Cher’s Hidden ‘Not Commercial’ Album Is An Early 2000’s Revelation

When Cher crafted what many consider one of the best dance albums of the 1990’s with Believe, she gave fans the hope that the latest incarnation of our favorite icon would be dance diva for the new millennium. While Cher did go on to provide a multitude of masterful dance floor classics, her first album post-Believe was most definitely, unexpected; November 2000’s not.com.mercial which was released exclusively online (which was completely revolutionary at the time). 

The Wikipedia page for the album indicates that the now-collectors item album was written after Cher attended a semiannual songwriters workshop in France, hosted by Miles Copeland III in France. After recording the album with David Letterman’s own CBS Orchestra, Warner Music UK (Cher’s recording company) rejected the album, indicating it was simply “not commercial”. Cher held onto the album, releasing it years later, following the success of Believe.

The material on not.com.mercial was a bit darker and very message-driven, but still undoubtedly quintessential Cher. The single ‘Still’ is laden with stunning chords and Cher’s heartfelt vocals, while the single ‘The Fall (Kurt’s Blues)’ seems to borrow from the Seattle scene of that era, which Nirvana made famous. In a turn of irony, Cher herself was inspired by Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, with a poem she had written about Cobain becoming part of the inspiration for the album itself. ‘Classified 1A’ is a love letter off sorts to lifelong fans of Cher. With a sound (and vocals) that harken back to the Cher that first hit the scene all those years ago. The track was originally written in 1971 about a Vietnam soldier and remained unreleased, being considered “un-American” at the time. The credited songwriter for ‘Classified 1A’?-Sonny Bono.

The album also had a unique and once in a lifetime contest for die-hard Cher fanatics to take part in also. Wikipedia said “A contest was set for those who bought the album. Three copies included a ‘golden ticket’ and five copies a ‘silver ticket,’ inspired by the film ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.’ Winners of the golden ticket were awarded a trip for two to meet Cher in London, while the silver ticket holders received a Cher doll from Mattel.”

 

As Cher celebrated her seventy-fifth birthday this past week, she dropped another treat to fans who have been yearning for news on a big-screen biopic for ages. She tweeted that “Universal is doing a biopic with my friends Judy Craymer,Gary Goetzman producing.” Craymer and Goetzman are the team behind the stage musical and big-screen productions of Mamma Mia, which featured Cher in the 2018 sequel. 

Goetzman told Deadline “Gary and I are thrilled to be working with Cher again and this time bringing her empowering and true life odyssey to the big screen. One cannot help but be drawn to and inspired by Cher’s larger than life talent, fortitude, unique wit, warmth and vision,” Craymer said. “Her unparalleled success in music film and TV have inspired generations. We could not be happier to tell her story to cinema audiences.”

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4 thoughts on “Cher’s Hidden ‘Not Commercial’ Album Is An Early 2000’s Revelation”

  1. Not Commercial is Heart felt Cher, Honest and stunning. Cher’s life is too big for a 2 hour movie. They need to team up with Netflix to do a 10 part Series.

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  2. Do not recall where I purchased this CD [Isis Production Inc CD 2000/1994/1971 Marketed and Distributed by ARTISTdirect Los Angeles or when [Nov 2000?]… I’ve played “‘cher . not.com.mercercial” CD over and over many times.

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    • I bought this cd from artist direct and although I didn’t get a golden ticket, one afternoon I got a phone call from Artist Direct to attend be in the audience of an online interview with Cher. After the interview she met with each and every one of us. She signed my vinyl copy of Take Me Home and took pictures with me. She even let me kiss her on her cheek. She was gracious and fabulous.

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