CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 7th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner go DRM free with Amazon
- Rumour rife regarding SonyBMG DRM
- Government's touting report expected this week
- More Spears drama
- Winehouse to appear in court over Norwegian drugs appeal
- No charges for Brandy over crash
- Ne-Yo sues over cancelled Kelly dates
- Tribute concert planned for Oscar Peterson
- Tributes for Greening
- Music Marketer dies
- Stephen Stills feeling well after cancer surgery
- Lil Wayne EP
- Nada Surf dates
- Single Review: Underworld - Beautiful Burnout
- Jay-Z rumoured for Apple roll
- Former V2 chief to get senior marketing role at Universal
- Download sales see Christmas week boost
- Creative industries minister to join AIM funding debate
- Charts of the year update
- Chart update
- playlist
- Total Rock world album chart
- Westlife boy proposes
- Johns and Imbruglia split
- Morrissey donates £20k to Salford Lads Club
- Wyclef's New Years bash gets a bit out of control
- Paradis shocked by YouTube video of former self
- X-Factor boy upset at lazy allegations
- Lily on Kate


So, in our Review of 2007 we pointed out that, as of 20 Dec, there were just fourteen dumb-ass executives at Warner Music and SonyBMG between us and a totally DRM-free music world. Well, it seems like there may well now be no dumb-ass executives between us and a totally DRM-free music world, because over the Christmas break Warner Music announced it would be selling its music as MP3 via Amazon's much previously reported new download service, and after weeks of speculation, it seems that SonyBMG will do likewise this month.

How those dumb ass executives will explain to their shareholders why they hung on to an expensive, redundant and anti-consumer DRM strategy for two years longer than was necessary I don't know. Actually, I do know, they won't. Shareholders are pushovers like that. Dumb ass investment types. They should read the CMU Daily more, then they'd know what questions they should be asking during major label investor conference calls.

The fact the major record companies took so long to do something that has be so obviously - and I mean, flashing lights on a sky-scraper sized billboard obviously - the right thing to do for such a long time makes you wonder if these firms are being run by people capable of leading the record industry into the next phase of the digital music era.

It takes longer for large companies to respond to changing markets - that's a fact of life - but having the right DRM strategy has never involved major restructuring or expansion or reengineering, it has simply required a small group of senior people - normally people with CEO or President or VP on their business cards - to look at the emerging digital music market and reach the right decision - to axe DRM. The people who sat in those meetings and failed to make the right decision for so long really should be considering their positions - are they up to the job of working in the new music business? There's been a lot of job cuts at the major record companies in the last six months, and similar cuts are almost guaranteed in the coming months, but I don't see many of the decision makers - the people who really fucked up their companies - getting the axe.

Of course the one senior player in the record industry who this time last year did wield the senior-level axe, and who then led the way in ending the DRM debacle, was, somewhat ironically, himself axed. But the one thing that happened in recorded music in 2007 was that Eric Nicoli's EMI - in the past the most frustrating major record company when it came to recognising the way the music world was changing - became the most exciting record company of them all. Changes instituted and subsequently indicated or mooted by Nicoli and, since his axing, new chief Guy Hands are definitely a move in the right direction with regards reinventing the major record company for the modern digital era.

Of course concerned parties are right to remain suspicious of the motives of any city type in charge of a music company, and the new EMI top guard may as yet fuck it up in a dramatic fashion (after all, for a time the then radically changing Sanctuary Music Group was the most exciting thing on the corporate music landscape, and looked what happened to them). But I think the wider music business in 2008 could benefit hugely from the totally new mentality that is now atop EMI. Certainly those who have a substantial stake in any of their competitors should watch what happens there closely, and ask themselves this tricky question: are the chiefs at the other majors - the big-in-the-90s old-school record label chiefs who got it oh so wrong on DRM - the right people to lead the record industry in the forthcoming decade? Some of them will be, despite past errors. But some, certainly, are not.

Which isn't a very nice way to start the year I grant you, but my New Year's Resolution is to 'say it the way it is' more, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the way it is. Welcome to 2008. Are you well?

