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Job ads
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Top Stories
Virgin to track file-sharing
Morrissey talks death on Desert Island Discs
Read's records under the hammer
In The Pop Courts
Online rap video used to threaten eyewitnesses to murder
More on the latest Death Row lawsuit
Four Aces founder dies
Charts, Stats & Polls
Downloads most important development in three decades of music
Gigs N Tours News
Celeb audience for Gately tribute concert in London
Dillinger Escape Plan to play one-off UK show
Rolo Tomassi tour dates
Nancy Elizabeth tour dates
Single review: Alice In Chains - Your Decision (EMI/Parlophone)
The Media Business
Radio needs to regroup to fight new on-demand streaming competitors
New weekly freesheet for London
INM shareholders back Indy saving restructure
Telegraph to invest fifty million in digital
Another community radio station might close
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Robbie Williams not engaged
Westlife boy regrets 2004 Sinatra album
Grohl disses Twitter
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CMU Credits + Contacts

Yes, it's yet another collection of tracks released since January this year. Who'd have thought there'd been so many? Of course, there are lots more, which is why we've been collecting a few of them together each week to help you choose your favourite song of 2009. You can watch all these videos and our previous two playlists of tracks here, and don't forget to vote in our Track Of The Year 2009 poll, here.
01: Wild Beasts - Hooting & Howling
So, here's a band who divide opinion. You either love them, or your hate them. There is no middle ground. You can't sit on the fence when faced with a man who sings like that. You know, like Mika (I'm sure the band will not thank me for making that comparison).

02: JLS - Beat Again
I suspect that the members of JLS have completely misunderstood what their doctor has told them. If your heart isn't beating, you don't go around singing about it - just ask Pete Doherty. But, whatever, this track got the group their first number one this year.

03: Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
Another former number one single now, and this one's even more nonsensical. But people like that, right? I'm saying nothing negative about it. If I remember correctly, it was Perez Hilton's dislike of this track which led to him getting punched in the head.

04: Mastodon - Oblivion
Mastodon's latest album, 'Crack The Skye', may not have been as full-on as earlier efforts, but it still lacked none of the bite and smart riffage that has brought them to the forefront of the metal world.

05: Mew - Repeaterbeater
God, I love Mew. Here they are showcasing their talents in a video in which the song only starts playing halfway through. Their fifth album, 'No More Stories', is packed full of great songs, of which this (when they get around to playing it) is but one.

06: Bat For Lashes - Daniel
Bat For Lashes certainly made her mark on 2009 with this song, you can't have failed to hear it. Imbibed with an eighties atmosphere, it's unashamedly pop without selling itself out. Certainly a contender for track of the year, I'd say.

07: Major Lazer - Hold The Line
Major Lazer's seen and done a lot in his life, including losing one of his arms in a secret zombie war in 1984. This year, with the help of Diplo and Switch, he turned his hand (yeah, that's a pun) to music. And, you know what, he's pretty darn good at it.

08: Converge - Axe To Fall
A new Converge album is something to get excited about, something this, the title track from their latest offering, proves with ease. Yeah, you can make heavy music if you like, but Converge are just going to come along and make you look silly eventually.

09: Lady Gaga - Poker Face
It is entirely possible that this is the track that 2009 will be most remembered for. I've tried to resist, but we can't not include it on one of these playlists. So, here it is. It'll now be stuck in my head for the rest of the week. I hope you're happy.

10: Chase & Status - Against All Odds
No offence to Chase & Status, but I'm sure even they wouldn't have imagined that by the end of 2009 they'd be sampled by Snoop Dogg, remixed Jay-Z and produced tracks for Rihanna. It has indeed been their year.

So, head over to to check out these tracks from 2009, and then have a think about what your favourite song from the last twelve months has been. Once you've made your decision, click here to go and vote. Simple.

