CMU Daily - on the inside 25 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Classic Radio back down on Cliff ban
- Polyphonic Spree encourage fans to make their vid
- MTV take majority stake in German rival
- More merger nonsense
- Jon Spencer ready to explode again
- Mixing package competition with new Ninja Solid Steel release
- Live Review: Fleadh Festival in Finsbury Park
- AIM do truetone deal in Japan
- AIM Big Wednesday on money
- Music Tank on radio
- Napster form alliance with Best Buy
- PPL form alliance with Soundexchange
- Trapped nerve halts Bowie show
- Popstars 3 in the pipeline
- CNS sign up INXS front man search show
- Bros reunion pending
- Farrell responds to Lollapalooza cancellation
- Live Review: The Crimea At The Garage
- Rarities galore to feature on Clash re-release
- Wizard of Oz track tops movie song survey

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIP

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Twisted Love
David & Mo Glimmer Twins started DJing in Ghent, Belgium back in 1985. Always playing proper party music, and having recently put out 'Blue Note Sidetracks Volume One' for Blue Note, they have a kind of Soulwax feel in their bootlegs and b-sides stylee. I tell you all this because the Twins take to the decks at Neighbourhood tonight. Support comes from Zzonked PR guru (1) Gareth Watkins (from Funkt-if-ino) who is very much on the rise in the DJ stakes, and Zzonked PR guru (2) Silver Man (Tru Thoughts / 3 Bar Fire) who will also be damaging the decks doing some electroey house bizniz. (incidentally, he is not a villain from doctor who). Twisted Love's statement is "one record could be house, the next disco, the next funk... the next rare groove. Quite simply something for everyone." With policy like that - well worth checking.
Fri 23 Jun, Neighbourhood, 12 Acklam Road, London, W10, 8pm - 2am, early arrival is recommended, £12 on door / 10 with list, info paul@nhe.co.uk. Info on the Glimmer Twins at http://www.glimmertwins.com

CLUP TIP 2: Wall Of Sound @ Glastonbury
For all you crusties who got tickets and will be awash in the e coli tainted quagmire this weekend, Wall Of Sound will be running the Red Bull tent Friday and Saturday, and if I was heading West this weekend frankly this is where I would be. Tonight you get electro pioneers Coldcut, d and b superstars DJ Krust, long suffering understudy DJ Die, and hip-hop from Skitz and Rodney P. Tomorrow it's Erol Alkan, Queens of Noize, Mylo, Mark Jones, Alvin C and Themroc. Definitely the place to be - I mean, who really wants to fight the crowds and cross the mud bath for a glimpse of Oasis and Macca?

Put your club night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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CLASSIC RADIO BACK DOWN ON CLIFF BAN
Hurrah for Tony Blackburn. Hurrah for Cliff Richard. And those aren't things we expect to be hurrah-ing too often here in the CMU Daily. Unique Broadcasting owned Classic Gold Digital have backed down in their fight with breakfast show host Blackburn over the inclusion of Cliff Richard songs on his show when the Peter Pan of pop was clearly barred from the station's playlist.

Despite much talk from station management of audience research and the importance of the Classic Gold brand, it turned out huge numbers of the station's listeners are both Blackburn and Cliff fans (a big surprise to, erm, no one, except perhaps Classic Gold management) and the collective outrage of those listeners has forced bosses to both stop Blackburn's one day suspension for disobeying their playlist demands, and to put Cliff Richard back onto their playlist.

Classic Gold chief John Baish admitted yesterday: "We've been overwhelmed by the support for Cliff. We should be playing him as much as The Beatles, and we play the Beatles quite often", adding, "this row was never actually about Cliff, it was just a situation with Tony that got out of control. I'm glad we resolved it".
On his reinstatement Blackburn told reporters: "I'm delighted this business has been settled. I enjoy working with Classic Gold and doing my breakfast show immensely. I'm also pleased that we're going to be playing Cliff Richard records. It's the listeners who have come out on top."

