Friday, July 31, 2009

Chart Watch America: July 31, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Michael Jackson moves back to the top of the pack with the biggest overall sales of the week with his Number Ones album. It had been displaced last week by Daughtry's new album but managed to outsell the new number one album by Demi Lovato. Of course, Jackson's only shows as number one on the Catalog Album chart, where he still holds 13 of the top 25 spots (actually up one from last week).
  • Cheap Trick's newest, appropriately called The Latest, debuts this week at 78. According to rumors, it's also the number one selling 8-Track of the week, a format in which the album was released more as a promotional gimmick than anything else.
  • Other new albums from veteran artists on this week's Albums chart are Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs' Under the Covers, Volume 2 (number 106) and the Jackson 5's Love Songs (186).
  • New on the Hot 100 is Too Many Rappers by the Beastie Boys and Nas (number 93). It's their first entry on the chart since 2004.
  • Whitney Houston returns to the R&B chart with her new single I Look to You debuting at number 27. It's been six years since her last sighting. This is her 41st hit on the R&B Tracks chart.


Top 200 Albums
Top 100 Singles
  • #1 (1) - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (2) - Best I Ever Had - Drake
  • #3 (4) - Knock You Down - Keri Hilson Featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo
  • #4 (3) - You Belong to Me - Taylor Swift
  • #5 (11) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • #68 (73) - Living for the Night - George Strait
  • #84 (82) - Strange - Reba (McEntire)
  • #93 (N) - Too Many Rappers - Beastie Boys Featuring Nas

The Digital, Catalog, R&B, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Dance, Jazz and Americana charts are after the cut.
Top 40 Digital Songs
  • #1 (1) - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (10) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • #3 (2) - Best I Ever Had - Drake
  • #4 (3) - Fire Burning - Sean Paul
  • #5 (4) - You Belong to Me - Taylor Swift
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums


Top 50 R&B Albums
  • #1 (1) - BLACKSummers'night - Maxwell
  • #2 (3) - Category F5 - Twista
  • #3 (2) - Signature - Joe
  • #4 (5) - The E.N.D. - Black Eyed Peas
  • #5 (4) - Jeremih - Jeremih
  • #17 (17) - Uncle Charlie - Charlie Wilson
  • #30 (22) - Gold - Michael Jackson
  • #31 (30) - Congo Square - Teena Marie
  • #44 (57) - Lotus Flow3r/MPLSoUND/Elix3r - Prince/Bria Valente

Top 50 R&B Songs

  • #1 (1) - Best I Ever Had - Drake
  • #2 (2) - Pretty Wings - Maxwell
  • #3 (5) - Break Up - Mario Featuring Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett
  • #4 (3) - Every Girl - Young Money
  • #5 (4) - Ego - Beyonce
  • #27 (N) - I Look to You - Whitney Houston
  • #30 (38) - Can't Live Without You - Charlie Wilson
  • #32 (34) - There Goes My Baby - Charlie Wilson
  • #34 (26) - Give You Up - Raphael Saadiq Featuring Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton
  • #42 (32) - Download - Lil Kim Featuring T-Pain & Charlie Wilson

Top 10 Blues Albums
  • #1 (1) - Cadillac Records - Soundtrack
  • #2 (4) - Already Free - Derek Trucks Band
  • #3 (2) - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! - Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
  • #4 (3) - The Woodstock Experience - Johnny Winter
  • #5 (R) - Free Your Mind - Too Slim & the Taildraggers
  • #9 (7) - Skin Deep - Buddy Guy
  • #10 (R) - One Kind Favor - B.B. King


Top 40 Country Albums
  • #1 (1) - Fearless - Taylor Swift
  • #2 (4) - The Foundation - Zac Brown Band
  • #3 (3) - Hannah Montana: The Movie - Soundtrack
  • #4 (2) - American Saturday Night - Brad Paisley
  • #5 (5) - Wide Open - Jason Aldeen
  • #18 (18) - Troubadour - George Strait
  • #26 (22) - 127 Rose Avenue - Hank Williams, Jr.
  • #35 (35) - I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits - Randy Travis
  • #38 (28) - Myh Turn - Tanya Tucker

