14 NOV 2012

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On 14 Nov 1952, the first UK singles chart was published by the NME, making the chart 60 years old today. With the 60th anniversary of the singles chart upon us, CMU's Chris Cooke spoke to Official Charts Company Managing Director Martin Talbot, to find out more about the history of the singles chart, how changes in the music industry are affecting it, and what the future holds more>>
Petite Noir, aka South African musician Yannick Ilunga, released his debut single 'Till We Ghosts' through Bad Life back in August, quickly picking up attention in the UK from The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Radio 1xtra and more. Also a member of electro duo Popskarr, Ilunga's solo work is similar in many ways to that project's anguished pop, but with a far more stripped down, otherworldly feel more>>
- More stats to celebrate 60 years of singles chart, 3.7 billion singles sold in UK since chart began
- AEG faces new lawsuit over This Is It
- Killers pull show as Flowers loses voice
- Martin Dawson dies
- INXS confirm they are quitting touring
- Beady Eye recording again
- Veronica Falls announce album
- Caitlin Rose details new LP
- Widowspeak to release long player
- One Direction film planned
- Fifth Stones show announced
- Gaslight Anthem to tour in 2013
- JLS add arena dates
- Festival line-up additions
- Wu Lyf angry after their music is used in Toyota ad
- The Pirate Bay hit by DDOS attack
- BBC Radio to celebrate 90th anniversary with special Damon Albarn composition
- Universal chief urges commercial radio to take more risks
- Former GCAP boss still not convinced by digital radio switchover
- Beiber's Gomez split requires alteration to Minaj rap
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So, the great and the good of the British record industry amassed at London's Portcullis House last night at the invite of the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Music to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the British singles chart.

And as the actual anniversary arrives today, the Official Charts Company has published another batch of data, revealing that UK music fans have between them bought an estimated 3.7 billion singles since the first chart was published in the NME 60 years ago, which, the OCC tells us, would be enough records to stretch sixteen times around the Earth or to fill all the seats at London's O2 Arena 185,000 times over (one record per seat).

The 80s was the biggest decade for pre-digital singles sales, though post-iTunes sales of single tracks have soared, so that 683 million tracks were sold last decade. 500 million singles have already been sold since 2010, making this likely to be a record breaking decade by some margin, even with the growth of streaming music services and such like.

The stats being shared as part of the 60 year celebrations have been compiled by combining data from various sources, the early singles charts not having been compiled in quite the same high tech all-embracing way that they are today. Chris Green, Research Director at the BPI, worked with the OCC, combing data for all years from 1955, including manufacturing and trade delivery totals in addition to over-the-counter numbers gathered by official chart compilers.

OCC boss Martin Talbot told CMU: "Working on historic statistics from so long ago to create data reflecting sales to consumers has required diligent research and attention to detail. And, while it is unlikely to ever be possible to arrive at exact totals for those early years due to the nature of the data available, we are confident that these figures give us the clearest picture yet published of the development of singles sales across the six decade history of the Official Singles Chart".

Total sales per decade, according to the OCC and Green's work, are as follows:

1950s - 280 million (the biggest year was 1957 with 50m sales)

1960s - 450 million (the biggest year was 1964 with 57 million sales, biggest track of the decade The Beatles' 'She Loves You')

1970s - 540 million (the biggest year was 1979 with 79 million sales, biggest track of the decade Wings' 'Mull Of Kintyre'/'Girls' School')

1980s - 640 million (the biggest year was 1984 with 71 million sales, biggest track of the decade Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?')

1990s - 620 million (the biggest year was 1997 with 78 million sales, biggest track of the decade Elton John's 'Candle In The Wind 97'/'Something About The Way You Look Tonight')

2000s - 683 million (the biggest year was 2009 with 152 million sales, biggest track of the decade Will Young's 'Anything Is Possible/Evergreen')

2010s - 500m (so far) (This year is already the biggest year with 160 million sales - as of 45 weeks - biggest track of the decade Adele's Someone Like You)

The research also reveals that while 78s dominated vinyl single sales in the early 1950s, the seven-inch 45rpm format soon took off as the 50s proceeded, and accounted for 90% of all singles bought in the 1960s. The classic seven-inch dominated through most of the 1980s, though twelve-inches, cassette-singles and the CD single all started to compete, so that by 1990 seven-inch vinyl accounted for less than 50% of singles sold for the first time since the 1950s. The CD single became more dominant in the 1990s though today, of course, 99% of single sales are digital.

