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Top Stories
More research shows file-sharers often the biggest music consumers
Heath Ledger directed music video online
Photo of a dead Jacko being shopped to US media
In The Pop Courts
Lil Wayne sued for copyright infringement
In The Pop Hospital
Elton John postpones more gigs has he recovers from e.coli infection
Pop Politics
Blur's Rowntree on his chances of becoming an MP
Mary J Blige opens centre for abused women
Aspiring rapper Mike Beck dies
Awards & Contests
Student music journalists - get your skills recognised alongside the professionals
Robbie pulls out of EMAs
Reunions & Splits
Slipknot man tried out for Velvet Revolver
Artist Deals
RHCP in the studio
In The Studio
DJ Hell collaborates with Bryan Ferry
Boyzone plan Gately tribute album
Release News
London Punks single on We7
London Calling to be re-released
New Spoon
Gigs N Tours News
Temper Trap tour
Bicycle Thieves live shows
Brett Anderson dates
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Dubai SoundCity to analyse Asian markets
Album review: I Am Kloot - B Album (Skinny Dog)
The Music Business
More festivals join AIF
Sony Music revenues down despite Jacko effect
The Media Business
BBC do deal with classical publishers
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Jay-Z not working with Noel
Will Young almost quit music
Cowell on the prospect of the twins winning X-factor
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

So, people, this week it's Dubai SoundCity, which will see the music industry amass in the desert to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the global music industry. And when those discussions have been had, delegates will spill out into venues around Dubai to check out a series of showcase gigs featuring a great mix of classic, newer and brand new artists, plus a whole heap of great DJs too. We'll be reporting from the conference itself, via the Daily and the News-Blog, later in the week, but to get you in the mood we've loaded up a Dubai SoundCity selection into the CMU-Tube player, which you can go listen to right now. There are tracks from ten artists playing the city-festival, including the following....
01: We Have Band - You Came Out
I think we first became aware of these Londoners via one of those Maison Kitsune compilations. That would figure, the French label always being one step ahead when it comes to showcasing great new electro indie crossover talent. This track was released by Kill Em All Records back in June, and has been playing regularly on my iTunes ever since. I look forward to discovering more about their sound when they play the Irish Village venue in Dubai on Friday afternoon.

02: Doves - There Goes The Fear
No need to introduce Doves presumably. Actually, these guys sort of split the CMU team, with some CMUers waxing lyrical about their entire career, including this year's fourth album 'Kingdom Of Rust', while others are not so keen. Though I'm pretty sure we all love this back in the day hit from Doves' 2002 second album. Following their recent interesting turn at the Electric Proms, they play Dubai Sound City on Thursday. I plan to check them out, and I promise not to tell the story about how we once billed Sub Sub below a vodka happy hour at Edinburgh's students' union in the mid 90s.

03: Super Furry Animals - Something 4 The Weekend
No need for introductions, no split opinions, no need for debate - who doesn't like the Super Furry Animals? No normal person. We've gone for another back in the day classic here, all the way back in 1996.

04: Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch
Ah Ladytron. Another CMU favourite. This was the second single from these guys' third album, back in 2005. I think it was re-released two years later also. Though don't go quoting me on that. Great video.

05: The Futureheads - Hounds Of Love
I always feel a little bit guilty picking 'Hounds Of Love' when asked for a choice Futureheads track, I mean, what band wants to be noted for a cover version? But it is, surely, one of the best ever cover versions, and I hadn't heard it in a while. So them playing Dubai SoundCity on Thursday night seemed as good excuse as any to dig it out again.

06: The Courteeners - That Kiss
Manchester boys The Courteeners appear mid-evening at the main Irish Village venue at Dubai SoundCity on Friday, and I'm yet to see them live, so this will definitely be circled in my programme. For your viewing pleasure, the one off single released just over a year ago which I think brought the band to the attention of those pesky 'Beverly Hills 90210' viewers.

