CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 4th January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Pop stars recruited for tsunami relief fundraiser record
- Live-aid concert also planned for tsunami relief effort
- Linkin Park launch their own tsunami relief fund
- Charity records galore in top five
- Album Review: Various - Heartbeat Vol One
- Race is on for 1000th number one
- Chart update
- End of year charts
- Scissor Sisters narrowly miss out on topping poll of polls
- The Fall top Peel's Festive 50
- Shortlist announced for Brits 25th anniversary award
- Brit bosses want Geldof / Bono duet
- U2 tour schedule leaked
- Album Review: Various Artists - Fabric 20: John Digweed
- Legendary band leader dies
- Major label share offers in the pipeline
- UK downloading reaches new heights
- Sony step up digital music efforts
- Commodore MP3 players a possibility
- Doherty puts on storming New Years sets
- Nipplegate tops the web search poll

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POP STARS RECRUITED FOR TSUNAMI RELIEF FUNDRAISER RECORD
Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read is busy recruiting pop stars to appear on a charity single to help raise funds for victims of last month's horrific Indian Ocean tsunami. Cliff Richard and Boy George have already recorded vocals for the track - to be called 'Grief Never Grows Old' - with Ronan Keating, Jamie Cullum, Chris Rea, Olivia Newton John and Robin and Barry Gibb all reportedly tipped to be getting involved.

The song is a melancholy ballad penned by Read before the Boxing Day earthquake, but which the former DJ reckons is suitable to recognise such a traumatic natural disaster. Read: "It's a natural home for it because people kept saying to me, 'it's such a good song', but it's such a sad song'".

About ten artists are likely to be involved in the project - and, unlike Band Aid-style charity records, each artist will record their vocals individually. Richard recorded his while holidaying in Barbados, Boy George was in New York. Keating will contribute his lines if a suitable recording studio can be found in Switzerland, where he is currently on vacation.

All proceeds from the single will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which is co-ordinating the British relief effort. Read hopes to get the record completed asap so his contribution to the fundraising effort can begin: "I was totally shocked at the enormity and suddenness of the disaster and in tears on seeing the orphaned children wandering aimlessly in search of their parents".

No word yet on if any record labels are currently involved with the new charity single.

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LIVE-AID CONCERT ALSO PLANNED FOR TSUNAMI RELIEF EFFORT
Meanwhile bosses at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium are trying to pull together a Live-Aid style fundraiser to take place at the arena on 22 Jan in aid of the relief effort around the Indian Ocean. The stadium is already in talks with a number of major performing artists, though all involved admit getting something together for 22 Jan is a bit of a tall order - that date is something of a deadline because the next week the stadium's pitch is put back down and any major music event is out of the question.

Stadium Manager Paul Sergeant, who has been involved in similar charity events in his previous role at Wembley Stadium, wouldn't be drawn on which 'a-list acts' they have approached, though premiere league Welsh artists are sure to be a priority. He did tell reporters, however, about his team's motivation for getting the gig together: "We would like to do something to help the disaster effort because we have got in Wales the biggest indoor venue in Europe. The public response to the disaster has been incredible and we would very much like to put our weight behind those efforts and raise another £1m or more".

Lending his support to the plans, Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan called for a "Welsh Bob Geldof" to get involved to help secure other artists' involvement.

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LINKIN PARK LAUNCH THEIR OWN TSUNAMI RELIEF FUND
Of course, a cynic might say that perhaps richer celebrities would be better off digging into their own pockets and donating directly to the relief effort rather than getting involved in complicated fundraising projects, so kudos to Linkin Park who have launched a fund to support the organisations delivering aid to those countries affected by the Tsunami by putting $100,000 in themselves.

Having played gigs in three of the affected countries (Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia) last summer, the band are keen to do their bit to support the victims of the earthquake and are now encouraging their fans to make their own donations (albeit a bit more modest than that made by the band themselves) as well as appealing to other artists to follow their lead.

Confirming their involvement in the fundraising, the band's guitarist, Brad Delson, told reporters: "We are fortunate to be in a position to help, but this needs to be a broader effort. If one of our fans can donate $10, then that's going to help... We are also going to appeal to our musical peers by asking them to donate as well."

All money from Linkin Park's fundraising efforts will go to the American Red Cross.