[email protected]


Those amongst you who were avidly watching your inboxes for the CMU album of the year list will be aware of the glowing praise we reserved for Chromeo's latest album, 'Fancy Footwork'. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that our favourite metal-monikered buddies will be returning with a new record in 2008, so we've hunted out a new funk-disco thrill for you in the form of Primary 1, whose recent single 'Hold Me Down' is a throbbing sexpot of synths, funk guitar and an abundance of bass. They'll be satisfying our desire for new Chromeo material for at least the next three months, and deserve your attention for that achievement at the very least.


Perhaps keen that history show that they too went DRM-free in 2007, the Warner Music Group announced on 27 Dec that they were making music available in the DRM-free MP3 format via Amazon's MP3 download platform which, as much previously reported, launched in the US last year.

In a joint statement, Amazon and Warner Music told reporters in the US: "Beginning today, songs from WMG's digital audio catalogue will be available for purchase and download from Amazon MP3. In addition, Amazon and WMG will make available to consumers digital music products such as album bundles containing exclusive tracks".

Confirming the arrangement, Amazon's VP Of Digital Music, Bill Carr, told reporters: "Our customers are delighted with our DRM-free MP3 service. We have received thousands of emails from our customers since our September launch thanking us for offering the biggest selection of high-quality, MP3 audio downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future. With the addition of great Warner Music Group content, our customers will discover even more of the music they love on Amazon MP3".

Warner's Senior VP of Digital Strategy & Business Development, Michael Nash, added: "Consumers want flexibility with respect to what they can do with music once they purchase it, and we want them to have that flexibility, which is why we're pleased to offer our artists' music on Amazon MP3. We believe that giving consumers the assurance that the music they purchase can be played on any device they own will only encourage more sales of music. Amazon shares our vision with respect to offering feature-rich music based digital products, and we look forward to making available an array of exciting new digital products over time that will transform the relationship between and among consumers, labels and artists".

In an internal memo quoted by various news media last week, Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jr explained his late-in-the-day support for going DRM-free - he having been a recent advocate for the continued use of the technology. The memo reads: "Back in February, I said that music should not be the one content category without some form of protection and that there was no logical reason to abandon DRM because, with the cooperation of industry players, interoperability and DRM can co-exist. Over the last 11 months, however, little progress has been made towards achieving that co-existence". He adds that he hopes the major's move away from DRM can "bring an energy-sapping debate to a close".

Warner follow EMI and Universal Music by adopting a new digital music strategy to allow their music to be sold without DRM. However, unlike EMI, which launched its DRM-free catalogue with Apple iTunes, Warner's motivation to go DRM-free is probably more akin to that of Universal - to provide Amazon, generally considered a credible competitor to the iTunes Music Store, with competitive advantage over the market leader, the record industry having become increasingly tetchy at Apple's dominance in the last year.

How far and how quickly Warner will expand the distribution of its DRM-free catalogue remains to be seen. Geographically, many expect the major to only officially launch its DRM-free catalogue in each territory as Amazon launch their download service there.


Warner's post-Christmas announcement leaves the fourth major record company, SonyBMG, somewhat out there in the cold as the only major yet to make any of its catalogue available without outdated DRM technology.

But, as previously reported, some insiders there have been saying for weeks that a DRM-free announcement is imminent and, even though officially the major remains tight lipped on the issue, those insiders remain adamant some move towards dropping DRM will be announced shortly, certainly in the US before the Superbowl on 3 Feb when, as also previously reported, Amazon and Pepsi will launch a high profile MP3 giveaway that all of SonyBMG's competitors are expected to participate in.

Music Week too are now citing insiders as confirming an imminent announcement from SonyBMG, certainly in North America. They report that the major had been planning a more cautious move into DRM-free - initially through an MP3 gift card programme in association with various US retail partners - but that plans have been stepped up following Warner's announcement.

In a possibly not entirely unrelated story, SonyBMG's Head Of Global Digital Business, Thomas Hesse, often reported to be a strong advocate of DRM, is reportedly on his way out. According to Digital Music News, insiders there say he is currently considering a move to Nokia.


