12.02.11 Music Week 3
ON MUSICWEEK.COM • Amos Lee tops US charts • HMV investor mulls break-up
DIED LAST WEEK
himself and he knew who he was. There was an arrogance about him, but he once said to me, ‘Arrogance in a writer is no bad thing.’ [Bond movie co-producer] Harry Saltzman didn’t like Diamonds Are Forever and John said, ‘What do you know about it?’ and slung him out of his apartment.
It always helps to know what your partner likes. He didn’t like arty-farty lyrics – he liked simplicity. It was easy to write with him and it wasn’t really a collaboration like you see in Mickey Rooney movies. He would come with his melody to me and I would then write the lyrics. We did it separately. He didn’t like working in the same room. He didn’t think you wrote songs like that.
The last thing we did together was Our Time Is Now for Dame Shirley Bassey’s The Performance album last year. We started with Shirley and it went full circle.
He was working on a number of things before he died. He was working on another album and had lots of plans for things to do, but he lived a full life. Someone like him happens once in a lifetime and I’m very lucky he happened in my lifetime. I’m very fortunate to have spent my life along side such a great man.
ng’s T.Rex push
Smells like T’s spirit MarcBolan would help to raise awareness of the group to audiences, both in Britain and the US, who may have otherwise have been unaware of the band.
“A lot of younger folk don’t have a sense of Marc and might only know one song. They have no idea how emotionally powerful he is and by subtle promotion through forms such as merchandising, people will start asking questions and discover him on their own,” he said. “We have a responsibility to remind the world of Marc’s influence on a generation and we want to do this in as exciting a way as we can.”
SINGLE ENTERS AT ONE WITHOUT RADIO MOMENTUM
Jessie J chart success defies on-air/on-sale predictions
AIRPLAY ■ BY PAUL WILLIAMS
JESSIE J’S NEW SINGLE PRICE Tag yesterday (Sunday) entered the UK singles chart at number one with minimal pre-release exposure, after becoming the first major example of a single offered for sale at the same time it goes to radio.
The Island/Lava release, which features US rapper BoB, found itself in a close battle for the number one position with Elektra/Atlantic act Bruno Mars’ Grenade, despite only officially debuting at radio last week, around the same time it was made available to buy as a download.
Its simultaneous radio/retail arrival followed a declaration last month by Universal and Sony that, alongside independent labels, they would no longer deliver releases to radio weeks in advance of commercial release in order to create pentup demand but would now put them on sale as soon as stations started playing them.
The expected result of the switch was new single releases not already available to unbundle from albums would typically enter the OCC singles chart lower down and then start to build to a peak as their radio story grew, a once-familiar trend that was a regular occurrence until the mid-Nineties.
Punching above her weight PriceTagsoldwelldespitebeingranked848thinthe airplayrundown
Price Tag has defied that forecast by instantly becoming a number one single, although Island Records copresident Ted Cockle was keen to stress that how this single had performed would not be typical of releases with same-time radio/retail releases.
“Everyone needs to expect some strange patterns,” he said. “This is anything but typical. People need to get used to looking at cumulative sales. Rather than saying, ‘We’ve done 25,000 in a week and are top three’ it may be you sell 50,000 over a number of weeks but hang around at number 17.”
Until now the usual pattern for a newly-released single challenging to enter the sales chart at number one is that on its commercial release it will already figure prominently on but they can eat into sales of the original.
Nielsen Music’s UK radio airplay chart. Mars’ Grenade, for example, was 29th on airplay the day it was commercially released and leapt to five the following week as it entered the OCC chart at one.
In stark contrast, Jessie J’s Price Tag ranked way down in 848th place on the Nielsen chart last week with 87 plays across radio and an audience of 1.58m, while its predecessor Do It Like A Dude was still growing at radio, progressing 25-16 on the airplay countdown.
Price Tag yesterday entered the airplay Top 50 at 30, having begun the week on Capital and 1Xtra’s B-lists, while it has now been elevated to A-list status at Capital and 1Xtra and added to the C-list at Radio 1. firstname.lastname@example.org vided it has already been released anywhere in the EU.
THE RISE OF THE ‘TRIBUTE’ COVER SINGLE
The logic goes that if these covers exploit demand for songs that are on the radio but yet to be released, then making songs available for sale as soon as they go to radio should kill this craze.
However, there exists the principle of “first licence refusal”. What this means is that a publisher can asks PRS for Music to refuse permission to license a cover for physical release, if the original has not been released within Europe.
One welcome consequence of closing the on-air/on-sale window is to discourage people from buying soundalike copies of hit singles, which are traditionally released in advance of a song’s official release date to cash in on demand.