Top 30 Country Songs
  • #1 (1) - People Are Crazy - Billy Currington
  • #2 (2) - Alright - Darius Rucker
  • #3 (4) - You Belong to Me - Taylor Swift
  • #4 (3) - I Run to You - Lady Antebellum
  • #5 (5) - Whatever It Is - Zac Brown Band
  • #8 (9) - Living For the Night - George Strait
  • #11 (12) - Strange - Reba (McEntire)

Top 10 Bluegrass Albums
  • #1 (1) - The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo - Steve Martin
  • #2 (4) - Tennessee Pusher - Old Crow Medicine Show
  • #3 (2) - Destination Life - Rhonda Vincent
  • #4 (3) - Ultimate Bluegrass - Steve Ivey
  • #5 (4) - Song Up In Her Head - Sarah Jarosz


Top 25 Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Leave This Town - Daughtry
  • #2 (3) - Only By the Night - Kings of Leon
  • #3 (5) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #4 (4) - Cradlesong - Rob Thomas
  • #5 (6) - 21st Century Breakdown - Green Day
  • #14 (19) - Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith and Joe Satriani)

Top 15 Hard Rock Albums
  • #1 (1) - Dark Horse - Nickelback
  • #2 (3) - The Sound of Madness - Shinedown
  • #3 (5) - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Soundtrack
  • #4 (8) - Scars & Souvenirs - Theory of a Deadman
  • #5 (7) - Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith and Joe Satriani)

Top 25 Rock Songs
  • #1 (1) - New Divide - Linkin Park
  • #2 (N) - The Fixer - Pearl Jam
  • #3 (2) - Sound of Madness - Shinedown
  • #4 (3) - Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • #5 (4) - Panic Switch - Silversun Pickups
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Adult Contemporary

Top 15 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #1 (1) - The Climb - Miley Cyrus
  • #2 (2) - Love Story - Taylor Swift
  • #3 (3) - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • #4 (5) - You Found Me - The Fray
  • #5 (6) - Better in Time - Leona Lewis
  • #15 (15) - Just Go - Lionel Richie


Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #1 (2) - Give You Everything - Erika Jayne
  • #2 (3) - Hush Hush - Pussycat Dolls Featuring Nicole Scherzinger
  • #3 (4) - Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry
  • #4 (6) - Sing - Wynonna
  • #5 (7) - Patron Tequila - Paradiso Girls Featuring Lil Jon & Eve
  • #7 (9) - Money's Too Tight to Mention 2009 - Simply Red
  • #12 (11) - Magnificent - U2

Top 15 Dance/Electronic Albums
  • #1 (1) - The Fame - Lady Gaga
  • #2 (N) - Total Club Hits 3 - DJ Skribble
  • #3 (2) - Ocean Eyes - Owl City
  • #4 (3) - Want - 3OH!3
  • #5 (4) - Above and Beyonce: The Video Collection - Beyonce
  • #10 (11) - Sounds of the Universe - Depeche Mode


Top 25 Jazz Albums
Source for all above charts: Billboard


Americana Music Association Top 40 Airplay
Source: Americana Music Association

Dionne Warwick Strikes Back at Performance Rights Act Criticism

Dionne Warwick took to the pages of the Huffington Post on Thursday to respond to comments made by Radio One owner Cathy Hughes. Radio One owns 52 radio stations in the U.S.

Warwick supports the Performance Rights Act, which is currently in congress, that would allow artists to collect royalties when their music is played on commercial over-the-air radio stations. Right now, only publishers and songwriters receive royalties from standard radio, where publishers, songwriters, the labels and the artists receive them for satellite and internet streaming radio.