The Department Of Culture, Media & Sport are expected to publish their report on ticket touting this week, the latest investigation into the rights and wrongs of companies and individuals reselling tickets for gigs and festivals for profit, increasingly via online auction websites.

The report is expected to say the current situation is unfair to consumers, because tickets for high demand events are quickly snapped up by touts who then sell them on for a large profit via websites like eBay or specific ticket auction sites like Viagogo. However, ministers aren't expected to call for an all out ban on touting (as exists in the football sector), but will suggest the Office Of Fair Trading take action if the live sector and ticket auction websites are unable to come up with a voluntary code to protect consumers.

The live sector are sure to say they are already doing everything they can to beat the touts, with strict rules in place to stop the resale of tickets for high profile events like Glastonbury or last year's Led Zeppelin reunion, and that the responsibility is on the auction websites to regulate and limit the touting sector. Those websites, however, maintain that while it is entirely legal for people to resell tickets for profit they see nothing wrong in providing a forum for that resale.

As previously reported, the artist management community recently proposed a Resale Rights Society which would see auction websites pay a levy to the live and artist sectors in return for recognition as legitimate ticket resellers, but neither the auction websites nor the major live music promoters have responded all that positively to those proposals as yet.


The whole situation is, of course, tragic, though if you're Kevin Federline's lawyer, and your client wants full custody of his children despite divorce laws generally favouring the mother when it comes to such things, Ms Britney Spears must be a dream adversary.

The soap opera that is Britney's mental breakdown took a dramatic turn last week, as you no doubt saw, when a seemingly drugged up Spears locked her and her two children inside her hilltop mansion and refused to give up Sean Preston and Jayden James to representatives of ex Federline, even though her limited access time with them was up. A three hour stand off involving local police officers ensued, until the popstress finally handed over her kids, before be stretchered off to hospital.

Giving her increasingly unstable state, many had expected Spears to stay in hospital this week to receive some kind of treatment, but she checked out this weekend, leaving with one Adnan Ghalib, a paparazzo who is rumoured to be the singer's new boyfriend. Though not before TV psychologist Dr Phil McGraw managed to get sometime with her, and his diagnosis? Well, he told Entertainment Tonight: "She was released moments before my arrival and was packing when I entered the room. We visited for about an hour before I walked with her to her car. I am very concerned for her".

Following the stand off with police, the courts handling Spears and Federline's custody battle withdrew the singer's visitation rights, pending a new review on 14 Jan. Meanwhile the Fed has reportedly stepped up security at his property since Spear's departure from hospital, paranoid that the singer will try to kidnap the children from his home.

On the upside, word has it global sales of Britney's comeback album 'Blackout' have continued to prosper over the Christmas period, which is good news because all those drugs must be proving expensive. Good private mental health care also don't come cheap. Let's hope she spends it on that.


Talking of the pop star soap operas of 2007, Amy Winehouse is set to appear at a court in Norway next month to appeal those previously reported cannabis possession charges.

As previously reported, Winehouse was fined for possession in Bergen back in October. She paid the fine and all was OK, except that it is thought the drugs charges could affect Winehouse's chances of getting a US visa, so the singer, who says she was incorrectly advised at the time regarding the allegations against her and the charge forms she signed, now wants to appeal. A court date for that appeal has now been set for 29 Feb.

The AFP news agency quote a Bergen police spokeswoman, Liv Karlsen, thus: "I can confirm that she must appear in court. If one appeals [against] a conviction, it's the rule that one has to appear in person, so this is not surprising".

On the up side with all things Amy, reports suggest she was on good form at an airport in Barbados this weekend after a stay at Bryan Adam's mansion on the island of Mustique. Though I think we'd all be on good form after a stay at Bryan Adam's mansion on the island of Mustique.


It was announced over Christmas that R&B star Brandy will not face charges over that previously reported fatal car accident in California a year ago.

As previously reported, Brandy Norwood was accused of being the "contributing party" in a four car pile up that took place on the San Diego freeway on 30 Dec 2006, in which one Awatef Aboudihaj was killed. However, police in LA have said there is "insufficient evidence" for a jury to find the singer/actress guilty of vehicular manslaughter. They added that there was no evidence that the singer had been under the influence of drink or drugs at the time of the crash, or that she had been using a mobile phone.

