CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 3rd January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Christie and Blunt top 2005 charts
- Imagine tops Virgin Radio favourite single poll
- Obie Trice shot in Detroit
- Gary Glitter to go on trial next month
- Linkin Park ink new deal with Warner
- Spitzer interested in digital music pricing
- Rootkit settlement proposals presented in New York
- US media giving coverage to file sharer's defence
- Downloading has another festive boost
- Vital:Pias Digital announce new mobile deals
- Stones 2005 US tour the biggest ever
- Who plan world tour
- Mew announce UK dates
- Vines confirm third album release
- Bono says band raised their eyebrows
- Geldof to advise Tories
- Album review: Robert Pollard - From A Compound Eye
- Walsh to get X-Factor pay rise
- OFT give OK to media mergers
- Eminem sets marriage date
- Leo Sayer update tipped for success

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TOP BIT>>

MATT OK, OK
Hey, look at this, an editorial kind of introduction, that's interesting. So, as is tradition for this time of year, your CMU Daily is arriving at the start of the day as God intended. How long do you reckon we'll keep that up? I give it until Thursday. Presumably you all know Shayne Ward got the Christmas number one, that Tom Jones was knighted in the New Year honours and that Amelle Berrabah has replaced Mutya Buena in the Sugababes, so we won't waste time telling you. Though we should tell you this: following on from concerns we expressed as to the whereabouts of former Busted boy Matt Jay/Willis in our review of the year, one reader tells us he is fine and working on a "rocking" new album due out in quarter two this year. So there, something to look forward to.

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PRESS ROOM>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES, JAN 2006
Kill All Hippies returns this Friday, 6 Jan, at Shoreditch's 333 Club. Live action this time comes from The Longcut, Kill The Young and Dirty Fuzz, while on the decks will be Jeff Automatic, Frankie D, Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont (NME), Syrinx, Owen Hopkins (The Crimea) and Honk Papa. All takes place from 9pm to 5am. Tickets, £10, £8 (NUS), or a fiver if you guest list in advance at http://www.leylinepromotions.com. Press info from Leyline, full press release at:
http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies

GET 8500 OPINION FORMERS IN THE LOOP
Promote your releases and events to 8500 opinion formers in the CMU Press Room. 75 words in the Daily and a full page on the website for just £60 a week. Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book.

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CHRISTIE AND BLUNT TOP 2005 CHARTS
New Year, new 'chart of the year', obviously. In the end it was Tony Christie who had the best selling single of 2005 - an achievement I am guessing even the most 'finger on the pulse' of you out there would not have predicted this time last year. But the Peter Kay endorsed '(Is This The Way To) Amarillo' was, indeed, the biggest selling single of 2005.

As for the other big sellers, well, while you may have predicted big success for an X Factor winner, you didn't know his name would be Shayne Ward until a couple of weeks back. Meanwhile James Blunt was unproven this time last year, and the Crazy Frog was still just an irritating new ring tone. Yet Shayne Ward's 'That's My Goal', Crazy Frog's 'Axel F' and James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' were the second, third and fourth best selling singles of the year, respectively.

That McFly would have the fifth best selling single with a Comic Relief fundraiser was perhaps more predictable as 2005 began - the 'All About You'/ 'You've Got A Friend' double a-side was the fifth biggest seller.

But who cares about all that? The single may have had something of a revival in 2005 thanks to growing download sales - but no one really makes any money out of them do they, so what about album sales?

There it is Mr Blunt who triumphs, scoring the biggest selling album of the year. Again, something few would have probably predicted twelve months ago, but no surprise come the end of the year given the huge popularity and constant chart presence of 'Back To Bedlam' ever since its release back in June.

That new albums from Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Gorillaz would also be some of the big sellers of the year (second, third and fifth respectively) was also wholly predictable - delivering EMI three of the five best sellers.

Other best seller albums in 2005 included Kaiser Chiefs (5), Westlife (6), KT Tunstall (7), Kelly Clarkson (8), Eminem (9) and Faithless (10) - the last two both greatest hits packages. Meanwhile, slightly lower down the chart of the year, proof that albums can continue to sell months after release. In the second half of the top 20 best selling albums of 2005 are four LPs released in 2004 - The Killers 'Hot Fuss' (12), Green Day's 'American Idiot' (16), Scissor Sister's 'Scissor Sisters' (17) and Keane's 'Hopes And Fears' (18). It will be interesting to see which 2005 albums also appear in the chart of 2006 this time next year.

