CMU Daily - on the inside 24 Jun 2002
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Neighbours star Holly Valance's debut single 'Kiss Kiss' has now enjoyed 8 weeks in the top 20, but can you name 7 other Neighbours stars who have released singles in the UK?

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TODAYS RECOMMENDED RELEASES

Singles: B2k - Uh Huh, Sony / Epic; Dagga - Laughing Gas, Hospital; FC Kahuna-Machine Says Yes, City Rockers; Jinrai - Can I Be Your Man?, Acid Jazz; Paul Hamill - Be You, Maelstrom; Raging Speedhorn - The Hate Song, ZTT; Rob Dougan s – Clubbed To Death, BMG; Seafood - Split Single With Jet Plane Landing, Mushroom / Infectious; Starbodixia - Give Me Rain, Ugly Man; Wilt – Distortion Mushroom / Infectious

Albums: Bah Samba - Bah Samba, Estereo; Capone - aka The Original Master, Hardleaders; Fingathing - Superhero Music, Grand Central; Paul Oakenfold – Bunnkka, Perfecto; Reindeer Section - Son Of Evil Reindeer, Bright Star; Roots Manuva - Dub Come Save Me, Big Dada; Seu Jorge – Carolina, Mr Bongo / Universal Brazil; Soulfly – 3, Roadrunner; The Chameleons - Live At The Academy, Paradiso; Various - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah, One Stop Records

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EMI AND WARNERS MERGER MAY BE BACK ON
Yesterday’s Observer reported that major label EMI may reopen merger talks with Warner Music. Following the merger of Universal and Polygram nearly five years ago rumours were rife about further mergers between the remaining five major entertainment companies. EMI pursued mergers with both Warners and BMG, but plans were scuppered by EU competition legislation – with EMI unwilling to sell off its Virgin Records division as the EU commission demanded in order to let a merger take place. But the major labels reckon they may be able to defeat competition authorities after a European court ruled that EU competition officials were wrong to prevent travel company Airtours from buying rival First Choice. At the time competition commissioner Mario Monti blocked the deal primarily because it would have left the holiday market dominated by just three main players, the EMI mergers were blocked because of fears it would leave just four major players in the music business. But insiders reckon that if three players is now acceptable for the holiday industry it will be harder for authorities to object to a similar situation in the music industry.

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KISS AND GARBAGE JOIN RAMONES TRIBUTE ALBUM
The completion of the Ramones tribute album ‘We're a Happy Family’ has been further delayed after two more acts requested to cover a Ramones track from the release. All the artists taking part, which are reported to include Eddie Vedder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson and U2, had recorded their tracks and producers were just waiting for Metallica to record a number. But following the death of Dee Dee Ramone both Garbage and Kiss have approached producer Rob Zombie asking to take part. Garbage are now set to record a version of ‘I Just Want to Have Something to Do’ while Kiss are yet to decide which track to perform. "The scope of the Ramones record has really grown," Zombie told reporters. "We always wanted it to be really special, but it turned into these superstars wanting to get on the record, which is fine. I mean, that's really the point we wanted to prove — these huge megabands were influenced by the Ramones.” Despite the new additions the album is still set for a September release in the US.

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NEW ROLLING STONE EDITOR PLANS TO LIVEN THINGS UP
The new editor of US music title Rolling Stone, Brit Ed Needham, has told the Media Guardian American magazines have become ‘bland’ because of publishers’ desire to please the advertisers and magazine retailers. Needham, a former FHM editor, said "If retailers feel covers are a bit too saucy or stories a bit too racy they might be nervous about stocking that particular issue. Likewise with advertisers. The more conservative ones, like the American automotive companies, are less likely to get involved with a magazine if they feel it doesn't reflect their own values." He feels publishers have given in too much to these demands, and that their magazines have suffered as a result. Talking about the relaunch of the American rock magazine he said: "It has always been quite academic and sober. But the demands on people's time are now so intense that magazines need to be a lot more aggressive about getting readers in and keeping them there. FHM has made that into a bit of an art form. It's busier and there are a lot of entry points on every page. I think Rolling Stone needs to add a bit more craft of that nature." Some in the US media worry Needham’s approach might damage Rolling Stone’s record for publishing thoughtful indepth features. But Needham is adamant he will “retain the magazine's tradition of authoritative music journalism but said there would be shorter articles and livelier layouts”.