With a skip in our step, we can announce that Finnish ambient pop types Husky Rescue will be releasing their third album, 'Ship Of Light', on 30 Jan. The first single from it, 'We Shall Burn Bright', will be released on 7 Dec, but look, you can get it right now as a free download, simply by plugging your email address into their website. I suggest you do, as the song is a real treat. Building slowly over five minutes to the closest Husky Rescue get to rocking out, it's packed full of ideas and smart little twists and turns you won't see coming.


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Virgin Media, one of the few internet service providers to respond in anything nearing a positive way to the music industry and government's proposals to suspend the net connections of persistent file-sharers, has announced a project to measure the amount of file-sharing that occurs across its network, and what portion of that file-sharing involves unlicensed content.

There have, of course, been numerous bits of research over the years testing the levels of illegal file-sharing that goes on, much of it commissioned by the music and movie industries. How accurate said research has been is anyone's guess. Virgin Media seem pretty confident that their methods for tracking file-sharing, which uses technology created by UK-based tech firm Detica, will be more reliable than most.

The aim of this tracking programme isn't to identify the individuals who file-share - the sources of illegally file-shared content will not be recorded - but rather to assess the extent of illegal file-sharing, so to track whether any future endeavours to cut illegal content sharing, whether they be the launch of Virgin's planned new download service, or the three-strikes style measures being proposed by government, have any real impact.

It's not clear what kind of file-sharing Detica's system will measure, ie whether it will focus on P2P-client-based file-sharing networks and bit-torrent streams, or whether it will somehow include the sharing of content via email and the likes. We do know the tracking will not cover the whole of Virgin's ISP network, but just an undefined portion.

Commenting on the tracking programme, Detica director Andy Frost told reporters: "We hope the launch of Detica CView [the technology Virgin will use] will pave the way for stronger collaboration between ISPs and the media industry, by enabling all parties to more accurately measure the success of shared initiatives, reduce digital piracy and provide an unparalleled level of accuracy".

Virgin Media's Jon James added: "Understanding how consumer behaviour is changing will be an important requirement of Virgin Media's upcoming music offering and, should they become law, the government's legislative proposals will also require measurement of the level of copyright infringement on ISPs' networks. [Detica's CView technology] offers a non-intrusive solution which enhances our understanding of aggregate customer behaviour without identifying or storing individual customers' data".

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So, Morrissey appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Desert Island Discs' yesterday and talked about death a lot, at one point telling presenter Kirsty Young that he thought suicide was "honourable".

Early in the show he raised the subject of mortality, saying: "I'm fascinated by the brevity of life and how people use their time, because we all know the actual fall. It's as inevitable as you and I sitting here now, that the Tuesday will arrive when you, Kirsty, are not here. So we all know this fact, and with that in the forefront of our mind in everything we do, I find it fascinating how people spend their time".

Later, Young asked: "Have you thought about being in control of your death? Have you thought about shuffling off this mortal coil at a time of your choosing?"

Morrissey replied: "Yes I have. Yes I have, and I think self-destruction is honourable. I always thought was. It's an act of great control and I understand people who do it".

When asked to choose a luxury item to take with him to the fictional island, he said: "I would either take a bed, because I like to go to bed. Or, I would take a bag of sleeping pills, because I might want to make a quick exit".

And what songs would soundtrack the former Smiths frontman's nap and/or suicide? These are them:

New York Dolls - (There's Gonna Be A) Showdown
Marianne Faithfull - Come And Stay With Me
The Ramones - Loudmouth
The Velvet Underground - The Black Angel's Death Song
Klaus Nomi - Der Nussbaum
Nico - I'm Not Saying
Iggy & The Stooges - Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
Mott The Hoople - Sea Diver

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The vinyl and music memorabilia collection of one-time Radio 1 DJ Mike Read will go up for auction later today as the radio man seeks to raise funds to pay the tax man after going bankrupt earlier this year.

