current “Idol” contestant. It has hit No. 1 on a host of Billboard charts like Hot Digital Songs, Rock Digital Songs, Adult Top 40 and Triple A and reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 7), Mainstream Top 40 (No. 8) and Adult Contemporary (No. 6), while selling 3.3 million copies, more than any other coronation song.

    “The folks at Pulse Recordings brought me a great song and I knew it was perfect for Phillip,” Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine says. “Then the Olympics came and”-he lets loose with what can best be described as a train whistle sound: “Woo-hoo!” NBC used “Home” as a music bed for Olympic coverage of the women’s gymnastic team, which helped drive huge gains for the song nine weeks after it sold 278,000 in its debut week. The track leaped to 228,000 downloads sold the week of Aug. 5, up from 40,000, and sold more than 100,000 per week through Sept. 23. Top 40 airplay kicked in in mid-November and it again started posting sales of more than 100,000 units per week.

    Phillips, speaking from his home in Leesburg, Ga., where he was resting for a couple of weeks before heading out on the road, says he realized it was a good song as soon as he heard it. The positive, when recording and performing it in the show’s final week, was “that it didn’t feel like a cover.” The negative? “I didn’t have time to let it grow and become my own before we recorded it.”

    Touring with nine of his fellow “Idol” contestants from early July through mid-September, Phillips found himself growing more comfortable with the song. “After I had been playing it for quite some time I sat down and played it by myself, learning the ins and outs of the song and looked for a way to make it more of my own. I don’t like playing songs straightforward-I like switching them up.”
    Phillips has a heavy-duty touring schedule coming up. He has 10 college dates in January with a four-piece acoustic band, 21 dates opening for Matchbox Twenty from Jan. 29-Feb. 27 and more college shows with an electric band from March through May.

    The key for Phillips is to keep expanding musically, leaning on the training he got through jam sessions as teenager. “I always tell people that you have to play shows, you have to do what you can to get out there, and it can’t be about the money,” he says. “Jam out with a band for three or four hours. Do a live gig for food. You have to get out and do it.” Part of that will be seen in the way he toys with “Hold On” and “Man on the Moon”-two of the five songs he wrote solo on his debut-in his concert sets.

    Superficially, Phillips fits a stereotype of recent “Idol” winners-guitar strummers from the South who lean toward story-based songs and maneuver through the competition by staying within their comfort zones even during the themed weeks. It worked for season 10′s teen country singer Scotty McCreery, season nine’s folky finalists Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox and the two winners before them, Kris Allen and Cook.
    Phillips’ distinction is that he’s the first winner with a sound rooted in jam bands and folk-rock-an alternative to the styles covered on the Fox program. “This wasn’t music you were hearing on the radio,” Iovine says, referring to the show’s run early in the year, which predated the pop acceptance of the Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men and the second Mumford & Sons album. “Phillip is a true artist and the fact that people are embracing his album shows they accept him as an artist.”

    When 19 Recordings went through BMG and then Sony-BMG, then-chairman/CEO Clive Davis said the first 300,000 of any winner’s album sales were “a souvenir of the show.” Pushing sales beyond a half-million was the responsibility of the record company and owed to the material and the marketing. If one were to recalculate that based on album sales being two-thirds of what they were in 2002, the year “Idol” debuted, Phillips’ start more closely resembles that of Carrie Underwood than Taylor Hicks.

    “I knew what I wanted to do before I tried out for ‘Idol,’” he says. “I had written a lot of the songs before the show. A few co-writes came up and [19 and Interscope executives] knew what they wanted and I think it met the expectations. They understood what kind of album I wanted to make.”

    One of those writing sessions was with Gregg Wattenberg, a writer on Daughtry’s “It’s Not Over,” O.A.R.’s “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)” and Goo Goo Dolls’ “Let Love In” whose production credits include Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” and Five for Fighting’s “Superman (It’s Not Easy).” Together in Wattenberg’s New York studio they wrote “Get Up Get Down” (with Derek Fuhrmann) and “Can’t Go Wrong” with “Home” co-writer Pearson.

    The sessions, Phillips says, “helped build our friendship — he’s a goofy guy and I’m a goofy guy — and when I had to come up with a producer, I mentioned him and we made it happen.”

    They had three weeks to make the album, and while Phillips co-wrote 10 of the 14 tracks, the label put some songs in front of him he didn’t care for. After he discarded a few of 19′s selections, he was handed “Gone, Gone, Gone” from the pen of Wattenberg, Fuhrmann and Todd Clark; it is his second single. “I’m glad we switched,” he says. “The other ones made me want to scream.”

    Phillips says he was surprised at how stressful the making of the album was, yet was pleased how Wattenberg “taught me a lot about production, but let me make a lot of the decisions.”

    One could say that somewhat resembled his run on “Idol,” songs from which he believes will remain in his concert sets — Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out,” Usher’s “Nice & Slow,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” His attitude toward “Idol,” he believes, was different from most contestants. It wasn’t until he saw season 10′s Casey Abrams, the double bassist/singer who favored Ray Charles and jazzy interpretations of pop (and finished in sixth place), that he could even envision trying out.

    “I honestly didn’t think people would like me — I didn’t care what happened on the show,” he says. “It never seemed like a competition. I always made sure I was having fun and the band was having a good time. I didn’t give in to what some people give into — the fame. I went in, played the song and went back and got in bed. I hope it opens doors for other [non-pop singers] to do the show.”

  • blackberryharvest

    Better than most of the electro pop and dance hits that pass for music these days.