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IMAGINE TOPS VIRGIN RADIO FAVOURITE SINGLE POLL
Staying with polls and things, a new survey of 7000 Virgin Radio listeners as to the best song ever has put John Lennon ahead of his former bandmates. Lennon's 'Imagine' topped the radio station's favourite ever single poll, ahead of Beatles tracks 'Hey Jude' and 'Let It Be', which came in at 2 and 3 respectively.

The poll then ran as follows: U2's 'One' (4), Robbie's 'Angels' (5), Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (6), Led Zepp's 'Stairway To Heaven' (7), The Police's 'Every Breath You Take' (8), The Eagles' 'Hotel California' (9) and then, presumably voted for by those with very short memories, James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' at 10.

The whole survey runs down as far as 500 - making for quite a lot of reading. Overall the Beatles have the most entries - 33 in total. The Rolling Stones appear 17 times, U2 15 times, and Queen and David Bowie 14 times each. So well done them.

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OBIE TRICE SHOT IN DETROIT
Eminem protégé Obie Trice was shot in Detroit on New Year's Eve. The rap star was driving along the the city's Lodge freeway in the early hours of 31 Dec with his girlfriend when his car came under fire.

The shots were fired from another vehicle through the back window of Trice's car, causing the rapper minor injuries. He managed to continue driving until he was able to exit the freeway, before pulling over, at which point his uninjured girlfriend managed to flag down passing police.

Trice was taken to the Providence Hospital in Detroit and was later discharged. Michigan State Police, meanwhile, have launched an investigation into the incident, but as yet have no suspects.

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GARY GLITTER TO GO ON TRIAL NEXT MONTH
Gary Glitter's child sex abuse trial will take place in February, according to his lawyer Le Thanh Kinh who is reported to have said: "The general idea is to speedily end the procedures and go before a local court by end of January but more probably early February."

As previously reported, Glitter was arrested at the end of last year on suspicion of committing obscene acts with children, after several young girls in his adopted home of Vung Tau, Vietnam came forward to claim abuse. Last week Vietnamese police announced they were dropping a charge of child rape against Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, due to lack of evidence, but the singer will still be tried for committing lewd acts with children. That said, Glitter has apparently paid off the two youngest alleged victims, aged eleven and twelve, giving the families involved $2000 each (just over £1k, but equivalent to about three times the average annual wage in Vietnam) so that they would drop their accusations.

Despite the pay-offs, Glitter maintains his innocence. If convicted of the lesser crime he will avoid the death sentence, but could still face twelve years in prison.

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LINKIN PARK INK NEW DEAL WITH WARNER
So, while you were all out of town taking walks by the sea (oh, was that just me?), the top bods at Warner Music in the US were busy inking their new deal with Linkin Park. As previously reported, despite a rather public falling out last Spring, Warner and Linkin Park's management had resolved their differences by the end of the year, and just after Christmas the New York Times reported a new recording contract had been signed. The paper reckons the band, a surprisingly big global seller for the major, will get a $15 million advance from the new five album deal, plus of 20% royalty.

The new deal presumably means that Warner have convinced the band and their management company The Firm that, despite being under the control of Edgar Bronfman Jnr and his investment banking friends, Warner will not become, as they claimed last year, "unable to compete in today's global music marketplace, resulting in a failure to live up to WMG's fiduciary responsibility to market and promote" the band's music.

Of course everyone assumed that those comments from Linkin Park and The Firm made just ahead of Warner's flotation last May were always intended as a tactic in ongoing contract negotiations rather than a genuine viewpoint. Either way, The Firm seem more on-message as 2006 begins. The New York Times quotes the band's representatives as saying last week: "We would like to thank Linkin Park fans worldwide for their continued support. Despite initial concerns after last year's change in ownership, the band is pleased with the direction of the company and in Warner Brothers Records' ability to effectively market their music worldwide under the leadership of Tom Whalley".

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SPITZER INTERESTED IN DIGITAL MUSIC PRICING
Interesting new reports involving New York District Attorney Eliot Spitzer.

He, of course, spent at least some of 2005 trying (with some success) to prove that major record companies continued to use illegal payola tactics to get their music airplay on US radio stations - an investigation that continues, with at least one more major expected to follow SonyBMG and Warner in admitting their crimes and reaching a financial settlement with the law man.

New reports suggest that Spitzer now plans to investigate allegations of price fixing in the digital music domain. Warner Music have confirmed they have be subpoenaed by Spitzer regarding their negotiations with digital music platforms, and in particular iTunes. Reports suggest the other majors have been similarly subpoenaed. Those reports suggest that Spitzer reckons the majors unfairly colluded in setting the 99 cents per track model put in place by iTunes and adopted by many of its competitors in the download space.