07: Skank Sinatra - Auto (Shur-i-kan Remix)
Infectious in a "hey, I've been seriously nodding my head to this for six minutes now and I didn't notice" sort of way, this track appeared on the album 'Barcoded', released this summer by RMD Recordings.

08: Dan Black - Yours
Ah yes, Mr Dan Black. Will be interested to see him live. Meanwhile, enjoy a bit of this 2008 single that also appeared on Black's debut album back in July.

09: Alphabeat - Fascination
It's possible you love or hate these guys, but as all out pop music goes, I think they're pretty hard to beat at the moment. And not just because Deacon Blue and Prefab Sprout are listed as being among their inspirations (them being two of my very favourite bands of old). Here's their classic single, if a song released in 2007 by a band formed in 2006 can be termed 'classic'.

10: Human League - Human
Talking about pop music that's pretty hard to beat, though in this case at any time thank you very much, let's wrap things up with a bit of the Human League shall we? They'll be wrapping up day one of Dubai SoundCity. I hope they do this one.

To listen to these tunes, get yourself over to For more about Dubai SoundCity check

CMU favourites Yeasayer put a free download online on Friday, which was very nice of them. The song is called 'Ambling Alp' and comes from the band's forthcoming second album 'Odd Blood', which is due to be released next February. What else can we say? Except you should get on over to and download this track, unless you're one of those idiots I'm always reading about.



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There's been no shortage of research reports in the last decade that suggest file-sharers are also some of the best music consumers, but the latest one has been released just as the British media are focusing on the issue, following Peter Mandelson's announcement last week that the government plans to include a three-strikes anti-piracy programme in this month's Digital Economy Bill.

The new report comes from think-tank Demos, and was sponsored by Virgin Media. The cable TV company have been less critical than most internet service providers of the three-strike proposals, which will see persistent file-sharers having their net access suspended, though insiders say bosses at the telly and internet firm are increasingly frustrated that EMI, Sony and Warner won't sign up to the Universal Music-backed all-you-can-eat MP3 service they are developing.

Presumably the sponsors are happy with the Demos report's headline finding, that the record companies shouldn't see file-sharers as the enemy, but rather develop compelling licensed music services that maximise those music fans' annual spend on recorded music. Perhaps by signing up to Virgin's proposed 'unlimited MP3 downloads for a monthly subscription' package.

The Demos report concluded that nearly three-quarters of the population paid for the majority of the music they acquired, while nearly two-thirds never tapped into unlicenced content sources. Meanwhile those who did admit to file-sharing still spend an average of £77 a year on recorded music, which is £33 more than those who claim to never access illegal sources of music content. 83% of those who file-share reckon they buy more music as a result, while 42% say they used file-sharing primarily as a 'try before you buy' preview service. Even those file-sharers who are not also buying music still pay for other content services, such as Sky Plus, suggesting that if music companies would only offer the right kind of service they could still turn those fans into customers.

On pricing issues, there was little support for a blanket music levy being applied to all ISP accounts - one albeit less favoured proposal for overcoming the online piracy issue. Users also said that licensed music services should charge less, arguing that doing so would result in more file-sharers going the legit route, boosting overall revenues. Researchers say that 45p per MP3 download would be much more attractive to file-sharers, while five pounds a month was an attractive figure for an unlimited track subscription service.

Of course, the Demos report does conveniently seem to show that Virgin's proposed all-you-can-eat download model is the perfect way for record companies to combat file-sharing, which might make you a little cynical about the results overall. But given anyone with a brain knows that even an effective three-strikes net-suspension system will only have limited impact on illegal file-sharing, any research on how licensed services can better engage and attract customers is probably worth checking out.

Commenting on his report, Demos researcher Peter Bradwell told reporters: "This research demonstrates that cutting file sharers off may not be the best solution for the government if they are intent on helping the music industry. Politicians and music companies need to wake up to the changing nature of music consumption and embrace the demand for new business models that offer lower prices and easier access to music".

