Monday, August 28, 2006

Sing a Song (or Fourteen)

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Sony Music Store has A Thousand Different Ways for preorder. It's a bit more expensive than Amazon, but you get a nifty Clay Aiken Magnet for your fridge or as some would say, "EBay Gold" since it is a limited item. If you would like to listen to the song snippets on the album, please watch the following montage which has some pretty pictures as a bonus.

Montage created by Brandilyne using the snippets of songs on A Thousand Different Ways:

Speaking of Amazon, the sales ranking has remained strong since it went up for preorder on 8/3 considering the promotion has not kicked into high gear.

Daily Amazon Sales Ranking
Aug 04 #1
Aug 06 #1
Aug 08 #1
Aug 09 #2
Aug 10 #2
Aug 11 #2
Aug 12 #4
Aug 13 #4
Aug 14 #7
Aug 15 #10
Aug 16 #8
Aug 17 #8
Aug 18 #7
Aug 19 #7
Aug 20 #7
Aug 21 #10
Aug 22 #10
Aug 23 #9
Aug 24 #10
Aug 25 #8
Aug 26 #10
Aug 27 #11
Aug 28 #12
Aug 29 #11

Thanks to
Clay's Daily Double and demeter, the Keeper of the Amazon charts at Clayversity for the Amazon stats.

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Since its release, there have been varying opinions of the tracklist . Many fans who had qualms about the tracklist were pleasantly surprise at the overall sound of the CD. Songs that were not necessarily anticipated became favorites, and songs that were looked forward to were overshadowed by others. I believe even the fans most disappointed in the tracklist found something to like. From reading the boards, I get the impression the majority of fans are happy with the CD even if covers was not originally what they wanted. I know I wanted some great original songs, but the CD is what it is, and no one can sing the schnitz of songs like Clay Aiken. He has the way of making songs seem better than the original, at least to me.

There were many wonderful posts pertaining to the CD, what it means to Clay, or what it means to us. Here is a sampling from some of our wonderful writers which were written before we heard the snippets.

"I don’t know what Clay will do with this material, or how the pacing and the production might help or hinder it. I do know that Clay Aiken is an artist still in the beginning phases of his career but one who has touched on moments of brilliance again and again.
He is just three years down the road, but he has changed and he has grown.This album is not his destination. It is a single step along the route that he travels.It could be a comforting way station or an unexpected vista found on his musical travels or it may be a place he regrets having visited.
And if a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, how much better that he takes that step instead of standing frozen in inaction, fearful of what might lie ahead.
I hope that Clay steps forward boldly. It is for him, not for me, to define what is bold, what is right, what is best."~~berkleylovesourclay at the ClackHouse

"I am at peace with this now, It's who he is. He's not a rocker although he can rock. And he's not edgy, even though he wears titanium balls,. heh He's a realllyreallly good singer who loves to sing and perform and have women squee at him. He will rock out a concerts, but this CD reflects his "lane", his vision. I'd bet on it".~~aginghippee at the ClackHouse

"There are no mistakes on this album. Every song is there for it’s own reason. If there are songs on the album that you don’t like, that’s okay, that song is not for you at this point in time, but it may have a life changing impact on someone who needs it. Music is powerful and can be a vehicle to transport a much needed message to someone who needs to hear it, in that format, at a specific point in time, for the message to really get through."~~Raffine at the Clayboard

"I have seen him make gold from straw. I've seen him rise up again and again when critics, cronies, media, fans, and foes have doubted, attacked, or ignored him. He's strong, smart, and gifted. I believe that whether Clay Aiken chose or did not choose all or even some of the material on this album that he will throw all he has and all he doesn't even know yet that he has into the execution of it. That's the kind of talent he is and the kind of man he is. There's nothing half-hearted about him. If everything was completely his choice or if he doesn't yet have that kind of controlling power, he will take ownership of the project and will live it to the fullest, come what may".~~00lsee at the ClackHouse