Spitzer's allegations are ironic given just how much the bosses of the four major labels publicly dislike the 99 cents per track model. As previously reported, they are keen for the download platforms to adopt a system whereby labels have the flexibility to charge different amounts for different tracks depending on demand. Apple, however, like the one size fits all model, and are allegedly using their dominance in the digital music space to force the major labels to stick with it.

Quite what Spitzer aims to achieve with his new investigation in this area is unclear, but it should provide an interesting new dimension to one of the big looming battles for the music business in 2006 - the battle between the record labels and the download platforms to control the digital music space.

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ROOTKIT SETTLEMENT PROPOSALS PRESENTED IN NEW YORK
Staying with legal shenanigans, SonyBMG have been negotiating to settle some of the lawsuits launched in the US regarding its use of that dodgy 'rootkit' anti-piracy technology on certain CD releases that made users' PCs more susceptible to virus attack.

According to Digital Music News, a proposed out of court settlement would obligate the major to completely withdraw two of the copy-protection technologies that caused problems (the main one made by First4Internet, and the also problematic MediaMax system made by SunnComm) and to compensate those music fans who bought infected CDs.

Many of the conditions regarding withdrawing CDs and issuing 'patches' to enable consumers to remove traces of the anti-piracy software from their PCs are measures SonyBMG has already initiated - the interesting new proposals relate to compensation.

The major is already offering to switch rootkit protected CDs with unprotected equivalents, as well as providing those who bought the CDs with tracks from the relevant album as MP3 files. The new proposal says SonyBMG should also pay customers $7.50 in compensation and give them a free album download, or alternatively three free album downloads. Customers affected by the SunnComm software should get similar though less compensation.

The settlement would also obligate SonyBMG to erase any personal information they hold as a result of using the software (information the major claims it doesn't hold anyway) and to waive certain obligations a punter signs up to when he puts a CD into his computer.

The proposals are now working their way through the New York judicial system.

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US MEDIA GIVING COVERAGE TO FILE SHARER'S DEFENCE
And even more digital legal type things. Media coverage is increasing regarding the Recording Industry Association Of Amercia's copyright infringement lawsuit against alleged illegal file sharer Patricia Santangelo. She was sued by the RIAA last February over allegations she used her PC to illegally share music online. She claims to have no knowledge of the file sharing, and reckons it was most likely done by a friend of one of her children.

Given than Santangelo is undeniably IT illiterate, that explanation does seem reasonable. The case, therefore, will centre on whether, as the owner of the PC, Santangelo can be held liable for copyright violation committed by an uncertain third party without her knowledge. It will be something of a test case, given that if Santangelo wins it may well provide a load of other accused file sharers with a useful defence.

Santangelo's chances of winning might have decreased recently after her lawyer quit the case for financial reasons. However, with NBC, CBS, CNN and the Associated Press all reporting on her case in recent weeks, whatever the verdict, the dispute may well provide the US record labels with some tricky PR challenges once it goes to court.

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DOWNLOADING HAS ANOTHER FESTIVE BOOST
Staying digital, though less of the legal nonsense, online research firm Hitwise reckons that visits to music downloading websites increased by 50% between 24 and 25 December, suggesting a lot of new MP3 player owners were buying a lot of digital music from legit download platforms over Christmas. The survey, reported by the FT last week, also reckons that festive downloading was up 15% on last year.

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VITAL:PIAS DIGITAL ANNOUNCE NEW MOBILE DEALS
More digital stuff, and Vital:Pias Digital have announced three new deals which will offer the 100 odd independent labels they represent with the opportunity to make their music available via mobile platforms. The new deals are with Pocket Group (a mobile music aggregator), Jamster (the mobile music company behind Crazy Frog and a range of other music services) and Bandwagon.co.uk (the previously reported new online music community website).

Confirming the new deals, Vital:Pias Digital boss Adrian Pope told CMU: "These deals offer our labels and their artists additional revenues via distribution to mobile networks spanning Europe and Asia as well as global portals and niche communities. They illustrate our commitment to providing a one-stop mobile solution across all channels and multiple territories".

Confirming their partnership, Pocket Group Biz Development man Daryn Wober added: "We are pleased to add Vital:Pias Digital and the labels it represents to our existing catalogue of independent repertoire. Not only have we managed to increase the depth of our offering through this deal but we are able to provide Vital:PIAS Digital with a number of new channels to market through our long established relationships with operators around the world".

More info on Vital:Pias Digital is at www.vitaluk.com, or email digital@vitaluk.com.

