Ever received a letter from HillTop Records?

Discussion in 'Music Business Forum' started by jammster, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. jammster

    jammster

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    Hello RO,
    just an FYI, I walked out to my mailbox the other day and as I was walking back to the house I noticed I received a letter from a outfit called "HillTop Records".

    Now when I was walking into the house I was curious who on earth Hilltop Records is and why would they be contacting me?

    I opened the letter and it read:

    Dear Bret Norman,

    HillTop Records is an independent label in Los Angeles, and we are contacting you regarding your compositions. We would like to consider them for possible arranging, recording and distribution on our new CD Album project.

    Our award winning professional musicians, arrangers and producers have worked with many of the giants in the music industry. Players on our talented team have recorded tracks for Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Trisha Yearwood, Natalie Cole, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, Bette Midler, Joe Feliciano, Chuck Berry, The Four Tops and many, many more. We have played some of the greatest songs of all time with the artists who made them famous, and now we want to carefully consider some of the songs you have written.

    Our professional team is well into production on a special new music project, and we would like to review your material for the CD album. To increase your chances for acceptance, send us three or four of your very best compositions. You may send completed songs, lyrics only, poems or instrumentals. If one of your compositions is chosen, it will be arranged and recorded by some of the best in the business. Your song will then be professionally packaged, shipped nationwide to stores and radio stations, and you will be paid a royalty for every recording sold.

    If you send your songs on cassette or CD, please include lyric sheets. We will review all of the songs that you send very carefully, and you will receive our decision promptly. Your songs will not be used without your written permission, and your material will be returned upon request if postage is provided.

    The music industry continues to grow world wide, and there is a constant demand for fresh, new songs. Stars search for catchy new lyrics. Radio stations look for the latest recordings. The explosion of satellite and cable television with hundreds of new channels and special music programs has created still a greater demand for new music. HillTop Records wants to help meet that demand; we are searching for great new songs for recording and distribution.

    Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson were once unknown songwriters. Their songs, maybe like yours, were once heard by only a few close friends. Then they got a break. They got a chance to professionally record their music. And now their songs are a big part of the multi-billion dollar music industry. This could be a tremendous opportunity for a talented songwriter. HillTop Records could be your first big break in the music industry.

    All the best,
    Tom Hartman



    Well, as you can imagine my first reaction was one of wonder.

    How on earth did they get my address, where did they hear me?

    I called a couple friends and then did the google search.

    Scam!

    I did a simple search and here is the first result:

    Hilltop Records Scam
    They somehow get your mailing address when you submit your music to the copyright office. They write back and say they may want to use your song on an album and ask you to pay them so they can record a demo which will then be reviewed. I've seen TOO many negative stories about HILLTOP RECORDS and did a search on Amazon for products/albums they released. I only found work from the 1960's!

    I recommend working with a label you can physically go to and record your work there for demo purposes, rather than give money to one that is likely duping you. After I recorded my first song is was licensed to a major record label that paid me $1300 up front and a percentage of sales for the 125,000 copies that were sold. I collaborated with a producer that already paid for studio time so studio costs were low.



    And guess what? I submitted a Album to the Copyright office so go figure.

    So FYI, if its too good to be true, chances are that your being had!

    jamm 8)
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk

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    Typo or Freudian slip?



    Trust your feelings young Jedi, it's a standard form letter. LOC records are available to anyone who knows where to look.

    asking for money, or wanting you to sign away the rights to your work = song shark.
  3. jammster

    jammster

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    :lol:

    I think its the latter one.

    Its been a while since I got a letter like this, I thought I get it out there so you folks can see what kind of flattery letters are capable of. :wink:

    Its true, as I was typing it I wanted to insert all the BS I was thinking.

    There's a sucker born every minute, I really don't want to jump on that wagon!

