CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 2nd January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Doherty and Moss tie the knot
- AllofMP3 respond to RIAA lawsuit
- Downloads lead to singles boom
- Entercom settle with Spitzer
- Jacko leads tributes to James Brown
- Michael charged over car incident
- Busta Rhymes to be charged over assault allegations
- Beatle stalker found dead
- McCartney working on semi-autobiographical show
- Queen top best band ever poll
- The Police reunion on the cards
- Birmingham set to honour Elgar anniversary
- Bono says new direction for U2
- Kings Of Leon on new material
- New Minogue in the pipeline
- Madonna live album upcoming
- Columbia support oldest record shop
- Starcom get EMI media account
- Wolfgang's Vault vows to fight lawsuit
- BBC reveal Sound Of 2007 tips
- GCap launch new jazz station
- Chart update
- Total Rock World album chart
- Entertaining honours
- Gallagher offers McFly some credibility tips
- Britney collapses, cuts off Hilton


So, I trust you're all feeling very excitable this morning, now the tedium of the Christmas holiday is well and truly behind us. Why should we be feeling excitable you ask? Doherty and Moss's wedding vows? Liam Gallagher's seeming respect for all things McFly? Britney's bid to end the bad press, by cutting off Paris? No, none of that - excitable because the all new singles chart launches next weekend and I for one think that's quite exciting.

As much previously reported, thanks to a chart rule revamp supported by both the record companies and retailers, as of this weekend any single track download sale will count towards the singles chart, oblivious of whether or not that track is currently available as a physical CD release. All of which means popular album tracks, b-sides, golden oldies or music from unsigned or independent artists that is only available in a digital format could now chart.

Whether the revamp will have a sudden impact on the chart remains to be seen. Stats types say that certain favourite Christmas tracks of old by the likes of Wham and Mariah Carey would have been in the festive top 40 had download-only releases been counted that week. And given that there are currently 18 songs in the download top 40 which are not in the main singles chart, we may find it's not just seasonal tracks without CD single release that benefit from the new rules.

But what's exciting isn't so much what impact the new rules will have on the first revamped chart when it is released on Sunday. What's exciting is that the new system offers unsigned and independent artists with an opportunity to use the singles chart as a promotional platform in the same way majors and large indies do. A band who has built a sizable and loyal fanbase, whether that be through relentless gigging or viral activity, can now self-release their own single for more or less no cost (there are a number of chart-returning download platforms that offer such a service to unsigned and independent bands) and could, in theory, get themselves a decent position in the singles chart, giving them considerable exposure from which to further build a fanbase and up sell more music or merchandise.

Of course, doing that isn't quite as easy as that last paragraph makes it sound. Said bands will still have to sell a considerable number of downloads to get a decent chart rating - and will still be competing with bigger record companies who have big marketing and promotion budgets. So, we shouldn't expect a Top 40 full of independent or unsigned talent. But the changes do mean that savvy entrepreneurial players - whether they be artists themselves or label owners in the making - do have a much better chance of scoring a chart hit without taking the potentially financially crippling risk that comes with a physical CD release. And that, ladies and gentleman, is very exciting.

And personally, I'm quite looking forward to finding out how high street record shops with Top 40 singles racks are going to cope with not having any product to go alongside certain charted tracks. But I'm willing to accept that, outside the world of retail racking, that's not so exciting.


Damn, and my New Year's Resolution was to spend less time writing about the personal life of Pete Doherty, and then by lunchtime on New Years Day we start hearing reports that the Babyshambler-in-chief has finally gone and married that Kate Moss, and so here I am, back to Doherty news. According to reports the couple finally got hitched yesterday in a Buddhist ceremony on the Thai island of Phuket, at the six star Ampanpuri Hotel, at 1pm local time, to be precise. Word has it Doherty wore a black suit and "trademark pork pie hat", while Moss wore a white Galliano dress. Other words have it the couple will now honeymoon on a neighbouring Thai island.

The event has been described as "bizarre" by a couple of websites - though I don't know if that means the ceremony was bizarre by Buddhist standards, or rather it was bizarre for Doherty and Moss to choose such a ceremony in the first place. Whether or not such a wedding ceremony will be legally binding in the UK isn't clear, and some are speculating another ceremony will take place in this country later this month. But assuming all this is true and binding, can I just say congratulations to the happy couple, and shame on you who just said "I give it six months" - that's hardly the New Year spirit is it?


Well, in our War & Peace of a Review Of The Music Year just before Christmas (which you can still check on the CMU Music Network website, by the way) we said that rogue Russian download site wasn't likely to go quietly, despite the various legal and commercial moves being made in a bid to put it out of business. And I think we were right.

