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CMU Info
Top Stories
All-new Spotify is better connected
DJ Premier discusses final meeting with Guru
In The Pop Courts
Akon sues over perfume
Pop Politics
KT Tunstall condemns BNP stepfather
Billy Bragg v the BNP
Awards & Contests
Stereophonics launch stadium support competition
Reunions & Splits
Idlewild plan hiatus
In The Studio
New Kills album almost complete
Release News
Nine Inch Nails to release final show film
Ólafur Arnalds announces new album
Books News
John Otway announces new book
Soulja Boy to write about all his money
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Foals - This Orient (Warner)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
More conference events for IMS
The Media Business
Galaxy network PD steps down
Adam Crozier arrives at ITV
OfCom let Burley off for making Pandre cry
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Lily not bothered about BRIT

Formed by songwriter Oly Ralfe and drummer Andrew Mitchell, The Ralfe Band are known for their infectious folk-influenced songs, surrealist lyrics and classical and gypsy instruments, and draw influence from a range of artists from Bach to Little Richard. The band released their debut album 'Swords' in 2005 on Skint Records, followed by their second, 'Attic Thieves', in 2008 via Loose Music and Talitres Records. Their latest release is the soundtrack to the debut feature film from Mighty Boosh director Paul King, 'Bunny & The Bull', which is out now. We caught up with Olly Ralfe ahead of the band's gig at The Borderline in London on 28 Apr.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing the piano when I was seven and the guitar when I was fifteen, after I saved up for an acoustic guitar with money I earned working on a farm. At home I had an upright piano that got more honky tonk as the years went by, and I remember the first thing I tried to write on it was a strange little four note melody. I've always enjoyed the hypnotic effect of playing the piano and that's led to writing music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
The latest album is the soundtrack to 'Bunny And The Bull' and it was obviously inspired by the film. The film is mix of the imaginative, eclectic, strange, sad and funny a bit like my music, so it was a good marriage. A white wedding, even. I'd always wanted to create film music and there was something there inside me ready to explode given the chance.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I play around with notes on the piano or guitar and nudge it in an intriguing direction, and then bolt on new sections. Occasionally, I just play something once and that's the whole piece written and it's all a bit of a mystery. Often the first random act or mistake is my most original thing and you have to preserve it.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
All sorts, from a life of listening to a mish mash of different things. Anything from JS Bach to Little Richard, and preferably those two at the same time.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd say: beware the rampant waltzing beast inside that will be released after your second listen.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I hope this soundtrack invades new ears and minds in a special uplifting way. I'm hoping to get on with a new soundtrack this year, working with image and sound, and I'm also recording a new album of songs.

MORE>> www.ralfeband.com

With a career in ballet prematurely ended by a back injury, Nanna Øland Fabricius turned to music whilst in recovery, more as a way to document what was happening to her at the time than a conscious change of career. The daughter of an opera singer and a classical composer, and as a dancer, she'd always been surrounded by music, and combining those early influences with a love of Björk, Radiohead and a whole range of other artists from folk, to pop, to post-rock, to metal, she came up with a sound which earned her a record deal within a month of putting three songs up on MySpace back in 2006.

Calling herself Oh Land, Frabricius released her debut album, 'Fauna', in 2008. Its twelve piano-led songs definitely contain echoes of Björk's influence in much of the music, and also show off an incredibly versatile voice. If you should find yourself on her MySpace page, the songs 'Heavy Eyes' and 'Frostbite' ought to have you hooked. They'll also prepare you for the next album, which is currently being recorded with Shakira producer Lester Mendez.


Anorak London, the UK's leading PR company specialising in TV, press, radio and online promotion, are looking to appoint a Senior National TV Plugger with a view to head the department in 2011. The successful applicant will be driven, passionate about music, and have a wealth of TV contacts. You must have at least 3 years experience at national TV promotion. Please send CV along with covering letter to Emily@anoraklondon.com. Closing date 23 May 2010.
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A Star PR is a dynamic creative arts company, at the forefront of innovations within the music and entertainment industry. The exceptional quality of our past PR, marketing and creative campaigns speak for themselves, with coverage in major print, online, digital and broadcast media outlets. From broadsheets to tabloids; social networks to mobile platforms - A Star PR have it covered.