The collection, which was on show at the Chiswick Auction House in West London yesterday, includes some 120,000 vinyl records, including master discs of The Jam's 'Going Underground' and The Clash's 'London Calling', over 100 Motown demos and several records signed by the artists, including ones from Paul McCartney, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard. The collection has been valued at around a million, and is offered as a whole or in parts.

Meanwhile, Read is busying himself promoting not the sale of his old records, but the sale of his new one, a charity single he has co-penned and recorded with fellow former DJs David Hamilton and Ed Stewart. 'My Christmas Card To You' is being released in aid of charity rather than Read's creditors, with all monies going to The Shooting Star Children's Hospice.

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Two aspiring rappers from West London have been jailed for releasing a song on the internet designed to scare off witnesses to a murder from coming forward with evidence.

Ishmael McLean and Rowan Simon were found guilty of perverting the course of justice last week for posting a rap and video on YouTube relating to the murder last year of one Jason Johnson. Prosecutors claimed the message of the rap video was that anyone who spoke to police about the murder could be shot. McLean got four years for his role in creating the rap, while Simon was jailed for 30 months.

Oliver Glasgow, speaking for the prosecution, told the court McLean and Simon were among eight people arrested in connection to Johnson's death. They were not prosecuted, but after apparently hearing that an unknown eyewitness had spoken to the police, they posted the rap online, and promoted it via MySpace and Facebook.

Glasgow said: "[The rap's] connection to this case and its chilling message were immediately obvious to the officers. The video had but one purpose - to threaten any witness to this incident to frighten them to such an extent that they would refuse to co-operate with the police. They made it clear exactly what it was they wanted to do to them. Namely, kill them or to use their own words, 'I can't wait for the snitch to drop, I still show up at his wake just to see him off'".

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More on the latest Death Row Records lawsuit now. As previously reported, just because founder Suge Knight is no longer involved in the seminal hip hop label hasn't stopped the controversies.

Lara Lavi, who led the second acquisition of the label after its 2006 bankruptcy (the first acquisition having fallen through) is suing her financial partners in the takeover claiming they diverted company assets without her knowledge and were guilty of other "fraudulent, self-dealing actions".

Well, it seems Lavi's backers, New Solutions, tried to fire her as CEO of Death Row earlier this month, which possibly resulted in the court action being launched in the first place. Lavi seemingly questions New Solutions' power to dismiss her.

A judge held a prelim hearing on the case last week, and issued a temporary restraining order against New Solutions, I think stopping them from making an deals on behalf of Death Row ahead of a proper court hearing later this week. Lavi was asked to file a $2 million "undertaking" ahead of the hearing for reasons I'm not entirely sure of.

Lavi has told Billboard she's not now allowed to comment on the case. Presumably we'll learn more about what's been going on once the court hearing begins on Thursday.

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Al Alberts, founder member of The Four Aces, has died aged 87.

Alberts formed The Four Aces after meeting bandmate Dave Mahoney while serving in the US Navy. They scored a number of hits in the early fifties, most notably with 'Three Coins In The Fountain' and 'Love Is A Many Splendored Thing', both of which were from Hollywood movies and won Best Song Oscars as well as enjoying chart success.

He left the band after just six years, initially in a bid to launch a solo career. The Four Aces continued with a new frontman, and eventually totally new line up, and continue to perform to this day. Having had only minor success as a solo act, Alberts later reformed with the original Four Aces line up, performing as The Original Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts after the newer Four Aces line up won the rights to the band's name.

In actual fact, Alberts had a longer career in television than music, hosting a popular US talent show that helped launch the careers of Andrea McArdle, Sister Sledge and Teddy Pendergrass.

The reformed Four Aces retired in the late eighties, and Albert ended his TV work in the mid-nineties. He died on Friday, seemingly after suffering from kidney failure.

