CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 12th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It's the end of the year as we know it
- Publishing body plan to target unofficial song score sites
- SonyBMG digital boss to rethink copy protection strategy
- Loudeye close down piracy protection business
- RIAA score win in P2P fight
- Blur releasing special CD?
- Coxon's new solo album upcoming
- Rourke organises great big Manchester gig
- Prince enters new major relationship with Universal
- Sound Explosion five album Sony deal
- Westlife win Record Of The Year vote
- U2 get another award, for being human
- Live review: LCD Soundsystem at Brixton Academy
- Thriller still top for British viewers
- Elvis still most successful artist of all time in UK
- Chart update
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Subshot playlist
- Quo's Parfitt on cancer fears
- Macca on the loss of Lennon
- Seven million have Freeview
- Virgin Digital help The Sweet Chap launch with branded CDRs
- Single review: People In Planes - People In Planes EP
- Late night tales Christmas sessions
- Chew the fat Christmas style
- Glade 06 dates set.
- Stadium dates added to Take That comeback
- Alex Turner latest to criticise Doherty
- Brenda out of X-Factor
- Posh to be X-Factor judge

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IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR AS WE KNOW IT>>
Now, here's something scary. There are just seven more editions of the CMU Daily before Christmas. This is partly because we are all buggering off early (21 Dec), but also because the year that's been known as 2005 is nearly at an end. With that in mind, CMU has been busy chatting to the artists behind ten of our favourite albums of the year. You can find out why we liked those albums here in the Daily, and then read the full interviews on our website. And then, of course, you guys have been busy voting for your favourite track of the year. You can still vote on that, meantime check out how people have been voting here in the Daily.

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FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2005 #4: Goldie Lookin Chain - Safe As Fuck (Warner/Atlantic)
It seems a long time ago now (possibly because it is) since one of the CMU team first starting raving about a bunch of shell-suit clad Welsh rappers from Newport whose lofi comedy hip hop was doing the rounds on the world wide web. I'll be honest, I wasn't convinced there was much longevity in what Goldie Lookin Chain were making - novelty bands rarely enjoying more than a one hit wonder. What's more, the production quality of those early MP3s was pretty poor, and the jokes seemed to wear thin quite quickly. But two albums later, that certain CMU editor's early confidence in GLC seems increasingly justified - and I think there's a reason for that. Since signing that mega-bucks record deal with Warner division Atlantic via their partnership with Must Destroy, the production quality of GLC's material has increased. A lot. And that's important because while the sense of humour remains pretty childish, on both last year's 'Greatest Hits' and especially this year's 'Safe As Fuck', GLC have been making some damn good hip hop, combining catchy samples and choruses with pretty good rapping. Which means that their music isn't just funny (though the jokes do seem to be of the type that wear thin, but then become funny again), but it is something you can listen to on an entirely musical level. Which is why 'Safe As Fuck' is one of our favourite albums of 2005. I have no idea if these guys can keep on making albums of this quality, though the fact that they could follow up 'Greatest Hits' so quickly with an album this good does bode well. But either way, if the hip hop career does prove to be limited, I'm pretty sure a career in TV comedy beckons, for the core GLC team at least. So to conclude: GLC do have staying power, 'Safe As Fuck' isn't just quality because it's funny, and I should probably listen to that certain former CMU editor more often. (Though at the same time he was also raving about GLC he was raving about the then fledging The Darkness, and their second album was pretty rubbish, so perhaps not).

