Lene Marlin was catapulted into the spotlight in 1999 with her hugely successful Playing My Game. The album went on to sell millions, and secured her a loyal following throughout Europe. The release of her upcoming follow-up album is now delayed due to a bitter conflict with her manager, Arne Svare.
Playing My Game went double platinum in Norway earning her several Norwegian Grammies and two No. 1 singles, Unforgivable Sinner and Sitting Down Here. The international release was equally as successful, resulting in Unforgivable Sinner reaching top 5 in the UK and No. 1 in several European countries. The album spent 49 weeks in the UK national charts, and accumulated international sales exceeded 1.6 million copies
The transition from being an average teenage schoolgirl in north-of-arctic-circle town Tromsø to achieving international stardom was immense for Marlin. With intense media attention and hectic promotion activities taking its toll, Marlin, her management and record label elected to step down and quiet things down a bit. Consequently, it’s been some quiet years for the Norwegian songstress.
Lene Marlin’s second album is now allegedly finished and ready for release. However, a bitter dispute with her manager, Arne Svare – head of Stageway, has resulted in a postponement of her new album.
Marlin and Svare disagree over the duration of her contract. While Marlin and her lawyers claim the contract expires this June, Svare and his team claim the rights to a second additional album after Playing My Game which was released in 1999. EMI will give the upcoming Marlin album a high priority, and Svare’s claim to charge a 20% commission from Marlin’s generated turnover is the bottom line of the conflict. Reportedly, Marlin is entitled to a NOK 14 mill. (€ 1,77) advance for her publishing rights only.
Arne Svare is Head of Stageway Norway AS, and is acting as manager for some of Norway’s best-known performers among others Sissel Kyrkjebø, Morten Abel and Sondre Lerche.
According to Norwegian daily VG, relations between Svare and Marlin quickly went sour four years ago, and have been at a freezing point for the last two years. The dispute, which is now a matter for the two parties’ lawyers, has gone to a point where a continued collaboration between Svare and Marlin seems highly unlikely.
Marlin’s new album, which is features contributions from former Alanis Morisette producer Glen Ballard, is now postponed with no official release date.
Neither Svare nor Marlin’s record label EMI Recorded Music Norway wish to comment on the ongoing conflict.