Our team is comprised of passionate creatives, with unrivalled knowledge and expertise in their particular fields. Be it print press, digital, mobile or marketing consultancy, we are able to offer effective bespoke campaigns to all of our clients. If you are interested in an effective affordable campaign please contact ian.roberts@astarpr.com or ben.allen@astarpr.com or call 020 7836 1122 and quote CMU ad.

Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
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Corrie's Peacocks on their way out
Doctor fans complain about trailer
Alan Sillitoe dies aged 82
6music hand over shows to c'lebs
Bearded man launches indie-focused podcast
Rolling Stone relaunches website, puts up pay-wall
Music festival line-up update - 26 Apr 2010
Festival Republic again warn of dodgy ticket sellers
Kendal Calling looking for arty types

So, you know how whenever the world gets uber-excited about something, the "let's be cynical about it" machine turns itself on here at CMU HQ?

So, there's a new giraffe in town, the CMU cynic machine says "that giraffe's just exploiting his long neck to get in the papers". Boris declares that cyan is the official colour of the London Olympics, so we say "but surely Magenta is cooler". We hear the kids are all downing Haliborange on a weekend, so we ask "whatever happened to Sunny Delight? Hmm, good times".

But this morning the world is getting excited about the all new Spotify, and we're pretty damn excited about it too. If you're still reading this report after all that nonsense in the second paragraph, I'm assuming you're pretty interested also.

So, yes, this morning Spotify rolled out a new version of its player, to those using both the free and premium versions of the popular streaming music service. There's a load of new functionality in the new incarnation of the Spotify platform, though there are three key new services: social networking, library management and wireless syncing.

The social networking bit will let users have a Spotify profile, which will be accessible via the streaming music platform itself, and also via the world wide web. Users will be able to link to friends via Spotify, in much the same way as any social networking platform, and then share music recommendations and playlists with those friends. A hook up with Facebook will also mean friends and recommendations can be shared between a user's Spotify profile and their account on the market leading social networking flim flam.

The library management bit is less expansive than all the new social networking stuff, but is possibly more exciting, and more important. Basically users will be able to play music stored locally on their computer via their Spotify player; meaning you will be able to fill gaps in the Spotify catalogue if you have that music in your own MP3 collection. Or, to put it another way, you won't have to switch back to iTunes (or whatever) when you want to listen to your own MP3s.

It's not clear if the player will prioritise your own MP3 collection over music in the Spotify catalogue. If so, that could potentially reduce the streaming music service's costs, because many Spotify users frequently stream songs via the platform that they actually already own and have stored on their PC. By opting for the local copy of the song, the Spotify player would save Spotify HQ both the bandwidth and licensing costs associated with streaming the music from a remote server, while keeping users in the Spotify environment. Whether ads will continue to air when locally based music is playing isn't clear.

The wireless syncing bit is linked to the library management bit, and will allow users to move MP3s from their PC to their mobile phone via the Spotify player wirelessly, so without plugging a USB cable in. Whether syncing without a cable is that big a deal we're not sure, though anything that makes users think Spotify is something they might want to use on a mobile is good for Spotify, given the mobile version of the service is only available to premium users (ie those who pay).

The all-new Spotify went live at 9am this morning and will roll out across all users over the day (if you can't wait, the update is available immediately via the company's website). Confirming all the new functionality, Spotify boss man Daniel Ek told CMU: "Today Spotify has moved a step closer to making music more connected, and realising our dream of becoming THE music platform. We want to empower users to share and discover music in a way that hasn't been possible up until now. It's never been easier to enjoy music together".

You can see Spotify's own demo of the new services at:

And once you're up and running with the new version, you can find us here: open.spotify.com/user/cmuhq

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With questions still remaining over details surrounding the death and final wishes of late rapper Guru last week, his former GangStarr parter DJ Premier has been discussing the final time he saw him.