Read our interview with Goldie Lookin Chain here: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/interviews

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FAVOURITE TRACKS OF THE YEAR #4: Your votes

White Rose Movement - Love Is A Number (Independiente)
"Stylish electro with a commercial edge...but still retaining its aloof cool. A cracking band that are destined for great things in 2006...they look great, sound great and the tour with The Rakes will be the making of them. I want to be the keyboardist!!!"
Voted for by: Julie Weir, Visible Noise

Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends (Warner/Reprise)
"It has to be Green Day "Wake Me Up When September Ends" Billy Joe gives a masterclass in songwriting to accompany a magnificent and epic video!"
Mark Adams, EMAP TV

Ring A Ding Ding - Brakes (Rough Trade)
"Well this gets the vote today (it may be a different song different tomorrow!). A short sharp shot of pop lunacy, a hint of Roxy Music's Virginia Plain, full of energy and above all, great fun. This is what great pop music is all about."
Steve Forster, sfp communications

Vote for your track of the year - send the name of your favourite track, a few words on why, and your name and company to 2005@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

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PUBLISHING BODY PLAN TO TARGET UNOFFICIAL SONG SCORE SITES
I really ought to get on with my law degree - because there are more good times ahead for the lawyers. Following those reports last week that a cease and desist letter from major music publishing house Warner/Chappell had forced a song lyric search engine to close down, a representative for the US Music Publishers Association has said his organisation plans to step up its legal action against websites illegally publishing copyrighted musical scores or guitar tabs in 2006.

Although it won't be the first time music publishers have targeted such sites, it will be the first time that such action has been coordinated in a similar fashion to the litigation being pursued by the recording industry against illegal sources of copyright music.

Lauren Keiser of the MPA said that although unlicensed sources of guitar tabs and song scores were widely available they were "completely illegal", adding that some of the illegal sources were "very big sites that people would think are legitimate". Confirming his association planned to take more proactive action against these sites he said: "The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income. But now the internet is taking more of a bite out of sheet music and printed music sales so we're taking a more proactive stance." He added that he hoped authorities might consider taking criminal action against the people that run these websites: "Throw in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective".

David Israelite, president of another music publishing trade body, the National Music Publishers' Association, added his concerns, telling reporters: "Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing. Music publishers and songwriters will consider all tools under the law to stop this illegal behaviour".

However, the man behind one of the sites the MPA might target, Tabhall.co.uk, says that websites like his probably do not affect the publishing sector's sales as much as they think, adding that many of the guitar tabs online aren't available from legitimate sources. "I play the drums mainly but I play the guitar as well. I run the website and I still buy the [tab] books. The tabs online aren't deadly accurate so if someone really wants to know it they'll buy the book. And most of the bands I listen to don't have tab books to buy so if you get them online, that's the only way you can really learn it unless you work it out yourself."

That last point, of course, is crucial. As the recording industry learned, there is no point attacking illegitimate sources of music online, until you've set up some legitimate ones.

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SONYBMG DIGITAL BOSS TO RETHINK COPY PROTECTION STRATEGY
The head of SonyBMG's global digital business, Thomas Hesse, has told the BBC that the major label is "re-evaluating" its use of anti-piracy software following those two PR disasters surrounding failings in two different types of copy-protection employed by the record company on over 100 albums in the US.

As you all surely know, SonyBMG has been at the centre of extensive media coverage regarding its use of copy-protection software made by companies First4Internet and SunComm, both of which potentially made a user's computer more susceptible to virus attack. In the case of the former technology the label was forced to withdraw and replace all CDs that carried it. In the case of the latter, it advised customers to install a 'patch' on their PC to overcome the problem, but then had to release a second patch after IT experts said the first one didn't work.

While Robert Horton of NGS Software, who were brought in by SonyBMG to vet the second patch, points out that the chances of a hacker exploiting the SunComm flaw were low, Hesse stressed: "Even if the issue is only a slight one, at Sony BMG we are very clear that any software security issues are taken with the utmost seriousness".

He continued: "The key point to remember is that copyright infringement is a huge issue for the recording industry as a whole and that's where we came from originally. But this whole story has led us to look at the approach we have to take going forward".

Whether that means SonyBMG will still use other kinds of copy-protection software remains to be seen. Other major labels, in particular EMI, have reaffirmed their commitment to protecting their copyright by using such software. They assure customers that the software they will use does not suffer from any security flaws, though presumably that is what SonyBMG would have said when they first used the systems developed by First4Internet and SunComm.