In sort of related news, Jack White has said that the music industry is in a "dying era", adding that artists now needed to use "trickery" to make money. He was talking about the 'pop up shop' that was erected at the back of his NME Halloween show in Shoreditch this weekend, which was selling glow-in-the-dark vinyl with a Halloween theme.

White: "It's great that people can come down here and get something that's real, and tangible and not disposable like an MP3 download that you can fast forward or throw away. The new generation needs to be taught about the beauty and romance of a record store".

On the ongoing challenge for new artists trying to get money out of their fans, he continued: "It's a dying era right now for music and art, things are crumbling. Every meeting we have with a label is depressing, and you wouldn't believe how hard it is, and how much trickery goes into a band just breaking even. It's going to be so hard for bands in ten years".

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A music video directed by the late Heath Ledger has been posted on YouTube. The promo is for a track by London-born rapper No Fixed Abode, and was directed by Ledger a few months before his untimely death.

Ledger, who had previously created music videos for Ben Drake and Modest Mouse, was a childhood friend of No Fixed Abode frontman N'FA, who grew up in Australia. In an accompanying video explaining how the two friends collaborated on the promo, N'FA says: "He [Ledger] gave me a call one morning, as he often did at crazy hours, and he's like, 'N'fa, I've got this idea for a video'". The video was filmed at Ledger's home. N'FA: "He was basically running around directing me each shot. It was a really cool day. Every day I count my blessings that I got to have him direct this piece of art".

You can see the video at:

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A photo of a dead Michael Jackson allegedly taken during the late singer's autopsy is reportedly being shopped around the US media, though the LA Coroner's Office says it is almost certainly a fake because they are certain no pictures could have leaked. Website The Daily Beast says the alleged photo is currently in the hands of an LA restaurant owner, who claims to have received it from a high ranking police officer. He has been showing it to various local TV execs, presumably with the aim of turning the snap into a big bunch of cash. No word on whether any Californian media are likely to bite. The boss of the LA Coroner's Office, Ed Winter, told The Beast that he would be able to tell whether or not the photo was real if he saw it. If it were, he admitted any leaking of a photo of the late pop star would likely lead to an internal investigation of his office.

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As if Lil Wayne hasn't got enough on his plate - what, with him facing a jail sentence after admitting to possessing an illegal firearm - now he's being sued for copyright infringement. Though it seems more likely the job of defending this lawsuit will fall to Wayne's label Cash Money.

A Florida man called Thomas Marasciullo claims he recorded some "Italian-styled" repartee for Cash Money in 2006. Extracts of that recording, he says, were then used on various Cash Money releases without his permission, including on the track 'Respect' on the Lil Wayne/Birdman album 'Like Father, Like Son'.

Cash Money, Lil Wayne and Birdman are all named on Marasciullo's lawsuit, none of whom have responded to the legal claim as yet.

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Elton John has had to postpone more gigs following news he is actually quite a bit more ill than originally thought. A statement on the singer's website says he has had a "serious case" of e.coli bacterial infection and influenza, which doesn't sound like much fun at all.

John has already postponed an number of UK dates, and this weekend was forced to put off three gigs in the US. Promoters Live Nation say they will announce details of replacement dates once the singer is over his illness.

A spokesman said yesterday that although John had been rather ill, he is in good spirits and slowly recovering.

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Blur's Dave Rowntree has admitted he doesn't rate his chances of becoming an MP at next year's General Election. He is standing as Labour candidate in the Cities Of London And Westminster constituency. To be fair, even if the Labour Party weren't expected to take a kicking at next year's big vote, that particular constituency would be hard for anyone but a Tory to win.

Telling the Guardian "I'm not a betting man, but if I was, even I wouldn't bet on me winning", he admitted that campaigning for Labour in a decidedly Tory constituency was a slog. But he added: "Activism is by its nature a slog, but it depends why you're doing it... I'm seeing where the problems are in my neighbourhood and trying to sort them out. The best part is knocking on doors and offering help".

