Now that Duran Duran is the toast of pop again, what's the next act to be resurrected from obscurity?
Left Bank Management, the Los Angeles-based company that helped mastermind Duran Duran's comeback, hopes the answer is one--or all--of its other clients: Richard Marx, the ever-resilient Bee Gees and--brace yourself--Meat Loaf.
"(For) an act that has a name but is not currently in vogue, the negatives are huge," says Allen Kovac, the head of Left Bank. "Retail, radio, and press have pretty much shut down on the project.
"Our strategy for Duran Duran was don't push the name, don't hype anything--let the band play music and let the song speak for itself. The same applies for Meat Loaf and the Bee Gees."
Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell II--Back Into Hell" hits the stores on Sept. 14 on MCA Records in North America and Virgin Records in the rest of the world. The first single is "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," which Left Bank marketing specialist Tommy Manzi describes as " 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light' for the '90s"--a reference to Meat Loaf's 1978 hit.
Left Bank will have Loaf on the road for an 18-to-24-month tour, will hit television hard ("That's what broke him in the '70s," Manzi claims), and offer multiple home-video versions of his performances. The whole thing kicks off in September with a media-conscious, one-week New York run at the Savoy Theatre on Broadway.
With the Bee Gees, the past--especially the white-suited "Saturday Night Fever" image--might be more of a liability than an asset. The Bee Gees will be back in October with "Size Isn't Everything," released on Polydor worldwide, with a game plan that emphasizes contemporary settings.
"We will be doing a satellite press conference and working on an NBC special with the Bee Gees," Manzi says. "And we'd like to do some shows with radio tie-ins."
Richard Marx is less of a revival project, but needs some adjusting in the wake of his last album, "Rush Street," which sold more than 2 million units but failed to reach the massive sales of previous works.
Marx will be sporting a new look (gone are the fluffy locks) and a tighter sound when his next album, tentatively titled "Silent Scream," arrives in February on Capitol Records.
Marx will attempt to emphasize his status as a songwriter and musician when the new campaign kicks off. "He's a very strong live performer," says Manzi. "Any performance on television is definitely a bonus. We would definitely like an 'Unplugged.' Performance television and actual touring plays a big role in it."