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CHARITY RECORDS GALORE IN TOP FIVE
Not that we're knocking those charity gigs and releases of course - and there's plenty of the latter around at the moment. In fact three of the current top five singles are donating their profits to charity.

Although slipping to number two this week, Band Aid 20 continues to sell well despite the festive period being over. Ronan Keating's new cover of Yusuf Islam's 'Father & Son' also stays in the top five this week, charting at number four - he too is donating his profits to Band Aid, of course.

And as X Factor winner Steve Brookstein slid up the chart to take the number one slot on Sunday with his cover of 'Against All Odds', Simon Cowell announced all the money BMG and Brookstein make on the single will be donated to the Indian Ocean Tsunami relief effort. And good for them.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various - Heartbeat Vol One (Loveslap)
Groovy, balmy, alluring house presented by one of San Fran's most popular spinners, David Harness; 'Heartbeat' is the first of a brand new series for our new year from Loveslap, and it's pretty soulful stuff. Sure to be the pride of any house-aficionado's collection, this excellently mixed and programmed CD showcases some exclusive numbers from fellow label mates that have never before been released. The album's spirit lays bang in the middle of that uniquely-produced US house and garage territory, and it flows through this effortlessly for it entirety. But there's some energy in there too; and after the gradual warm up through some subdued opening tracks, 'Tribal Stomp' from Harness himself emerges - a wonderfully cool, tribally affair, shrouded in gospel chanting and brimming with percussive vigour. And with 'Black Music' from Franky Bossy - a solid, deeper dance floor moment, the LP proves it's certainly not sedative material as these house/garage comps can so easily be. Maybe a bit deep and muted for a lot of listeners, but admirers should certainly hunt this one out and they won't be disappointed. OG
Release date: 5 Mar
Press contact: Phuturetrax

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RACE IS ON FOR 1000TH NUMBER ONE
Moving away from all the fundraising, but staying with the chart, and Brookstein's version of 'Against All Odds' is the 998th number one in British chart history, which now means the race is on for the completely-meaningless-yet-somehow-desirable title of 1000th number one record in Britain.

There are hopes around BMG towers that one of the many up coming Elvis re-releases might score the 1000th number one spot. BMG label RCA are, of course, re-releasing a string of Elvis singles over the next few months to celebrate fifty years of rock 'n' roll (and, more to the point, to cash in before the copyright on these recordings runs out - change in copyright law pending).

'Jailhouse Rock' and 'All Shook Up' special edition singles were both released yesterday, and assuming one of those takes the 999th number one slot on Sunday, the label will presumably hope 'One Night', released next Monday, might score the one thousandth.

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CHART UPDATE
Elsewhere in chart news and little to report, with few singles released the week after Christmas and therefore very few new entries. In fact you have to go all the way down to 37 to find a new entry, Jet are there with 'Get Me Outta Here' followed by Secret Machines who go in at 38 with 'Sad & Lonely'.

In the albums chart, and some joyful news for a change - it seems the kids have been putting those Christmas tokens to good use and buying some very fine records in their post-Xmas shopping sprees. As a result Green Day's damn good album 'American Idiot' jumps back up the album chart into the top spot, while some of 2004's best albums return to the top ten - notably Scissor Sisters (2), Maroon 5 (3), Eminem (4), Killers (5), The Zutons (6) and Franz Ferdinand (10). Meanwhile OutKast's 2003 album 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' also returns to the top ten - at this week's number 8.

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END OF YEAR CHARTS
New Year always brings a plethora of charts and surveys, of course, and there's plenty doing the rounds just now. Starting with the official one - here's the top ten best selling albums and singles of 2004.

No real surprises in either really, with Keane holding on to the title of best selling album (and while we knock them sometimes round here, well done them) and Band Aid 20 the biggest selling single of the year (given that both Eamon and Frankee also appear in the top ten singles list perhaps if Ure and Geldof had retitled their charity track 'Do They Know It's Fuckin Christmas' they'd have raised even more cash).