Busy spectating on the Wimbledon proceedings, Cliff told reporters: "I'm thrilled really. I had given up being worried about [radio airplay] three or four years ago. I tried to talk my way onto playlists but it didn't work and I didn't understand why - I had done nothing wrong to be banned in this way. Now Tony had taken up the cudgel - and I thought, great."

While we're hurrah-ing unexpected people this morning, hurrah to Peter Hain MP who said in Parliament yesterday: "The Leader of the Commons is right behind Tony Blackburn in his choice of music."

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POLYPHONIC SPREE ENCOURAGE FANS TO MAKE THEIR VID
The Polyphonic Spree are giving fans the chance to make the video for their new single 'Hold Me Down'. Anyone interested in dabbling should send the fruits of their labour (preferably on DVD) to The Polyphonic Spree's Film Your Daydream, c/o Hollywood Records Inc., Mail Code #2781, 500 South Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521. by 21 Jul. The winning vid will be distributed to MTV 2, and hosted on the band's official website - it's creator will win five grand.

Announcing the competition the Spree's Tim DeLaughter said: "After touring the world and talking to fans from all walks of life, we've learned that our songs stir up different emotions and mean different things to different people. With that in mind, we thought it would be really interesting to see those interpretations fleshed out and shared. After all, this band started as a vision of a sound and evolved from there."

'Hold Me Down' will be the first single release from the Spree's second album 'Together We're Heavy' - due next month.

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MTV TAKE MAJORITY STAKE IN GERMAN RIVAL
Following those rumours last month that a deal was looming, MTV owners Viacom yesterday confirmed they had acquired over three quarters of the ownership of the company who run German music TV channel VIVA. The announcement followed the purchase of equity off fourteen of the networks shareholders, including the two biggest: Time Warner (30.6%) and Universal Music (15.3%). In a separate deal, Viacom also acquired half of VIVA Plus, previously a joint venture between VIVA and Time Warner.

Viacom now hope to bid for the remaining 24.2% of VIVA giving them complete ownership of the network. This purchase will be dependent on the remaining smaller investors and German financial regulators - though VIVA management are reportedly behind the deal and shareholders stand to make a 21% premium on shares if they sell, so complete ownership is a very real ambition for Viacom.

VIVA will be run by MTV Networks Europe, therefore bringing together Germany's MTV outlets - MTV and MTV2 Pop - with the rival VIVA and VIVA Plus channels.

Confirming the deal in Frankfurt, Viacom Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Tom Freston told reporters: "The acquisition of VIVA is a significant strategic initiative that would dramatically expand our position in Germany - the biggest multichannel TV ad market internationally and a key driver of MTV's European growth plans. In bringing together MTV and VIVA as one family, our local management will create a more diverse and exciting programme offer for German TV audiences, while also tapping into the unique advantages of being part of our global network. We're excited that VIVA's leading shareholders and management team share our very positive vision for the combined company's future, and our commitment to investing in building both brands."

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MORE MERGER NONSENSE
Those in the know reckon that when EMI say they are "not considering" a merger with Warner Music, they mean "not considering" in the sense that they are very seriously considering it right now as we speak. With everyone seemingly convinced the Sony BMG merger will get the go ahead, and that EMI Warners merger talks will formally kick off soon after, attention is now centered on what kind of deal EMI and Warners would be looking to do - and just how much Edgar Bronfmann's Warner Music would be worth if they sold off publishing arm Warner Chappell (pretty much a prerequisite to get EU approval of any merger deal).

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JON SPENCER READY TO EXPLODE AGAIN
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are in the process of completing new album 'Damage' - the follow up to 2002's acclaimed 'Plastic Fang'. The new album includes an incredible list of collaborators including producers Steve Jordan and Alan Moulder plus including Chuck D, DJ Shadow, Martina Topley Bird, David Holmes, Dan The Automator and the late Elliot Smith who had been working with the Blues Explosion just before his death last Oct.

