Music, Movies, TV – An Insider’s Perspective


The gifted, extraordinary artist & creator of the Lilith Fair Festival… and the Iconic Music Mogul behind her success…CLIVE DAVIS

Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian artist that first popped on the scene in 1987. She was known for her piano based emotional song writing and live performance.

Sarah McLachlan: Touch

She released her album “Touch” in 1988 and due to the success of “Touch” she caught the attention of famed music mogul Clive Davis.

In 1989 she was signed by Clive to release her records in the U.S. under his Arista record label. Clive had an exceptional ear and talent for finding new and interesting artists. He had a special gift of breaking female artists. Clive often picked the songs that the artists became known for. He loved finding those artists that could write as well as perform. After signing with Clive Davis, Sarah’s career took off like wild fire.

I remember being totally blown away by Sarah during a dinner with Sarah in which she played a few of her songs for us. These songs went on to become major hits. Back in my retail buyer days, Clive really knew how to introduce his new artists to us as well as radio promoters, booking agents and ALL tastemakers.

Having Clive Davis was like having your “key to stardom”.

Since 1967 Clive Davis has signed or had a significant role in the success of MANY artists and Super-Stars. Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of his signings, here are just some of the Icons he has brought to the masses during his time with Columbia Records from 1967 through 1973…

Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Neil Diamond, The Isley Brothers, Barbara Streisand, Bob Dylan, Sly & the Family Stone and Simon & Garfunkel.

In 1974 when he founded his own record label, Arista Records he added more star power to his roster with Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys, Monica, Dido and Sarah McLachlan. Legendary artists were also attracted to Arista Records, so Clive signed them and brought new life into their careers…Aretha Franklin, Eurythmics, Grateful Dead, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, The Kinks, Rod Stewart, Hall & Oates and more.

Clive also opened the door for other labels like LaFace Records. This is the label that brought us TLC, Pink, Toni Braxton, Outkast, Usher and more

In 1994, Clive did a 50/50 deal with a new producer and entrepreneur named Sean “Puffy” Combs, They formed Bad Boy Records and even more hits started rolling in with the signings of The Notorious B.I.G, Mase, 112, Faith Evans and Puffy as an artist himself.

Clive has personally won five Grammy Awards and in 2000 he is one of the rare non-performers that were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame…

Just a couple weeks ago New York proved again that no one can bring artists and stars together quite like the power of Clive Davis. NYC and Clive brought over 60,000 people to Central Park for the televised “I Love New York” concert. It was a star-studded event to bring people back to the magical musical treasures of New York.

I highly suggest watching the recently released documentary on the life and career of Clive Davis….“Clive Davis: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives”. It’s not yet available on DVD but I’ll keep an eye out for it and let you know if it becomes available.

Clive’s artist Sarah McLachlan brought much more than her recordings to music fans….she brought the enormously successful women’s music festival “Lilith Fair”.

I often reminisce about Sarah’s Lilith Fair festival and how it felt to be surrounded by all the incredible women “and men” that flocked to the festival to celebrate the very talented, “WOMEN IN MUSIC”.

When Sarah McLachlan created Lilith Fair she had no idea just how Important and massive this touring festival would become.  

Her massive festival proved that there was a HUGE audience and revenue stream for women in music.

Here are a few of the master-works of Sarah McLachlan that belong in the collection of all fans that appreciate great singer-songwriters.

Sarah McLachlan: Touch on CD

Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstacy on CD

Sarah McLachlan: Surfacing on CD

Sarah McLachlan: Mirrorball on LP

Playlist: Very Best of Sarah McLachlan on CD helps sponsor this blog. Use this link to find even more of Sarah’s music, all at a good price.

I recommend getting Sarah’s music and revisiting it or experiencing her magical talent for the first time. Sarah’s music will fill your heart and soul.

This month I will highlight some of the women that rocked Lilith Fair as well as other immensely talented women. I am throwing genres out of the conversation and I will just feature extraordinary women with a special gift for bringing us together through their music. This journey through “Women in Music” may take us from Billie Holiday to Billie Eilish…..Come back often in September to hear about these fierce females of music!

1 Comment

  1. Mitch Perliss

    I don’t think you were there, but perhaps you were. Back in my day as a buyer Clive used to have “presentations” at the Beverly Hills Hotel that included record retailers, radio stations and more. One of the sillier things I remember is that one couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom or whatever while he was giving his presentation and he “requested” very loudly that the person sit down until he was done.
    I recall after one of these he invited the group to a studio to hear Whitney Houston before her album came out and wow, we all new she was going to be a best seller just hearing here in the studio before the LP was actually released.
    Just a memory from the past days of music retail fun! It’s a shame we didn’t have cell phones or cell phone cameras back in the day…