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the end of year charts is that only two artists appear in both the single and album top tens (Usher and Anastacia), and several of the big selling singles come from pending one-hit wonders. It will be interesting to see if this divide between the big single and album sellers continues as more and more people buy the former principally as MP3.
Anyway, here's the lists with a Radio 1 link where you will find the full top 100s.
Top ten albums:
1. Keane - Hopes And Fears
2. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
3. Robbie Williams - Greatest Hits
4. Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane
5. Katie Melua - Call Off The Search
6. Anastacia - Anastacia
7. Usher - Confessions
8. Norah Jones - Feels Like Home
9. Snow Patrol - Final Straw
10. Il Divo - Il Divo
Full chart is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/features/albums04.shtml
Top ten singles of 2004:
1. Band Aid 20 - Do They Know It's Christmas
2. Eamon - F**K It (I Don't Want You Back)
3. DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide
4. Eric Prydz - Call On Me
5. Usher Ft Lil Jon & Ludacris - Yeah
6. Michelle - All This Time
7. Anastacia - Left Outside Alone
8. Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl
9. Britney Spears - Toxic
10. Frankee - F.U.R.B. (F U Right Back)

Full chart is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/features/singles04.shtml

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SCISSOR SISTERS NARROWLY MISS OUT ON TOPPING POLL OF POLLS
Well, whatever you say about that scary breed - the music journalist - the current generation do have generally good taste, or at least that's what a new poll by HMV suggests. They have taken the end of year charts put together by most of the music media, added them altogether, and from that compiled the twenty most highly rated albums in 2004. Of course, the fact only one of these albums appears in the top ten best selling albums above suggests that, while we might be impressed with the albums the journos are most excited about, the public at large don't necessarily give a damn. Anyway, here's the chart:

1. Kanye West - The College Dropout
2. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
3. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
4. The Streets - A Grand Don`t Come For Free
5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus
6. Dizzee Rascal - Showtime
7. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
8. Brian Wilson - Smile
9. Killers - Hot Fuss
10. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
11. The Libertines - The Libertines
12. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
13. Tom Waits - Real Gone
14. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
15. Mark Lanegan Band - Bubblegum
16. Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In The Hands
17. The Futureheads - The Futureheads
18. Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill
19. Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
20. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born

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THE FALL TOP PEEL'S FESTIVE 50
Talking of polls full of great music most people have never heard of, The Fall have topped John Peel's final Festive 50 with their track 'Theme from Sparta FC #2'. Rob Da Bank, who has been filling in on Peel's old Radio 1 slot, counted down the chart - voted on by listeners to the show - over the Christmas period.

The Fall were one of Peel's favourite bands, of course, and recorded more sessions for the legendary DJ than any other band. When once asked why he liked them so much, Peel said of the band: "They are always different, they are always the same." The Fall topped the Festive 50 once before with 'Bill is Dead' in 1990, while the original 'Theme From Sparta FC' was at number two in last year's poll.

The top ten of the 2004 survey was as follows:

1. The Fall - Theme from Sparta FC #2
2. Bearsuit - Chargr
3. Caroline Martin - The Singer
4. Aerogramme - Dreams and Bridges
5. Sluts of Trust - Leave You Wanting More
6. The Delgados - Everybody Come Down
7. Sons & Daughters - Johnny Cash
8. Half Man Half Biscuit - Joy Division
9. Graham Coxon - Freakin' Out
10. Jawbone - Hi De Hi

You can listen to the full countdown at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/alt/johnpeel

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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED FOR BRITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY AWARD
And talking of public voted pop polls, we come to the vote for the best British record released since the first Brit Awards event back in 1977, designed to celebrate the awards' 25th anniversary.

Of course, selecting one song from the last twenty-five odd years and labelling it the best track of that era was never going to be easy. Though personally I'd have found it quite easy leaving Will Young, Simply Red and Coldplay out of my shortlist, but it takes all sorts I guess (mainly those with a good sense of what constitutes a classic, and those who vote for Will Young, Simply Red or Coldplay).

But enough of that, because, to be fair, the short list - which has been selected by a panel of industry and media types - contains many tracks worthy of such an award, and, refreshingly, while most of the usual suspects appear, they are not necessarily nominated for their most predictable tunes (then again, Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody didn't fall into 1977-2004 qualifying period, unless you're allowing re-releases, which kinda defeats the point).

With the short list having been officially revealed on Davina McCall's Radio 2 show, punters are now being asked to vote on their favourites to get the list down to a top five, to be announced at the Brits nomination bash next Monday. More voting will then take place to identify the overall winner, to be announced at the 25th awards ceremony next month.