The radio industry is, obviously, seeing a threat to their bottom line and are fighting the act tooth-and-nail but Hughes has gone further than most, calling out specific artists that support the legislation.

In her article, Warwick states
Every time we buy a CD or download a song, the artist is paid for their work. You might not know that this isn't the case when a musician's work is played on the radio. That's because corporate radio CEOs like Cathy Hughes are exploiting a legal loophole that allows them to play these artists songs without paying them for their work.

Ms. Hughes is now very angry with me, other black recording artists, and civil rights leaders because we support the Performance Rights Act, which many now call the Civil Rights for Musicians Act. This bill, which was written by the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman John Conyers, closes the legal loophole the radio corporations and CEOs are using to ensure that African American artists receive fair pay for airplay.
Warwick then goes on to challenge Hughes over crying poverty yet reaping large profits, to the point where she awarded her son, the CEO of the company, a $10 million bonus.

To read all of Warwick's article, go to the Huffington Post site.

Spector Having Rough Time in Prison

Hal Lifson, publicist for Phil Spector, says the producer is not doing well in the jail where he is serving a 19 years to life sentence for killing actress Lana Clarkson.

Spector is two months into his sentence at Corcoran State Prison in California where he is in what amounts to virtual solitary confinement. Lifson told BBC6, "He's in a horrible situation with virtually nothing to do all day. Phil Spector was always a highly productive, creative person and now he's in a five by nine foot cell with no windows and maybe a half hour outside to walk around.

"It's essentially solitary confinement. He doesn't have computer access, he only recently got a little TV. It's a terrible existence for a millionaire record producer who lived in mansions and most recently in a castle, a 35-room home.

"It's a huge, huge change of life for Phil Spector and a devastating turn in his life."

As if that wasn't enough, Spector has a fan at a neighboring facility, cult leader Charles Manson. According to the New York Post, Manson has called on Spector to get together for a musical meeting.

Spector's wife, Rachelle, told the paper "A guard brought Philip a note from Manson, who said he wanted him to come over to his [lockup]. He said he considers Philip the greatest producer who ever lived. It was creepy. Philip didn’t respond."

Chart Watch Canada: July 30, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current Canadian music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Michael Jackson stays at number 2 on the overall Album and number 1 on the R&B Album chart with his Number Ones collection. His other counts continue to fall off as he now has eleven albums in the top 100 (down from twelve last week) with two in the top 10 (four last week), 14 of the top 50 R&B albums (down from 15) and only 2 of the top 50 Digital Tracks (down from 5 last week and 15 the week before)
  • As the Jackson albums drop out, a number of other older albums by veteran artists start to re-surge up the charts including U2's No Line on the Horizon (57 to 48), ABBA's 20th Century Masters (56 to 50), the Mamma Mia soundtrack (66 to 55) and AC/DC's Black Ice (92 to 71).
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 Canadian Albums

Top 100 Canadian Singles
  • #1 (1) - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • #2 (5) - You Belong to Me - Taylor Swift
  • #3 (2) - Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry
  • #4 (3) - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - Pitbull
  • #5 (6) - Fire Burning - Sean Kingston
  • #40 (43) - Living For the Night - George Strait
  • #69 (59) - Strange - Reba (McEntire)
  • #72 (67) - Oh Yeah - Chickenfoot

The R&B, Country and Hard Rock charts are after the cut.

Top 50 Canadian R&B Albums

Top 50 Canadian Country Albums

Top 50 Canadian Hard Rock Albums

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Foreigner May Be Dubbing New Singer on Old Tracks, Mother Jackson Gets Custody, more

Foreigner's new 3-disc set, Can't Slow Down (being marketed in the U.S. exclusively through Wal-Mart) includes a CD of the group's biggest hits that has been, per official word, remixed.

Rumors are floating around that remixed is a bit different than what most fans would expect. It is being said that the original instrumental tracks for all the songs were used but Lou Gramm's voice removed and vocals from the new lead singer, Kelly Hansen, dubbed in.