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STONES 2005 US TOUR THE BIGGEST EVER
When Billboard put together their chart of the biggest US tours of 2005 last month, the figures for the ongoing Rolling Stones tour weren't ready. I'm guessing they may well have come top had the stats been in, because live industry mag Pollstar reckon that in 2005 the Stones had the most successful US concert tour of all time, selling $162 million of tickets over 42 performances. That means the veteran rockers break their own 11 year old record for most successful North American tour.

In Pollster's round up of the big US tours of 2005, they put U2 (who topped Billboard's survey) in second place, with Celine Dion, Paul McCartney and the Eagles completing the top five.

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WHO PLAN WORLD TOUR
Talking of rock veterans (well, apart from Celine, who doesn't really fall into the 'rock' category) and tours, The Who are planning a 2006 world tour. Manager Bill Curbishley told Rolling Stone: "We plan to visit the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and also South America."

The band now consists of original members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend backed by Pino Palladino on bass, John 'Rabbit' Bundrick on keyboards, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend on guitar. The group have been working on a new album and are due back in the studio next month.

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MEW ANNOUNCE UK DATES
And talking of tours, CMU favourites Mew are to undertake one next month. So Hurrah. Here are the dates:

4 Feb: Cambridge Academy
5 Feb: Colchester Arts Centre
6 Feb: Norwich Arts Centre
8 Feb: Bournemouth Old Fire Station
9 Feb: London Shepherds Bush Empire
10 Feb: Manchester Academy
12 Feb: Reading Fez Club
14 Feb: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
15 Feb: Stoke Sugarmill

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VINES CONFIRM THIRD ALBUM RELEASE
The Vines' manager Andrew Kelly has confirmed that the band are planning to release their third album in the spring. The band have been in the studio since the autumn, and now work is almost finished, says Kelly, who told fan website site dreamintheinsane.com "the good news for Christmas is that the album will be finished by late January and we are looking at a March/April release date. It's very exciting, and the band can't wait."

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BONO SAYS BAND RAISED THEIR EYEBROWS
Bono has told Radio 4's Today programme that his campaigning work has caused a little tension in the U2 camp, saying that his activities had "raised eyebrows" among his fellow band-members.

The front man likes to make statements about global poverty during U2 concerts, but says that his bandmates have to stop him from being boring. He says that although the group are "hugely supportive spiritually and financially of the work I do" they are "in a rock'n'roll band and the first job of a rock'n'roll band is not to be dull, so we have to be very careful about just letting me go too far."

He continued: "There was one point when I thought 'I'm going to be thrown out of the band for this stuff'. People just openly jeered and I felt like I was a weight around my band's neck for doing this kind of work."

He went on to say, however, that although he's been concerned that his behaviour would "wear out" his audience, he no longer thinks this has happened. "People are smart out there. They know what you are doing, they know the compromises you are making, they get it. Our audience feels like they have a stronger voice through me, and the band can see that."

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GELDOF TO ADVISE TORIES
Meanwhile, Bono's fellow campaigner Bob Geldof is all set to advise the Tories (yes, that's right, the Conservative Party) on the issue of global poverty, although Bob is keen to stress that his role is to be strictly non partisan, and explains "I don't care who I have to go to to try to make this agenda work.".

It's all part of squeaky new Tory leader David Cameron's push to create a new and electable Conservative Party by setting up committees to investigate issues before deciding official policy on them. Geldof is to join the Tories' policy group on global poverty, working alongside former cabinet minister Peter Lilley who chairs the group.

David Cameron says the ex-pop star will help his party "go in the direction that he and we both want to go", adding: "This summer, millions of British people took part in the Make Poverty History campaign. A new generation of concerned citizens want prosperity for themselves and progress for the poor, whether living on the other side of the street or the other side of the world."

Peter Lilley says: "He [Geldof] has an enormous knowledge and expertise. He's been working on this area for 20 years. He knows more people, he's got access to more expertise than almost anybody else in the world and that's why I'm thrilled to have him as an advisor to the group".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Robert Pollard - From A Compound Eye (Must Destroy)
The UK history of Robert Pollard's old band Guided By Voices is an understated tragedy. A school-teacher from Ohio, Pollard spent his spare time writing punnets of immaculate pop songs, which he'd record with his GBV mates on what sounded like tape recorders made from sheep's wool and cheap tissue paper. Despite the radio-friendliness of his songs, radio stations didn't play them, mainly because they were so belligerently lo-fi. 'From A Compound Eye' is Pollard's first album since disbanding GBV, and thankfully he hasn't changed the formula - the album contains a CD-busting 26 songs, most of which have his trademark batty song titles: 'Love is Stronger Than Witchcraft' and 'Fresh Threats Salad Shooters And Zip Guns' to name but two. None of the tracks are conventional - some throw in an extraordinarily catchy chorus ten seconds before fadeout, some feature vocals that sound like they've been shouted into a tin can, and most are filled with ear-catchingly impenetrable lyrics. Despite the disparate mix, the thing's sellotaped together by Pollard's ever-present hollow banshee-sage voice and peppered with the kind of songs that REM or The Beatles might have written but kept locked in a steel box because they were too eccentric and disturbing. At over 70 minutes, it's an album that's best to explore at leisure; the sheer volume of ideas, of music, is staggering and overwhelming. Unsurprisingly, the quality fluctuates, but even the squawky, tuneless ones are never less than fascinating, until you begin to suspect that Pollard songs you don't like say more about your own defective musical taste than they do about his songwriting talent. Playlist your twelve favourite tracks, and you'll have a personalised classic on your hands. WP
Release Date: 6 Feb
Press Contact: Must Destroy IH [all]