Read a CMU interview with Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot to mark the 60th anniversary here.

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AEG Live is facing another lawsuit in relation to the ill-fated Michael Jackson 'This Is It' tour that never happened. As previously reported, Jackson's mother Katherine is currently suing the live music giant, which was promoting the 'This Is It' shows, claiming that the live company should accept some liability for the death of her son in 2009, mainly because it hired Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of causing the late king of pop's death through negligence.

A new lawsuit has now been filed by a Michael Williams, who was Jackson's personal assistant at the time of the pop star's death. The new litigation seemingly relies on AEG's contract with Jackson regards the 'This Is It' venture (a copy of which seems to have been attached to the lawsuit), in which, Williams claims, Jackson's staff were identified explicitly as beneficiaries of the deal.

The argument goes that, because of Jackson's death, those beneficiaries did not receive the monies they expected from the 'This Is It' tour. As, in Williams' (and the Jacksons') eyes, AEG was in part responsible for Jackson's demise, that means, the lawsuit argues, the live firm should compensate any of the singer's staff who lost income when the 'This Is It' project ended prematurely.

Williams has requested that his case be treated as a class action, so that any staff member of Jackson alluded to in the AEG contract would be due damages if the litigation was successful. It's seems an ambitious lawsuit, and will depend, to a great extent, on the outcome of the Jackson family's litigation regards AEG's liability, or not, for Michael's death. The live firm insists that the singer himself appointed and managed Murray.

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The Killers were forced to stop a show in Manchester yesterday just four or five songs in because frontman Brandon Flowers lost his voice. And we won't have any of you suggesting that might have been an improvement thank you very much, the poor guy is ill.

Tonight's Manchester gig is also now cancelled, though it's not yet certain what will happen to the band's planned London shows later in the week. The group wrote on Facebook: "Manchester, we started something we couldn't finish and we're so, so sorry. Working on rescheduling tonight and tomorrow's shows. Will let you know new dates ASAP".

Meanwhile, the band also announced yesterday that they will play a headline show at Wembley Stadium on 22 Jun 2013. Let's hope Flowers manages to make it all the way through that one.

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The dance music community has been paying tribute to Martin Dawson, the English-born Berlin-based house DJ and producer, who died on Monday.

Dawson originally performed as Hawk Dawson but was best known for his work as King Roc, with his 2009 debut album under the moniker, 'Chapters', receiving critical acclaim from many quarters. More recently he started releasing material under his own name, collaborating with underground house labels like Cocoon, Crosstown Rebels, Get Physical, 2020vision, Off Recordings and Moodmusic. Also known as one half of production duo Two Armadillos, Dawson enjoyed a successful career as a DJ as well, playing clubs and dates across the world.

According to Resident Advisor, Dawson was hospitalised on 1 Nov after being found unconscious on his studio floor having suffered a brain aneurysm. Despite various efforts to save him, Dawson died on Monday.

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INXS have confirmed that they are to cease touring. Their statement yesterday follows reports that the band's drummer, Jon Farriss, had announced that they were splitting up completely during a gig in Perth, Australia last week.

Confirming they now have no plans to tour in the future, the band said this week: "We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it's time to step away from the touring arena".

Although seemingly not an announcement that INXS are calling it a day altogether, given the band's live shows rather than records have been more important in recent years, there was a feeling of finality in the statement, which continued: "Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey".

The band's manager Chris Murphy added: "They believed unconditionally in each other and they also believed unconditionally in the music. People fade, sometimes way too early... that is life whether we like it or not. To lose Michael [Hutchence] so young [in 1997] was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us".

Concluding, Farriss said: "INXS' touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has".

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Beady Eye have said via Facebook that they're in the studio, recording sounds to form a long-playing sequel to last year's 'Different Gear, Still Speeding'. TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek is producing the untitled LP, or so say the band. And that's that.

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Nonchalant C86 modernists Veronica Falls are set to release their second ever LP, the last one being an eponymous debut in the year 2011. I say 'set', but really it's all less imminent that that implies, the aptly-named 'Waiting For Something To Happen' not being released till 4 Feb.

Anyway, in the meantime at least we can stay enthralled in the VF story via new track 'Teenage' and a revelatory 'Waiting For Something' tracklisting:

Tell Me
Broken Toy
Shooting Star
Waiting For Something to Happen
If You Still Want Me
My Heart Beats
Everybody's Changing
Buried Alive
Falling Out
So Tired
Last Conversation

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Texan singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose has shared various particulars of her new LP, as follows 2010's pared-back 'Own Side Now'. Bearing the title 'The Stand-In', it's set for release on 25 Feb 2013 via Names Records.