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Music Choice who, it seems, still exist, are doing a survey. It is sort of the greatest hits of surveys, asking you all the questions that every other music-related survey has ever asked. Filling it out requires choosing between "my download collection", "playing CDs on my PC" and "using streaming services" as to how you might listen to music on your computer (obviously no one does all three) and picking the best film theme tune of all time from the eight choices provided, which includes 'Titanic'.

Anyway, one more interesting question asks users to name the most important event in music in the last 30 years. There's a slightly weird mix to choose from (from Take That reforming to the launch of the iPod) but respondents can also suggest their own important events. Though currently leading the poll is one Music Choice do suggest - the launch of downloadable music - which if you extend to mean the internet in general, probably is the most important event in music in the last three decades. Here, according to, is the current top ten in relation to that question:

1. Launch of downloadable music (19%) - most important innovation
2. Live Aid (18%) - most important event
3. Launch of the iPod (17%)
4. Death of Michael Jackson (13%) - most important death
5. Death of John Lennon (9%)
6. Launch of music videos and music video TV channels (8%)
7. Nelson Mandela Concert (6%)
8. Death of Kurt Kobain (5%)
9. Launch talent shows such as Pop Idol and X Factor (3%)
10. Spice Girls splitting up (2%)

You can take part in the whole silly survey at this URL:

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A special concert was held in memory of the late Stephen Gately this weekend, at the West End's Palace Theatre. Gately's Boyzone bandmates performed, as did Shayne Ward, Liz McClarnon and Beverley Knight, while a number of other celebrities stood up to pay tribute to the late boy band star who, of course, died while in Majorca last month.

The event was organised by Gately's civil partner Andrew Cowles and saw a celeb-filled theatre celebrate the life of the singer.

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Ahead of the release of their much-anticipated fourth album, 'Option Paralysis', on 22 Mar, The Dillinger Escape Plan have announced that they will play a one-off UK show in London's Barfly venue on 12 Feb. Be there.

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CMU favourites Rolo Tomassi have announced that they will play five low-key shows in January. The gigs will be the first opportunity to hear some of the material from their second album, which they've just recorded with Diplo.

Tour dates:

17 Jan: Nottingham, The Chameleon
18 Jan: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
19 Jan: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
20 Jan: Birmingham, The Flapper
27 Jan: London, Barfly

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The acclaimed Nancy Elizabeth will be back on tour again next month and on into the new year, in support of her recently released second album, 'Wrought Iron'.

Tour dates:

5 Dec: A Weekend In The Country
12 Dec: Manchester, St Margaret's Church
11 Jan: Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
21 Jan: Sheffield, The Lantern Theatre
1 Feb: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
3 Feb: Brighton, The Prince Albert
5 Feb: London, Whitechapel Gallery
6 Feb: Bracknell, South Hill Park Recital Room

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SINGLE REVIEW: Alice In Chains - Your Decision (EMI/Parlophone)
There's nothing I love more than a man with faux-angst issues, a penchant for shiny leather jackets and a voice that was just made to be the soundtrack for Western youth circa 1999. Oh wait, I take that back - that's actually everything I find repulsive in a member of the opposite sex. And William DuVall is sadly no stranger to any of these qualities. But God love the man for trying.

It's a shame that Alice In Chains' new offering is so drenched in fist-clenching cheese that it actually has the power to make ears bleed, not to mention the fact that the once respectable pain-prog outfit sound like Radio 2 darlings; but that's the conundrum, isn't it? It's fucking Alice In Chains. 'Your Decision' may be a bit crap, but then again, they might just get away with it. TW

Release Date: 16 Nov
Press Contact: EMI IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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While the record industry held off licensing uber-user-friendly on-demand music services like Spotify for years, fearing the impact they might have on record sales (both traditional CD sales and the emerging a-la-carte download market led by iTunes), a number of commentators have remarked that the phenomenal rise of properly on-demand and fully playlistable streaming music services in 2009 is actually a much bigger threat to the already struggling radio industry.

