Carly Simon's anticipation unfulfilled, so she sues Starbucks

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Carly SimonCarly Simon had great hopes that her 2008 music release "This Kind of Love" would garner the same kind of success other albums -- such as Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" -- had on Starbucks music label Hear Music.

Unfortunately, the pop star's latest hit the shelves just as the coffee chain announced it was streamlining its business operations, a move that included dumping its music label. Simon's album tanked, and now she is taking Starbucks to court, seeking $5 to $10 million in damages.

Starbucks foisted her album off on Concord Music Group, which, Simon claims, resulted in poor promotion and distribution. According to the New York Times, the new set of songs has sold 124,000 copes to date. McCartney's album sold well over half a million. Simon claims that she was also shorted on the $575,000 advance and demand for her older albums, which she says a hit would have created, never transpired.

Starbucks released a statement in response to the lawsuit, claiming it had fulfilled its obligations and noting that her album had received "tepid response from music consumers" overall.

Simon's personal fortunes are also flagging. Like the rest of the world, her stock portfolio collapsed, she was unable to sell her pad in the Village, and struggled to make the payments on her Martha's Vineyard home. She had hoped that sales of the album would allow her to retire from the road, but now it looks like the 64-year-old will be playing the circuit for some years to come.

Starbucks bought Hear Music in 1999 and quickly became a top retailer. It sold, for example, one-quarter of all copies of the Grammy-winning Ray Charles album "Genius Loves Company". In its stores the company primarily featured
long-established, mainstream stars such as Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Rolling Stones and Lucinda Williams, music that would not compound the caffeine jitters of its customers.
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