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LOUDEYE CLOSE DOWN PIRACY PROTECTION BUSINESS
Staying with the piracy protection sector, and digital music company Loudeye has announced it is closing down its piracy protection business OverPeer. Loudeye says it is liquidating OverPeer, which it acquired in early 2004, as part of a cost cutting exercise, with bosses saying the move is part of the company's attempts to focus its attention on its core business - supplying download solutions.

But some will probably ask whether Loudeye's move is motivated by the increasing bad press for the anti-piracy technology being used by the music industry. Of course OverPeer specialised in creating spoof tracks that are put onto P2P networks to overload the system and frustrate file sharers, rather than the kind of CD based copy-protection technology that has been at the centre of recent controversies. But some industry insiders question how long the major labels will provide regular custom for technology firms that specialise in anti-piracy solutions given the potential bad PR their use might cause.

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RIAA SCORE WIN IN P2P FIGHT
Good news for the anti-download campaign now. The Recording Industry Association Of America has won an appeals decision against a file sharer who disputed that she was guilty of copyright violation because she had downloaded music via a P2P network.

Cecilia Gonzalez disputed an RIAA demand for compensation for $3500 for her file sharing on the grounds of "intent to purchase". She argued that she only used P2P to sample music prior to making a purchase, pointing to her 250 disc CD collection as proof of her intent. The defence was based on a common argument against the music industry's anti-P2P litigation - that most people who use file sharing networks are actually big purchasers of music from legitimate sources, the illegitimate music collection informing legal purchases.

But the US Court Of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit have rejected Gonzalez's use of this argument as a defence. After doing so they fined her $22,500 for copyright infringement.

The court decision is good news for the RIAA - setting a legal precedent that 'intent to purchase' is not a defence for using P2P, and providing a deterrent for other accused downloaders considering disputing RIAA claims against them. It will put the RIAA's legal department in a good mood ahead of its potentially high profile case against "Chicago mother of five" Patricia Santangelo, and 14 year old Brittany Chan, the latter an interesting case following the successful legal claim by the teenager's mother that she could not be held responsible for her daughter's file sharing.

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BLUR RELEASING SPECIAL CD?
There's a rumour doing the rounds that Blur are going to release some new material, but only to members of their fan club. I can't honestly confirm this, because I'm not a member, but the word is that those eager enough to be signed up to the 'Blurb club' have been told that they are going to get a CD in the next few weeks. In any case, the band are in fact planning to be in the studio this month, according to bassist Alex James, who, as previously reported, confirmed as much to BBC 6Music.

By the way, I didn't mean to be derisory about Blur, or their fan club. I like Blur. I was just never the fan club type.

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COXON'S NEW SOLO ALBUM UPCOMING
Talking of Blur, no-longer-Blur-band-member Graham Coxon has revealed a few things about his forthcoming new material. Item one: his new long player will be entitled 'Love Travels At Illegal Speeds'. Item two: the new album will be released on 13 Mar. Item three: a single will be released on 27 Feb, entitled 'Standing On My Own Again'.

Coxon has also announced a UK tour in support of the album release. Here are the dates:

20 Mar: Newcastle University
21 Mar: Liverpool, Academy
22 Mar: Glasgow, Garage
23 Mar: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
25 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
26 Mar: Norwich, Waterfront
27 Mar: Leicester, University
28 Mar: Manchester, Ritz
30 Mar: Cambridge, Junction
31 Mar: Oxford, Zodiac
1 Apr: Nottingham, Marcus Garvey Centre
2 Apr: Bristol, Bierkeller
4 Apr: Brighton, Concorde
5 Apr: London, Hammersmith Palais

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ROURKE ORGANISES GREAT BIG MANCHESTER GIG
A special charity gig, 'Manchester vs Cancer', is to take place at the city's Manchester Evening News Arena next month, organised by former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, who is assembling a stellar line up of northern acts, amongst them New Order, Badly Drawn Boy, Doves and Stephen Fretwell. Speaking about the event, Rourke said: "It will bring together people and bands that have made Manchester famous. It will be huge and the idea is that this will be the start of an annual event to raise money for charity."