As previously reported, immediately after Guru's death last Monday, his most recent producer Solar issued a statement and a letter purporting to be the rapper's final wishes, which included the desire for Solar to bring up his son KC and run his charitable organisation, and a particularly vitriolic rant against DJ Premier. However, the rapper's family say that they were not aware of any such charity being in operation, and claim that Guru had been in a coma since suffering a heart attack in February, so could not have written, or even dictated, the letter. Nor could he have issued the statement released via Solar in March assuring fans that he was recovering well.

Speaking on his Sirius Hip Hop Nation radio show, Premier recalled visiting his former collaborator in hospital once the rapper had slipped into a coma earlier this year. He recalled: "When I saw Guru it really fucked me up. I wore a GangStarr shirt first of all; just for the energy and so he knew that that's forever with us. And that includes everyone that came before me; I know every one of them... It was so ill [because] of what I was hearing of him waking up, writing, and tweeting and all that stuff. There was no way. He looked so gone".

He added that the rapper looked extremely dishevelled and, although you'd think that would be the responsibility of hospital staff, questioned how much care Solar had actually be providing: "If you love him, and you're taking care of him, why the fuck did his nails look longer than a fucking ruler? [And] a clump Afro? I've taken care of people in the hospital [before]. You can wash their hair and clean their nails off. His feet were swollen and his toenails were really disgusting... I took the logo on my shirt and rubbed it against his whole body and told him a message from me about how much I loved him, and that we were for live and still were for life. Then I kissed him on his face and let him know that I was going to miss him because it seemed like he was already gone".

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Akon has reportedly begun legal action against a former business partner who, the mischievous R&B star claims, used his name to flog a perfume he hadn't approved.

It seems the Akoniser had been planning a fragrance venture with his former business associates, but the plans fell through. The singer says he then discovered said associates had set up a company called Konvict Cosmetics International which was selling a perfume called Konvict, based, of course, on the name of his second album 'Konvicted'. According to the New York Daily News, Akon's lawsuit requests that the courts shut the new venture down.

Of course, the people behind the Konvict fragrance might argue their brand name is nothing to do with Akon's album (given the removal of the 'ed') and is, in fact, a celebration of a totally different convict. Though that might lead to legal proceedings from Lil Wayne.

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KT Tunstall has said she's broken all ties with her stepfather, David Orr, who is standing as the BNP's candidate in Livingston, West Lothian.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the singer said: "She abhors the BNP and all they stand for.She now has no contact with David Orr".

Orr confirmed this, telling The Daily Record: "This has caused huge problems in my family. It's really put the cat among the pigeons.I've had KT's people on the phone basically saying that she won't have anything further to do with me and doesn't want to see me ever again. KT is a bit of a yoghurt-knitter and takes a dim view of the BNP".

Who knew yoghurt knitting and racism were mutually exclusive hobbies?

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Talking of the British Numpties Party, Billy Bragg has now had two run-ins with the same BNP candidate while campaigning for the Labour Party in East London.

Apparently on one occasion he ended up having an argument in the street with BNP parliamentary candidate and London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook in front of the TV cameras. Bragg told Barnbrook "You do not represent the people of Barking and Dagenham... You are exploiting the genuine concerns of people here and you are making the problems worse".

I don't know how Barnbrook responded at the time, but in a subsequent blog he made much of the fact the "has-been rocker from Dorset" agreed that the people of east London had "genuine concerns" about the impacts of immigration and multiculturalism.

He waffled on thus: "It seems quite obvious to me that Bragg, Labour, and the rest of our two-faced politicians are running scared. They realise that people's concerns about the problems arising from mass immigration are too widespread to be ignored - at least at election time. So now they're prepared to concede a little and affect a little concern for the situation, just to pacify the voters. In fact they've been lining up to endorse the BNP's viewpoint!"