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Mary J Blige has stepped up her campaigning to help victims of domestic abuse by opening a refuge for women in New York State. Blige has been increasingly vocal in her support for women abused by their husbands in recent years, having been quite open about the alleged domestic abuse that prevailed in her own childhood home before her father walked out when she was aged four.

Having founded the Foundation For the Advancement Of Women Now last year, Blige has teamed up with Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini and several New York-based organisations to fund the opening of a new centre for women, based in Yonkers.

Talking to CNN about the project, she said: "All age ranges will be able to come to this centre. Women from all walks of life, not just women from poverty-stricken areas. Whatever it is, they'll be able to come here. There are gonna be psychologists here, doctors here, day care centres here. Anything that you need or they need to be able to better themselves is here for them".

Talking about the importance of celebrities embracing good causes, especially those where they have personal experience of hardship, Blige added: "That's why I think as celebrities we're given this job. We're not given this job to just hold onto this stuff and die with it. We're given this job to be able to touch someone and say, 'me, too', because they look up to us and look to us for help and guidance and want to be able to relate to us".

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Mike Beck, an aspiring rapper, who had collaborated with Terror Squad chief Fat Joe, was shot and killed in New York this weekend.

Beck was a member of a young rap collective called KAR, or Kill All Rats. Born and raised in New York, and having already served five years in jail for his involvement in a murder, Beck was beginning to enjoy some success as a rapper after KAR linked up with Fat Joe.

They appeared on a version of his track '300 Brolic', and in May released an eponymous mixtape, executive produced by Joe and Pistol Pete, and featuring a string of guests, including Jadakiss. Paying his respects via Twitter this weekend, Fat Joe said, simply, "R.I.P. Mike Beck!!!!!"

It is thought Beck may have been killed as part of a bungled robbery.

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Voting has opened for this year's Record Of The Day Awards, people - the annual celebration of music journalism and PR. Get you to this URL to vote:

Meanwhile, calling all student music hacks and photographers - how do you fancy having your journalistic or photographic skills recognised not at specific student media awards event, but alongside the best and most established music media talent in the UK? Well, you can. But you've got to be quick.

CMU is helping Record Of The Day find the best student music media talent, who will be considered for the best student journalism and best student photographer gongs at this year's Record Of The Day Awards. All you need to do to enter is to email any three music reviews, or music-based photographs, that you have had published in a student newspaper, magazine or website in the last 12 months to us here at CMU HQ. Email your work, plus details of the student media you work for, and a phone number to [email protected] by 5pm this Friday, 6 Nov. Simple. Spread the word.

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Robbie Williams has pulled out of a planned appearance at this weeks MTV EMA awards bash in Berlin, apparently due to "a scheduling conflict", whatever that means. He was due to appear at the awards show where he is up for Best Male. I wonder if he heard he wasn't going to win? Presumably he will show up at next year's Brit Awards, given he's up for the Outstanding Contribution gong.

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Slipknot's Corey Taylor has confirmed he auditioned to take over from Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver, but says that his sessions with Slash and Duff McKagan "just didn't work". The Revolvers have been looking for a new frontman since Weiland quit in April 2008.

Speaking about his Velvet Revolver try outs, he told Altitude TV: "I had a meeting with those guys, we did some demos together, and it just didn't work - for whatever reason. It was just really cool. It was one of those things where I could have got to jam with legends, man, in my opinion. But, it was cool, and I still know those guys, I still hang out with them, and I still have nothing but respect".

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Did we know that Red Hot Chili Peppers were working on a new album? I think we did. Anyway, drummer Chas Smith has confirmed it. Though don't expect anything too soon. He told Clash mag: "We're gonna write for a while, it usually takes us a while". Whether the band's bassist Flea has any more plans to collaborate with Thom Yorke - he was in the band for the Radiohead man's recent solo shows, of course - we're not sure. Nor whether that would have any impact on the RHCP's new album prep.