Says Rose, who made the 1950s Hollywood-inspired record with a collective of Nashville musicians: "I have a tendency to work small so this album is like my first attempt at a high kick. Self-exploration isn't something to take lightly and I learned a lot about myself this time around, but this was more of a team effort than anything I've ever done".

Hear 'No One To Call' - the first of the new album's ten original tracks (the others are covers of The Deep Vibration's 'I Was Cruel', and Felice Brothers' 'Dallas') - via this SoundCloud player.


No One To Call
I Was Cruel
Only A Clown
Pink Champagne
Golden Boy
Everywhere I Go
Silver Sings
When I'm Gone
Old Numbers

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US duo Widowspeak are back with a new LP, and sounding not quite as dark and dejected as circa their eponymous 2011 debut. 'Almanac', as they've gone and titled the forthcoming studio set, features production by Kevin McMahon (Swans, The Walkmen, Real Estate), and will be released internationally via Captured Tracks on 22 Jan.

This is its tracklisting...

Dyed in the Wool
The Dark Age
Thick as Thieves
Ballad of the Golden Hour
Devil Knows
Sore Eyes
Spirit Is Willing
Storm King

And this, its halfway marker 'Ballad Of The Golden Hour'.

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One Direction maybe, but the 1D boys have three dimensions, and they want to share all of them with their fans via the medium of film. Oh yes. A behind the scenes One Direction pop-umentary film is in the works, it's been confirmed, and somewhat bizarrely it will be directed by Morgan Spurlock, best known for his fast food doc 'Super Size Me'. Oh, and it will be available in 3D.

Confirming his involvement in the project, which should reach screens next August, Spurlock told reporters: "This is an incredible opportunity and an amazing moment in time for the band. To capture this journey and share it with audiences around the world will be an epic undertaking that I am proud to be a part of".

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The Rolling Stones have added a fifth date to their upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, and will play the Barclays Center in New York, in addition to the Prudential Center in Newark and O2 Arena in London. The new date, on 8 Dec, will precede the Newark dates, but follow the London shows.

As Mick Jagger recently justified the astronomical ticket prices for the anniversary concerts by pointing out that the cost-per-show was higher when doing just a small number of gigs rather than a full world tour, perhaps now there's a fifth show the band could refund a few pounds to existing ticket buyers, given there must be a slight economy of scale in adding an extra date?

Plus there are rumours that additional dates could as yet be added to the 50th anniversary shindig.

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The Gaslight Anthem, whose fourth studio album 'Handwritten' is out now, have just listed a number of live dates they'll play in spring.

And that number is nine:

21 Mar: Bristol, Academy
22 Mar: Bristol, Academy
23 Mar: Leeds, Academy
24 Mar: Glasgow, Academy
25 Mar: Glasgow, Academy
27 Mar: Manchester, Academy
28 Mar: Manchester, Academy
29 Mar: London, The Troxy
20 Mar: London, The Troxy

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Doll-disliking R&B boyband JLS have promised to go away... on a promotional tour of national arenas, that is. By strange coincidence, they've also just unveiled the identity of their new 'Evolution' single, which will be 'Give Me Life'. It's released on 23 Dec as the perfect Christmas Eve Eve gift for grandmas and granddaughters alike.

Enthuse Oritsé, Marvin, Aston and JB all at once, presumably whilst dancing in deep V-necks: "The past four years have been incredible for us and we can't wait to headline our third arena tour. Our fans are amazing and it's been wonderful to share this journey with them. We're really excited to perform tracks off 'Evolution' as well as fan favourites".

4 Dec: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
6 Dec: Aberdeen, AECC
7 Dec: Glasgow, Hydro Arena
9 Dec: Liverpool, Echo Arena
10 Dec: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
12 Dec: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
13 Dec: Birmingham, LG Arena
14 Dec: Manchester, Arena
16 Dec: Brighton, Centre
17 Dec: Bournemouth, International Centre
18 Dec: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
20 Dec: Leeds, Arena
21 Dec: London, O2 Arena

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ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Pontins, Camber Sands, 30 Nov - 2 Dec: The Cravats, Love In Elevator.

BILBAO BBK, Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 11-13 Jul 2013: Kings Of Leon, Editors.