" ATDW is just a point in time in Clay’s career. A very early point in time. He really did just begin this journey 3 years ago, you know. He is searching, learning, improvising, trying new things, working with what he is given. Just as I did. His career is only starting to take form. I think his career, like mine, will not be a step by step progression. He will move through his challenges as most of us do, making choices, learning new things, building the “tapestry” of his music. He may make some mistakes but even so called mistakes are a part of what will make him whole. I’m sure in my career others perceived some of my choices as mistakes, while I never did. They were just choices that helped me learn. My career was never static and I don’t think Clay’s will be either.

I say this because there is no doubt in my mind that Clay will have a long and successful career in music. With his voice, how could he not? It really is early days yet. Clay has only begun to weave his tapestry. I may not like some of his choices but, if so, I’ll just move on to the next. I’ll relax, enjoy the parts I love, and know that he is ever growing and changing, joining small parts of his world together into what will some day be a whole. And I get to watch. How fortunate for me!"~~xxx4clay at Clayversity

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Some other great blogs written by Clay fans:

The ConClayve:
All The Things Clay Made Me Do

Carolina on My Mind: Medley Inspires Blog Potpourri

Some great places to get breaking news:

Clay's Daily Double Ads/News

The Clay Report

All-around good website for Clay links, photos, media, news etc:

Finding Clay Aiken

The Ideal Idol

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Here You Come Again

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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~~Blend by AmazingCA~~

This week we were lucky enough to hear 30 second snippets of the songs on "A Thousand Different Ways". You can hear them stream at Marhaven Musings.
That they are fabulous is a given, after all they are sung by the Aiken Vox. I can't really say it better than Calliek. If I were honest, I couldn't even say it as well so I will just post her quote.

This is not an album of covers. This is a vocal sculptor whose every musical nuance is an emotional original. I know these songs--just as we all do--but I found myself drawing into their nucleus as he sings...because he puts something there that is totally unknown. Then he builds on it, going places that singers just don't go. ~~Calliek at the Clack House and Clayversity

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In other news, an appearance on Jay Leno has been confirmed for September 15th.

Here is a look a back at some past Leno appearances:

10/03 Interview/Performance

1/04 Interview

6/04 Interview

12/04 Interview

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Baby's All Grown Up

You've come a long way baby!!!

~~Blend created by Invisible 926~~

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Climmel

On September 26th Clay will be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It took twelve minutes for the tickets to be sold out once the ClayNation learned of the appearance.

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Jimmy and Clay have great chemistry together, so the appearance is highly anticipated. The first time Clay appeared on Jimmy's show was on November 13, 2003. The fandom was pretty upset at the thought of Clay appearing on that show since Jimmy was not above making nasty jokes at Clay's expense. The appearance went very well from the moment Clay came striding out in a take-no-prisoners way, to the way he handled himself with someone who in the past had been less than pleasant. I think Clay won Jimmy's respect that evening. At the end of the show, ClayNation was relieved, proud, and happy. It was the first, but not last of many great appearances on Jimmy's show. Now Clay will be going back, and I really hope Jimmy gets to snark on Clay's new hair. I'm sure he'll have a few funny things to say about it.

A creative fan made a mosaic in honor the The Climmel. This pretty much proves that Jimmy should never wear bangs. *g*

Here are some of The Climmel appearances to enjoy:



Clay and Jimmy on Monday Night Football:


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cover Me

RCA has hit upon the perfect marketing plan. Use an album cover that screams "YOU WANT ME! BUY ME! BUY EIGHT! TAKE ME HOME!"

Walmart was the first to post the cover of Clay's new album.