The download platform has responded to the latest legal challenge made against it, by the good old Recording Industry Association Of America, which launched litigation against in the New York courts just before Christmas.

As previously reported, the RIAA and most of its counterparts around the world have long accused of violating major record companies' copyrights by selling mainstream music at super-low prices while claiming to be a legitimate service. The download company claim they are operating legally within Russian copyright laws, but the RIAA et al aren't convinced that is so and, even it is, say that is liable for copyright violations anyway because they sell downloads to customers in countries other than Russia, where it definitely is not operating legally.

The pressure started to build against in the latter part of 2006 after US trade officials told Russia it had to close copyright law loopholes employed by the download firm if the country was to be allowed into the World Trade Organisation, while the main credit card firms announced they would no longer accept transactions from the company because of copyright violation concerns. Those factors mean that's non-Russian customer base has dropped significantly, but the service is still live and, anyway, organisations like the RIAA are now looking for compensation for the estimated 11 million songs sold by the service without licence (according to the industry association, anyway) to date.

However, has dismissed the RIAA's action, disputing that the New York courts have any jurisdiction over them, and again stressing that the company is operating within Russian laws. A statement from parent company Media Services told reporters last week: "AllofMP3 understands that several US record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws". Of course that statement ignores what is presumably key to this case -'s failure to block access to the service to non-Russian customers. Whether the New York courts would rule that such a failure constituted liability for violation, whether they would award compensation in hindsight for such violation, and whether they could do anything to enforce any ruling against the Russian firm, all remains to be seen.

Meantime, the amusing bit of the RIAA litigation is that their legal documentation suggests compensation of $150,000 per copyright violation, which as website After Dawn points out, given that there have been an alleged 11 million violations would mean a compensation payment of $1.65 trillion, just under the Gross Domestic Product for the UK in 2005! I'm guessing the RIAA won't be getting that.


Hurrah, some good news to start the year - the singles market is booming. Of course, given that the singles market these days includes single track downloads, that's not really going to surprise anyone, but hey, always good to have some good news to start the year. According to the Official UK Charts Company, singles sales for 2006 (excluding last week) were 65.1 million units, more than double the 32.3 million units sold in 2004 and up 36% on the 48 million sold in 2005. Needless to say, downloads is where things are booming - downloaded singles for the year were 51.6 million, up from 26.6 million in 2005 and just 5.8 million in 2004. All super.


The radio company that had threatened to fight Eliot Spitzer over his allegations that they were guilty of payola - ie accepting payments from record labels to programme their music - has reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General. Spitzer targeted US media conglom Entercom after reaching a settlement with all four major record companies, who basically accepted that some of their past music promotion tactics breached anti-payola rules. Entercom, however, denied any wrong doing, claiming their business relationships with music companies were within US broadcasting regulations.

However, despite initially saying they would fight Spitzer's allegations, the radio firm last week announced it had reached a deal with Spitzer in the New York courts, although stressed that it was entering into the deal to avoid fighting a lengthy and costly lawsuit, and not because it accepted wrong doing. In a statement the company said: "In the interests of the company, our employees and our shareholders, we have chosen to resolve this matter immediately and without extensive and costly litigation. The court did not find any liability, nor are we admitting liability with this settlement. Rather, we are taking the opportunity to put the investigation behind us and move forward."

As part of the deal the radio firm will pay a $4.25 million fine, of which $3.5 million will go to music education programmes. Entercom also pledged to introduce internal measures to ensure any practices considered payola by the New York Attorney General's office could no longer take place.

Entercom is the second radio firm to settle with Spitzer over the issue of payola. CBS Radio settled back in October.


In another public appearance, this time back in his home country, Michael Jackson has paid tribute to the late great James Brown who, as you all surely know, died on Christmas Day. Jackson appeared at a large public funeral for the singer, held at an arena that bears his name in his hometown of Augusta. Speaking to the packed arena, Jackson said: "Ever since I was a small child, no more than like six years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerised. I had never seen a performer perform like James Brown, and right then and there I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown".

Reverend Al Sharpton, who delivered the main eulogy at the service, said that Brown had asked for Jackson to speak at his funeral. In his speech, Sharpton said that: "The whole world, he said, changed its beat because of James Brown". Following the speeches, films of Brown's last ever performance in Augusta, and his last ever performance altogether, at the BBC's Electric Proms in London, were screened.