More acts are expected to be confirmed shortly, and tickets go on sale at 10am on 17 December

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PRINCE ENTERS NEW MAJOR RELATIONSHIP WITH UNIVERSAL
Prince has confirmed a new major label relationship, this time with the Universal Music Group. They will distribute his upcoming new album '3121' - Sony's Columbia, of course, distributed his last long player 'Musicology'. Once again Prince will use the major label partnership to ensure good physical CD distribution, while further developing his own digital enterprise - the NPG Music Club. Members of that club will get exclusive access to the video for a track off the new album, 'Te Amo Corazon', as of tomorrow.

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SOUND EXPLOSION FIVE ALBUM SONY DEAL
Captains Of Industry signing The Sound Explosion have signed a five album licensing deal with SonyBMG, allowing them to continue releasing records with their original label whilst funded by that previously reported new SonyBMG subsidiary Red Ink. The band are currently working on their second album, following the success of their eponymous debut.

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WESTLIFE WIN RECORD OF THE YEAR VOTE
Given how many times Westlife have won ITV's Record Of The Year, and the number of Asda shopping record buyers among the show's demographic, it was perhaps predictable that they'd be successful again this time. But then Busted won last year, so I hoped that perhaps things were improving and top popsters McFly or the ever popular Black Eyed Peas might come through.

Obviously of the ten tracks shortlisted for the prize Gorillaz' 'Demon Days' was the best track, but that was never going to win. It was, alas, the Irish warblers regained their position as ITV viewers' favourite band on Saturday night with the positively mediocre 'You Raise Me Up', though possibly only because of a slight revamp in the Eurovision style region to region voting system, in which text votes were no longer treated as their own 'region', penalising the text-savvy Busted-turned-McFly voters.

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U2 GET ANOTHER AWARD, FOR BEING HUMAN
Or is that humanitarian? Possibly. U2 have been given the 2005 Ambassador Of Conscience Award by Amnesty International for "21 years of commitment" to the cause. Amnesty's Secretary General Irene Khan says: "From Live Aid in 1985 and Amnesty International's 1986 Conspiracy Of Hope tour, through to Live 8, U2 has arguably done more than any other band to highlight the cause of global human rights in general and Amnesty International's work in particular. They have inspired and empowered millions with their music and by speaking out on behalf of the poor, the powerless and the oppressed."

Meanwhile, Art For Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey says that aside from their personal activism, the band's songs alone have "helped spread the human rights message of Amnesty International to a global audience."

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LIVE REVIEW: LCD Soundsystem at Brixton Academy on 7 Dec
James Murphy has been one of the busiest producers in the music industry in recent years. Bands such as The Rapture, Black Dice, and the Juan Maclean have all benefited from his magic touch in recent years, and with LCD Soundsystem, he ventures from the studio to fronting a band of his own. Their punk-funk sound, inspired by Liquid Liquid, Gang of Four, and A Certain Ratio, recall similar influences to the bands he's produced, yet LCD Soundsystem set themselves apart from their contemporaries by their use of humour and knowledge of music, and also Murphy's vocals, which almost sound like Mark E Smith. Tonight's gig is their largest UK date thus far, and considering this band have only enjoyed minor commercial success, the critical acclaim they have received, and word of mouth, has filled out the venue. Naturally, the crowd are most responsive to the likes of 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' and 'Losing My Edge', their two most famous tracks. The latter is a tale of a hip music listener fearing his cool is slipping in the face of the 'internet seekers'. The sequence of name-dropping of seriously cool artists, such as Joy Division, Scott Walker, and Pere Ubu, is the highlight of the album. As impressive as the live recreations of these dance-orientated compositions are, you get the feeling that James Murphy is a reluctant front-man, who'd prefer to take less of a starring role. He mentioned that LCD Soundsystem may not return to the UK for a while, which gives the impression that this project won't be a full-time job. Yet the eponymous debut album was one of the year's finest, so maybe he should reconsider, even if the live act isn't something he's keen on. We await what Murphy and the whole Death From Above team work on next regardless. KW