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THE STROKES STICK WITH 'IS THIS IT' PRODUCER
The Strokes have been telling MTV that they intend to stick with Is This It producer Gordon Raphael when they record their follow up album. "It's not gonna be like, 'Oh, now that we're successful, we're gonna work with all these super-producer guys that are going to make us a top-selling hit'," singer Julian Casablancas said. "That's never been the goal for us. We just want to do something special. We want to progress, but at the same time you still want that edge. You don't want to lose it." The Strokes, who have already written several new tracks for their still-untitled next record, say they have a strategy to keep the music progressing. "We don't have a new song unless it's better and different than the other songs," Casablancas continued. "So we'll stick to the same criteria, and that's all we're doing. We're trying to do something that's original that still sounds good, whether you know a lot about music or you know nothing about music."

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ORANGE LAUNCH THIRD YEAR OF IBIZA SPONSORSHIP
Phone company Orange are teaming up with super club Manumission and Bar M for the third year running. The sponsorship deal sees Orange branding around the Ibiza club, including interactive units through which clubbers can email photos of themselves back home. Orange also run an interactive clubbing news and information service on the service, which Ibiza clubbers are invited to sign up to. Orange say some 2,000 Orange customers took advantage of the daily text message service on their opening night at Bar M on 17 Jun. For further information or press enquiries contact Nick Keegan at the Orange Media Centre on 020 7984 2000 or Ziggy Gilsenan or Naomi Segal at KLP on 020 7478 3478.

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AMERICAN POP IDOLS GET DRIVEN AWAY
The Fox Network has announced that the ten finalists in the US version of Pop Idol will each receive a car courtesy of the Ford, who are hoping to hype its Focus model to the programme's young audience. The show goes from strength to strength in the US. The first three finalists were chosen by an audience vote last Wednesday, who will be joined by six more hopefuls during the course of the next two shows. The US version is adding a tenth ‘wild card’ finalist who will be chosen directly by the show’s judges, UK judge and BMG A&R man Simon Cowell, 80s popstar Paula Abdul and former Jackson Five member Randy Jackson. This will see an extra finalist added at the last stage - a little like the addition of Darius in the UK competition after Rick Waller dropped out. The show has given the Fox TV network a ratings victory in the 18 to 49-year-old age group, much sought after by US advertisers. Last Tuesday American Idol had an audience of 11 million, making it the top rating show in the US.

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SASHA BACK AT CREAM
Sasha Returns to Cream in Liverpool this Saturday (29 Jun) for his first UK club gig of 2002. He told us: "Even though Manchester was my home, it feels like a homecoming every time I come back to Cream. I have a special relationship with the crowd. So many mates from that area and the north of England come out when I play Cream. It’s always so special. For me personally the last couple of gigs at Cream have been phenomenal. Those gigs have been some of the best I've done in the world over the last couple of years." Also playing this weekend will be Jan Carbon, Paul Bleasdale and Deserts Paul Kane. For further press information please call Gill Nightingale on 0151 709 1693 or email gill@cream.co.uk

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Answer to Friday's CMU pop quiz:

The Doors had a hit with it in 1967, Will Young in 2002, name eight other artists who released cover versions of 'Light My Fire' in between ... answer Monday.

You could have had Al Green, Shirley Bassey, Tammy Lynn, Amii Stewart, Massive Attack, Minnie Riperton, Young-Holt Unlimited, Astrud Gilberto, UB40, Mike Flowers Pops, Ananda Shankar, Stevie Wonder, David Essex, Booker T & the MGs, Mae West and Pearl Jam – they've all released singles or albums containing versions of 'Light My Fire'.

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