2 Music Week 09.01.10
Listen to and view the tracks below at www.musicweek.com/playlist
Playlist: best of 2009
LADY GAGA Just Dance Interscope Firmly establishing herself as a genuine global superstar in 2009, Just Dance was the song to really get things started for GaGa.
DIZZEE RASCAL Bonkers Dirtee Stank Dizzee’s performance at Glastonbury this year confirmed his ascent to pop royalty. This was a brilliant slice of club-friendly pop produced by Armand Van Helden.
LA ROUX In For The Kill (Skream remix) Polydor This haunting remix of La Roux’s sleeper hit proved an anthem for festivals and clubs throughout 2009, setting off a great year for all involved.
THE BIG PINK Dominos 4AD Despite failing to live up to commercial expectations, The Big Pink delivered one of the year’s best songs in this Paul Epworth-produced gem. THE TEMPER TRAP Sweet Disposition Infectious The song that started the A&R buzz for these Australians quickly established itself at commercial radio and was a clear favourite around the MW office.
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE My Girls Domino Animal Collective could lay a credible claim to being the act of 2009 - at least critically - and this beguiling single showed precisely why they were so adored.
BEACH HOUSE Norway Bella Union Beach House’s third studio album has attracted a phenomenal and utterly justified amount of critical buzz and this first single is an example of why.
GIG OF THE WEEK
Who: Richard Hawley When: Saturday, January 9 Where: Royal Festival Hall, London Why: Sheffield’s finest showcases songs from his Truelove’s Gutter album that featured in plenty of 2009 best-of lists. Expect melody, sharp wit kitchen-sink drama and top songs, too
BEYONCÉ Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) Columbia Officially released in February last year, this single was backed by a video so good that Kanye West told Taylor Swift she should give her MTV award back.
PAOLO NUTINI Candy Atlantic The lead single from Nutini’s now twice platinum second album was criminally overlooked at radio, but this is something very special indeed.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE Raise It Up (Rabbit Heart) Island Another tremendous Paul Epworth production, Raise It Up was the euphoric commercial highlight from Florence Welch’s debut as far as MW was concerned.
For all A&R enquiries and demo submissions contact firstname.lastname@example.org
New year set to hand Brand New Cadillac and Living Dol
Copyright axe hangs over m hits as UK presses for term e
Copyright By Robert Ashton
THE URGENCY FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT to push for term extension in Europe again was underlined at the start of the new year as Brand New Cadillac, What Do You Want and a raft of other early rock‘n’roll songs fell out of copyright in the UK.
Brand New Cadillac, released in April 1959 by Vince Taylor and his Playboys (pictured far right) and made famous by The Clash two decades later when the punk band recorded a version on their seminal London Calling album, is among a host of hits from the late 1950s which are likely to turn up on publicdomain labels later this year unless term extension becomes a reality.
Earlier this year Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw signalled he will be pressing for extension across Europe now that the pro-term Spanish are taking on the presidency and he has already had meetings with his opposite number, the Spanish culture minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde.
But with copyright protection currently only at 50 years in the UK, ministers will need to be quick to stop other well-known tunes, including Adam Faith’s famous number one hit What Do You Want, which first appeared in the 1959 charts in November and spent
Out of flavour: Lonnie Donegan is set to lose another of his hit songs to the public domain
19 weeks there, from falling into the public domain.
Cliff Richard’s first hit Move It, released in 1958, is already in the public domain. It will be joined this year by another couple of Cliff hits – Living Doll (penned by Lionel Bart) and Travellin’ Light, recorded by Richard and the Drifters (the forerunner to The Shadows) in 1959 and produced by the legendary Norrie Paramor.
Vinyl not so final as format flourishes for sp
VINYL’S RESURGENCE AS A FORMAT is underlined by the first-year performance of vinyl-only label Music On Vinyl, which is already planning to triple the amount of music it releases this year.
Music On Vinyl UK label manager Mike Gething says there are plenty of titles not being released on vinyl in the UK and adds that he wants these so the company can set up a bespoke service.
“We will improve our contacts with labels and artists and aim to have moved from 30 releases to 100 releases by early this year,” says Gething. “Judging by the market this is not unachievable. This form has a deep niche because it is a physical format. It is like the paperback book versus the hardback argument, where purists just want to have beautiful artwork and something nice to hold.”
Gething’s optimism has been fuelled by recent reports released by the RIAA and the BPI, which both demonstrate strong sales increases for vinyl. The RIAA report shows that the US LP market increased by nearly $34m and the BPI figures show that over the last year 220,000 LPs were sold in the UK, an increase of nearly 8%.
