Adam Lambert vs. Hi Fi Records

In the battle of he said, they said between Adam Lambert and Hi Fi Records regarding the upcoming release of Lambert’s On With the Show album, an internal memo from the label was recently leaked crediting the “American Idol” runner-up as the co-songwriter on nine of the 11 tracks.

The internal memo, which was published on Thursday, is typed on Music Publishers Company of America paper and dated June 23 with the subject as “Adam Lambert – ‘On With The Show’ – track listing.”

The flamboyant glam rocker is listed with 50 percent songwriting credit on “Beg For Mercy,” “Crawl Thru Fire,” “Kiss And Tell,” “Just The Way It Is,” “Turning On,” “Runaway,” “15 Minutes of Fame,” “The Circle” and “mp3 Killed The Record Companies.”

“Want” and the title track are credited to Michael Burtscher.

Last Friday the tune “Want” was released online with Hi Fi Records issuing a statement explaining it was the first single from On With The Show, which the singer co-wrote and recorded pre-“Idol” fame between 2007 and 2008. The label announced it would be releasing the album on Hi Fi Recordings/Wilshire Records this summer.

Photo: AP Photo
The runner-up finalist on "American Idol," poses backstage following the show’s finale in Los Angeles.

Lambert then released a statement of his own, saying he was hired in 2005 as a studio singer “to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else. The work I did back then in no way reflects the music I am currently in the studio working on. … [I] can’t wait for people to hear what my music really sounds like.”

On Wednesday a Hi Fi Recordings rep told “The songs were recorded in a professional recording studio with top notch musicians and producers since the music was always meant to be released. Of the 11 songs that will appear on the album, On With the Show, Adam co-wrote eight with Monte Pittman (Madonna’s guitar player). As co-writer and performer, Adam will receive significant royalties just as any superstar artist would.”

Thursday evening Lambert released another statement following the leaked internal Hi Fi Records memo. 

“I was shocked to learn that songwriting demos of songs that I co-wrote and recorded over the past few years may be released in an album. Like a rough draft that a writer does before finishing a book, I did not intend my work on these demos to be heard by the public. I was unaware that anyone intended to release these recordings until I heard about it in the press, and I’m very disappointed by this entire situation.”

Hi Fi Recordings has since responded to Lambert’s latest statement.

“As we’ve already outlined, releasing this music was always the plan. That plan was changed by Nineteen Recordings after Adam won America over with his extaordinary talent. It’s a shame that his management/record company choose to disavow their clients work and discredit him as a songwriter. … We apologize for what has become a tiresome tit for tat, particularly on a day that we mourn the loss of a truly original, game-changing entertainer – but unfortunately, each statement released in Adam’s name contains a different story.”

Last month I was doing some innocent Adam Lambert Google sleuthing and I stumbled upon a couple of On With The Show tunes.

“Kiss and Tell” could totally be a hit dance song and I think “Crawl Through The Fire” is channeling the classic rock goodness of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla.” Although I was disappointed with “Want,” I’m now excited to check out the rest of the tracks!

Lambert’s debut album of new, post-“Idol” material is set for release this fall on 19 Recordings/RCA records. He’s working on the album with RedOne, the producer behind Lady Gaga hits such as “Poker Face,” “LoveGame” and “Just Dance.

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