The public funeral on Saturday followed a private gathering from family and close friends on Friday, and a public tribute at New York's Apollo Theatre on Thursday. Always the king of the costume change, Brown's body, visible to the public in his coffin, was reportedly clothed in a different outfit for each of the three memorial events.

Brown, the always prolific, often controversial, singer, songwriter, band leader and record producer, often referred to as the 'hardest working man in show business' or, more often, the 'Godfather Of Soul', died in the early hours of Christmas morning, having been admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve suffering from pneumonia. He was 73.


George Michael has been charged with being "unfit to drive" following that incident back in October when he was found passed out at the wheel of his car in North London. He will now face that charge at Brent Magistrates Court on 11 Jan.


Elsewhere in those pop courts, Busta Rhymes is facing an assault charge after an altercation with an employee at his New York office on Boxing Day (Boxing Day here that is, no day of boxes in the US of course). The rapper's driver, one Eddie Hatchett, claims he went to the office to collect money he was owed, but was attacked by Rhymes who, he says, hit him and cut his face. Rhymes had left the US before police could press charges in relation to the incident, but said charges are expected to be made on his return to the US later today.

As previously reported, Rhymes already faces assault charges relating to an incident last August when he allegedly kicked a fan who had spat on his car. Police in New York are also still reportedly keen to question the rapper over that fatal shooting that took place outside a Busta Rhymes video shoot last February.


A woman who once stalked the late Beatle George Harrison has been found dead after what police believe was a murder/suicide incident. Cristin Keleher's body was found in a car by police from the Californian city of Truckee in the middle of last month. Her body was alongside that of an unnamed man, and police spokesman Sergeant Shannan Moon told reporters this weekend: "From the investigation it appears that she was shot first and then he shot himself, so it is a murder suicide. It sounds like a closed case".

Keleher was first in the news back in 1999 when she broke into Harrison's estate in Hawaii and made herself lunch. She was found by the late singer's security staff and subsequently charged with burglary. It then materialized that she had been stalking Harrison for months.


Talking of the Beatles, Paul McCartney is reportedly working on a new stage show about his young life, which will rework his classical piece 'Liverpool Oratorio'. The reports seem to stem from comments made by his cousin, singer, impressionist and writer of Cilla Black's 'Surprise Surprise' theme tune (that nugget of information courtesy of Wikipedia) Kate Robbins, who is reportedly collaborating on the project. McCartney's people are yet to comment.

Elsewhere in Beatles news, the Royal Mail have confirmed they will this month issue a set of stamps featuring six Beatles Album covers, including 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Revolver'.


And even more Beatles news now, sort of. The fab four have, erm, not topped a poll to identify the 'Greatest British Band Of All Time'. They came second in the Radio 2 survey, with Queen winning by just over 400 votes. Both bands made it into the final five in the poll, which were then ranked by voting by 20,000 Radio 2 listeners. It's thought Queen were helped by McFly's always helpful fanbase, who were persuaded to vote for Freddie Mercury et al following the teen band's cover of 'Don't Stop Me Now' and Brian May's guest appearance at a recent McFly gig in London. The other three bands in the final vote were, in order of listener preference, The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Take That.


According to reports in The Mirror, The Police are planning a reunion tour for later this year to mark their 30th Anniversary. Apparently an official announcement is expected later this month, with dates likely in May and June.

The city of Birmingham plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of CMU favourite Edward Elgar (oh yes, can't beat a bit of 'Pomp And Circumstance') with a series of concerts later this year. Elgar, who was born in a village just outside Worcester, had a long association with Birmingham, and he helped to found the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. That Orchestra will stage a number of concerts to celebrate Elgar's music, with the main 150th anniversary event due to take place at the city's Symphony Hall on 14 Apr, which will feature parts of the composer's 'The Dream Of Gerontius'.

Bono says the next U2 album will head off in a new musical direction. He told the Beeb: "Our band has certainly reached the end of where we've been at for the last couple of albums. I want to see what else we can do with it, take it to the next level. I think that's what we've got to do. We're going to continue to be a band, but maybe the rock will have to go; maybe the rock has to get a lot harder. But whatever it is, it's not going to stay where it is. I would like to do a couple of tunes in that direction, with just a lot of space around the voice, I'd like to strip things down; that's something I'd be very interested in at the moment."


Kings Of Leon's Caleb Followill has said some stuff (well, not a lot, actually) about his band's new album. Here are the words he used: "We're growing, but we're trying not to grow up". The new long player, due for a Spring release, will be called 'Because Of The Times', and will again be produced by Ethan Johns.