I'm not sure that's how Billy sees it though, it has to be said - lefty pop stars and tedious racists rowing in the street, this is what General Elections are meant to be about. Bring it on.

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Stereophonics have launched a competition to find an unsigned band to support them at their upcoming Cardiff City Stadium show on 5 Jun. Run in partnership with MySpace, Red Dragon FM and The South Wales Echo, the winning band will play the opening slot, ahead of Doves, Kids In Glass Houses and Stereophonics themselves.

To be eligible, bands must either be Welsh, or live in Wales, and submit a video of themselves playing one of their songs to www.myspace.com/stereophonicssummerinthecity by 26 May.

Says Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones: "It's going to be a Welsh summer celebration, giving something back to the people of the valleys, towns and cities".

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Idlewild plan to go on one of those "hiatus" things once their current tour is completed next weekend.

The news arrived via a blog post by frontman Roddy Woomble, who seemed decidedly down on the whole Idlewild venture. Seemingly disappointed by the response to the band's sixth album 'Post Electric Blues', Woomble posted: "At the end of this final part of the tour we will have played 40 gigs around the UK and Ireland in support of 'Post Electric Blues', which seems more than enough for some time. There isn't the demand for our music that there was in the past, especially not outside of Britain, so it seems after this year it's an appropriate time to take a break, a 'hiatus' or whatever you want to call it".

However, seemingly keen to stop anyone from inferring Woomble's message meant this was really the end of Idlewild, bassist Gareth Russell subsequently posted on Facebook: "So, there's been a bit of speculation flying about regarding Roddy's latest tour diary. The current situation is that we're working on our plans for the rest of the year, when these become more definite we'll be announcing them. What's certain is that there will be no more UK tours in support of 'Post Electric Blues' and there'll be a significant break/hiatus/rest before we'll begin writing another Idlewild record".

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Kills frontwoman Alison Mosshart has revealed that the duo are close to completing work on their fourth album.

She told BBC 6music: "We're kind of half finished, or three quarters of the way finished, with the new record. I'm going to go back after this tour [with her other band, The Dead Weather] and finish it. It's been great. We always try to make a record that sounds totally different than the one before it or anything we've ever done, so that's usually the hard part, finding that new thing to do between just two people".

Meanwhile, The Dead Weather, which also include Jack White, Dean Fertita from Queens Of The Stone Age and The Raconteurs' Jack Lawrence, and who release their second album 'Sea Of Cowards' next month, have made a new track, 'Gasoline', available via YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JUhAGw_6dg

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Nine Inch Nails will release a film of their final live show, shot entirely in High Definition and 5.1 surround sound. All stages of the production were handled by fans from around the world, and the final product will be released as a not-for-profit venture.

The concert film, entitled 'After All Is Said And Done', will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD, as well as a free download.

For more info head to atinylittledot.com

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Icelandic neo-classical composer Ólafur Arnalds has announced that he will release his latest album, '...And They Have Escaped The Darkness', on 10 May via Erased Tapes. In order to show the sort of brilliance that can be found on it, he's giving away a free MP3 of one of the album's tracks, 'Þú Ert Sólin', as well as streaming previews of all nine tracks, via his website www.olafurarnalds.com.

While you're waiting for the track to download, why not see how many of the album's song titles you can pronounce:

Þú Ert Sólin
Þú Ert Jörðin
Loftið Verður Skyndilega Kalt
Gleypa Okkur
Hægt, Kemur Ljósið
Undan Hulu
Þau Hafa Sloppið Undan Þunga Myrkursins

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John Otway has announced a second book chronicling his rock n roll failures. His first, 'Cor Baby, That's Really Me' told the story of the time between his two hit singles (1977 to 2005), the second, 'I Did It Otway', recalls how his plans to charter a plane in order to undertake a world tour, taking 300 fans with him, went disastrously wrong.

The book will be published by KLG Press on 17 May.

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If you'd rather read about someone who's had huge amounts of success, and who is only nineteen (personally I'd much rather read about John's failed ventures, but there you go), then perhaps you should wait until later this year and buy 'Teenage Millionaire', the Soulja Boy story.