If this is true, it could start a disturbing trend. Journey had a similar disc in their Wal-Mart exclusive, but they totally rerecorded the hits with their new lead singer, including all instrument parts.

Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson, will receive permanent custody of the singer's three children. The decision came after an agreement was made with Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of the oldest two children, who will have visitation rights.

Lawyer Londell McMillan said "It's an agreement, an agreement for the best interests of the children. This is not a money deal. This is not about money. All of the parties are resolved. There is no situation better for these children than for them to be raised and reared in the loving care of Mrs. Katherine Jackson."

In addition, the coroner has again delayed the release of the autopsy report, saying it will probably not come until next week.

Men at Work have lost the first phase in the lawsuit against them claiming that the song Down Under was stolen from the Girl Guide song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. Larkin Music, who owns the copyright for Kookaburra, claims that the flute part in Down Under is copied from the older song (written in 1934) and that they are due past and future royalties.

The group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Songs Australia built a defense that Larkin Music did not legally own the rights to the song; however, the Federal Court Judge ruled that the company did, indeed, purchase the rights after the original writer's death.

No date has been set for the next phase of the suit.

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine has undergone surgery on his injured back and neck. A further operation will be needed after the group finishes their upcoming tour.

Mustaine wrote in his blog, "I have been working with a very badly damaged neck and the few lower vertebrae, right beneath my neck in between my shoulders, is damaged too. What I have currently injured, and am requiring the start of what could be a very quick and painless procedure. I would work my ass off to heal again, like I did with my arm injury, and should be back in the saddle in no time.

"I will have to get a much more complicated procedure done, between my shoulders, after I get back from this year's touring which will end sometime short of the Christmas holidays."

Dolly Parton's Broadway adaptation of 9-to-5 will close on September 6 after playing for five months (148 performances and 24 previews). Those who missed won't lose out, though, as it will begin a road tour in last-September.
Ralph Stanley has written his autobiography which will most definitely be a great read for fans of country and bluegrass music. Man of Constant Sorrow: The Life and Times of a Music Legend will be released on October 15.
Word has come down that folk music great Mike Seeger has entered hospice care for an aggressive form of cancer known as multiple myeloma. He has been battling leukemia for a number of years but the new turn of events made Seeger decide against any future treatment. Fans can send greetings to him at:

Folklore Productions
1671 Appian Way
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Fisher Regains Royalties For Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale

Former Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher has been awarded future royalties on recordings of the song A Whiter Shade of Pale.

Fisher originally brought suit to receive royalties for the song, saying that he was never credited with writing the opening organ solo. Singer Gary Brooker argued that he had originally suggested the Bach theme for the record and that Fisher was not entitled to a share of the songwriting.

In December 2006, Fisher won the case when a High Court judge awarded him 40 percent of the song's royalties. The ruling was appealed and, in 2008, the Court of Appeals upheld Fisher's co-authorship but said that he had waited too long to file his claim and should not receive any royalties, past or future.

Today's ruling by the House of Lords, Britain's highest court, took the middle ground by upholding his writing credit and awarding Fisher all future royalties for the song.

Lord Hope wrote, "A person who has a good idea, as Mr. Fisher did when he composed the well-known organ solo that did so much to make the song in its final form such a success, is entitled to protect the advantage that he has gained from this and to earn his reward."

Jack Bruce Finds Out You Don't Criticize the Zep

Late last year, ex-Cream member Jack Bruce criticized Led Zeppelin over their one-time-only reunion in London's O2 Arena at the end of 2007. Supposedly, he felt that Cream, who had been playing a number of reunion shows, should have been the headliner at the Ahmet Ertegun tribute instead of Zeppelin.

"Everybody talks about Led Zeppelin, and they played one fucking fucking lame gig...while Cream did weeks of gigs Fuck off, Zeppelin, you’re crap. You’ve always been crap and you’ll never be anything else. Cream is 10 times the band that Led Zeppelin is.”