OFF THE TRACKS, Park Farmhouse, Castle Donington, Derbyshire, 24-26 may 2013: Alabama 3, Merry Hell.

RADSTOCK, O2 Academy Liverpool, 30 Mar 2013: The Blackout, We Are The Ocean, Yashin, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Sonic Boom Six, Natives, Straight Lines, With One Last Breath, Carcer City, Decade, Gnarwolves, Tantrum To Blind.

ROUNDHOUSE RISING, The Roundhouse, London, 14-24 Feb 2013: Faye, PINS, Drop Out Venus, RoxXxan, RTKAL, RasItes, Jetta, Death At Sea, The Lake Poets, Eliza & The Bear, Shields, Amy Holford, Gazelle Twin, Bernholz, Acquaintance, Great Pagans, Jacob Banks, Ria Ritchie, Joel Baker, Jin Jin & The Ragdolls, Pictish Trail, The Fence Collective, Neon Neon, Moulettes, Robert Vincent.

WICKHAM FESTIVAL, Wickham, Hampshire, 1-4 Aug 2013: Rolf Harris, Show Of Hands, The Blockheads, Martyn Joseph, Spiers & Boden, Le Vent Du North, The Spooky Men's Chorale, Lucy Ward, Exmouth Shanty Men.

WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL, Cheltenham Racecourse, Glouctestershire, 31 May - 2 Jun 2013: Caravan Palace, John Otway, The Beat, Moulettes, Public Service Broadcasting, Sam Lee, Eddie And The Hot Rods.

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Indie band Wu Lyf have expressed anger at Toyota after their song 'Heavy Pop' was used in an advert for the company's GT86 car without their knowledge. Particularly as the content of the ad - men enjoying driving their GT86s while their wives sob at the price - comes across a bit on the sexist side.

In a post on Facebook, one member of the group wrote: "To anybody interested as to why we are featured in a Toyota advert, we too are interested to know why our music is featured in a sexist sports car advert that encourages men to live out their 'inner chauvinist'. We have not consented to this, we have not earned a penny from this and on behalf of the band I am fucking angry about this. Wouldn't have minded so much if it was for a Lamborghini".

Toyota hasn't yet responded, but to be fair the company has had a lot on its plate this week. The Advertising Standards Agency has banned another ad for the Toyota GT86 after it was accused of encouraging dangerous driving, according to Marketing Week. Plus the firm has had to recall 2.7 million cars due to a problem with steering wheels. All in all, you could say it's not been Toyota's best week ever.

Anyway, you can watch the offending Wu Lyf-featuring advert here.

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The Pirate Bay has been experiencing downtime in the last 24 hours after being hit by a Distributed Denial Of Service attack, initiated by someone who tweets as Zeiko Anonymous.

DDoS attacks, which overwhelm a server taking any sites stored on it down, are more commonly used against the websites of big content owners or organisations perceived to be censoring the internet, though file-sharing services are also occasionally targeted too.

Zeiko Anonymous has apparently attacked a number of BitTorrent sites in recent days. His or her motivation isn't clear, though according to Torrentfreak s/he was denied an invite to a private BitTorrent tracker

The current operators of the Bay said they were using the enforced down time to do some maintenance. Of course UK web-users accessing the net via a major ISP cannot access The Pirate Bay anyway, unless they know how to circumvent blocks put in place after record industry trade body the BPI won web block injunctions against the controversial file-sharing service.

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BBC Radio celebrates its 90th anniversary today and while, at one point last weekend, it looked like the Corporation might celebrate the landmark by completely collapsing into a big messy pile, bosses at the Beeb hope to instead stick with their original plan, to air that previously reported specially-commissioned Damon Albarn track on over 55 of the organisation's radio stations at the same time, 5.33pm.

Albarn's composition is called '2LO Calling', and will be heard on most of the BBC's radio stations. The Blur man will also join Simon Mayo for a special show on Radio 2 broadcast from London's Science Museum - now home of the 2LO transmitter on which the first BBC broadcast was delivered.

Damon Albarn said of the new composition: "There is a special musicality to some of the vocal messages, which I tried to preserve. The piece is essentially a snapshot of the airwaves, taken over the last two weeks. Added to that, I got to do what I've always wanted - to play along with the pips".

While outgoing BBC Radio boss Tim Davie, currently Acting Director-General for the whole Corporation, added: "We're thrilled that Damon Albarn has provided this composition, which helps us mark a piece of radio history, bringing audiences together across the world. After 90 years, it is fantastic to see radio still innovating and maintaining its relevance to listeners".