I was reminded of this on Saturday as I quickly switched off 6Music as Liz Kershaw came on after Adam & Joe. Even though I quite rate the playlist of the BBC digital station, without Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish's humorous banterings, frankly, what's the point? If all a DJ is going to do is introduce the records and read out dedications, I'd rather play my own playlist on Spotify or similar.

Anyway, I'm pondering this today because new research from law firm Olswang has confirmed that young consumers are shunning traditional radio stations in favour of Pandora and Spotify style services, or, simply, their own MP3 collections which are, of course, much easier to playlist than a CD collection.

According to the law firm's survey, 61% of thirteen to seventeen year olds access online streaming services, compared to 38% of those over seventeen. Just under half of the kids would listen to their own playlisted music collection on a long car journey, while just over a quarter would listen to the radio.

One of the report's authors, John Enser, comments: "Across all media, convergence is primarily about people taking control over what content they consume and when. That doesn't sit well with traditional radio, where the broadcaster sets the agenda. Today's kids are reacting to that".

He continues: "Traditional broadcasters must look to turn themselves into trusted guides to music in the new world. When users are faced with the choice of what to listen to from a catalogue of millions of tracks, broadcasters can hold onto a taste-making role. We are already seeing radio stations, music magazines and other taste-makers offering their own playlists for others to access. However, at the moment, none of these people are making any money out of this - which will be the challenge for the future".

Of course the commercial radio sector has been even slower than the music industry to respond to the internet, perhaps because the consequences of the net on their low-cost high-profit 1990s business model were not so immediate. The problem facing the sector, though, is that most commercial stations have fired anyone with taste-making musical knowledge, or interesting things to say, and replaced them with bargain basement button pressers.

But to succeed that low-cost model relied on all commercial radio players doing the same - which they did - and a highly-regulated FM network, access to which, for new broadcasters, was very limited, blocking newer more sprightly competitors from coming to market. But just like with music, the net changes everything. And now the commercial radio firms are suffering, and are set to suffer even more in the coming years as more and more people seeking "more music" services opt for on-demand web-based music systems, more so if the mobile internet extends and in-car web-radio becomes a reality.

But, as Enser says, there is still an appetite for taste-makers directing people to good new music. And there's also still an appetite for intelligent witty banter. The good news is that some of the commercial radio industry's button pressers have the potential to be both these things. And some commercial stations are still broadcasting engaging new music shows, albeit usually in late night slots. The idiots running the sector really should figure out who those people are, or they'll find it increasingly hard to compete with the Spotifys of this world.

The music industry has a vested interest in all of this, of course. I suspect that record companies and music publishers will find that it's not a-la-carte download sales that are seriously hit by the new generation of on-demand streaming services, but their radio royalty revenues.

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The Guardian is reporting that a new London freesheet is being planned to fill the gap left by the now defunct thelondonpaper and London Lite, though this will be a weekly title. It's thought the new paper, working title The London Weekly, will focus on the less newsy parts of the former daily freesheets - so entertainment, gossip, music and sport, with some light politics.

Not much is known about the exact format of the new title, nor who is involved in its creation, though its publisher is called Global Publishing Group and, according to the media pack they are circulating, they have raised £5.5 million, and plan to launch a website and online TV and radio service alongside the paper. Which all sounds rather ambitious.

Their website is due to go live just before Christmas, with the print product lauched sometime early next year.

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Shareholders in Dublin-based Independent News & Media, which own the The Independent and Independent On Sunday, have voted in favour of a restructuring plan which the company's management say should turn round the struggling newspaper owner's fortunes. The plan includes proposals to issue new shares in the company to raise new funds, as well as selling off one of its South African companies.

The vote is most important because it safeguards, for the time being at least, the future of INM's daily and Sunday UK-based broadsheet. As previously reported, one of INM's key shareholders, Denis O'Brien, has spent much of the year trying to force the company to offload the Indy, which has already slashed its running costs and given up its London HQ to share offices with the Daily Mail.