It's been fun reading some of the reactions in the fandom to the cover. Here's a sampling:
  • I am cracking up here re-reading Clay's blog about the photoshoot and he said something like, what is an album of love songs without some romantic pictures and to me that doesn't scream romance as much as it oozes S-E-X and in this case they are not one in the same.
  • Who wouldn't want eight of those? Or ten? Or a thousand? Kinda gives "a thousand days, a thousand nights are not enough" a whole new meaning, wouldn't you say???
  • I can just see the double takes when people walk by the CD racks. "That can't be Clay Aiken...can it????" Oh yeah, it's going to sell!!
  • RAWRRRR!!!!
  • YUM. Just perfect. I want more of!
  • Track listing?????OH you mean.... he sings??????
  • Ah, Library Boy. In less than 35 days, I'll have my hands on you. I might even listen to your music..cover to cover.
  • Romance? The man said they were going for romance with this photo shoot? Was he kidding? 'Cause romance isn't the word I'd use for that picture. More like S.E.X.JT's CD might be called "Sexyback"; but he ain't got nothin' on "Library boy"... I can't stop drooling
  • OMG, if there EVER in the history of the universe, was a MONEY SHOT, that one really defines it. He won't have to sing a note. Put 'em up on the shelves and watch 'em sell.... Cool, classy, casual, chic, confident, in control of his surroundings. Am in love!
  • The heck with a thousand different ways... I'll take him!
  • I want to wallpaper my house with this album cover.
  • EVERYTHING about that cover is PERFECT!!!!
  • They say a Picture is Worth A Thousand Words...well, that Picture is Worth a Million CD Sales!

You get the idea---a rousing success. Is it September 19th yet?

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

American Idol: The Singles

When Kelly, Clay, and Ruben participated in American Idol, the popularity of downloading songs was only beginning; physical singles were still on the market. In fact, Clay sold over 900,000 of "This is the Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water. These days most artists outside of the Idol winner and runner-up don't even release physical singles, instead relying on downloads from Internet download services such as i-Tunes, Rhapsody etc. for sales.

Ken Barnes of USA Today has compiled a list of accumulated downloads of the AI debut singles along with the physical sales in his
Idol Chatter Blog.
No surprise that Clay leads the pack with his phenomenal single sales, but he has rather few downloads. Kelly fared better in the downloads for "A Moment Like This" due to her success with her Breakaway album. No doubt, many new fans checked out her earlier music.

Here are the stats compiled from SoundScan numbers:
ps (physical sales) +d (downloads) =Total Sales

1. Clay Aiken-"This Is the Night"/"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
960,000 ps +52,000 d = 1.01 million

2. Kelly Clarkson-"A Moment Like This"/"Before Your Love"
626,000 ps + 188,000= 814,000

3. Ruben Studdard- "Superstar"/"Flying Without Wings"
747,000ps + 32,000d= 759,000

4. Carrie Underwood-"Inside Your Heaven"/"Independence Day"
455,000ps + 286,000d = 741,000

5. Taylor Hicks*- "Do I Make You Proud"/"Takin' It To The Streets"
417,000ps + 183,000d= 600,000

6. Fantasia-"I Believe"/"Summertime"/"Chain of Fools"
405,000ps + 96,000d= 501,000

7. Bo Bice="Inside Your Heaven"/"Vehicle"
346,000 ps + 80,000d=426,000

8. Diana DeGarmo-"Dreams"/"Don't Cry Out Loud"/"I Believe"
201,000ps + 36,000 d= 237,000

9. Katharine McPhee*-"My Destiny"/"Somewhere Over the Rainbow "
117,000ps + 114,000d= 231,000

*Katharine and Taylor are still in an active sales cycle.