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THRILLER STILL TOP FOR BRITISH VIEWERS
Well, despite the fact that special effects have advanced somewhat, despite the plethora of intriguing and well directed promos produced since, the British public still love 'Thriller' best. The video for Michael Jackson's 1983 hit has been named number one in a poll for The Box's search for the Top 100 Greatest Music Videos Of All Time. Of course, the vote count was somewhere over 7000, which is not that many. That said, a nationwide mandatory poll might have just delivered the same result, if only because the 'Thriller' promo was the first of its kind - big budget, special effects, etc - and people are bound to remember it fondly.

The other videos that made it in the top five were Eminem's 'Stan', Madonna's 'Like a Prayer'.
Robbie Williams' 'Rock DJ', and Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer'. What shocks me is that A-ha's totally brilliant video for 'Take On Me' wasn't number one. Oh, all right then, but why not number two?

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ELVIS STILL MOST SUCCESSFUL ARTIST OF ALL TIME IN UK
Elvis Presley remains the most successful artist of all time in the UK Charts, or he does according to the Book of British Hit Singles & Albums who have just released the 2005 edition of their Top 100 Most Successful Acts Of All Time survey.

Each artist's success is based on the total number of weeks they have spent in the UK album and singles chart, which arguably favours older artists, firstly because they have simply been around longer, but also because singles, in particular, do not stay in the charts as long as they used to because of the quick sell marketing campaigns employed by most major record labels these days.

Either way, Elvis remains the most successful act according to the survey's criteria, beating Cliff Richard into second place. He is followed by Queen, who overtake The Beatles for the first time - the fab four are fourth, ahead of Madonna. The full top 20 runs thus:

1. Elvis Presley
2. Cliff Richard
3. Queen
4. The Beatles
5. Madonna
6. Elton John
7. The Shadows
8. Michael Jackson
9. U2
10. David Bowie
11. Rod Stewart
12. Frank Sinatra
13. Diana Ross
14. Dire Straits
15. Simon & Garfunkel
16. The Rolling Stones
17. Abba
18. Fleetwood Mac
19. Phil Collins
20. Paul McCartney

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CHART UPDATE
Well, there's no stopping those Pussycat Dolls is there? They are still at the top of the UK singles chart this week, followed by Madonna, who actually goes back up one place to number two. The highest new entry this week comes from the Sugababes with 'Ugly' at 3, with The Strokes in at five with 'Juicebox'.

Other new entries run thus: DHT ft Edmee with 'Listen To Your Heart' at 7, Herd & Fitz Ft Abigail Bailey with 'I Just Can't Get Enough' at 11, Franz Ferdinand with 'Walk Away' at 13, Charlotte Church with 'Even God Can't Change The Past' at 17, Paul Weller with 'Here's The Good News' at 21, Kanye West Ft Adam Levine with 'Heard Em Say' at 22, Braund Reynolds with 'Rocket (A Natural Gambler)' at 27, The Cribs with 'You're Gonna Lose Us' at 30, Royksopp with 'Rain Fall Down' at 33, Mystery Jets with 'Alas Agnes' at 34, Katie Melua with 'I Cried For You' at 35 and KT Tunstall with 'Under The Weather' at 39. Which seems like an awful lot of new entries.

Albums wise, erm, nothing much to report really. The top five changes order slightly, but includes the same five albums: Eminem (still top), Robbie (still second), Westlife (back to 3), Take That (still 4) and Madonna (down to 5). New entries wise - Girls Aloud with 'Chemistry' at 10. And that's it.