Gething adds, “Figures show that vinyl is holding a steady curve of improvement. We know you can
Will Young and James Blunt top OCC’s Noughties
WILL YOUNG (LEFT) AND JAMES BLUNT were among the biggest selling artists of the Noughties according to new figures from the Official Charts Company. Young’s single Anything Is Possible/Evergreen topped the list of biggest single sellers with his 2002 debut clocking up a massive 1.8m sales. He pipped fellow Pop Idol star Gareth Gates, whose Unchained Melody was in second place with 1.3m copies sold.
James Blunt’s 2005 debut album Back To Bedlam sold 3.2m copies to top the end-of-the-decade chart, ahead of Dido’s No Angel album and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, which also both sold more than 3m units.
Among the video releases, music won out with 2008’s Mamma Mia! The Movie selling 5.9m copies to become the decade’s biggest home video, ahead of Gladiator and Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.
The Now! series confirmed it was master of the compilation brands with its November 2000 release, Now! 47 – featuring singles such as Robbie Williams Rock DJ, U2’s Beautiful Day and David Gray’s Babylon – taking the biggest selling compilation album crown. It sold 1.4m copies to pip 2001’s Now! 50 into second place.
The OCC research also demonstrates how reality TV shows have come to dominate the charts: eight of the Top 20 biggest selling singles during the decade were from artists www.musicweek.com
09.01.10 Music Week 3
ll to public domain ore classic extension
Lonnie Donegan, whose son Peter has been a vocal supporter of term extension over the last few years, saw his famous Rock Island Line and Cumberland Gap lost to the public domain last year: this year another Donegan song – Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor (On The Bedpost Over Night) – slips out of copyright.
Earlier this year the UK Government supported copyright term being extended to 70 years across Europe as long as it is delivered with a package of protections to artists and musicians. email@example.com pecialised label still buy vinyl on the high street but it is in a different network, so we are using our own to try and inform people around the world when something is coming out.”
In its first year of business Music On Vinyl has already forged deals with companies including Sony Music and has reissued classic titles on vinyl including London Calling by The Clash (pictured left) and Bad by Michael Jackson.
The operation has also released the first-ever vinyl edition of Jeff Buckley’s The Grace EPs collection, which includes live performances and material from promo-only EPs.
s sales charts
– including Young, Gates, Alexandra Burke, Shayne Ward, Hearsay and Leona Lewis – who emerged from reality TV.
OCC managing director Martin Talbot says, “In the Noughties, we became obsessed with reality TV music, from the explosive launch of Pop Idol right up to The X Factor today. On top of that, Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Now! dominated the albums market throughout the decade, while The Beatles again demonstrated their enduring popularity.”
Small venues to be exempt from licensing restrictions
Live music gives cautious welcome to small victory
Live By Gordon Masson
LIVE MUSIC CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating a lobbying triumph after the Government revealed it will allow small venues an exemption from licensing restrictions.
On New Year’s Eve, Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe launched a consultation into proposals to allow venues catering for 100 people or fewer an exemption.
The move has been widely welcomed by the industry; however, some critics point out that the timetable for the Licensing Act amendment could mean the exemption is lost with the General Election looming this year.
The closing date for responses to the consultation is March 26, so any draft legislation would not be presented to Parliament until later in the year when it’s likely that a new Government will be settling in at Westminster.
UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey cautiously welcomes the news, but points out that the parliamentary clock is already ticking.
Sharkey says that legislation states there must be a 12-week consultation process. “So there’s nothing that can be done about that, but given that there will probably be a lot of responses to this consultation I reckon it’ll take ministers most of April to digest that and draw up a final order,” says Sharkey, who adds that a 40day resolution process could take the whole process up to the middle of June. “By my reckoning there has to be a General Election by June 5 at the very latest, so the timetable doesn’t seem to work in our favour.”
Nevertheless Sharkey is pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of grassroots venues to the health of the music business in the UK.
“We’ll be seeking some urgent discussions with ministers as soon as possible, as well as the opposition parties to gauge their response to this,” continues Sharkey. “It is a positive step forward as the music industry is built on fragile little foundations and we need small venues so that future talent can flourish. This was an issue that needed to be addressed and I have to say that the Musicians’ Union deserves a pat on the back for their diligent work on this during the past 10 years.”
Sutcliffe says the exemption would make it easier for a wide range of venues to put on live music and help musicians who want to play to a live audience. However, the exemption would only apply to performances that are indoors and take place between 8am and 11pm, ensuring any concerns of people living close to venues are taken into account.