A lawyer for the singer said she was "extremely pleased" about the police's decision, adding: "These past twelve months have been extraordinarily hard for Brandy and her family". Civil action by Aboudihaj's family is ongoing.


R&B star Ne-Yo is suing R Kelly for axing him as main support on a US tour last year. As previously reported, Kelly pulled Ne-Yo, real name Shaffer Smith, off the bill of his 25 date US tour two dates in back in November. Kelly said the decision was caused by contractual issues, but Ne-Yo claimed he was axed because Kelly was jealous his support act was getting a better reception with fans.

Legal papers have now been issued in relation to the lawsuit, albeit against the R Kelly tour's promoters, Rowe Entertainment. The legal papers claim: "An unknown representative of R Kelly urged Rowe to terminate Smith from the tour given the audience and critics' more favourable reaction to Smith than the reaction to R Kelly".

Ne-Yo's people are looking for the $735,000 he would have been paid had he played the 23 cancelled dates.


Numerous tributes were made over the Christmas break for jazz great Oscar Peterson, who died on 23 Dec after suffering kidney failure at his Toronto home.

The 82 year old jazz pianist boasted a seven decade career, during which he worked with numerous jazz legends, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He won seven Grammys, plus a Grammy for lifetime achievement, and had been presented with all of Canada's highest honours.

A family friend, Oliver Jones, confirmed Peterson's death, telling reporters: "I've always thought of him as Canada's national treasure. All of Canada mourns for him and his family. He had 60 full years of being considered the top jazz pianist in the world".

Paying tribute, fellow jazz piano star Herbie Hancock said in an email: "Oscar Peterson redefined swing for modern jazz pianists for the latter half of the 20th century up until today. I consider him the major influence that formed my roots in jazz piano playing. He mastered the balance between technique, hard blues grooving, and tenderness. ... No one will ever be able to take his place".

A tribute concert will be held in Peterson's memory in Toronto this weekend.


There were tributes also for former Radio 1 and Xfm DJ Kevin Greening, whose death, aged 44, was much more unexpected. Greening, most recently a presented on Smooth FM, died on 29 Dec.

Paying tribute, Trevor Dann, Greening's boss at Radio 1, wrote on the BBC website: "He was a really nice, modest, quiet bloke, whereas some other people with half his talent had twice his arrogance. Subsequently they got on and became very famous. [But] he loved radio - it was his life. He wasn't remotely interested in television or celebrity or the paparazzi".

Another former Radio 1 DJ, Simon Mayo, who worked alongside Greening at both Radio 1 and Radio Five Live, told reporters: "He was quite shy - sometimes a bit embarrassed about achieving the level of fame he had. The work that he put into his programmes was fantastic. He was very meticulous. He was a fantastic example and naturally gifted".

Few details of the causes of Greening's death have been officially released, with an official statement simply saying he died "peacefully" in his sleep. However, media speculation is now rife that the premature death was caused by a heart attack brought on by a dangerous mixture of cocaine, ecstasy and GHB, possibly taken during some kind of sex game. A man who was with Greening prior to his death was arrested, though faces charges for drug possession rather than any wrong doing with regards the DJ's death. Meanwhile police are asking for witnesses who may have seen Greening being supplied with drugs at the XXL Club in Southwark the day before his death to come forward.


And there have been further tributes for music marketer Jo Cavanagh, who died of natural causes on 27 Dec. Cavanagh worked for various indie and major labels during her career, leading the marketing on a number of high profile album releases.

Dangerous Management's Mike Audley, who worked with Cavanagh at Sony's Columbia in the mid-Nineties, told Music Week: "She was a fantastic marketer, a real live wire and a great character. She will be sadly missed".

Jo's funeral will be held on Wednesday. Her family have asked former colleagues to make a charitable donation rather than sending flowers, to Catholic Children's Society, 162 Pennywell Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 OTX.