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DJ Hell has been working with former Roxy Music man Bryan Ferry, and the two men will release a new single, 'U Can Dance', early next year. The song is a rework of a track Ferry had previously worked on but never released. Their collaboration began with a plan for DJ Hell to remix an old Roxy Music track, but developed into the original track instead. The video for the song has reportedly been directed by Big Pink collaborator Jo Apps, also known as Patrick Wolf's sister.

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Ronan Keating has confirmed the next Boyzone album will be released as a tribute to Stephen Gately. It will also include a couple of tracks featuring vocals from Keating's late bandmate, who died in Majorca last month of course.

Speaking to Sky, Keating said: "We're going to make the next album for Stephen... we have a couple of songs with Stephen's vocal on it so that's a saving grace. Thank God we have that - that's very important to all of us and we know the fans would really appreciate that too".

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You know The London Punks right? It's the latest musical venture from Nathan E Drake, one of The Housebreakrz, and Greg Wizard Fleming, the Wizard of Deekline &. Well, they are making their new single available for exclusive preview via we7.

Look, here is what Nathan told CMU: "We wanted to take advantage of the many new technologies out there to make sure we can get our music to our fans as quickly and easily as possible. To us, We7 is the first stop for music access online and is the obvious partner to help us to get our new song and forthcoming album out there and heard by the public."

Go to and click on the big London Punks button.

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The Clash's 'London Calling' will be re-released next month to mark the classic album's thirtieth anniversary. No word on what the anniversary edition will consist of just yet, but I'm sure it will be totally different to the 25th anniversary edition released in 2004.

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Spoon will release their seventh studio album next January, called 'Transference'. They've gone with the concept of putting songs on the new long player, and giving each song a different name. Names expected to be used include:

Before Destruction
Is Love Forever?
The Mystery Zone
Who Makes Your Money
Written in Reverse
I Saw the Light
Trouble Comes Running
Goodnight Laura
Out Go the Lights
Got Nuffin
Nobody Gets Me But You

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The Temper Trap have announced some UK tour dates for next year, as follows:

27 Apr: Bournemouth, O2 Academy
28 Apr: London, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
29 Apr: London, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
1 May: Cardiff University
3 May: Nottingham Rock City
4 May: Birmingham O2 Academy
5 May: Norwich UEA
7 May: Liverpool O2 Academy
9 May: Manchester O2 Academy
10 May: Newcastle O2 Academy
11 May: Leeds O2 Academy
13 May: Glasgow ABC
14 May: Edinburgh HMV Picture House

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Bicycle Thieves, who play Dubai Sound City later this week, have announced five other shows that will promote the 23 Nov release of their single 'Stop The Start', including three in home town Liverpool. The first is tonight. Details as follows:

2 Nov: Liverpool Alma De Cuba
13 Nov: Liverpool Big Top @ Bad Format! Social Club
24 Nov: Preston Dig Yourself @ Mad Ferrett
10 Dec: Leeds A Nation Of Shopkeepers
11 Dec: Liverpool Big Top @ Bad Format! Social Club

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Brett Anderson has announced three UK dates for the New Year, which will support his new album 'Slow Attack', which is out today. The dates are as follows:

22 Jan: London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
8 Feb: Manchester Academy 3
9 Feb: Glasgow King Tuts

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The music industry will amass on Dubai later this week for the previously reported Dubai SoundCity convention. One of the topics for debate will be the potential of the emerging Asian markets, and in particular the United Arab Emirates and India.

Commenting on that issue, Bobby Talawar, founder of India-based event and artist management agency Only Much Louder, told CMU this weekend: "Personally, I think India and the UAE have been internationally ignored as music market destinations, which has resulted in the very slow growth of these markets. However I strongly believe that there now exists a new breed of entrepreneurs who are making the music business a serious and viable industry in these regions".

