The second key for me was in the early 1990’s; after years of running my own business I went to work for Atlantic Records, reporting to Doug Morris. Morris explained something to me about how to be a good boss that I vividly remember: ”You’ve been used to showing people how smart you are; now your job is to show how smart they are.” I’m still trying to learn to apply it.
When it comes to picking what song should be a single from an album, it’s usually better to listen to what the marketplace wants. We had an idea on what the single would be from Bad Religion’s new album at Atlantic, and KROQ, a Los Angeles station, had another in mind; it kept playing ”Infected.” I said: ”We’re not going to pick what one station likes. We pick what we like.” In retrospect, I wish I had done what KROQ suggested.
But when Steve Greenberg from S-Curve Records came to me with Baha Men’s ”Who Let the Dogs Out,” after Warner Brothers told him they didn’t want to put the song out because they thought it was too stupid, I said yes. I had a feeling it was going to be a hit. In the five years of Artemis Records, it’s been the best seller.