Stephen Stills, one third of Crosby, Stills & Nash, of course, is reportedly in good spirits after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer in LA last week. As previously reported, band mate Graham Nash revealed Still's cancer during an interview about the late Dan Fogelberg, who died of the disease last month. Speaking to Larry King, Nash said: "Unlike Danny, who left it too long to be seriously checked, Stephen found his at an early stage". Confirming the treatment had gone well, Stills wife Kristen told reporters this weekend: "Stephen's procedure went remarkably well and he couldn't be better. He will be home by noon tomorrow and the pain will be minimal".


Rapper Lil Wayne sneaked out a five track digital EP in the US on Christmas Day. Called 'The Leak', it features five tracks - 'I'm Me', 'Gossip', 'Kush', 'Love Me Or Hate Me' and 'Talkin About It'. The EP, which won't get a physical release, is available via Amazon, iTunes and Rhapsody. No word yet if any of the tracks will appear on his new album, 'Tha Carter III', which is due out in February via Universal/Cash Money.


The always rather good Nada Surf will be in the UK later this month, with five dates in the diary to promote upcoming new album 'Lucky', out 18 Feb. Dates as follows...

22 Jan: 12 Bar Club, London (afternoon)
22 Jan: Borderline, London
21 Feb: Scala, London
22 Feb: Academy, Manchester
23 Feb: Garage, Glasgow


SINGLE REVIEW: Underworld - Beautiful Burnout (
"Are they still going?" might be your first reaction upon hearing there's a new Underworld single, but, yes, they are still going strong, and had been up to all sorts of multimedia mayhem (ie some soundtracks and download only release shenanigans) before the release of last year's 'Oblivion With Bells' album, from which this is lifted. Initially 'BB' doesn't seem to do much, but its trick is really the way it slithers into your subconscious despite its lack of action and urgency. It's almost a bit dull until the icy Floydian prog synths drift in and Karl Hyde's heavily distorted vocals make some mind of sense. The remixes are nothing special (Mark Knight goes all progressive house, whilst Pig & Dan exploit the track's minimal tech house vibe) but the original - subtle but hypnotic, dreamy yet danceable - is everything you'd want from an Underworld single, really. MS
Release date: 14 Jan
Press contact: Motion Group [all]


Jay-Z announced on Christmas Eve that he was stepping down as President of Universal's Def Jam Records, following much speculation to that effect in the preceding week. Since the announcement the speculators have turned their attention to the hip hop mogul's possible new business ventures, with much of the gossip over the weekend centring on the rumour he might be about to launch a brand new joint venture with Apple Computers. Though others think Mr Z might want to concentrate on his ongoing club, hotel and fashion ventures. He is expected to continue to record for Def Jam.


According to Billboard, Tony Harlow, former V2 CEO and one of the very few former V2 staff who has been taken on by new owners Universal Music, will become VP Of International Marketing for Universal Music Group International today, reporting to Max Hole, Exec VP of UMGI. Harlow, credited with being key to negotiating Universal's acquisition of V2 (which has essentially seen the closure of the former indie and the axing of the vast majority of its staff), has been tipped for a senior role at the major ever since the takeover was confirmed.


Christmas week download sales were more than double compared to the same week in 2006, though you'd hope that'd be the case really wouldn't you? UK record industry body the BPI last week announced that just under three million downloads were sold in the week after Christmas, presumably aided by the giving of many thousands of MP3 players on Christmas Day itself (plus me spending the £15 iTunes voucher my Aunty Kath gave me, don't let's forget that). Download sales for the year topped 77 million, a 50% increase on 2006.

Commenting on continued growth in the digital market, BPI Director of Communications Matt Phillips told reporters: "Recent years have seen a boost in download sales in the week after Christmas, but this was a larger increase than expected, and sales should continue to grow throughout 2008. The enormous choice of music and great value for money, combined with the ease and convenience of downloading, means legal digital music services are becoming increasingly popular with music fans".


That Margaret Hodge woman, who is Creative Industries Minister, by the way, will participate in an invite only round table discussion on music business funding being organised by the Association Of Independent Music this week.