He continued: "The markets in each of these regions are huge, have a large appetite for music consumption, and also the capacity to spend money on music-related entertainment, both live as well as through other mediums. What we need is for the people who have a pulse on these markets to form strong and strategic partnerships with each other, and also with international players, so to collectively develop and explore these markets".

Talawar will take part in the session 'Dubai & India: The Titans of the Middle East and Asia' at Dubai SoundCity this Friday. More information at

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ALBUM REVIEW: I Am Kloot - B Album (Skinny Dog)
Ten years since they first formed, Manchester's most under-appreciated band (now that Elbow have hit the big time) mark their anniversary with this collection of B-sides, rarities and unreleased songs.

Spread over two CDs, these 28 tracks not previously seen fit for a proper release may be an intimidating prospect for anyone other than a die-hard Kloot fan. That said, the quality of what's on offer does, in general, seem more suited to a 'best of' than some collection of cast-offs only desired by Kloot completists.

Keeping mainly on the acoustic side of indie, tracks like 'Junk Culture' and 'Fat Kids In Photographs' are warm and welcoming takes on the little things in life that can mean so much. Things do get darker later on though, with 'This House Is Haunted' a fitting release for Halloween - discordant and vengeful, and showcasing another side of the band.

Admittedly, 28 previously unreleased tracks in one go is a trawl, as it would be with any artist. Especially when the second CD throws in the occasional oddity to test your patience - 'Dogs Howl' does not lie about its content. But one at time, these are great albums, offering you the chance to experience an undeservedly rarely heard side of an undeservedly rarely heard of band. TM

Physical release: 2 Nov
Press contact: Some Friendly [NP, NR] Ian Cheek [CP, RP, CR, RR]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Six more festivals have signed up to the Association of Independent Festivals - SW4, Get Loaded In The Park, Nozstock, Endorse It In Dorset, Standon Calling and Glastonbudget.

Commenting on the new members, AIF co-founder Ben Turner told CMU: "It's been a whirlwind first year together, but I can't envisage a world where the independent sector no longer communicates the way they do now thanks to AIF. In addition, AIF has taken on leading roles in key issues facing the sector, and we have a very exciting initiative to announce before Christmas".

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Despite the massive surge in the sales of all things Michael Jackson, Sony Music saw its operating revenue fall year on year for the quarter to the end of September.

When you account for Sony Corp's now complete ownership of Sony Music (which top line figures don't, so that it initially looks like revenues are significantly up), the major's sales fell 3% year on year, despite the heightened interests in the Jacko back catalogue, a big chunk of which is owned by Sony.

Nevertheless, the Jacko sales boost which, of course, didn't really cost Sony anything, did help the major score a profit for the quarter of £57 million, despite the fall in turnover. The major says other cost cutting endeavours also helped boost profits.

The major blamed the performance of the yen and the continued decline of physical music sales for the revenue slide, saying: "Although revenues were favourably impacted by sales of Michael Jackson catalogue product, sales decreased on a pro-forma basis primarily due to the impact of the appreciation of the yen as well as the continued decline in the physical music market accelerated by the global economic slowdown".

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The BBC has done a deal with the UK music publishers which will enable them to make programmes featuring British-owned contemporary classical music (ie anything still in copyright) available more easily to other European broadcasters (ie without any tricky licensing issues). This includes most of the BBC Proms season.

Welcoming the new arrangement, the Music Publishers Association's Jenny Goodwin told Music Week: "The agreement now in place allows this new music the greatest possible opportunity for widespread success, benefiting the publishers and composers, as well as audiences throughout Europe".

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So Cheryl Cole is topping both the single and albums charts this week. But let's start with the singles countdown shall we? Cole was already top of that chart of course, with the biggest selling single of the year, the rather lacklustre 'Fight For This Love'. This week she managed to outsell new entries from both Westlife and Jay Sean, who were at two and three respectively, with 'What About Now and 'Down'.