Commenting on the shortlist, and the task of compiling it, BBC Radio 2's Colin Martin, who was on the selection panel, told reporters: "Distilling over a quarter century of hits to a list of 25 to be voted on by Radio 2 listeners has been one of the most difficult tasks I have ever shared in." Well, judge for yourself how well they did - here's the full list:

1. David - Bowie Heroes
2. Queen - We Are The Champions
3. Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
4. Bee Gees - Night Fever
5. The Clash - London Calling
6. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
7. The Jam - That's Entertainment
8. Rod Stewart - I Don't Want To Talk About It
9. ABC - Look of Love
10. The Stranglers - Golden Brown
11. Spandau Ballet - True
12. George Michael - Careless Whisper
13. Simply Red - Holding Back The Years
14. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
15. Elton John - Sacrifice
16. Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
17. Annie Lennox - Why
18. Sting - Fields of Gold
19. Seal - Kiss From A Rose
20. Oasis - Wonderwall
21. Robbie Williams - Angels
22. Coldplay - Yellow
23. David Gray - Balon
24. Will Young - Leave Right Now
25. The Streets - Dry Your Eyes

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BRIT BOSSES WANT GELDOF / BONO DUET
And talking of the Brit Awards, word has it producers of next month's awards show are hoping to persuade Bob Geldof and Bono to perform a duet as the show's climax. Bob will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits this year, and insiders have told the Mirror organiser's are really set on the idea of the two pop campaigners performing together.

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U2 TOUR SCHEDULE LEAKED
Either way, U2 are definitely on the bill for the Brits - and that has seemingly been confirmed with the leaking of Bono et al's up-coming tour schedule on the internet. While U2's management had confirmed the band's tour would kick off in Miami on 1 Mar, they haven't officially announced other dates. The unofficial tour itinerary - which includes details of rehearsals and a break in order to play the Brits - shows them touring across the US and Europe throughout much of the year, before finale gigs in Australia in Dec. Aussie music website http://www.undercover.com.au has re-published the whole itinerary, from which the UK and Ireland dates look like this:

14 Jun: Manchester Stadium of Light
18 & 19 Jun: Twickenham
21 Jun: Hampden Park, Glasgow
25 & 26 Jun: Croke Park, Dublin
29 Jun: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Fabric 20: John Digweed
Fabric. What more need one say? A clubbing institution and purveyor of all that's good in a genre that has been diluted with paper-thin nonsense for all too long - and with a superior mix series complimenting the consistently impressive club nights, this empire can't seem to put a foot wrong. Following a long line of successful and esteemed compilations from something of a DJ hall of fame, the much anticipated latest release in the Fabric compo series is the one from John Digweed. The question with compos from Diggers, is not if they'll be any good, but HOW good they'll be - and, not surprisingly, Fabric 20 is flawless. Compressing his customary 5+ hour sets into an hour long CD is no easy task - but somehow he's done it. Opening with a suitably subtle 16b remix, the track listing grooves through the likes of Martin Solveig, Slam and Josh Wink - perfectly illustrating the gratifying dirtiness the LP possesses. And 'In The Dark' by Billy Bellassandro is simply unforgettable - a shady, techy dancefloor delight, that is pure perfection in the midst of the mix. All in all, this is another future classic from the man who brought us some of the greatest dance music in the world. We should be proud he's a Brit. OG
Release date: 17 Jan
Press contact: Fabric IH

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LEGENDARY BAND LEADER DIES
Clarinettist Artie Shaw, one of the most famous American band leaders of the swing era, has died at his LA home aged 94. Shaw was one of the biggest names in the 30s and 40s jazz scene and continued to perform until 1954 when he quit the business frustrated with the stresses of fame. He began working in music again in the sixties, but primarily behind the scenes. Nevertheless he remained a respected musician and won a Lifetime Achievement gong at last year's Grammys.

Confirming Shaw's death, his manager, Bill Curtis, told reporters: "His health had been failing for some time as the effects of a fall a few years ago reduced him to the point when he was in complete agony all the time." Paying tribute to Shaw, Curtis continued: "Artie will always be remembered by musicians as the best clarinettist that has ever lived. Most would agree that he was ahead of his time by far, even ahead of the great Benny Goodman."