The 'Crank That' star tells Billboard: "I made my first million dollars when I was sixteen years old. I came from a place where a lot of people don't make it out to see the type of things I've seen around the world and see the amount of money that I've obtained. I just wanna tell all the people how I did it".

He continues: "One of the chapters of my book is called 'Speaking It Into Existence'. It's something I've been doing my whole career. When you think or speak from the non-conscious it happens. When you weed out all the negative thoughts and focus on nothing but what you wanna have it's so easy to obtain it".

I wonder if he'll talk about how most millionaire are just very very very lucky?

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GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: The Dead Weather have been confirmed to play at this year's Glastonbury, appearing on the Pyramid Stage. They join the previously confirmed U2, Muse, Stevie Wonder, Dizzee Rascal and Vampire Weekend. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

ONE BIG WEEKEND, Bangor, North Wales, 22-23 May: Florence And The Machine and Rihanna have been announced as the Saturday and Sunday headliners for this year's Radio 1 event. Dizzee Rascal, Alicia Keys, Lostprophets and Cheryl Cole have also been confirmed for Saturday's main stage, with Pendulum, Biffy Clyro, Ke$ha and JLS joining Rihanna on the Sunday. www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/bigweekend

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SINGLE REVIEW: Foals - This Orient (Warner)
Foals have been threatening to bring their tight, smart, danceable indie to the mainstream for some time now. And with songs like this, 2010 may have to be the year that finally happens. 'This Orient' is as well a crafted take on modern music as could hope for. Taking tips from Hot Chip, relentless, repetitive, addictive, stupidly simple loops provide the backing for Editors-style guitar ambition and some deep vocals; vocals which work more as another persistent instrument than offering emotional insight. It all adds up to some universal pop prominence that will sound just as brilliant in the bold sunshine of a summer festival as in the sweatiest of indie nightclubs. TM

Physical release: 3 May
Press Contact: Warner IH [NP], Wild [CP]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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More events have been added to the line up of the International Music Summit, the music business convention with an electronic music theme that takes place in sunny Ibiza next month.

Added to the line up are Jason Bentley, talking about his work music supervising Daft Punk's upcoming 'Tron' film; DeadMau5 manager Dean Wilson, AEG Live's Jessica Koravacs and Jim King and artist manager Mark Beavan talking about 'Taking Dance Music To The Arena'; and Steve Lawler and Andrea Pelino leading a session called 'How To Conquer Ibiza & Remain Credible'.

The new sessions and speakers join a conference line-up that already includes mflow co-founder Atan Burrows, Mixmag editor Ralph Moore, and Beatport's Jonas Tempel and Matthew Adell. It all takes place from 26-28 May.

More at www.internationalmusicsummit.com.

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Galaxy Radio's Programme Director Mike Cass is to leave the Global-owned radio network and step back from the radio industry altogether. Probably a good move, commercial radio is totally doomed isn't it? Well, it is if it doesn't think of a very clever way of reinventing itself.

Anyway, according to Radio Today, Global programming chief Richard Park confirmed Cass' departure in a memo to staff yesterday which said: "After working for fifteen years at the coal face, our Galaxy Programme Director Mike Cass has decided to take a well deserved break from the industry, and will therefore be leaving Global Radio on 28th May. I would like you to extend our appreciation to Mike for his commitment, hard work and dedication to the company, and I am sure you will join me in wishing him every success for the future".

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ITV's new boss man, the postman's favourite Adam Crozier, started his new job yesterday and sent out an email to all his staff, talking about challenges, and opportunities, and getting strategies right.

He wrote to his new employees: "You don't need me to tell you that ITV has been through some turbulent times recently with a combination of the economic recession and the changes occurring in our own industry putting us and our competitors under real pressure. It seems to me that the decisive action that you took last year has begun the process of helping get us fit to compete in a rapidly changing media world and for that everyone deserves a lot of credit".