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THIS WEEK'S STUDENT RADIO CHART
1. [1] Gorillaz - Dirty Harry (EMI/Parlophone)
2. [2] Franz Ferdinand - Walk Away (Domino)
3. [3] The Strokes - Juicebox (Rough Trade)
4. [14] Nizlopi - JCB Song (FDM Records)
5. [10] Sugababes - Ugly (Universal/Island)
6. [7] Oasis - Let There Be Love (Big Brother)
7. [8] Kanye West - Heard 'Em Say (Universal/Roc A Fella)
8. [11] Mystery Jets - Alas Agnes (679)
9. [6] Madonna - Hung Up (Warner/Maverick)
10. [4] The Futureheads - Area (679)
11. [18] Kaiser Chiefs - Modern Way (B-unique)
12. [20] Jack Johnson - Sitting, Wishing, Waiting (Universal/Brushfire)
13. [12] Editors - Munich (SonyBMG/Kitchenware)
14. [5] Foo Fighters - Resolve (SonyBMG/RCA)
15. [15] Mcfly - Ultraviolet (Universal/Island)
16. [19] Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner/Necessary)
17. [16] Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (Domino)
18. [13] Arcade Fire - Wake Up (Rough Trade)
19. [9] Royksopp - What Else is there? (Wall Of Sound)
20. [21] The Subways - No Goodbyes (Warner)
21. [22] Babyshambles - Albion (Rough Trade)
22. [17] Goldie Lookin Chain - RnB (Warner/Atlantic)
23. [25] The Black-Eyed Peas - My Humps (Universal/Polydor)
24. [RE] Dead 60s - Ghostface Killer (SonyBMG/Deltasonic)
25. [NE] Coldplay - Talk (EMI)
26. [29] Robbie Williams - Robbie Williams (EMI)
27. [23] Sigur Ros - Hippipolla (EMI)
28. [24] Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple (Rubric)
29. [NE] Rolling Stones - Rain Fall Down (EMI/Virgin)
30. [NE] Fizzgig - You Can't Have Me (Immigrant)

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SUBSHOT PLAYLIST
This is the last Subshot playlist of 2005 - the videos being played on the SUBtv network in union bars this week. The B List is made up of the best videos from the year.

A LIST
Braund Reynolds - Rocket (EMI/Virgin)
Damian Marley - Road To Zion (Universal/Island)
David Gray - Hospital Food (Warner/Atlantic)
Eminem - When I'm Gone (Universal/Interscope)
Franz Ferdinand - Walk Away (Domino)
Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner/Necessary)
Nizlopi - JCB Song (FDM Records)
Oasis - Let There Be Love (Big Brother)
Plan B - No Good (679)
Pussycat Dolls - Stickwitu (Universal/Polydor)
Royksopp - What Else Is There? (Wall Of Sound)
Sugababes - Ugly (Universal/Island)
The Cribs - You're Gonna Lose Us (Wichita)
The Strokes - Juicebox (Rough Trade)
The Subways - No Goodbyes (Warner)

B LIST

Arcade Fire - Wake Up (Rough Trade)
Arctic Monkeys - Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Domino)
Audio Bullys - Shot You Down (EMI/Virgin)
Bloc Party - So Here We Are (Wichita)
Charlotte Church - Call My Name (SonyBMG)
Coldplay - Speed Of Sound (EMI/Parlophone)
Foo Fighters - Best Of You (SonyBMG/RCA)
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To (Domino)
GLC - R'n'B (Warner/Atlantic)
Goldfrapp - Ooh La La (EMI/Mute)
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc (EMI/Parlophone)
Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (Universal/Polydor)
Hard-Fi - Cash Machine (Warner/Necessary)
Jack Johnson - Good People (Universal/Island)
James Blunt - You're Beautiful (Warner/Atlantic)
Kaiser Chiefs - Everyday I Love You Less And Less (B-Unique)
Madonna - Hung Up (Warner/Maverick)
Mylo Vs Miami Sound Machine - Dr Pressure (SonyBMG/Breastfed)
Oasis - The Importance Of Being Idle (Big Brother)
Pendulum - Slam (Breakbeat Kaos)
Sugababes - Push The Button (Universal/Island)
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize (EMI/Virgin)
The Magic Numbers - Forever Lost (EMI/Heavenly)

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QUO'S PARFITT ON CANCER FEARS
Status Quo's Rick Parfitt has told the Sunday Mirror that he is trying to give up smoking as he waits for a biopsy of that previously reported tumour on his right vocal chord. Parfitt told the tabloid that he was terrified by news of the abnormality, as he is still smoking 20 cigarettes a day, despite undergoing a heart bypass operation back in 1997. He says he has given up drugs since then, after being warned by doctors to curb his excessive lifestyle, but still drinks, and went back to smoking the aforesaid fags recently after giving up for ten months last year.