Other new entries elsewhere in the singles chart include Miley Cyrus with 'Party In The USA' at 11, Lady Gaga with 'Bad Romance' at 14, Biffy Clyro with 'The Captain' at 17, Duck Sauce with 'Anyway' at 22 and Florence & The Machine with 'You Got The Love' at 37.

In order to top the albums chart Cheryl had to outsell Michael Buble, whose album 'Crazy Love' sticks at number two, as well as new entries from Michael Jackson, ie the 'This Is It' soundtrack at 3, that trio of Soldiers with their charity album 'Coming Home' at 4, and Katherine Jenkins, who goes straight in at 6 with 'Believe'.

Other new entries on the albums chart include Daniel O'Donnell with 'Peace In The Valley' at 8, Harry Connick Jr with 'Your Songs' at 28, Ultrabeat with 'The Weekend Has Landed' at 29 and Wolfmother with 'Cosmic Egg' at 35.

The chart is complied on a very complicated Excel spreadsheet by the Official Charts Company.

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Jay-Z has dismissed rumours he is planning a collaboration with Noel Gallagher. Having recently joked that if Snoop Dogg was to work with Noel (which was suggested) he should collaborate with Liam G, there were then rumours that Jay was in fact considering joining up with the Noelster, even though it was he who criticised Glastonbury for booking Jay as a headliner back in 2008.

Anyway, Jay has clarified the rumours, explaining that what he actually said was that he wouldn't be adverse to working with Noel, but adding that he has no current plans to do so. Jay: "It was an offhand comment, someone asked me if I would work with him. I don't have any problem, so I said anything is possible. It's not like we had any talks of doing it, it's like someone asked me would you work with him, I said 'Yeah, I don't have any problem with it'".

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Will Young has said he almost gave up music after the release of his second album, adding that he suffered a crisis of confidence that made him almost a recluse.

Despite second album 'Friday's Child' being both commercially and critically well received, Young says he really struggled as work began on album number three. Young: "I was unhappy and I almost stopped. I hadn't got a grip on it - so much had changed and the business had taken over from the pleasure of singing and creating. I was a recluse".

He continues: "I was terrified - everywhere I went I got recognised. I controlled everything in my life and stayed at home. I was obsessed with work. Work was great but I wasn't enjoying it so when I was winning Brits or selling out tours I never really enjoyed it that much".

The good news is that after album three was released he took some time off, got some therapy style help, and is now happier than ever. He concludes: "I had a break and had therapy. I still have therapy. I'd advocate therapy to anyone. I feel fantastic now and enjoy everything I do. Looking back on things, it was all so quick and busy and I couldn't enjoy it, but now I can. I never have a bad day's work. I love my job".

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Now, generally we don't report on 'X-Factor' nonsense until the very final stages - complaints about Dannii Minogue's (not really) homophobia aside, obviously - because doing so would necessitate someone in this here operation watching the programme, which is beyond the call of duty even for Team CMU. Just tolerating all the 'X-Factor' themed Tweets on a Saturday night tests our patience.

But obviously the big 'X-Factor' story this year is the ongoing success of John and Edward Grimes, the useless twosome with strange hair who the great viewing public are keeping on the show mainly because doing so pisses off Simon Cowell so much.

Or possibly because they like watching Louis Walsh - the duo's mentor on the show - having to find nice things to say about the boys after each terrible performance they provide. Or possibly because they like watching Dannii and Cheryl Cole saying "I really respect you for tolerating all the horrible things the media are saying about you" before saying horrible things about them. OK, so I watched three minutes of one edition of the show.

Anyway, Cowell has been talking to reporters about what might happen if the voting public's cruel joke actually results in the Grimes brothers winning the show, and getting that record contract with his label. He told reporters this week: "If they win, it will be a complete and utter disaster. I'd probably sulk for about six months [and] get on a very fast plane out of the country. I don't dislike them as people. I just don't think they are the act we were looking for".

As funny as all that would be, 'X-Factor' experts tell me that another competitor - Danyl Johnson - is actually favourite to win.

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