And for most people in the industry it cannot come too soon. A glance at the indie breakers chart from last week reveals no fewer than three tribute songs currently selling well: Like A G6 – Like A G6 (Cover Guru); #1 Enrique Iglesias & Ludacris Tribute – Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) (JWH) and #1 Taio Cruz feat. Travie Mccoy & Kylie Minogue Tribute – Higher (JWH). There is nothing illegal about these copies, of course,
But the situation is not as simple as it seems. For a start, two of these songs – Like A G6, originally by Far East Movement and here covered by an act calling itself Like A G6, and Higher – were released some time ago. Why, then, are these copies still selling and even climbing the charts? Price may be an issue – the Like A G6 cover is only 69p at Amazon.co.uk, while the original is 89p.
The legal situation around these covers is slightly unclear. So long as you do not make substantial changes to the lyrics, key or melody, you are free to cover – and release – any song you want, pro
But for digital-only releases – and this applies to the vast majority of these covers – the same system does not really work, as whoever is releasing the track does not have to physically manufacture goods and therefore does not have to inform PRS for Music before it is released.
Those releasing covers also have to consider the issue of “passing off” – basically is must be clear to buyers that the cover is a cover and not the original. But then this is fairly easily done: the word “tribute” for example, is long established as a concept in law.
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
NEWS 02 WHAT PRICE AIRPLAY? Jessie J defies on-air/on-sale predictions as new single Price Tag charts high
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COMPETITION TO HOST CONCERTS BY THE WORLD’S biggest acts will heat up following next year’s Olympic Games, with the east London stadium looking to muscle in on the lucrative market.
Plans submitted by rival football clubs Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are being backed by live music giants AEG and Live Nation and could provide London with Europe’s largest permanent concert arena, catering for crowds of up to 106,000.
That capacity could seriously threaten Wembley Stadium’s iconic status as the venue of choice for visiting superstars, while the vastly improved transport network serving the Olympics site might also give the new arena an advantage when it comes to promoters routing tours through London.
Although AEG owns The O2 arena (capacity, 20,000), neither they nor Live Nation operate a stadium in London, but whoever wins the bid for the Olympics site would likely push their big-name acts to use the venue for their outdoor shows. Despite the intense rivalry between AEG and Live Nation, the companies already use each others’ venues to promote gigs wherever necessary.
Wembley’s aim is to host around six nights of music per year. This year, the stadium’s head of music and new events Jim Frayling reported they are ahead of that target thanks to eight Take That shows.
“There is room for another competitor in London, so we welcome the competition the Olympic Stadium will provide,” said Frayling. “We already have rivals for concert business – Twickenham and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium – but Wembley is very competitive when it comes to attracting promoters and artists, so we are very confident in our position.”
ROGER FAXON BELIEVES KEEPING EMI WHOLE MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE
EMI break-up makes ‘no business sense’, says CEO
ANALYSIS ■ BY MICHAEL GUBBINS
BREAKING UP EMI MAKES no business sense – despite the acquisition of the troubled major by its main creditor Citibank, CEO Roger Faxon has told Music Week in an exclusive interview.
Faxon said he was confident EMI “will be EMI going forward”, believing the group is stronger than the sum of its parts.
He said the global rights management concept he introduced after his appointment last year – in which publishing and records work together to form a “comprehensive rights management company” – is working, driving greater value, with revenue and cost synergies.
In our comprehensive coverage of the EMI news, Music Week spoke to artists, managers and Citi itself, all of whom expressed solid support for Faxon’s position.
But with Citi declaring its lack of interest in owning EMI on a long-term basis – and obliged to get best value for its shareholders – a break-up could still be on the cards.
“I don’t want people to think I’m naïve,” Faxon told Music Week. “It is entirely possible that at some point in the future somebody does break the business up but I don’t think that is the best answer from a value and economics point of view.”
Citigroup, which funded Terra Firma’s purchase of EMI in 2007, acquired EMI last Tuesday and immediately announced a recapitalisation of the company, reducing the company’s debts from £3.4bn to £1.2bn.
It brought to an end Terra’s rocky stewardship of EMI, a period that saw the music major struggle to service the debt the privateequity firm ran up in buying the company.
See in-depth story analysis on page 4
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IN THIS ISSUE »
NEWS WHAT NEXT FOR EMI?
Music Week unpicks developments at EMI and talks to Roger Faxon
MEDIA NEWS MTV RETURNS TO BASICS 8 Broadcaster launches ‘music-only’ station among a raft of moves
LIVE NEWS OLYMPIC BID LOOKS AT MUSIC 11 AEG and Live Nation-backed bids focus on venue’s live music future
DIGITAL NEWS SERVICES WIN FIGHT FOR FUNDS 12 VCs reveal ‘risky’ digital content providers are losing investment
BREAKOUT JAMIE WOON
Polydor to use 3D technology to promote up-and-coming act
MASTERCLASS STEVE LEWIS 14-15 Stage Three’s veteran executive imparts his words of wisdom
ANALYSIS GETTING A BETTER VIEW 16 ESP Marketing examines how more targeted TV advertising would benefit record companies
MUSIC WEEK PRESENTS SEVENTH WONDER 17-18 Your track-by-track guide to the latest instalment of our CD series