Royalty Dispute Causes Problems for ‘Friends in Low Places’ Remake
The remake was supposed to commemorate the song's 25th birthday but a royalty dispute has put the brakes on its release. The problem boils down to the fact that, according to Billboard, the plan to distribute the song and the album it will be appearing on "called for a non-traditional retailer to buy at least 1 million units of the remixed and remastered No Fences." This partnership was based on the idea that publishers would go along with a discounted royalty rate because of the one million guarantee but much to Brooks' shock some did not. Since not all publishers agreed to the lesser royalty rate it meant that Brooks would have to agree to the higher rate for everyone which would then price the album out of reach for the retailer's budget. When Brooks called publishers to find out why the plan wasn't going through he learned it was because they were trying to protect the people that originally wrote the songs.
While Brooks, the publishers and everyone else involved in negotiations are trying to figure things out, Brooks knows when to admit blame. “This is 100 percent my fault. I’ve done this deal for 20 years,” he says. “I know how this deal works. What caught me off guard -- I just never guessed -- is that the rate would go up.”
The remake of "Friends in Low Places," which was first released in Aug. 1990, was supposed to include artists like George Strait and Keith Urban. In addition to Strait and Urban, to make the song even more special a second time around, a source tells Billboard, Brooks also has talked to Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line.
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