Describing the new album front man Jon Spencer explains: "This is the mother of all Blues Explosion records! The living end! We even have some crazy guy playing shark's teeth and sheep testicles! That's right, we got the bite AND the balls!"

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MIXING PACKAGE COMPETITION WITH NEW NINJA SOLID STEEL RELEASE
To celebrate the release of the fourth edition of Ninja Tunes' Solid Steel mix series - this time from the Silent Brazilian, Amon Tobin - the label are giving away some funky mixing software

The album features a recording of a mix Amon performed in Melbourne recently, in which he used the software package FinalScratch which enables him to DJ with tracks stored on his laptop, many of which he created on his computer while on tour.

To that end Ninja are giving away a copy of Final Scratch. The CD comes with a special code which can be typed in to Amon's website. Everyone who does so will be entered into a draw to win the software.

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LIVE REVIEW: FLEADH FESTIVAL IN Finsbury Park on 20 Jun
With that other festival kicking off today, a quick look back at last weekend's main event when, after a year's absence, the Fleadh festival returned to its natural home. Dividing my time between the Borderline and Main stage - here's the highlights.

Early on at the Borderline stage - one Laura Veirs. Her 'Carbon Glacier' album will surely be considered one of the year's finest by the time critics write their lists in December. Veirs is an unassuming and introspective songwriter; crafting songs that meet somewhere between folk and roots, and which, especially when performed live, have a real emotional significance. Given the quality of both the recorded goods and her set here today, Veirs will continue to be discussed with great reverence in certain circles (albeit the circle that reads Uncut and Mojo).

Southampton four piece (and, I am told, CMU favourites) Delays have had a fine year - scoring two top thirty singles, a top twenty debut album and universal praise from the critics. Naturally the band's set comprises mostly of material taken from the album, but there are a few new tracks on show, including the new single 'Lost In The Melody'. This track places more emphasis on keyboards than before, which may or may not indicate a subtle change of direction. It will be interesting to see. Greg Gilbert's vocals, eerily reminiscent of Liz Fraser, are, as always, the main focus point in live performances. I'm sure many didn't believe he'd be able to carry off such a singing voice live, but he most certainly can. Naturally, the band's highest charting single 'Long Time Coming' receives the most interest, which is fully justified given that it is surely one of the finest singles to reach the top twenty this year.

Back on the Borderline stage more home grown talent was on display in the form of Mercury-nominated folk singer Kathryn Williams. Interestingly, for an artist with obvious crossover potential, Williams is content with staying out of the limelight, quietly releasing her records, rather than engaging with the whole pop market. As well as performing her own impressive material, Williams' set was interesting for her splendid selection of songs to cover, which included 'Thirteen' ( Big Star ), 'How Can We Hang On To A Dream' ( Tim Hardin ), 'Candy Says' ( Velvet Underground ), and a rousing version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah', which is comparable to Jeff Buckley's version in my opinion.

Following The Charlatans' main stage set (during which they managed to tempt Ronnie Wood onstage for a cover of The Face's 'Stay With Me') came Counting Crows who, for a band who have only had one minor hit (1993's Mr Jones ) on this side of the Atlantic, have a very enthusiastic and sizeable following. Indeed, Adam Duritz was seen chatting to fans over by The Borderline stage a few hours before his band took the stage. The aforementioned 'Mr Jones' went down a treat when played mid-set (even though you'd consider it a perfect closer really), but there's doubt in my mind as to whether those with a passive or little interest in the band would have found much to enjoy. You can imagine some screaming out for a little diversity in their sound. Duritz is a lively frontman though, and launched into an impromptu version of 'Live Forever' during the set, which seemed to please the crowd.