Parfitt said: "It is really scary. I would be lying if I said it wasn't - but at the moment, we don't know anything. I've just got to see what happens this week before making any big decisions. It's a question of wait and see. When the doctor said there was a tumour, I was terrified. But then he said it doesn't necessarily mean it's cancer."

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MACCA ON THE LOSS OF LENNON
Paul McCartney has admitted that the "horrific" murder of John Lennon still haunts him. Talking to Radio 2's Steve Wright about Lennon's death, Macca said: "The first thing that goes through your mind is the horrific conditions of his death. That's what always hits me. And you think: 'Gosh, my mate, that's what happened to him'. But, then rather than dwell on that I immediately go to the fantastic times we had and how lucky and privileged I feel to be one of the people who spent the most time with him during his life having met him as a teenager. People start these rumours: 'He was this, he was that.' I say: 'Look, I've slept with him'. We've done hitch-hiking holidays and we've had to top and tail it because there was only one bed. I say: 'I knew him'. And, we'd get drunk together and do all those kinds of things that you find out about people. The bottom line, I think what everybody already knows, he was a fantastic man, really fantastic guy. Just as a man, as an activist, he is one of the great men of the 20th century. I'm just very proud to have known him so intimately from when we were kids to virtually the end all the way through."

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SEVEN MILLION HAVE FREEVIEW
According to the latest OfCom count, 7 million households in the UK now have terrestrial digital TV in their homes. The stats suggest Freeview take up is four times that of Sky. So don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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VIRGIN DIGITAL HELP THE SWEET CHAP LAUNCH WITH BRANDED CDRS
Protest Recordings are working with Virgin Digital to support the release of the debut album from their artist The Sweet Chap. As part of the partnership, The Sweet Chap branded blank CDRs will be made available in various venues, shops and cafes in East London, onto which punters can burn the band's album 'Disco For A Domestic' via the download platform.

Virgin's Digital Manager Dan Wilkinson told CMU: "At Virgin, we have a long-standing tradition of supporting developing artists and Virgin Digital is no exception. Through our digital music store, music lovers can download and browse from over 1.4million tracks and, with albums available from as little as £5.49, it's the perfect way to discover the latest breaking bands and the best of what's new as soon as it's available".

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SINGLE REVIEW: People in Planes - People in Planes EP (Wind-up Records)
This is astonishingly good. I might as well say it straight away. I could be clever but frankly, I am tired, and I am so in love with this that I can't think straight. It comes from Wales, but it could come from anywhere. Really, it comes from Heaven. 'For Miles Around' is Supergrass covering Mansun's 'Wide Open Space' with Graham Coxon on guitar. 'Moth' is the Chili Peppers' 'By The Way' only prettier AND darker AND weirder AND more addictive. It will, if there is any justice, be the summer hit of 2006. These People have a superhuman understanding of how you make a song hurt and soothe in just the right amounts. They should be huge. But will they be? Let us compare and contrast with Coldplay. People in Planes have beautiful soaring melodies that can fill stadiums. But they are not annoying. They have a great, sexy singer, who is also not annoying. They know how to treat an electric guitar right, how to abuse it just enough. So I guess they do not fulfil the popularity criteria. Nevertheless, you need this band in your life and you need to have listened to 'Moth' before you die. A shame it's too late for Nana Moon. SIA
Release date: Limited US release. Album due Spring 2006
Press contact: Impressive PR [all]

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LATE NIGHT TALES CHRISTMAS SESSIONS
More on the previously reported club spin off to the excellent Late Night Tales compilation series. The club's second outing takes place next weekend, with something of a Christmas theme (of course).