Parlophone have confirmed Kylie, who made her UK live return at that previously reported Wembley Arena News Years Eve show last weekend, is working on new material, which could be released later this year. Hope so. Ms Minogue will play six more dates at Wembley over the next two weeks, followed by further gigs in Manchester.


Details of the upcoming Madonna live CD and DVD have been announced. The live release, out 22 Jan, will feature one of the Wembley Arena dates from last year's The Confessions Tour. The track listings are as follows:

The CD:
Future Lovers/I Feel Love
Like a Virgin
Sorry (Remix)
I Love New York
Let It Will Be
Music Inferno
Lucky Star
Hung Up

The DVD:
Future Lovers/I Feel Love
Get Together
Like a Virgin
Live To Tell
Forbidden Love
Like It Or Not
Sorry (Remix)
I Love New York
Ray of Light
Let It Will Be
Drowned World/Substitute for Love
Paradise (Not for Me)
Music Inferno
La Isla Bonita
Lucky Star
Hung Up


SonyBMG division Columbia Records has thrown its support behind the oldest record shop in the world which, as previously reported, faces closure because of a rent hike. A number of key artists, including the Manic Street Preachers, have called on landlords to back down on their rent demands which could force Cardiff's Spillers Records, which has been selling recordings since 1894, to close down. Now the Manics' label have added their support to the campaign to save the record shop.

A spokesman for Columbia told reporters: "Obviously it's a campaign that's pretty close to home for Nick and James, but it's also something that's come to our attention here at Columbia, partly through the Manics but also from the coverage it's receiving elsewhere. It's a campaign that we'd like to get behind as a label. Columbia is the oldest record label in the world and it struck a chord that we should be doing something to help out the oldest record shop in the UK. Independent record shops have also played a huge part in supporting so many of our acts in their early days, in a world that's increasingly digital it's important not to forget that".


We love media buying agencies, and not just because we'll be kicking off the sales drive for the next edition of the CMU Beats newspaper later this week (though, if we're being honest, mainly for that reason). Anyway, media buying agency Starcom has won the media planning and buying account for EMI Records, beating current suppliers Carat and Media Campaign, and other contenders 7Stars and MindShare. So well done all those lovely people over at Starcom. And as a well done present from us to you, I'll stick a copy of our rate card in the post.


OK, more on that Wolfgang's Vault lawsuit being pursued by Carlos Santana and members of Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and The Doors. As previously reported, those musicians are suing the website which sells merchandise using items from the archives of the late concert promoter Bill Graham, which the site's owner, William Sagan, acquired. The claimants say Sagan does not have the right to reproduce and sell their past concert merchandise, nor to use live recordings from Graham's archives to promote the products. However, Sagan's lawyer has told reporters he plans to fight their lawsuit, saying: "Wolfgang's Vault bought all of this decades-old material legally, paid their rightful owner and own all the rights necessary to conduct its business. We fully expect to be victorious in the court of law".


The BBC has started revealing which artists were most heavily tipped by the 130 pundits who took part in its Sound Of 2007 poll. Each of the five most highly rated artists will be profiled on the BBC website this week, with the full top ten published on Friday. The first two named tipped artists, and their profile links, as follows...

4. Sadie Ama
5. Enter Shikari


GCap Media launched its previously reported national digital jazz radio station on Christmas day. Here's what Darren Henley, Station Manager of the new service and its sister station Classic FM, said: "Just as Classic FM has taken classical music into the mainstream, so we want to make jazz a part of everyday life in the UK". The new service is available on DAB, Sky, cable and online at


All good news for that Leona Lewis, our latest X Factor winner, whose debut single 'A Moment Like This' remains atop the singles chart this week. She has also been confirmed as the fastest selling female artist ever (in the UK, that is), having sold 571,253 copies of her debut single in just 13 days. 'A Moment Like This' was also the fastest selling download ever, as well as selling the most ever downloads in first week of sale. All that, and ITV have booked her for a 'Whatever Happened To Leona Lewis?' documentary for its 2011 Christmas schedules, which is very exciting.

Alas, given the continued popularity of Leona Lewis and those Take That chaps, Iron Maiden were unable to pull off that 'release a single in the new release-lacking post-Christmas week to ensure a number one' trick again, though the band's new single 'Different World' is this week's highest new entry at 3. Given the lack of releases last week, very few other new entries this week - just David Gilmour with 'Arnold Layne' at 19 and Big Bass Vs Michelle Narine with 'What You Do (Playing With Stones) at 27.