The vastly talented Laura Cantrell was in the unenviable position of having her set partly clash with Dylan's - which is a tricky thing to compete with. But Cantrell can fight her own corner. Often compared to some terrific country singer-songwriters including Neko Case and Nanci Griffith, Nashville-born Cantrell is a formidable songwriter and, despite only have recorded two albums, certainly deserves her billing in the upper reaches of the Borderline Stage bill.

And so to the main event. Bob Dylan is one of the most enigmatic and mysterious figures in rock history. Over forty years, he's had his ups and downs, but after a few dry spells has hit a rich run of form during the last ten years or so. It's difficult to think of any genre (or artist even) which wouldn't cite Dylan as an influence on some kind of level. The energy of his youth may have dissipated, and the voice may be cracked and worn these days, but few musicians have such an aura, and even fewer have such a passionate and admiring fan base. Dylan doesn't pick up a guitar once, hidden somewhere to the left of the stage, playing piano throughout. The set is a real treat for Dylan aficionados, for almost two hours he raids his entire back catalogue, playing some well known classics ('Maggie's Farm', 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue') and also tracks beloved and known only by the Dylan faithful. Dylan has a reputation these days for being rather erratic live, but that's a minor complaint, just watching him live is an experience anyone who loves music has to do. The closing song is obvious to everyone, the defining Dylan record, the same record that polarised the music listeners during the mid 1960s, the record which is arguably the finest of all time; 'Like A Rolling Stone'. Dylan doesn't need to do anything here, the crowd know all the words, and sing along at the top of their voices. This will be the festival anthem of the Summer. KW

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AIM DO TRUETONE DEAL IN JAPAN
Tower Records Japan's mobile content division, Tower Mobile, has done a deal with the UK's Association of Independent Music which will see tracks from British independent artists featured on their 'truetone' service.

Truetones are ringtones which take part of an actual track rather than a polyphonic reinterpretation of it. Although a relatively new service in much of America and Europe, the mobile savvy Japanese are already spending £52 million (GBP) a year on truetones, making it lucrative for the recorded music sector who, until the latest developments, benefited little from ringtone sales which only paid out publishing royalties into the music industry.

The new deal - actually between AIM's new media division Musicindie and Japanese mobile content provider Crosswarp - will mean the music from labels like Beggars, Grand Central, Ninja Tune, Domino, Cooking Vinyl and Gut will be available for truetone download via Tower Mobile and Crosswarp's own Music 100 service.

It is hoped that the ringtone service will be extended so that record labels can target customers who download their truetones with deals on gig tickets, CDs or merchandise.

Announcing the deal Steve Johnston, Head of Licensing at Musicindie, told reporters: "This deal is the first of its kind and enables UK independent record labels to digitally distribute their music to Japan, the world's second largest music market and one of the most important for those labels."

Peter Anshin, President of Asia Entertainment Finance Associates, who set up the deal added: "This deal is groundbreaking both in terms of scope and quality of music, and involves not only realtones but also mobile phone sales of albums and merchandise."

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AIM BIG WEDNESDAY ON MONEY
Talking of AIM, which we were, the Association's next Big Wednesday event takes place next week. The topic for discussion is Foolproof Finance and will be looking into all things financial - budgeting, cashflow, financial reporting, all that kind of exciting stuff.

Steve Cherry of Media Funding company Chelver Corporate Finance and Boomy Tokan of the Portobello Business Centre will be on hand to give some tips.

Admission is free for AIM members, £25 for any outsiders out there. More info from remi@musicindie.com

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MUSIC TANK ON RADIO
Talking of seminar type things, details in about the next Music Tank event. Taking place on 6 Jul this will look at developments in the world of music radio - the effect of central playlisting, changes at the BBC and in the commercial sector, the likely impact of community radio, what happens when radio bosses start suspending presenters because they play Cliff Richard records, that kind of thing. Full details on panel and booking info at http://www.musictank.co.uk/events_radio.htm

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NAPSTER FORM ALLIANCE WITH BEST BUY
Napster and US retailer Best Buy have this week confirmed a strategic marketing alliance that will "leverage the power of both brands to drive new subscribers to Napster and deliver a wide range of digital music experiences to Best Buy's entertainment and technology customer base." Whatever that means.

