CMU Daily - on the inside 4 Nov 2002
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• Jam Master Jay: investigations continue,
• Beckhams step up security after kidnap threat,
• Macca makes a mint on us tour,
• Review: Various – The Remix,
• Stern buys remake rights to cult movies,
• Blondie sued over unpaid royalties,
• Download Wars 1: online music sales down,
• Download Wars 2: Madster forced to clamp down,
• Download Wars 3: Napster gets loan to enable sale,
• 3D appeals to fellow musicians for anti-war support,
• Review: Victor Davies – Remixes,
• American Idol lose judge,
• A1 on hold,
• Popstars judge hits back at Robbie


Which 1973 album continues to sell half a million copies every year in the US?
Answer tomorrow



Singles: Alexia - Ring (Virgin/Messy); British Sea Power - Child Hood Memories (Rough Trade); Fischerspooner - The 15th (Ministry/FS Studios); Queen Adreena - Fm Doll (Rough Trade)

Albums: The Red Egyptians - The Red Egyptians (Red Egyptian); The Black Neon – Your Sex Life (Memphis Industries); U2 – Best of 1990 – 2000 (Universal/Island); Groove Armada – Lovebox (Jive); Justin Timberlake – Justified (Jive); Badly Drawn Boy – Have You Fed The Fish (Beggars XL); Shaggy – Lucky Day( Universal/Mercury); Bjork – Greatest Hits (One Little Indian); Kelly Osbourne – Shut Up (Sony/Epic); Ian Brown – Remixes of The Sphere (Universal / Polydor); Stone Roses – Best of (Silvertone); Jeff Buckley – The Grace Eps (Sony/Columbia)


The big chart news this week seems to be that DJ Sammy has beaten Madonna’s Bond theme to take the number one spot in the singles chart with ‘Heaven’. Nelly and Kelly’s ‘Dilemma’ falls to number two and Madonna’s mediocre Bond theme ‘Die Another Day’ enters at three. Shaggy (Hey Sexy Lady), Romeo (It's All Gravy) and Craig David (What's Your Flava) all have new entries in the top ten. The only really welcome new entry this week comes from McAlmont and Butler with ‘Bring It Back’ in at 38 (unless you’re a fan of the Wycelf produced new Tom Jones material – ‘Tom Jones International’ goes in at 31).

Album wise it was a very competitive week with a number of big releases hitting the stores. The midweek predictions were right with David Gray at the top with ‘A New Day At Midnight’, beating Gareth Gates who goes in at two with ‘What My Heart Wants To Say’. Nirvana’s greatest hits go in at three, The Manics greatest hits at four and last week’s number one, the Foo Fighters’ ‘One By One’ dropping to five.

With all the excitement at the top of the album chart what happens elsewhere in the Top 40 seems a little dull, with new entries for a Stevie Wonder best of at 16, the new Christian Aguilera album ‘Stripped’ at 19, the new Faith Hill album at 29 and the new Alicia Keys album at 39. Most interesting news is that Tori Amos is back in the chart with ‘Scarlet’s Walk’ at 26.


Police in New York are confident they will find the killer of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay. Detective Bernard Porter Jr told reporters: "I am confident that being the person who Jay was and the legacy he left, that the person who has the information will do the right thing and come forward and help us out. If Jay was just a street guy who was in the mix and at the wrong place at the wrong time, it would take longer to solve. We are expecting help from the community. That phone call might come five minutes from now, it might come tomorrow, it might come a few days from now. One thing I feel good about is that it's gonna come because of who Jay was. He was loved and respected. People might come forward with information, they might not be doing it for any personal gain, they'll be doing it for him."

He confirmed police had recovered ballistic evidence from the crime scene but gave no more details about the case. However he did say he gave no credence to tabloid suggestions that Jay’s death was related to a rap rivalry. "It's unfortunate and it's got to be hurtful to his friends in the hip-hop community that some in the media say it 's a rap war, condemning him and his profession. We're not doing that."

Jay’s family have announced they will hold a wake on Monday at the Jay Foster-Phillips Funeral Home in Queens, there will be a public viewing between 7 and 9pm, with a funeral at the Allen A.M.E Cathedral, 110-31 Merrick Blvd tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10am. Any fans wishing to make a donation in Jay’s honour can send cheques to the Mizell Children's Fund, c/o Terri Corley-Mizell, P.O. Box 3497, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.

Rapper 50 Cents, meanwhile, has cancelled a concert due to threats to his life that followed Jay’s fatal shooting. Some reckon a song by 50 Cents, a new signee to Eminem's Shady Records, which was produced by Jam Master Jay, may have been a motive for the recent attack. The New York Daily News has reported that "detectives are investigating whether other rappers felt insulted by a song on 50 Cent's latest record, which was produced by Jam Master Jay”. Police chiefs won’t comment on the rumours, though they confirmed threats to 50 Cents were credible enough to cause concern and that they had offered him protection. However it seems the rapper chose to leave town instead.