In the current climate, INM offloading The Indu would almost certainly have led to the broadsheet's closure, the impact of which would have been to further destabilise the British newspaper market, and may be resulting in other closures.

But INM's biggest shareholder, Tony O'Reilly, remains committed to his company's UK paper, and he and his son Gavin, the company's CEO, argue it would be costlier to close it than keep it open. Votes at one shareholder meeting earlier this month, and two EGMs on Thursday last week, mean that the O'Reilly led restructuring plans that safeguard the future of the Indy have now been approved.

The title, therefore, will definitely see it into 2010, which at one point earlier this year many commentators doubted.

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There is much speculation as to what the Telegraph's new digital division has planned, with the news last week that the broadsheet will invest a large sum of money - a reported £50 million - into its new digital venture, which will be housed in new offices in Euston, have its own staff of 50, and will be headed up by Editor In Chief Will Lewis.

Lewis is expected to focus the majority of his time into what is being dubbed the 'Euston Project', with his former deputy Tony Gallagher promoted to the role of Editor on the Telegraph itself. Lewis, who recently spent two months swatting up at the Harvard Business School, has confirmed that not only will his new division oversee all of the Telegraph's existing digital operations - so it's website, podcasts and whatnot - but it will also develop a number of new net and mobile-based products, a bit like Absolute Radio's One Golden Square Labs.

But, the Guardian says, Lewis is being very "coy" about what those new products will be. It is very possible he doesn't yet know.

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Give the unprecedented number of commercial radio stations that have closed in the last two years, I suppose it's not a surprise that the relatively new community radio sector is struggling also.

Following the previously reported announcement that Forest Of Dean Radio, one of the first full-time community radio stations to launch in the UK, will go off-air this week due to funding difficulties, news today that another - 209radio in Cambridge - will also close down at the end of the year unless new funding can be found.

The station's chairman, Clive Woodman, this weekend called on anyone who might be able to help by providing new funding, or by buying advertising, to come forward. Woodman: "We have reached a point now whereby we need stable regular financial support to help with our core costs and continue to provide this incredible and unique service to the residents and community groups of Cambridge. We are calling for anyone who can help financially to come forward now!"

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The scourge of the 'X-Factor' is back, and this year he's hit them harder than ever before. Last year, Peter Kay managed to get a higher chart position than the previous year's 'X-Factor' winner, Leon Jackson, with a spoof single released by the spoof winner of a spoof version of the so-called talent contest. This year, he's knocked The X-Factor Finalists off the number one position after just one week. It's all for charity, though. So that's fine.

Just in case you're not following, Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band have risen seventeen places to take the number one position in this week's singles chart with 'The Official BBC Children In Need Medley', pushing The X Factor Finalists' cover of Michael Jackson's 'You Are Not Alone', which is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, down to number two.

There are two new entries in this week's singles top ten. Firstly Rihanna, who goes in at six with 'Russian Roulette', and secondly Susan Boyle, whose debut single, a cover of 'Wild Horses' by The Rolling Stones, is in at eight. Further down, Mariah Carey's stupefying awful cover of 'I Want To Know What Love Is' is new at nineteen, 'Telephone', a random track from Lady Gaga's re-released and expanded debut album, is in at 30, Chipmunk is new at 36 with 'Look For Me', while that Susan Boyle manages a second new entry at 37, with her album's title track, 'I Dreamed A Dream'.

Hey, and you'll never guess what, I'm about to type 'Susan' and 'Boyle' again, because Susan Boyle's debut album has gone straight in at number one in the album chart, having sold 410,000 copies and broken all sorts of records. 'I Dreamed A Dream' is now the fastest-selling album of the year so far, has the biggest first week sales for a debut album in chart history and also the fourth biggest first week sales for any artist album, behind Oasis' 'Be Here Now', 'X&Y' by Coldplay, and Take That's 'The Circus'.