The deal will see Napster get promotion aplenty in Best Buy stores and the Napster service will be made available via Best Buy's online e-tail operation. Best Buy, in return, get a special deal on Roxio kit to sell in their technology departments. The two parties will also most likely participate in some joint advertising.

Confirming the deal Best Buy VP Digital Entertainment Scott Young told reporters: "Best Buy believes that the strength of the Napster brand, together with the experience of Napster's subscription service, makes this an ideal digital music solution for our customers. Napster's compatibility across many of the digital music devices, hardware and software platforms that Best Buy offers, coupled with the exciting opportunities to offer exclusive content, will create very compelling customer solutions in digital music."

Napster boss Chris Gorog added: "We are very excited to begin this strategic retail initiative with a partner of this calibre and one that shares our conviction that subscription services provide the most compelling consumer offering in the digital music market. Best Buy, with its proven success of driving millions of digital subscriptions, has a unique understanding of how to successfully market the Napster subscription experience."

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PPL FORM ALLIANCE WITH SOUNDEXCHANGE
UK royalties body PPL has done a deal with US based copyright group SoundExchange which will see the two groups work on the behalf of each other's members in their respective territories.

Announcing the deal PPL boss Fran Nevrkla told reporters: "This is a major deal for performers. PPL together with the performer organisations has now created a single pipeline for collecting overseas royalties and we are delighted that SoundExchange has been quick to respond to this new initiative."

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TRAPPED NERVE HALTS BOWIE SHOW
David Bowie had to bring a concert in Prague to a halt this week after suffering from a trapped nerve in his shoulder. The singer took a ten minute break midway through the concert on Wednesday night because of "aching nerves in his shoulder". He returned to the stage and performed two more tracks before called the event to a halt and apologising to fans for having to finish early.

Bowie's LA publicist Mitch Schneider played down the incident saying: "It's nothing more serious than a pinched nerve in his shoulder." Schneider says the injury should not effect future dates on the rest of Bowie's 62 date US and European tour.

The cut-short concert in Prague follows that ever-so-slightly comical incident in Norway last week when a lollipop thrown on stage hit Bowie in the eye and forced that show to be paused. Although initially angry at that incident, Bowie's website reports that the singer: "in typical Bowie fashion, and despite his understandable initial anger, made light of the incident".

The audience member who threw the lollipop told British press that it was an accident and that the sweet was knocked out of her hand by revelling fellow audience members.

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POPSTARS 3 IN THE PIPELINE
Following on from the magnificent success stories that were Hearsay and One True Voice (OK, so Girls Aloud are still doing OK) TV bosses are planning a third series of Popstars. This version of the show would be looking to create a boy girl duo, presumably looking to replicate the huge popularity of all those boy girl duos out there like, erm, H & Clare and Jemini. No word on judges or air dates, though with Simon Cowell's new pop reality show dominating the ITV schedules in the Autumn it is unlikely to reach our screens before Spring next year.

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CBS SIGN UP INXS FRONTMAN SEARCH SHOW
Talking of reality TV, US TV network CBS have bought up the rights to the previously reported TV show which will stage a global search for a new front man for INXS. The show will launch in summer 2005 and will centre on a house in the Hollywood hills where a dozen finalists selected from auditions across the US and Canada, and in London, Tokyo and Sydney, will go through the motions of being trained and, if they are lucky, selected for rock stardom. The overall winner will then front an INXS world tour.

The shows producer Mark Burnett told reporters: "INXS is one of the world's premier rock bands, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone. Rock stars are colourful personalities and charismatic performers who make great reality TV characters. Add to that a global format, elimination-style competition and the enormous stakes of becoming the lead singer in a successful group, and you have a unique environment for compelling unscripted drama."