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WALSH TO GET X-FACTOR PAY RISE
Now, I know I've been in the middle of nowhere all Christmas, but this is confusing. I thought Louis Walsh wasn't coming back for the next series of X-Factor at all, and that he was to be replaced by Posh Beckham. But now the tabloids say she's definitely not interested and that Walsh is staying on, the big issue about his involvement in the show resolved. The big issue was money - producer Cowell has reportedly agreed to increase his fellow judge's pay packet by £100K.

This follows reports by The Sun that Walsh had threatened to quit for good (again) if his salary was not raised, after discovering that Sharon Osbourne was paid significantly more than he was. The Sun's source said: "Louis is gutted he has not been financially rewarded for his role. He claims he has played a bigger part in the two series than Sharon. She is obviously a big personality - but she hasn't had a winning act. Last year's winner Steve Brookstein was one of Simon's acts and this years winner Shayne Ward is controlled by Louis. Louis believes he has only been getting paid half what Sharon has been getting. He would rather not be involved any more if he's not going to be fairly treated."

Oh, and according to contactmusic, Cowell is 'fuming' over the suggestion that Posh might ever have been lined up to replace Walsh, and allegedly says: "It's total rubbish. I don't know where she got the idea from but it's not right. I have never asked her on to the show," which again is confusing, because the original quotation suggesting she might be involved were ascribed to Cowell, not Posh.

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OFT GIVE OK TO MEDIA MERGERS
In amongst the mince pies and mulled wine you were all presumably keeping a close eye on the Office Of Fair Trading's investigations into the two big media mergers, yes? Well, on the off chance you weren't, read on. The OFT have ruled that both the proposed NTL/Telewest cable company merger and BSkyB's takeover of broadband supplier Easynet should get the go ahead without being referred to the Competition Commission.

The OFT said that given that NTL and Telewest currently operate in different areas geographically, the consumer will be no worse off if they merge. As for concerns that the merger would give Telewest's content company Flextech more power, the OFT said Flextech's position in the media space wasn't big enough for that to be a real problem.

As for BSkyB's Easynet takeover, the OFT said it recognised the benefit to consumers in one company offering TV, internet and telephone services. Regarding concerns that Sky might now block the supply of pay-TV content to rivals who operate in the internet space, the OFT ruled that BSkyB could and probably would do that anyway, with or without its own internet division, so those concerns are not relevant to the takeover.

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EMINEM SETS MARRIAGE DATE
Eminem and ex-wife Kim have set a date to remarry, following much speculation that just such a reunion was on the cards. The ceremony will take place in Michigan on 14 Jan. According to US magazine Star, the couple's wedding invite reads: "This day I will marry my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, love," and shows two children sitting side by side.

As you are no doubt aware, the pair were originally married in 1999 before divorcing in 2001. They have a daughter, Hailie, aged ten.

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LEO SAYER UPDATE TIPPED FOR SUCCESS
A disco flop first released by Leo Sayer in 1977, updated by DJ Meck, looks all set to be a success after getting the stamp of approval from more than one high profile radio type. The song 'Thunder In My Heart' is to be released in Feb as 'Thunder In My Heart Again', backed by a lovely new techno beat, and has already been championed by the likes of Pete Tong and Jo Whiley.

Earlier in the month, Meck told the Independent: "I really wanted to use some of the record and beef it up and bring it up to date and see where it went. I would never have known it was a Leo Sayer record. You probably think of two or three records he did that people unfortunately think of as being a bit naff or not cool. This is so not that Leo Sayer."

At that stage, Sayer was missing, presumed unaware of the impending success of his old track, but now, according to reports, he's been found and has something to say about it: "They put some beats on it - it sounds bloody good," Sayer told reporters, "it's as alive now as it was then."

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