Watch Damon Albarn speak about how he became involved with the project here.

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The boss of Universal Music in the UK has urged commercial radio stations to take more risks with their playlisting. It's a plea that commercial radio chiefs are presumably used to hearing a lot from music industry execs, though having David Joseph say it during a flagship event at this year's Radio Festival might have more impact. Well, possibly.

According to The Guardian, Joseph told the radio industry gathering: "The BBC does an amazing job introducing new artists. On commercial radio it often feels we have to create a hit first before commercial radio wants to play it. I do believe there is an audience out there who wants to hear the hits first, not 10 weeks later. I would love to see commercial radio take more risks".

Noting that commercial stations had not backed some of the British record industry's biggest new signings this year - Universal signees Lana Del Ray and Ben Howard were the 107th and 272nd most played artists on UK radio - Joseph also pondered: "I have a question: is there a responsibility that UK radio has towards supporting new emerging UK talent?"

As previously reported, in his John Peel Lecture, also delivered at the Radio Festival this week, Billy Bragg noted the importance of local radio in bringing artists to a wider audience early in their careers - concentrating particularly on Jake Bugg - and urged radio stations to do more to promote new talent on a local basis.

Elsewhere, and speaking about his own industry, the Universal chief admitted that the record industry was still in challenging times, with just nine new acts truly breaking through so far this year (if you define 'breaking through' in the slightly old school record label way of selling 100,000 albums), compared to 27 in 2007. Though he was upbeat about the immediate future, predicting growth in the recorded music sector in 2014, that English-speaking bands would travel the world "like never before", and that the guitar band revival was now probably imminent.

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Elsewhere at the Radio Festival, the former boss of Virgin Radio and (briefly) GCap, Fru Hazlitt, now MD Of Commercial And Online at ITV, offered some more thoughts on digital radio, and the continued bid by many in the industry to shift most services from FM to the digital audio broadcasting network at some point in the near future, requiring customers to buy DAB devices.

During her short tenure at GCap, before its 2008 acquisition by Global Radio, Hazlitt pulled the radio firm out of the Digital One national DAB network venture and canned the group's digital-only services, basically concluding that DAB was doomed because of poor consumer uptake, and the growth of other digital platforms (TV-based radio and the internet).

At the time much of the radio industry seemed to be wavering on DAB, despite the big investments most had already made into the new technology, though more recently most of the bigger radio firms have reaffirmed their support for the digital network and their desire to see it ultimately replace FM, certainly for mainstream radio services.

Just last week Digital Radio UK announced a new marketing campaign to push DAB. But Hazlitt told the Radio Festival that the public wouldn't be persuaded to switch to a new technology just for the sake of it. According to The Guardian, Hazlitt remarked: "You ask the consumer in the street how they receive television or radio, they don't know, they just want the content they like".

In her ITV guise, Hazlitt argued that the switchover from analogue to digital TV worked because people recognised the value of the extra channels they got with Freeview over the five-channel analogue service, plus the new technology was bundled into nice, sleek-looking tellies that consumers aspired to own. Just attaching the word "digital" to the service was not enough, because "so much is digital now. I have a thing about using the word digital. I think it's complete bollocks".

She concluded: "When you talk about one technology or another, all you have to think is, does it enable the consumer to go 'wow, I want that' or do you have to ram it down their throats? Because if you do, it's stuffed".

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The Nicki Minaj bit of Justin Bieber's recent single 'Beauty And A Beat' will be amended at live shows, sources have somewhat predictably claimed, so to remove the mention of "Selena", now that the Biebster has seemingly ended his relationship with acting popstress Selena Gomez.

The Minaj rap in the Beiber hit includes the line "Justin... Bieber, you know Imma hit em with the ether buns out, weiner, but I gotta keep an eye out for Selena", but, a secret insider source monkey tells The Sun: "It's too late for Justin to remove the lyric from his album, but there's no way he's going to be singing it or have anyone else sing it - including Nicki - at his concerts. He knows it would just rub salt in the wounds for Selena and there would be a huge backlash from his girl fans, so it's easier forgotten".

Ah, and after Minaj went to all that effort to rhyme "wiener" with "Selena". We can only hope that Bieber now hooks up with someone with a homophonic name to his ex. Possibles: Christina Aguilera, Marina Diamandis, erm, Regina Spektor? Oh, I know, Celina Dion. She'd have to change her name slightly, but I'm sure Dion would be up for that if it rescued a rhyme.

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