Sutcliffe adds, “An exemption for venues with 100 people or less would benefit many small venues, particularly unlicensed premises such as village halls and cafés, which may currently be put off by licensing requirements. But we are also proposing that the exemption can be revoked at individual premises if there have been problems with noise, nuisance or disorder.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Producer Millar plans active retirement
VETERAN PRODUCER ROBIN MILLAR has slid his final fader and is retiring from production duties after more than three decades behind studio consoles.
One of Britain’s most successful record producers with 150 gold, silver and platinum discs and 44 number ones to his credit, including Sade’s Diamond Life album, Millar says he is looking for “new adventures in music” after becoming disillusioned with the role of the production process and the politics within it.
“There are now too many artistic compromises in seeking work from major labels,” says Millar, who produced his first record – by French new-wave group Extrabelle – in 1979. “I think the way the business is going is not right for the artist and as a producer you have to be honourable to the artist.”
He claims that “artistic compromises” have been steadily getting more insidious over the last decade or so and adds, “It has been going on for some time, but you can only take so much of it.”
Millar adds, “Although in reality this is just coincidence, the end of the decade seems a nice moment for
‘I don’t think the mainstream has anything to offer me at the moment’ – Robin Millar me to decide that I am formally stopping making myself available as a producer for mainstream music companies. I will still mix because I enjoy it and I’m good at it. I will still work with artists who have something to say and who have the full creative support of their funders or who have no support at all but I don’t think the mainstream has anything to offer me at the moment.”
In recent years Millar has become more involved in academic work and the political sphere and was recently sponsored, by more than 300 industry executives, as a possible peer to sit in the House of Lords representing the music business.
That move now appears to have hit the buffers, but Millar hopes to continue his political and academic work; in 2007 he was awarded Honorary Professor status at Thames Valley University, he is an honourable patron of the Music Producers Guild and a board member of The National Skills Academy – helping to talk up the music industry.
“I’d like to do anything I can to move and shake,” says Millar. “I don’t see this as an end, but a search for new interesting opportunities and freeing up more time to do other stuff.”
He also hopes to continue to work with producer Cameron Jenkins to help establish an ethical label.
After Extrabelle, Millar quickly established himself as one of the pre-eminent producers working with Strawberry Switchblade, Weekend, Everything But The Girl, Fine Young Cannibals, Chrissie Hynde and Yusef Islam. email@example.com
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
NEWS SMALL VICTORY Live music campaigners celebrate as small venues get licensing exemption
ANALYSIS TEEN-AGE PICKS There go the Noughties... but is the industry ready for the tumultuous Teens?
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DEALS FOR A NEW DECADE MW looks back on a busy year for new talent
HMV hopeful in battle with SMS for Mama but potential bidding war could raise price
HMV has edge in Mama takeover
Live By Gordon Masson
HMV GROUP IS WINNING THE TAKEOVER BATTLE for its live music partner Mama Group with the directors backing a £46m offer from the music retail specialist.
According to insiders the deal could now be wrapped up within the first month of the year providing no bidding war ensues and Mama’s directors continue to successfully rebuff buyout proposals from its largest shareholder SMS Finance, which has already made two cash offers for the company and is currently considering its next move.
Luxembourg-based investor SMS currently owns 29.8% of Mama, but surprised City analysts on December 7 when it offered to buy out remaining stock for 3.7p per share.
That bid valued the company at around £29.8m. However, the offer was described as “highly opportunistic” by the Mama board, who recommended shareholders reject it. SMS then raised its offer to 4.75p two days later.
In a move to protect its interests in the 50/50 Mean Fiddler partnership it entered into with Mama last year, HMV began accumulating shares in the group, acquiring 66.5m shares at 5.25p per share on December 10 and adding a further 13.25m within days to take its overall stake in the company to about 9.9%. And with HMV chief executive Simon Fox pinning the company’s hopes on diversifying its revenue streams, a full offer for the company of 5.4p per share followed on December 23.
Commenting on the offer Fox says, “I am delighted that we have
HMV may have to pay more than its offered 5.4p per share if SMS rejoins the battle for Mama agreed terms for a recommended offer. Our joint venture has worked well since its formation and the full combination of HMV and Mama will enable us to accelerate our growth into live music.”
On Christmas Eve the Mama coCEOs Dean James and Adam Driscoll wrote to shareholders urging them to reject the SMS overtures, which they described as undervaluing Mama. They also noted that the HMV offer represented a premium of almost 14% on the SMS bid.