Albums wise, very little to report except that Take That are still top while the lower part of the Top 40 consists, somewhat predictably given the time of year, of predominantly re-entries, including albums from Nelly Furtado, Westlife, Muse, Pussycat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, James Blunt, Rod Stewart and Akon.


This is the end of year Total Rock World Album Chart - the top 40 rock albums of 2006, as counted down over the weekend on Total Rock - Weekly World Album Chart returns next week.

1. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner)
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Brothers)
3. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
4. Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day (Universal/Mercury)
5. Green Day - American Idiot (Warner Brothers)
6. System Of A Down - Hypnotize (SonyBMG/Columbia)
7. Tool - 10,000 Days (Volcano)
8. Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree (Universal/Island)
9. Korn - See You On The Other Side (EMI/Virgin)
10. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Brothers)
11. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
12. AFI - Decemberunderground (Universal/Interscope)
13. Audioslave - Revelations (SonyBMG/Epic)
14. Stone Sour - Come (What(ever) May (Roadrunner)
15. Evanescence - The Open Door (Sony/BMG)
16. David Gilmour - On An Island (EMI)
17. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam (SonyBMG/J Records)
18. Razorlight - Razorlight (Vertigo)
19. Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death (EMI)
20. Foo Fighters - In Your Honor (SonyBMG/Roswell)
21. Godsmack - 1V (Republic)
22. System Of A Down - Mezmerize (SonyBMG/Columbia)
23. Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (Warner/Giant)
24. Blink-182 - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
25. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
26. Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil (Warner Brothers)
27. Feeder - The Singles (Echo)
28. Rob Zombie - Educated Horses (Universal/Geffen)
29. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Brothers)
30. Aerosmith - Devil's Got A New Disguise (SonyBMG/Columbia)
31. In Flames - Come Clarity (Nuclear Blast)
32. Blue October - Foiled (Universal/Island)
33. Underoath - Define The Great Line (Tooth & Nail)
34. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (Universal/Mercury)
35. Angels & Airwaves - We Don't Need To Whisper (Universal/Geffen)
36. Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now (Warner Brothers)
37. Atreyu - A Deathgrip On Yesterday (Victory)
38. Slayer - Christ Illusion (American Recordings)
39. Rammstein - Rosenrot (Universal)
40. Tom Petty - Highway Companion (Warner Brothers)


So, following that pre-Christmas announcement that U2's Bono would become a Knight of the British Empire in honour of his services in providing the government with good PR opportunities, other entertainment figures getting end-of-year honours from that most British of establishments include Rod Stewart, jazz pianist George Shearing, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, Hugh Laurie, Johnny Briggs (Cori's Mike Baldwin), Penelope Keith and June Sarpong, who get a CBE, knighthood, damehood (is that what you call it?), OBE, MBE, CBE and MBE respectively, the latter presumably for her services in putting people off watching Channel 4 at the weekend.


It's like we're always saying, speaks a lot of sense that Liam Gallagher. Apparently the Oasis frontman has said he respects McFly's music, while offering the band tips on how to be taken more seriously by all you naysayers who keep dismissing them as just another boyband (damn you naysayers). Well, he did if you believe McFly boy Danny Jones, who is quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: "I was really star-struck when I met Liam. He's my idol but I did my best not to show it. He kept saying: 'I buzz off you guys man,' and said that he'd love to appeal to kids too. We spoke about the bands and how I wanted us to be more accepted. We want to get invited to things like the NME Awards. He gave us really sound advice and stuff."


Damn, and my New Year's Resolution was to spend less time writing about the personal life of Britney Spears, and then at breakfast time on New Years Day we hear that the soon to be former Mrs Federline had collapsed at a night club barely an hour into the New Year, and so here I am, back to Britney news.

Spears saw the New Year in at the Pure Nightclub at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, and apparently passed out at 1am. Some witnesses said Britney had had rather a lot to drink prior to falling over, but her manager Larry Rudolph has since clarified the situation, explaining that his client was, erm, a bit "sleepy".

It's the second time in less than a month that Spears has reportedly collapsed at a night club, both incidents following her much reported return to the party circuit following her split from Kevin Federline. Though that partying might be about to come to an end, if reports are to be believed. Gossipers say Spears has called her partying partner Paris Hilton and said they shouldn't be seen hitting the town together any more, because of all the band press it is getting her (one Britney fan site closed down last month, citing her "recent behaviour" as the reason for ceasing its Spears adoration).

A source close to all this action told the News Of The World: "Britney called Paris and said she had decided not to be seen in public with her - she said it wasn't personal. Britney realised her partying was being perceived in a bad light. People began questioning her as a mother".

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