Also around the table will be producer Steve Levine, Music Producer Guild's Robin Millar, Beggars chief Martin Mills, Music Publisher Association's Stephen Navin, French indie Wagram's Stephan Bourdoiseau, Snapper Music's Cliff Dane, Full Time Hobby's Ian (Wez) Westley, Moshi Moshi's Stephen Bass, PRS Foundation's Paulette Long and lawyer Geraint Howells. The audience will include representatives from leading media finance houses as well as other industry executives.

Commenting on the event, Hodge told CMU: "It's no secret that it can be tricky for small and medium sized music businesses to access finance. This type of event is crucially important in helping everyone understand the reasons why problems arise and how we can work together to address them. I look forward to attending AIM's Finance Day".

AIM chief Alison Wenham added: "AIM has organised this one-off event to bring together young entrepreneurs and experienced industry practitioners with representatives from government, public and private funding bodies, to discuss the investment opportunities in the vibrant independent sector. We welcome the Minister's attendance, and look forward to sharing some of our ideas and issues with her and the audience".

The event takes place this Thursday at 9.15am. It's invite only. If you're invited I'm guessing you'll already know.


So, before we get down to the business of this week's Chart Update, how about a quick run through the charts of the year for 2007, the best selling singles and albums overall?

And Leona Lewis and Simon Cowell's Syco top the singles chart, having the best selling single of 2007 with 'Bleeding Love', a final quarter release which outsold previous best seller Rihanna's 'Umbrella' (on Universal's Def Jam) by over 250,000 units, the former selling 788,000 compared to the latter's 512,000.

In the album stakes Lewis was beaten by Universal/Island's Amy Winehouse, even though her album was released in 2006 (and was one of CMU's albums of that year). No doubt aided by Winehouse's frequent tabloid exposure, and the timely release of a 'deluxe' version of the long player, Winehouse's 'Back To Black' sold 1.85 million units in 2007. Lewis debut long player 'Spirit' shifted 1.59 million units despite only being released in November.

Anyway, here's the top ten albums and singles of the year and from these lists I think it's fair to say 2007 was a mighty fine year to be Universal Music or Simon Cowell.

2007's Top 10 Biggest Selling Albums:
1. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (Universal/Island)
2. Leona Lewis - Spirit (SonyBMG/Syco)
3. Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion (Universal/Island)
4. Take That - Beautiful World (Universal/Polydor)
5. Westlife - Back Home (SonyBMG/S)
6. Eagles - Long Road Our Of Eden (Universal/Polydor)
7. Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly Angry Mob (Universal/Polydor)
8. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
9. Timbaland - Shock Value (Universal/Interscope)
10. Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad (Universal/Def Jam)

2007's Top 10 Biggest Selling Singles
1. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love (SonyBMG/Syco)
2. Rihanna Feat Jay-Z - Umbrella (Universal/Def Jam)
3. Mika - Grace Kelly (Universal/Island)
4. Leon Jackson - When You Believe (SonyBMG/Syco)
5. Take That - Rule The World (Universal/Polydor)
6. Sugababes - About You Now (Universal/Island)
7. Timbaland Feat Keri Hilson - The Way I Are (Universal/Interscope)
8. Proclaimers/Brian Potter/Andy Pipkin - (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles (EMI)
9. Mark Ronson Feat Amy Winehouse - Valerie (SonyBMG/Columbia)
10. Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby (Universal/Polydor)


Onto this week's Chart Update, and, as expected, the physical release of Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' has topped the album chart, though in a quiet week for album releases (it was the only new entry), and in the midweeks second place Take That were giving the much hyped chart topper a good run for its money, despite being over a year old, though they were possibly aided by the ITV screening of their New Year's Eve concert.

In the singles chart the Top 3 was the same as last week, albeit with two of them swapping places, so that it goes Leon Jackson with 'When You Believe' at one, Soulja Boy with 'Crank That' at 2 and Leona Lewis with 'Bleeding Love' at 3. New entries come from Basshunter with 'Now You're Gone' at 14, Britney Spears with 'Piece Of Me' at 19, Mika with 'Relax Take It Easy' at 20 and White Stripes with 'Conquest' at 30.