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BROS REUNION PENDING
Oh joy, the Bros boys (including dumped bassist Craig Logan) have been offered a million to reform for a gig in London's Hyde Park. Fresh from his performance on Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen show former front man Matt Goss has told the Star: "We've been made an offer that really is too good to turn down. If that's a reunion then we'll do it but it won't be a permanent thing." The reunion gig could be staged at the latter end of the summer.

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FARRELL RESPONDS TO LOLLAPALOOZA CANCELLATION
Avoiding questions about the future of Jane's Addiction, Perry Farrell has been talking to the press about the cancellation of this year's Lollapalooza Festival, which was axed because of poor ticket sales earlier this week.

First up Farrell indicates he personally wanted to give ticket sales more time to pick up before swinging the axe on the tour, indicating frustration that the money men behind the festival were so quick in calling things off when ticket sales were slow.

Farrell: "Last year, walk-ups [on the day ticket sales] very much improved our final counts, and this year, we felt walk-ups were even more important. One reason is that with the economy in such a poor state, people don't cast their money that far into the future. Rather, they spend their money much closer to show time. Last year, we sold out many of our shows and played to 20-25,000 people at times. This year, we never got a chance to launch our marketing or the bulk of our press campaign. Our campaign was beautiful and strong. We had aligned with MoveOn.org. We were set to reach out to millions of young voters. We were cut off."

Continuing Farrell indicated he was considering some kind of alternative event involving some of the musicians booked to play Lollapalooza: "There are a few paths we are considering. I am getting letters back from many musicians, letting me know that if there is a possibility of becoming active, they will come on board again. Our position is thrilling. We can only be saved by the creative ideas we come up with. We feel like a team gathered around their coach, who is coming up with a play for the final seconds of a game."

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LIVE REVIEW: The Crimea at The Garage on 18 Jun
For those of you who don't know, the Crimea were formed from the ashes of the Crockets, although this may not mean much to those who, like me, aren't aware of this former incarnation. If I say that the Crimea are thoughtful, intelligent indie rockers some of you may run away screaming "Emo! No ! Ahhh!" or something along those lines. But wait - there is something very likeable and substantial about this band. Tonight they perform songs from their debut album 'Tragedy Rocks', bittersweet songs about relationships vividly conveyed by some imaginative lyrics. The evocative 'Baby Boom' runs, "We're just a bunch of buffalo, Getting slaughtered, We're all red Indians, We just love fire water." Vocalist/guitarist Davey McManus is like indie rock's very own Lee Evans, which is to say he's like a hysterical kid with attention deficit disorder. He gazes wide eyed at the crowd, fidgeting constantly and salutes the crowd at the end of each song. The band have obviously accumulated a devoted following and I gather from the crowd's reaction that some of the songs played are old Crockets' favourites. I'm certainly convinced enough by tonight's performance to seek out more material not only by the Crimea but by the Crockets too. JW

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RARITIES GALORE TO FEATURE ON CLASH RE-RELEASE
A disc of recently discovered, previously unheard demos for the Clash's 'London Calling' - reportedly included some tracks that didn't make the final record - will be included when the album is re-released by Epic to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Sep. The re-release package will also include a DVD chronicling the careers of the Clash plus song lyrics, rare photos and a new essay on the band.

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WIZARD OF OZ TRACK TOPS MOVIE SONG SURVEY
A survey of 1,500 Hollywood actors, directors and writers on favourite movie songs has put Judy Garland's version of 'Over the Rainbow' from the Wizard Of Oz at the top. It beat 'As Time Goes By' from Casablanca into second place. 'Singin' In the Rain' came third, 'Moon River' from Breakfast at Tiffany's was fourth, 'White Christmas' was fifth, and Simon and Garfunkel's 'Mrs Robinson' from The Graduate was sixth.

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