Michael Kelly Smith feels Columbia Records cost Britny Fox a platinum record by pulling them off the road

Michael Kelly Smith feels Columbia Records cost Britny Fox a platinum record by pulling them off the road

Former Britny Fox and Cinderella guitarist Michael Kelly Smith was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Classic Rock History. Kelly Smith was one of the founding members of the group in 1985 alongside frontman Dean Davidson, bassist Billy Childs and drummer Tony Destra. The latter was replaced by Adam West for a few months in early 1987 before Johnny Dee (Doro, Tyketto) handled the drums. Kelly Smith, Davidson, Childs and Dee formed the Britny Fox line-up that released the albums Britny Fox (1988) and Boys In Heat (1989) via Columbia Records.

Britny Fox‘s debut album achieved gold status but was never certified platinum. With respect to what put the brakes on the platinum trajectory, Kelly Smith opined: “So, we were on a roll, but after “Save the Weak” came out, it didn’t do as well at radio or MTV as expected. But it was still chugging along, and we also did tours with Poison and Joan Jett. So, the record had gone gold; if we had gone back out and kept doing what we were doing, it would have gone platinum.

But the label pulled us off the road and said, “You need to go back into the studio and do another album.” And looking back, that was premature, and I’d say that the label derailed the momentum. We should have released another single, which would have been “Gudbuy T’Jane,” but that didn’t happen. We were hovering around 900,000 copies sold, and the label pulled the plug, costing us a platinum record. Very unfortunate.”

Daly noted that Boys In Heat was of the same caliber as the debut record but stalled on the charts. Kelly Smith noted: “When Boys and Heat came out, we went on tour with Ratt in ’89. They were on tour in support of Reach for the Sky and were huge at that point. And around that time, “Standing in the Shadows” had been put out as a single, but as good as it was, for some reason, it didn’t catch on at MTV or radio.

I don’t know what the problem was; it had all the elements that were needed to be a huge song, but it just didn’t catch on. But we landed a spot on the Alice Cooper tour in Europe to support his Trash record. That was cool because we hadn’t yet played in Europe. We were determined to turn things around when we were fortunate enough to be offered the opening slot on the KISS Hot in the Shade tour in the US, which was set to start in February of 1990.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Michael Kelly Smith via Classic Rock History‘s website.

Britny Fox‘s “Girlschool” video (from Britny Fox album):