Download statistics for individual songs from the American Idol Season 5 compilation album along with the two coronation songs are as follows:

1 Taylor Hicks-"Do I Make You Proud" : 114,000
2 Chris Daughtry-"Wanted Dead or Alive": 94,000
3 Taylor Hicks-"Takin' It to the Streets' : 69,000
4 Katharine McPhee-"S. Over the Rainbow" : 67,000
5 Katharine McPhee-"My Destiny" : 47,000
6 Elliott Yamin-"Moody's Mood for Love" : 23,000
7 Katharine McPhee-"Think" : 21,000
8 Ace Young-"Father Figure" : 11,000
9 Paris Bennet-"Midnight Train to Georgia" : 9,100
10 Kellie Pickler-"Walkin' After Midnight" : 8,400
11 Mandisa-"I'm Every Woman": 7,400
12 Melissa McGhee-"What About Love" : 6,400
13 Bucky Covington-"Superstition" : 4,000
14 Lisa Tucker-"Signed Sealed Delivered" : 3,700
15 Kevin Corvais-"When I Fall in Love" : 2,600

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Since this is a Clay Aiken fan blog, here are two videos of Clay singing the songs on his single.

"This Is The Night" from the 2003 appearance on The View

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" from the AI Final 2

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Fame Comes With A Thousand Different Downsides

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This year Clay Aiken has been plagued by people of dubious character looking to make a dime off of his celebrity. The latest such person is one that purports to be an old family friend even though she is at most an acquaintance. This so-called friend wrote an unauthorized biography and was shocked to find out that Clay and his family did not endorse her book. What a surprise! Now the author is charging Clay and his mother with defamation of character. Clay normally does not answer charges and lies about him, but don't mess with his family. Mr. Aiken has decided to kick some ass. Yay! I love a man who uses the word "scurrilous".

From the Associated Press: Author of Clay Aiken Book Sues Singer

Aiken, in a statement issued by RCA Records, said Monday that he had"instructed my attorneys to not only vigorously dispute the claims that have been made but to also pursue all possible remedies against those involved in the perpetration of these untruths."


The lawsuit seeks at least $260,000 in damages and asks the court to order Aiken to retract the critical comments or endorse the book on his official Web site, to write a positive introduction for the book and to sell the book at his concerts for at least five years.

In his statement, Aiken, 27, also said:

"As a so-called `celebrity'I have become used to scurrilous allegations and untruths being made about me and my work. I have always taken the path of not reacting to these matters and have accepted them as, somehow, coming with the `job.'However, I cannot, and will not, stand by when these attacks are made on my family."

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On a happier note, here are three songs that will be on Clay's new album. I can't wait to see what Clay does with the Bon Jovi song. It is one of the four songs considered original for this album since Bon Jovi had only released the song in Japan and not the USA.

Note: YouTube seems to a bit wonky. If per chance the videos are not showing up, check back later.

Montage by Aspiegirl set to "These Open Arms" by Bon Jovi

Montage set to snippets of Clay singing "Without You"

Video of Clay performing "1000 Days" in concert

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Friday, August 04, 2006

A Thousand Different Covers

We have a release date, but no cover art for the CD. Luckily, ClayNation has many talented people to design the cover. Here is just a sampling of some of the mock covers that were created by fans. Of course, having such a beautiful subject makes the job easy.

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.~~Petrarch

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Cover created by Amazing_CA

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Cover Created by Brandilyne

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Cover Created by Brandilyne

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Cover created by renee4clay

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Cover Created by Fountaindawg

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Cover Created by claystruck

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Cover Created by xandersmom

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Cover created by cindilu2

Here is a little video of the covershoot that actually gives an idea of what the cover will really look like. Judging by the video, the cover will be smoking. *g*

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Houston: We Have Lift Off

The long awaited Press Release is finally here.

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Clay Aiken Releases New RCA Records Album 'A Thousand Different Ways' in Stores on September 19th

Thursday August 3, 10:00 am ET

LOS ANGELES, Calif., August 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The long wait for Clay Aiken fans is over. RCA Records will release the singer's third album, "A Thousand Different Ways" on September 19th. The project, Aiken's first outing since 2004, combines 10 cover versions of well-known songs from the '70s, '80s and '90s with four brand-new songs.

The album is a follow-up to Aiken's debut set, "Measure of a Man," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and is certified triple-platinum, as well as the platinum-selling "Merry Christmas with Love," the best-selling holiday album of the 2004 season.