50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, is used to controversy. He was shot in 2000 shortly before the release date of ‘Power of the Dollar’ – an incident which persuaded Sony label Columbia not to release the track.


The Beckhams are expected to step up their personal security after it emerged a gang of Romanians and Albanians were conspiring to kidnap Victoria and demand a ransom for her safe return. The plot was unearthed by the News of the World who tipped off police this weekend. The newspaper reported the gang intended to ambush Beckham in front of her North London home and use a chemical spray to sedate her and any companions. They would then have taken her to a location in South London and demanded a multi-million pound ransom.

Five men have now been arrested in connection with the alleged plot all of whom will appear before magistrates today.

In a statement David Beckham’s club Manchester United told reporters: "We are very concerned by these developments because the safety and welfare of our players and their families is of paramount importance to Manchester United. However, we are confident that the security arrangements around the club's players and staff are entirely adequate, although those arrangements are always under constant review."

Beckham told reporters: "We will be reviewing our security arrangements with help from both the police and the security experts at Manchester United."


Paul McCartney has completed his 50-date North American arena tour which grossed a cool $100 million and is likely to be the most profitable tour of 2002. "Nobody goes out on tour to lose money, but the main thing is the audiences are having fun," McCartney has told US industry magazine Billboard. "In some ways, the response has reminded me of the early Beatles tours.” McCartney now embarks on a world tour - he is currently in Mexico, and will move on to Japan later this week. A European tour is expected next year – he may also perform several dates in Australia. Fans are still upset that he has cancelled a scheduled date in Melbourne claiming his excuse of “postponing out of respect for the victims of the Bali bombing” is a cover up for bad ticket sales.


REVIEW: Various – The Remix (Virgin)
We’re biased of course, because we’re such big fans of the Xfm The Remix show which airs every Friday at 9pm. But then again that merely set our expectations that much higher when we grabbed a copy of the second Remix compilation album. But I’m please to report those expectations were met. Basically what you’ve got here is 26 remixes that it would take every weekend between now and next Easter flicking through the racks of independent record shops to find, and you’d probably be a few short after all that. There are highs and lows (Fatboy’s remix of Xpress 2’s ‘Lazy’, the Alt Mix of Bowie’s ‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’ and Osymyso’s remix of Marianne Faithfull’s ‘Like Being Born’ my personal highs) but the lows are more plateaus than troughs. This album has been out a couple of weeks already, but if you haven’t got your hands on a copy make it high up your to do list for the next five days.
Release date: 14 Oct
Press contact: Virgin IH [all]


American ‘shock jock’ Howard Stern has partnered with the new independent film company Arclight Films and acquired the rights to remake classic comedies ‘Rock n Roll High School’ and ‘Porky's’. The movies, which will be billed as ‘Howard Stern presents’ will be privately funded – Stern hopes to get major label distribution at a later date. Screenwriters for the remakes are expected to be commissioned in the next month.

"These are two movies that I actually like, and I always thought to myself that they were the kind of movies that you think, 'Oh yeah, I would like to see an updated version of that,'" Stern told reporters. "If I say to an audience, particularly my audience, this is 'Howard Stern Presents,' it means something to them. It means that it's going to be crazy. It means that it's going to be different, and they know I'm not going to be giving them any schlock."


A record producer is suing Blondie, claiming the band and record company Left Bank Records have cheated him out of more than $130,000. Craig Leon, who helped produce 1999's No Exit album, filed a lawsuit last Thursday claiming he is still owed royalties from the album. The band and the label are yet to respond.


A new survey says online sales of CDs and cassettes in the US (via online retailers like Amazon) have fallen by 25% in the first nine months of this year. Needless to say the increasing popularity of CD copying and illegal song-swapping over the internet has been blamed. Research firm ComScore Networks monitored more than 1.5 million web users. It showed online sales of music - in the form of physical singles, albums, CDs and tapes - fell to $545m (£348m) from $730m (£467m) in the same period a year earlier. Sales of legal digital downloads were also included in the survey but accounted for a tiny portion of the total. While sales of music are falling across the board in the US, the survey found online music sales fell three times faster.

"There's no point in buying a physical CD online when you can download one," said Phil Leigh, an analyst with investment company Raymond James and Associates. "The primary message of the CD burner is the consumer doesn't want to be straight jacketed into buying a pre-packaged CD. I think what we're seeing is not only the death of the physical form factor, but the death of the pre-packaged concept."

Of course it could be argued the novelty factor of buying CDs online has declined this year and that too may explain the fall in sales.