Here they are again, the videos being played this week on the video screen network in students' unions all over the UK. It's the first playlist of the year, so no real need to mark new entries. So we haven't.

Adele - Chasing Pavements (Beggars/XL)
Arctic Monkeys - Teddy Picker (Domino)
Biffy Clyro - Who's Got A Match (Warner/14th Floor)
The Hoosiers - Worst Case Scenario (SonyBMG/RCA)
Laura Marling - Ghosts (EMI/Virgin)
Jay Z - Roc Boys (Universal/Roc-A-Fella)
The Maccabees - Toothpaste Kisses (Universal/Polydor)
Mika - Relax (Take It Easy) (Universal/Island)
Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place (Beggars/XL)
Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music (Universal/Mercury)
Robyn - Be Mine! (Konichiwa)
Scouting For Girls - Elvis Ain't Dead (SonyBMG/Epic)
Sons & Daughters - Darling (Domino)
30 Seconds To Mars - From Yesterday (EMI/Virgin)
White Stripes - Conquest (Beggars/XL)
The Wombats - Moving To New York (Warner/14th Floor)

Bodyrox and Luciana - What Planet You On? Universal/(Island)
Booty Luv - Some Kinda Rush (Ministry/Data)
The Bug feat. Warrior Queen - Poison Dart (Ninja Tune)
Clocks - All I Can (Universal/Island)
Dave Armstrong feat. Redroche & H-Boogie - Love Has Gone (Ministry/Data)
Electrovamp - I Don't Like The Vibe in the VIP (Universal/Island)
Feist - My Moon, My Man (Universal/Polydor)
Filo+Peri feat. Eric Lumiere - Anthem (EMI/Positiva)
The Fray - Look After You (SonyBMG/Epic)
Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor (EMI)
Ida Maria - Oh My God (SonyBMG/Nesna)
Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong - Lonely Buoy (Universal/Mercury)
The Little Ones - Ordinary Song (EMI)
Los Campesinos! - Death to Los Campesinos! (Wichita)
One Night Only - Just For Tonight (Universal/Vertigo)
White Light Parade - Wait For The Weekend (Split)


It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend -

1. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Swan Song)
2. Bruce Springsteen - Magic (SonyBMG/Columbia)
3. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (SonyBMG)
4. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
5. Eagles - Long Road Out Of Eden (Universal)
6. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
7. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
8. Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold (Warner Bros)
9. Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead (Serjical Strike)
10. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Godsmack - Good Times, Bad Times - Ten Years Of Godsmack (Republic)
12. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
13. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
14. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Mercury)
15. Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire (Universal/Geffen)
16. Nightwish - Dark Passion Play (Nuclear Blast)
17. Queen - Greatest Hits Vols. 1, 2, 3 (EMI)
18. Rolling Stones - 40 Licks (EMI/Virgin)
19. Goo Goo Dolls - Greatest Hits Volume One (Warner Bros)
20. Tarja Turunen - My Winter Storm (Universal)

Meantime, here's the Total Rock World Album Chart of 2007, released over the Christmas break.

1. Nickelback - For All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
2. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
3. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)
5. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
6. Daughtry - Daughtry (SonyBMG)
7. Bon Jovi - Lost Highway (Universal/Mercury)
8. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
9. Evanescence - The Open Door (Wind-Up)
10. Billy Talent - II (Warner/Atlantic)
11. 30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Lie (EMI/Virgin)
12. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
13. Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (SonyBMG/Epic)
14. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (Roswell)
15. Paramore - Riot! (Warner/Atlantic)
16. Korn - Untitled (EMI/Virgin)
17. Bruce Springsteen - Magic (SonyBMG)
18. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Vertigo)
19. Velvet Revolver - Libertad (SonyBMG)
20. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)


Westlife fella Kian Egan has proposed to his girlfriend Jodi Albert, who used to be in Hollyoaks I think. The two got engaged on Christmas Day. The Westlifer told reporters "I'm over the moon that Jodi said yes and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with her". I can't help thinking that in this day and age recently engaged guys should say something more like "I look forward to spending much of the foreseeable future with her", it being a more statistically realistic statement. But you know, whatever, many congratulations to the happy couple and all that.