James and Driscoll believe HMV’s £18.2m investment to buy 50% of Mean Fiddler last January and help operate venues including the Jazz Café, Forum, Hammersmith Apollo and Garage has been working well. In a statement they say, “We were excited about the opportunities that were created when we entered into the joint venture with HMV in January 2009. That operation has worked extremely well and we believe there are even greater opportunities to develop and evolve the live music operations, alongside our artist services business, within the HMV group of businesses.”
Institutional shareholders Schroder Investment Management and Herald Investment Trust have followed the Mama board’s lead by irrevocably agreeing to sell their combined 15% of Mama to HMV, meaning Fox’s group now has the upper hand with a commitment for more than 33.8% of the company’s shares.
However, with more than 36% of shareholders still unaccounted for, some market analysts suggest shareholders could hold out for a bidding war that will send Mama Group shares higher.
“While the timing of the announcement, just ahead of the likely peak trading on Boxing Day, would suggest the move has been driven for defensive reasons, nevertheless the acquisition has strategic and commercial logic,” says Charles Stanley retail analyst Peter Smedley.
Smedley predicts HMV may need to make an improved offer because “SMS is determined”. He says, “We would not be surprised if HMV Group has to pay more than the offered 5.4p per share for Mama Group to secure SMS’s acceptance.”
But, SMS may also decide to cash in on its Mama investment having made a substantial profit rather than get into an expensive bidding war with the music retail giant. A spokeswoman says SMS is “considering its position.”
Mama’s business interests are split across three divisions: live music, the Barfly network of venues and the Mean Fiddler portfolio.
In the year ended July 31 2009, Mama reported revenues of £38.2m (£33.5m) while pre-tax profits were £4.8m (£49,000). firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucian leads the charge for honours in Queen’s New Year list
LUCIAN GRAINGE, one of the music industry’s pre-eminent executives, has been rewarded in this year’s New Year Honours list.
The Universal Music Group International chairman and CEO, who has played an increasingly prominent role in Government lobbying and pushing British creativity in music and the arts over the last few years, is named a CBE.
He says, “To receive the CBE from Her Majesty the Queen is a very proud moment for me and my family. I’m truly honoured.”
Alongside Grainge, the music industry is amply represented with other honours too. First Night Records managing director and Brit Trust chairman John Craig picks up an OBE for services to music and charity having been the longest serving BPI council member and also a member of the Prime Minister’s steering committee on knife crime.
Ivor Novello award-winning musician and composer Craig Armstrong, once of bands Hipsway and Texas and who has worked with everyone from Madonna to U2, picks up an OBE as do Status Quo frontmen Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi.
The guitarists and songwriters were awarded their honours for services to music and charity, having been mainstays of the first ever Prince’s Trust concert in 1982. The opera singer Sarah Connolly has also been awarded a CBE.
But it is the award of a Commander of the Order of the British Empire to Lucian Charles Grainge that has excited most in the industry.
UK Music chief executive Feargal Sharkey says, “It’s fantastic to see so many people from the world of music getting this kind of recognition. Lucian especially has worked tirelessly and been particularly influential, in helping the industry move to a much more positive and constructive place from which to build its future. It’s great to see him getting the applause that he so clearly and richly deserves.”
IFPI chairman and chief executive John Kennedy simply adds, “It’s fabulous.”
Grainge, who was voted “most influential executive” of the last decade by several people in Music Week’s recent review of the decade, has been playing on a larger stage for several years now having been invited by former culture secretary Andy Burnham to help plan and establish this year’s inaugural C&binet – a Davos-style conference for the creative industries.
Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has also canvassed Grainge’s help in formulating the Tories’ own review of the issues facing the music and creative industries. Some even credit Grainge, who one insider has said is always “in and out” of 10 Downing Street, with persuading business secretary Peter Mandelson to suddenly intervene during the recent P2P filesharing legislation consultation with proposals to suspend serial infringers’ accounts.
A Universal spokesman adds, “He has been in the business for 30 years and for the last 10 of those has been pretty senior and dynamic. He is always promoting British creativity.”
The latest round of honours follows last year’s award of an MBE to UK Music chairman Andy Heath.
ANALYSIS TEEN-AGE PICKS: WHAT’S IN STORE FOR MUSIC? 4 After the tumultuous Noughties, is the industry ready for the tumultuous Teens?
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The industry may have been cutting costs in 2009 but that did not stop a raft of record deals being drawn up. Music Week looks back at a busy year for new talent
CHARTS CLUB CHARTS
Floor fillers of 2009 – Music Week’s exclusive end-of-year club charts WEEK 52 – SINGLES AND ALBUMS 18
In case you missed them as MW skipped an issue over Christmas here are the OCC sales charts for the final week of 2009 FIRST CHARTS OF A NEW DECADE 20 Week one sales charts for 2010