In fact, it's so significant an achievement that we broke into Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot's house in the middle of the night and forced him to comment on it. Some would say we could have asked him earlier in the day, given Boyle's record breaking achievements were clear by yesterday lunchtime, or we could have just taken a generic comment out of a press release, but we play by our own rules. Anyway, Talbot whimpered quietly to us: "Susan Boyle's achievement is quite phenomenal. After all of the excitement surrounding her appearance on 'Britain's Got Talent', everyone expected her to make a big impact when she released her first music - but to arrive with such a bang is exceptional".

Moving on, Rihanna's new album, which would normally be expected to chart at least in the top ten, ends up at sixteen in an embarrassing cluster of new entries, completed by Chris Moyles' 'The Parody Album' at seventeen and 'Harmony' by The Priests at eighteen. Also new, and whipped down the chart by Boyle is Mariah Carey, who only makes it to 23 with 'Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. Still, she's already made enough money selling advertising on the artwork for that to not be a worry.

There are yet more new entries huddling down at the bottom of the chart, with Janet Jackson's new best of compilation reaching 28, and UB40's compilation of the best tracks from their three 'Labour Of Love' covers albums at 30, followed by The Fron Male Voice Choir's 'Voices From The Valley: Memory Lane' at 31, and 'The Very Best Of Enya' at 32. Bringing up the rear is Britney Spears with 'The Singles Collection' at 38.

And that, for another week, is that.

The charts are sacred and may only be looked at directly by The Official Charts Company

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OK, in case you've been following this story, the latest news is that Robbie Williams is NOT engaged. In case you've not been following this story, there had been wide speculation that the Robster had proposed to longterm girlfriend Ayda Field. We're not just randomly reporting on Williams' not being engaged. Making a commitment to such reporting on even a weekly basis is probably a bit ambitious. Especially if it was to be applied to all unmarried popstars.

Anyway, gossipers thought Williams and Field were engaged after the pop star said they were on an Australian radio station, and even more so when his mother told 5Live the couple were indeed planning to wed. But it all turned out to be one of those crazeeeeeeeeeeeeee jokes. Unless, of course, Robbie claiming that the engagement talk was a crazy joke was, in fact, a crazy joke. With crazy jokes it can be hard to tell. Even for us. And as regularly readers of the CMU Weekly will know, we're the experts when it comes to crazy Robbie Williams jokes.

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Westlife's Mark Feehily says he regrets the band's 2004 albums of Rat Pack covers. He's told reporters that the boy band was in a state of disarray after the departure of Brian McFadden that year, and that when their label suggested the Sinatra-aping album 'Allow Us To Be Frank' they didn't think it through properly.

Feehily: "Let's forget that [album], actually. That was a weird time in our career. I'm not making excuses for it, but Brian McFadden had just left. We kind of didn't know what to do".

Commenting on his band's new album 'Where We Are', which is out today, he continued: "Our new album, 'Where We Are', is genuinely a move in a certain direction. I mean it's definitely not the predictable same old thing, covers or whatever".

So that's nice. You know, when it comes to Westlife I like to forget 1999's 'Westlife', 2000's 'Coast To Coast', 2001's 'World Of Our Own', 2003's Turnaround', 2005's 'Face To Face', 2007's 'Back Home', as well as 2004's 'Allow Us To Be Frank' and 2006's 'The Love Album'. Give it a week and I'll probably be ready to add 'Where We Are' to that list. But those weaker albums aside, I'm a big fan.

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It's not entirely clear, but I have a feeling Dave Grohl doesn't like Twitter. Here's what he had to say about the social networking site: "Fuck Twitter! That's the biggest waste of time. If people got their head out of their ass, they might fucking get out and accomplish something".

Perhaps he's just upset that since Courtney Love closed down her Twitter feed he can't keep track of what she's accusing him of this week.

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