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MAJOR LABEL SHARE OFFERS IN THE PIPELINE
If you're wondering what to do with any Christmas money you accrued over the festive period, well, why not buy some shares in a major record label? Rumours continue to circulate in the US that the Warner Music Group will soon make some kind of 'initial public offer' of equity shares, or an IPO as those in the know like to call it. Meanwhile, the LA Times reckons that a long rumoured IPO over at Sony Entertainment might be in the offing this year. They reckon any share sale would most likely include both Sony's music and film businesses. Perhaps we should all get together and engineer some kind of takeover?

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UK DOWNLOADING REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
When my Dad asks, completely unprompted, ìso, what are these iPod things?", you know digital music has truly arrived and, with MP3 players the must-have gift of Christmas 2004, all of the legit UK download platforms (and no doubt some of the non-legit ones too) enjoyed considerable boosts over the festive period.

Overall download sales reached an all time high, with the Official UK Charts Company reporting that over 260,000 downloads were sold in the week after Christmas. It will be interesting to see if this immediate boost in download sales, presumably aided by the number of digital music players given as presents this Christmas, is sustained - or if the mainstream music fan will opt to rip tracks off CDs rather than download direct from iTunes et al.

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SONY STEP UP DIGITAL MUSIC EFFORTS
The more observant of you will notice that my Dad asked specifically what an ìiPod" was, proving that the high awareness of Apple's digital players has extended well out of the early adopter market (believe me, my Dad is a very late adopter). Therefore it comes as no surprise to hear Sony is stepping up its efforts in the digital music place in a bid to secure its digital walkmans and Connect download platform a decent chunk of the mainstream market.

Sony engineering heavyweight Koichiro Tsujino and Sony Corporation of America CTO Phil Wiser are reportedly heading up the company's renewed efforts in the digital music arena, and both the company's hardware and media divisions will be involved.

Apple is clearly seen as competitor number one by the Sony top guard. Quite how they will bid to compete remains to be seen, although integration between the group's digital music propositions and the ever-successful PlayStation is more than likely.

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COMMODORE MP3 PLAYERS A POSSIBILITY
Of course owning an Apple iPod is kinda cool, but how cool would it be to own a Commodore 64 MP3 player?

Well, the legendary computer brand may soon be the latest to compete in the digital music space. US based Yeahronimo Media Ventures are expected to buy the Commodore brand off its current owners, a Dutch company called Tulip Computers.

It is likely they will primarily try to cash in on the growing popularity of the retro computer games associated with the Commodore, but word is Yeahronimo, who already produce a line of MP3 players, plan to release a new range under the retro brand.

And who knows, as mad as it sounds a Commodore MP64 might just capture the imagination of the slightly-sad nostalgic eighties-child (I know this slightly-sad nostalgic eighties-child wants one).

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DOHERTY PUTS ON STORMING NEW YEARS SETS
Do you know we've gone all year without a Pete Doherty story? So let's put that right now.

According to the NME, despite the shambles of many of Doherty's recent gigs, he put on a great show when he played at four different venues on New Year's Eve. As previously reported, Doherty played four gigs in one night for New Years, performing at venues in Birmingham, Stoke, Oldham and Manchester, the first kicking off at 8pm and the latter finishing at 3.15am.

One fan told the NME: "Birmingham was mellow, Pete did it sat down. Stoke was around midnight which was more like a proper gig. That was an amazing atmosphere. By the time we reached Oldham it was chaos, there was a stage invasion straight away, everyone was crowding around Pete. And then Manchester was an amazing end. Manchester was special because everyone in the crowd was intoxicated by that time in the morning. It was like Beatlemania. He had to run off from each venue with kids trying to get to get into a car!"

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NIPPLEGATE TOPS THE WEB SEARCH POLL
And so back to mindless polls and surveys - and it turns out that Janet Jackson's legendary Nipplegate performance at the Superbowl was the most popular celebrity search on the internet in 2004. Sixty times more web surfers searched for pictures of the controversial routine than searched for Paris Hilton's infamous porn video. One Lycos spokesman told the Sun: "One wardrobe malfunction from Janet and the web world was turned upside-down."

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