Star artists have been dealing with the kind of shenanigans Morgan Wallen has been dealing with his “Stand Alone” EP from the early days of his career. Morgan, like many artists do, signed a contract without reading much into it back then (he just wanted to make music as all young artists do). The songs were written, the songs were recorded, and the songs were released to capitalize on his appearance on The Voice. While his career gestated behind the scenes, Morgan soon was signed with Big Loud Recordings where he wrote and recorded some interesting early material before “Up Down” made him a singer of note and “Whiskey Glasses” made him a superstar.
That company, Panacea Records, Inc. is swooping in like a vulture and capitalizing on Wallen’s success and fame with the expanded 10th Anniversary Edition of the original EP with 8 tracks never before heard by the public (except maybe at some early songwriter nights in Nashville). A complete “cashing in” moment for the team Wallen worked with on the project, he’s not very happy about it. In Response, to these shenanigans, Wallen has re-recorded “Spin You Around,” Taylor Swift style in hopes his fans listen to that song instead of the 8 other new tracks found on the expanded album. I’ve actually listened to them and they feel of the time in country music but they certainly lack the edge and signature style Wallen is known for now.
Wallen’s full statement below:
I'm writing y'all from a duck hunting trip because I want to fill you in on something happening tonight.
Back in 2014, I went to Florida to try my hand at making original music & songwriting for the first time. This led to a recording deal with a local investor & an artist management deal that I deeply regret. Unfortunately, I signed both deals without any legal representation.
We made 13 songs. Some were ok, most were terrible as I was just learning how to write in general & figuring it all out. I was not the only collaborator, so many of these songs were not my idea nor to my standards. We deemed 5 worthy-enough to make the Stand Alone EP which includes a fan-favorite, “Spin You Around.”
Tonight, those colleagues I parted ways with almost 10 years ago plan to release a “10th Anniversary” edition of Stand Alone against my wishes & include 8 unreleased songs, distributing it with the assistance of my former managers. For months I've been exploring every avenue possible to acquire the rights to this old music & keep the quality of my catalog consistent with songs I choose to release & believe in.
It's gross, greedy & an example of how the dark side of the music business can suck the soul out of artists.
I want you to know this is NOT my new music & I don't want to see this happen to anyone else. I cringe when I listen to these songs & I'm concerned my fans may mistakenly believe this is a new release by me. I begin recording my next project at the end of February. I'm feeling inspired creatively & super excited to make more music I'm proud of.
1. I re-recorded “Spin You Around (1/24)” this week in Nashville & it comes out TONIGHT. Thank you Joey Moi & Bryan Sutton. I did the artwork myself while in the woods duck hunting. Hope you like it, lol.
2. I am donating $100k from the Morgan Wallen Foundation to the Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals For The Arts (VLPA) program. I hope young aspiring musicians read this story & know they should never have to give up their creative freedoms for an opportunity in this business.
3. Trust me, when new music is ready, you'll hear it directly from me.