For Aiken, the new album's title has multiple meanings. "This is an album of love songs," he explains, "but they are about all different kinds of love. Romantic love, Friendship, Unconditional love. There are a thousand different kinds of love; a thousand different ways to tell someone you love them. And, on top of that, since so many of these songs are covers, it's realistic to say that many of them have been or could be sung a thousand different ways."

In fact, Aiken has put his own spin on some of the well-known songs he has recorded for his new album. "These are songs I heard growing up. I loved them then and I still love them today, but we decided to do them a little differently. They have new arrangements and we put our own style on some of them."

Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Here You Come Again," a No. 3 hit for Dolly Parton in 1978, stands out for Aiken. "I've always loved that song," he says. "But for this album, we didn't use a country arrangement. It's a ballad version now. Adam Anders produced the most amazing arrangement and I couldn't wait to sing it."

Aiken credits Chairman CEO BMG U.S., Clive Davis for coming up with the concept for the album. "When we first embarked on making an album, my executive producer Jaymes Foster and I started out with one or two covers, then we had three. We slowly discovered that it's harder these days to come by songs that are as superb as the songs that I grew up on. Based on that, it was Clive's brainchild that we take classic love songs of the last 30 years and pair them with four new songs. He is a man who not only knows music, but really has his finger on the pulse of what listeners want to hear."

Those who have come to expect Aiken to belt out a song won't be disappointed. The album shows off Aiken's vocals in a big way with songs like the Bad English hit "When I See You Smile" and Harry Nillsson's "Without You." But Aiken will surprise fans by singing in a more relaxed style on some tracks than they have heard before, showing a different, sexier side.

Aiken fans will also be glad to know he was personally involved with the selection of every track and that he participated in every aspect of the album. "For the first album, most of the songs were chosen ahead of time. I was less of a participant in the process. The second album was a Christmas album, so we naturally chose songs of the season. This new album has much more of me in it. Right from the beginning, Clive and Jaymes wanted to find songs that were right for me. Jaymes told me, "Stay in your lane, but remember it's okay to swerve a little and see where it takes you.' That's exactly what we did."

The following is a complete track listing for the much-anticipated "A Thousand Different Ways," including writer and producer credits:

Originally recorded by: Richard Marx
Written by: Richard Marx / Produced by: John Fields

Originally recorded by: John Waite
Written by: Diane Warren / Produced by: John Fields

Originally recorded by: Badfinger and Then Harry Nilsson
Written by: William Collings, Thomas Evans, Michael Gibbins, Peter Ham,
and J.C. Molland
Produced by: John Fields

Written by: Andreas Carlsson, Samuel Waermo, Mimmi Waermo & Clay Aiken
Produced by: Andreas Carlsson and Samuel Waermo

Originally recorded by: Elton John
Written by: Elton John & Bernie Taupin
Producer by: Per Magnusson & David Kreuger

Originally recorded by: Paul Young
Written by: Daryl Hall
Produced by: Adam Anders

Originally recorded by: Bryan Adams
Written by: Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen & Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Produced by: John Fields

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS - Guest Vocals by Suzie McNeil
Originally recorded by: Foreigner
Written by: Michael Jones
Produced by: Russ Irwin, Marti Frederiksen & Charlton Pettus

Written by: Jon Bon Jovi & Desmond Childs
Produced by: John Fields

Originally recorded by: Celine Dion
Written by: Diane Warren
Produced by: Eman

Originally recorded by: Dolly Parton
Written by: Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

EVERYTHING I HAVE - Featuring William Joseph on Piano
Written by: Jeremy Bose
Arranged by: Jeremy Lubbock

Written by: Christian Leuzzi, Aldo Nova & Emanuel Olsson
Produced by: John Fields

Originally recorded by: Mr. Mister
Written by: Richard Page, John Lang & Steve George
Produced by: Eman

Source: RCA Records

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