Taking place at Camden's Lock Tavern, special guest DJ this time is Mr Grand Central Records, Mark Rae, who compiled the third of the Late Night albums. Running from 3.30pm to 10.30pm, this is a relaxed affair where you get comfy sofas, newspapers and cracking roasts as well as the music - and this time there'll be some festive add ons too. All takes place on 18 Dec, and entry is free.

By the way - the next Late Night Tales album has been compiled by Belle & Sebastian and will be released in Feb 2006. More at http://www.latenighttales.co.uk

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CHEW THE FAT CHRISTMAS STYLE
Busy busy, another date for you, this one even closer to Christmas day. The last Chew The Fat! of the year takes place at The End on 23 Dec. There's another fine line up, with Matthew 'Bushwacka' Benjamin, Tigerlily, friend of the show Friendly and the boys from FoundSounds all on the decks. Plus Precisions Cuts will be back with their Dex'n'FX show and Merka will be officially launching his new track 'Mystic Man'. Takes place from 10pm to 6am, tickets are a tenner, or £6 NUS.

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GLADE 06 DATES SET.
And looking even further ahead, a quick update from the Glade people. The dates for their 2006 festival have been penciled in for 14-16 Jul. The guys behind the festival tell us they are currently in the process of confirming all that licence type stuff, and that they will be releasing more info in the New Year. We'll let you know more as soon as we know more.

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STADIUM DATES ADDED TO TAKE THAT COMEBACK
Following all that demand for the Take That reunion tour, promoter have announced three stadium dates. In addition to the existing sold-out 26 date arena tour, the former boy band will play the City Of Manchester Stadium on 17 Jun, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 21 Jun and the all new Wembley Stadium on 24 Jun.

Meanwhile, Lulu has confirmed she will appear with Take That on their reunion tour. Ending much speculation as to whether she would appear with the band, if only to contribute on 'Relight My Fire', Lulu told Scottish tabloid the Daily Record: "We only confirmed I'd do the tour recently. I'm kind of big-headed - I sort of expected them to ask me. Gary Barlow said it was the third question they were asked when they held the press conference. I think the band must have thought 'We need that old bag Lulu on our tour.'"

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ALEX TURNER LATEST TO CRITICISE DOHERTY
Arctic Monkey, and alleged coolest person of the year (according to NME, of course) has said in a recent interview that he doesn't think Doherty is much cop. He's previously called The Libertines and Babyshambles pretentious, and repeated his sentiments whilst talking to a Japanese Magazine, saying: "Musically, he hasn't really achieved anything. Libertines gigs were full of private school kids, their music was pretentious, really. Come to our gigs and it's normal working people having a great time. That's what music's about."

To say someone hasn't really achieved anything musically is fair enough - matter of opinion; but to use the words 'full of private school kids' as a criticism is surely just snobbery.

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BRENDA OUT OF X-FACTOR
The lovely Brenda Edwards has been voted out of the X-Factor, an incident being referred to by some sources as a "shock result." Why this is shocking, I don't know, because as extraordinary as this woman's vocal talent is (and it is pretty extraordinary), she is still a woman, and everyone knows that the boys do best because a) it's mostly women who vote, b) women vote for men, and c) men who vote vote for men, because boys are better at sticking together.

This means that self-righteous brothers Journey South, Andy and Shayne are in next week's grand final.
"I wouldn't change a thing for the world," said Brenda of the result. "I've had an amazing experience and I just hope that it's not over for Brenda quite yet." There was quite a lot of crying, though. Louis Walsh looked tearful, and even Simon Cowell looked shocked.

Okay, that self-righteous crack was mean. They're not. I just wanted to say it.

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POSH TO BE X-FACTOR JUDGE
And talking of the X-Factor, Victoria Beckham is to take Louis Walsh's place on the show for the third series next year, according to reports. Simon Cowell said: "I'd love to judge with Victoria. She is very witty and can poke fun at herself. I think The X Factor is the best opportunity for the public to see the real side of her."

But will Sharon like it? Is it not just one neurotic diva too far? Time will tell...

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