    BTW, the word was supposed to be all not a**! Funny how i missed that.
  4. bigtree

    bigtree Has Studio Services

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    I fixed the typo.
  5. jammster

    jammster

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    Sorry, I guess I should have done that. :oops:

    Its easy for me to laugh about it. :wink:
  6. rmaynard

    rmaynard

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    Warning, to all you potential song sellers out there, Hilltop Records has to date ( Eleven ) 11, complaints, thats according to the Better Business Bureau in California about not paying royalties to you !!!
    They have a history of failure to follow through on contract agreements. Do not fall for their Scams !!!!!!!!!!! Roger M. Worcester , Ma.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  7. Bobby Knox Jr

    Bobby Knox Jr

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    Funny, i just got the same letter last week. Glad I did my research
  8. 6iprod

    6iprod

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    I am glad I researched this, I got the same letter just a few days ago. It does seem kind of funny that I received it within a day or two of receiving my certificate of copyright from the Library of Congress. Thanks for posting this out there so folks like me can smell a rat. I wasn't going to send them anything because I want my music to only be performed or used by myself, not some random artist. Even still, I am glad I know about these guys now because they need to be brought down.
  9. Marshall Thomas Williams

    Marshall Thomas Williams

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    I just went to the mailbox and got that letter 09/12/2011. I was like whats this about and look up and found this forum and the same exact letter and said wha wait lol. Yah wont get me lol!
  10. jammster

    jammster

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    Good to see that there are others aware of sharks!

    I cannot help but think of all the people that don't even bother doing a search or asking advise from people before spending money on a scam. I guess we have all been rooked somewhere in our lives, I've certainly had my share too.
  11. producerjc

    producerjc

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    Apparently, Hilltop is resisting the newest way of sharing music. I wonder why that is...
  12. DukeD

    DukeD

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    Just got one of these today. I've registered a few tunes recently w/ the US Copyright Office. Hilltop must watch the registration announcements for song copyrights and send out those letters.
  13. rickcrickc

    rickcrickc

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    Hi, I just wanted to post in 2012 that these folks are still sending their letters out-- I received one (Noted above) today aug 13 ,2012.

    THANK YOU very much for your past posts. I submitted at the copyright office a few weeks ago, too.

    BTW, glad I found & joined this site.
  14. jammster

    jammster

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    Hey Rickcrickc, Welcome aboard.

    The best thing about this website is that people here say it like it is, those rude ones don't last around these parts.
    I just could not help but notice this thread has received about 4000 hits per year, that is quite a few people checking this info out. I'm honored to serve you my fellow musicians. Its good to know that the power of the internet has helped us all to come to new understandings. Amazing what a search engine can do, and to think that they want a kill switch on it, What BS!
  15. jewell

    jewell

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    I just received one today, i had to research it, and while doing so i noticed a hilltop/ebay link in google that appeared to have been hit cause it was the Purple color. i was curious as to why because why i have never searched "hilltop" on ebay. i clicked it and it sent me to where once i had looked up the value on some old albums i got, and their hilltop label name was associated. mostly old stuff. at this point i feel they somehow got my info through that site, its the only link i see. believe me it sounded good and i was happy for a bit, but its gotta be a scam.
  16. DonnyAir

    DonnyAir Has Studio Services

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    Hilltop Records gets their list of songs/songwriters from the LOC. Trust me...They've never even heard your song, nor do they care to until you send them money to record it.

    All they want is for one person out of one hundred to be "flattered" enough by their false compliments to pony up the money for a half-assed demo recording of the song to be ordered...

    They've been pulling this scam for quite a few years now, and I guess they are still in business because there's a sucker born every minute.

    They're appealing to the artist ego. They're telling people how great their songs are and how much better the song would be if they would simply hire professionals to record it for them. And, there is an element of truth to it... I'm sure there are many songs registered for copyright that would benefit from a professional touch. But don't be suckered into thinking that you've been chosen because they think your song is good.

    They don't care if it's good or garbage. They just want the production fees.

    fwiw
    -d.
  17. Recordjunkie

    Recordjunkie

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    Hilltop records is not a scam. I know because I did it. I got everything I was promised in the letter all of us have received. I too did my homework and read all the complaints but was still curious about how they did it. I even had a lawyer friend check it out and read the fine print. The biggest thing I was wanting was to get my music heard and Hilltop does a great job of getting you music out as far as they say they will. My songs made it on their CD's and yes I got paid as stated in the letter. My songs were put on their website. My theory was it only take one person to be surfing to hear my song and want to record it even though that's a very long shot.

    In fact the only thing I was disappointed in was their recording artist that recorded my song. I actually couldn't listen to my own song all the way through the vocals were so bad. But it was what they said they would do. They don't promise it will be good!

    It was a neat experience and I still get letters from them often to do it again. I'm actually ahead of them in terms of money if your wondering, so I'm not going to complain. I haven't had a hit song yet, but they tell you in the letter that is a long shot.

    Just thought I'd share that with you. I got a good laugh out of the whole thing really.

    Good luck.
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