The new enemy number one in the download war – Madster (formerly Aimster) – was dealt a blow on Thursday when a US court ordered it to stop facilitating the exchange of copyrighted works by employing filtering systems. Basically it’s the same demand made of Napster back in July 2001 – though some argue new technology means Madster should be able to employ even more sophisticated filters.

"This is another clear-cut victory for copyright owners and everyone who wants to see the legitimate online market grow," Recording Industry Association of America President Cary Sherman told reporters. "The technology to filter copyrighted works exists and should be used. Other unauthorized peer-to-peer networks should take note of this decision."

As well as putting an immediate stop to the exchange of copyrighted songs, Madster must keep the court updated on its progress in establishing a filtering system.


Napster last week won final approval of a $250,000 loan that the company can spend while it finalises a sell off deal worth a rumoured $5 million deal. The deal means the company will not have to liquidate and that existing creditors should see some of their money back, providing a sale can be achieved.


Massive Attack's 3D has claimed that his and Damon Albarn’s anti-war adverts got their petition an extra 18,000 signatures. With this in mind he is now appealing for other musicians to join the campaign. Writing on the Massive Attack website 3-D said: "CND called to say the ads myself and Damon took out in the NME were responsible for over 18,000 extra signatures on the petition against the war on Iraq." Hitting out at those who have criticised his campaign he said: "Any stubborn lifeless lazy or cowardly people who have visited this messageboard with dumbstruck negativity - indeed to the silent majority of my peers in music - I hope you can reconsider your position and use the little power you have now, not at a safe distance later. Do not wait until your only option is to support the Red Cross after the massacre." 3D has told the NME more anti-wars ads are likely to follow.


REVIEW: Victor Davies – Remixes (Compost)
Victor Davies has invited some of the most talented heads in the dance electronic scene to ‘translate’ tracks from his deep-in-soul debut, ‘Victor Davies’ album. With remixes from Hospital Record’s founders, London Elektricity; Grand Central head man and half of Rae & Christian, Mark Rae; Palm Pictures’ future pioneers, Da Lata; West London leaders Bugz In The Attic, and none other than Masters at Work. It comes as no surprise then, that ‘Remixes’ is an amazing journey through tempos and rhythms – 100 to 130, 4/4 to broken. Davies sweet soul serenades get the production tag-team-style make over, with dense, deep and textured remixes of ‘Lady Luck’ and everyone’s favourite, ‘Runaway Train’. The album really showcases Davies’ song/singing talent against backdrops from the scene leaders – a perfect meeting of voice and machine, acoustic and electronic. This is future soul at its absolute finest – utterly sublime. JG
Release date: 18 Nov
Press contact: Zzonked [all]


DJ and hip-hop artist Angie Martinez has quit her post as judge on the second series of American Idol just two episodes in to the new series. Apparently she couldn’t face telling wannabes how rubbish they were! “Being asked to join 'American Idol' as their newest panelist was an honor," she said in a statement. "However, after judging the first few auditions, I've decided to leave the show because it became too uncomfortable for me to tell someone else to give up on their dream, especially when I realized that many of them have supported my career.”

Martinez will appear on the first two episodes of the show as a special guest judge, but then the decisions will be down to the original three judges – Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.


Boy band A1, who went from four to three when member Paul Marazzi quit last month, have announced they will be taking time off to work on solo projects. Word is Mark is writing songs with Rob Davis, Christian is working with a new Norwegian artist and Ben is working on a solo album. The band are adamant this is not the end of the band, though given that they have also just parted company with record label Columbia their gigs on the forthcoming Smash Hits tour could be there last. A1 were, of course, the boy band who won some critical praise when they penned their own songs and played their own instruments on their most recent album.


Popstars The Rivals judge Louis Walsh has hit back at Robbie Williams, who last week slated the Pop Idol / Popstars type programmes saying they were "cruel television fucking with people's lives for entertainment". Calling Robbie a "jumped-up karaoke singer" who wouldn't make it on to the show, Louis told The Sun that if George Michael had attacked Popstars, then he would have listened, but he had no respect for Williams’ opinions. "How can he say the programmes are bad? He is a jumped-up karaoke singer. He did that album Swing When You're Winning and Frank Sinatra fans wanted to murder him. When he was in Take That he wasn't very good. He was simply the one with no clothes on - the silly one, not the talent." A fair response perhaps, but let’s not forget Walsh is the man behind Westlife.


Answer to Friday's pop quiz:
Tattoos of pop's finest - what have each the following had tattooed on their bodies? Bjork, Janet Jackon and Nsync.
Bjork has an Icelandic compass on her arm, Jackson a tattoo of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and all of Nsync have a tattoo of the group’s ‘flame design’. So there you go.

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