But just in case anyone at ITV thought that meant that everything was now fixed, Crozier warned of many more challenges ahead, adding: "We all know that we have some tough challenges ahead and some issues to face up to, but we really don't need to be defensive about that - just recognise them, find a way to solve them and move on. Equally we have some real advantages and opportunities going forward that will allow us to grow and have an exciting and rewarding future if we get the strategy right and focus on making things happen on the ground every day".

So, that's nice. Going back to bigging up the third channel broadcaster, Crozier picked out some of the network's recent successes: the compulsory Simon Cowell franchise, the political debate show that his two biggest competitors have also been airing, and the widely dissed 'The Prisoner' remake. Good motivational speaker is our Adam. He says: "On screen, no one can have failed to notice the huge splash ITV has been making in recent weeks, from the landmark political leaders debate to the record breaking debut show of 'Britain's Got Talent' to drama like 'The Prisoner'. There is real value in our brands and our content and unlocking that value is critical to our future".

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Now, presumably you all remember that classic telly moment where useless Sky News host Kay Burley made Peter Andre cry on live TV?

He was there to plug some project or other (I'm guessing a terrible album or a tedious reality TV show), but she wanted to talk about his former missus, and the chance Katie Price's then very new husband Alex Reid might adopt his kids by the former glamour model. Seemingly genuinely upset by the suggestion, a teary Andre asked to end the interview. To be fair to Burley, a journalist whose achievements could be written on the back of a postage stamp, she did manage the very rare feat of making her viewers feel sorry for faded jungle star.

So much so some 880 people complained to media regulator OfCom. But they have just ruled that Burley didn't break any broadcasting rules with her questioning, because apparently British TV laws don't have anything to say about making Peter Andre cry.

The regulator said in its ruling: "It was understandable that the presenter focused on the human interest angle of the [Price/Reid] wedding by asking Andre for his reaction, and how it would impact on his children". It said Burley was "probing and persistent" but that "she remained overall measured in tone throughout and did not put inappropriate pressure on Andre for a response".

It also noted that Pandre was a c'leb with lots of experience of handling the media (which is a polite way of saying "he's made millions by turning his private life into a TV soap opera") and that he had "previously talked candidly and frequently in public (including in television programmes) about his relationship with his former wife and his children".

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It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
2. Jimi Hendrix - Valleys Of Neptune (Sony Music)
3. Slash - Slash (Warner/Roadrunner)*
4. Journey - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
5. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. Scorpions - Sting In The Tail (Sony Music)*
7. Train - Save Me, San Francisco (Sony/Columbia)
8. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Sony Music)
9. Guns N Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)*
10. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)
11. Free/Bad Company - Best Of (Warner/Rhino)*
12. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)*
13. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of (Warner Bros)
14. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony Music)
15. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
16. Pearl Jam - Backspacer (Universal Music)
17. Billy Talent - Billy Talent III (Warner/Atlantic)
18. Coheed & Cambria - The Year Of The Black Rainbow (Warner/Roadrunner)*
19. Disturbed - The Sickness (Sony/J Records)
20. Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Payalysis (Season Of Mist)*

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Lily Allen has said her BRIT Award, which she picked up in the Best Solo Female category in February, means "absolutely nothing" to her.

She told reporters: "I got a BRIT Award recently. And that was something four years ago that I would have died for. But when I finally got that award it meant absolutely nothing to me. Because I now know that the BRIT Awards is a TV show. Record company executives make deals with a TV channel and the producers about who wins what award in exchange for performance time. So it's just become a non-award, like 'thank you for this'".

I'm pretty sure most of the BRITs are actually awarded based on the votes of 1000+ industry execs, music promoters and media types, and not the back room deals of four major label chiefs and ITV bosses, unless I'm being incredibly naïve. Still, Lily probably has the whims of TV producers on her brain at the moment, because Channel 4 have signed up the rights to film the singer as she pursues her "fashion career". Which is a TV deal signed on a misled executive's whim if ever I heard one.

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