CMU Daily - on the inside 10 Sep 2002
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From 1994 to 2001 two of the categories at the Brits might as well have been merged – which and why?
Answer on Wednesday


Promoting your brand through a music star can be a risky business. As reported in a recent Daily, Pepsi had to end its association with hip hop star Ludacris after Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly started a campaign against the drink claiming it was associated with a “thug rapper” who "espouses violence, intoxication, and degrading conduct toward women." But now the rapper is hitting back against his former backers.

He told reporters: "My message represents an ideology and a way of life that is true to me and the new generation to an extent that corporate and political forces can't touch ... At one time, I helped Pepsi to navigate their product through the inner-city communities that are vital to their sales. Over the past few days I have rethought my approach as to how I do business and retained a team to ... take the power back for the good of the hip-hop community. Oh, and one more thing: Players govern players. Spectators form opinions."

Some have said Pepsi’s knee jerk response to O’Reilly’s campaign was unwise. Research shows Ludacris was as, or more, popular as any other stars the brand have worked with amongst its target youth audience. Others have pointed out that the brand continue to sponsor Papa Roach even though they appeared in the 2000 film ‘Backstage Sluts 3’ and despite rumours that frontman Jacoby Shaddix urinated into a Gatorade bottle (a drink made by Pepsi-Cola) during a concert in Boston.


Top of the Pop’s producer Chris Cowey has told the FT that the UK singles chart is in the hands of the major labels and as a result is not a reflection of the most popular songs in the country. He said the official top 40 was "dysfunctional" and "often full of crap” and that his show was "successful in spite of the Top 40 chart, not because of it".

He explained that most songs make it into the top 10 because their record companies have used "clever marketing practices" and "not because they are popular". He continued: "One week a record will be there because it is being sold at a discount and the next it's out of the chart because they've raised the price. There's so much great music around and people are listening to it, but the charts are often full of crap. The Top 40 hasn't got credibility."

Cowey proposes that value of sales, rather than volume, be used to calculate the chart because this would prevent record companies discounting singles. He also reckons radio and TV play should be considered – akin the rival Pepsi Chart and the Amercian Billboard Top 50.

The Official UK Singles Chart who collate the chart, a company co-owned by the British Association of Record Dealers and the BPI, told the BBC it was examining the possibility of including digital downloads in its figures. "Five years from now digital delivery will certainly be significant enough to be included in the data that makes the charts," chart director Omar Maskatiya said.
Cowey’s comments come as the flagship BBC pop show reaches its 2000 edition this week.


President George W. George Bush joined premiere league actors and musicians at a concert to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks on New York last night in an event to be broadcast on US TV on the night of the 11th. Placido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin and Al Green were among the acts that performed, with actors delivering readings between the music. "Today we mourn the lost, honour the living and celebrate the character of our country and the creativity of our people," the president told the audience. National Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin added: "Music seems to say and touch people in a way that no other form of expression can,"

The concert runs alongside a three day theatre marathon in New York involving among others, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Calista Flockhart.


Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton has told Billboard that the band’s next studio album will be a back-to-basics affair that will “challenge its members and inspire longtime fans”.

"We're going to delve back into our musical roots and try recording some blues songs and maybe some blues-based rock riffs," he said. "So, everybody is turning back inward toward their individual instruments with that in mind. It's funny because I've been doing it on my own but now when we get on stage together, I see everybody else doing it. We’re interested in getting into projects that are not the once-every-two-years, blockbuster, career making or breaking album-type mode that we've been in. We're probably going to take a bunch of blues songs, cover them, learn to play them together, and see about using stuff like that. I think in that process, it's going to generate new ideas. We've been calling it a blues album but really it's just going to be an Aerosmith rock album and maybe a lot of blues."

Aerosmith are currently touring the US to promote a 'best of' album.


George Harrison completed a new album shortly before he died and EMI are planning to give it a release on the first anniversary of his death in November. Harrison's son Dhani is overseeing and directing the project based on his father's final wishes. Longtime friend and collaborator Jeff Lynne (founder of ELO and fellow member of the Travelling Wilburys) has produced the album. EMI also plan to release the entire Harrison catalogue remastered and with added bonus tracks – word is Harrison had a vault of unreleased material dating back to the early 70s.


Mo Wax man James Lavelle has made a short anti-war film and Channel 4 are planning to give it an airing on the night of 11 Sep. The piece – called ‘An Eye For An Eye’ - features paintings from Massive Attack's 3D set to an UNKLE track and music from the film Fantasia. Work on the film actually began before the September 11th attacks, but as Richard Kenworthy of the film’s animators Shynola explains: "A couple of months into making the film, September 11 happened and the project became really relevant."


Two Brazilian CD manufacturers have been ordered by a Brazilian court to pay record companies over a million dollars after being found guilty of manufacturing pirate stampers (metal discs used in the manufacture of CDs) that were then used by Trace Disc Multimidia to replicate tens of thousands of pirate CDs featuring music by major international artists including Donna Summer, The Mamas & The Papas, The Platters, Rod Stewart, Trini Lopez, the Bees Gees, Jimmy Hendrix and Tony Bennett. A civil court in São Paulo handed down the judgment last week after a three-year investigation by police and industry enforcement teams. On hearing the result Márcio Gonçalves, head of the Brazilian record industry association ABPD, said: "Piracy is killing the market for music in Brazil. Sales are down more than 60% in five years. This prevents record companies investing in new local talent and employing local people. The government loses vital tax revenue. The court's judgment shows that the industry is fighting back and will target anyone who is involved in supporting this flagrant theft."

Geoff Taylor from worldwide industry group IFPI added: "This case is a strong warning to anyone involved in CD piracy in Latin America. CD plants need to understand that if they produce pirate orders for third parties, they will pay a heavy price. It is their responsibility to check what they are manufacturing. IFPI is stepping up its enforcement activity in the region and will pursue anyone involved in piracy with the full force of the law."


Answer to Monday’s pop quiz:
What record did Madonna break with the single 'Music'?
She became the first female in chart history to achieve ten number ones.

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