On the other side of that coin, the frontman of chart topping, award winning, multi-million album selling Aussie rockers Silverchair, Daniel Johns, has announced he is divorcing his wife, former Neighbours girl and occasional pop singer Natalie Imbruglia. Or, as most of the British press put it, former Neighbour's starlet and 'Torn' chart sensation has announced she is divorcing her husband, an Australian musician called Daniel Johns.

They wed on New Year's Eve 2003, so it was quite nicely symmetrical that they should announce their split over New Year 2007/8. They have told reporters the breakdown of the marriage has been caused by work commitments, and that they remain on good terms.

A statement reads: "This mutual decision has not been taken lightly or quickly. However, our career demands and our lives in different parts of the world have brought us to the point where unfortunately this difficult decision was necessary for both of us. We have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together. We have issued this statement to set the record straight and to eliminate any need for speculation".


Morrissey has donated twenty grand to help restore a youth club in Salford, Manchester, but, according to NME, only on the condition no immigrant youths get to use it. No, only joking. About the immigrants, not the donation.

As previously reported, the Salford Lads Club, made iconic after it appeared in the background of an inner sleeve photo of The Smiths on their 'The Queen Is Dead' album, is in dire need of repair, not least because lead off the building's roof was stolen last summer. Campaigners are hoping to raise up to a million to save the youth club, and announced last week that Mozza had made the £20,000 donation. He reportedly wanted to donate the cash anonymously, but was persuaded to go public after fundraisers said it would help raise further publicity for their cause.

It's the second high profile boost for the fundraisers, who have now raised £330,000, after property developer Chek Whyte wrote them a cheque after visiting the Club as part of Channel 4's 'Secret Millionaire' programme.


Oh dear, when Wyclef Jean joked that everyone should come over to a New Year's Eve party at his place during an interview with MTV, he probably should have stressed he was joking. Though it's not clear if it was Jean's people or his neighbours that called police after hundreds of fans showed up turning the Hogmanay bash at the former Fugee's house into something of a mini-festival. While Jean presumably wasn't actually making an open invitation to fans, police weren't called until 3am, and Jean himself was reportedly serving up Haitian food to his impromptu guests when officers arrived.

One partygoer told reporters: "There were hundreds and hundreds of cars parked all over. They had tents set up outside, but people were wandering around in his house, in the movie theatre, in the kitchen".


French actress and pop star Vanessa Paradis has told reporters she recently saw a video of herself as a provocatively dressed teenager performing the classic that is 'Joe Le Taxi' and that it shocked her. The teen performance is doing the rounds on YouTube. She told reporters: "I wish someone had advised me. I've seen quite recently some clips from when I was 14 and I'm not proud of it. I look at the way I was dressed and made up and the way I would dance and I just want to say: 'Euugh. Stop it!' I was going to school and I had the 'Joe Le Taxi' song out that was making me trouble all over the world. It's not easy to grow up, but to grow up famous, it's worse. In France it became a really big phenomenon and it was very casual, this torturing of a child. It was happening to me every day - relentless".


X-Factor winner Leon Jackson is reportedly upset after being accused of being a bit lazy for cancelling some Hogmanay shows. He pulled out of the New Year gigs at the last minute, citing tonsillitis and doctor's orders, but fellow Scottish singer Amy Macdonald reportedly accused him of suffering from "lazyitis" after hearing he had been well enough to go out and celebrate his 19th birthday on 30 Dec.

But a friend of Jackson has told the Sunday Mail: "Leon has come under a lot of criticism for cancelling gigs but he is very ill. His doctor has told him he must stop using his voice until he is fully better or he will have to have the op [ie his tonsils removed]. In singers, this can lead to a permanent change in voice and difficulty in pronouncing some words. Leon feels miserable. He's been accused of being lazy and has spent days in bed feeling very poorly. He feels he has been unnecessarily attacked".


And the prize for first celebrity bitch of the year goes to Lily Allen, who, when asked by Marie Claire magazine as to whether someone like Kate Moss might be a role model for young people, remarked: "She's a fucking clothes horse. Deal with it!"

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