Bruce later tried to back away from the statement by saying “I was just having some fun with the press gallery, really.”

The problem is that a number of Led Zeppelin fans took the comment seriously...really, really seriously. Bruce even received a few death threats.

"It was just a bit of fun and it was blown out of all proportion. Some Led Zeppelin fans were really angry at me and I had a few death threats.

"People like me tend to forget that with YouTube and Twitter, you can't say anything without it getting around the world.

"We always used to have a pop at other bands in the old days and that was all it was. It was like I had spoken out against the Queen or something. You obviously can't say anything against Led Zeppelin."

Final Dan Fogelberg Album To Be Released by Universal Music Group

Before he passed away, Dan Fogelberg put the finishing touches on some new tracks and a few that had been lingering on tape for a number of years. The results are Love in Time, his final album of new material which will be released on August 13 via the digital services by Universal Music Group. A CD version of the album will be out at a future date after Universal has a chance to finalize production and advertising.

The family pushed for the August 13 release, even if only digitally, as it would have been Fogelberg's 58th birthday. He passed away on December 16, 2007 after a battle with prostate cancer.

His wife, Jean Fogelberg, posted the following on his website:
In 2003, while compiling material for a CD of live recordings, Dan came across some rough demos he had recorded earlier in his career. He felt inspired to finish them and worked on the songs until May of 2004 when he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. We decided we would get treatment in Boston, as we were in the process of building a home in Maine and felt that it would be healthier to be there where Dan could sail and ski, and the new house would be an engrossing, therapeutic project to work on. Dan began receiving the standard course of treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital and we became immersed in all the minute decisions of home building, with trips to Boston every other month for tests and shots.

In January and February of 2005 Dan returned to Colorado to resume working in the studio while I stayed in Maine to oversee the final construction phase. While there he recorded three new songs, one of which was "Sometimes A Song", a valentine for me that would later be released as a download on Valentine's Day 2008 to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In April of 2006 we returned to Colorado together. The ranch was for sale and and we needed to start sorting and organizing things. It was the most beautiful time of the year, warm and lush and everything in bloom. Dan completed, sequenced, and wrote the liner notes for the CD he titled “Love in Time”. He put it in our safe deposit box in Maine and asked me to release it after he was gone.

We never gave up hope that we would somehow beat this disease: we knew every cancer is different and every person is different, but we also knew the odds were against us. Dan was the strongest, bravest person I've ever known and I believed (as did our friends and family) that if anyone would be able to conquer this cancer, it would be him. He fought for every day with incredible determination and grace, and lived every minute to the fullest, sailing right up until two months before he died.

Dan left us on December 16, 2007 but his music continues - a living legacy to one of the most versatile and talented musicians, singers, and songwriters of his generation.
At this time, a full track list is not available.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

John Phillips Musical Being Restored From Boot Tape, Echo & the Bunnymen Announce New Album, more

John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas wrote a musical in the mid-70's that saw a limited production. One night, Andy Warhol sat in the front row and recorded the whole show.

Those tapes have been restored and remastered to the best possible sound by Grammy Award winning engineers Steve Rosenthal and Warren Russell-Smith and will be released as Andy Warhol Presents Man On The Moon: The John Phillips Space Musical. Along with all of the show, the 38-track release will also have Phillips performing some of the Mamas & the Papas classics on acoustic guitar.

Echo and the Bunnymen have announced an October 12 release date for their new album The Fountain. Look for the first single, I Think I Need to Know, on September 28.

The Fountain is their first release of new material since 2005's Siberia. The group will play five dates around the U.K. in support of the album during the fourth quarter of the year.

A couple of years ago bassists Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order), Andy Rourke (Smiths) and Gary "Mani" Mounfield (Primal Scream, Stone Roses) announced the formation of a group they dubbed Freebass. Finally, it looks like something might be coming out of the talk.

The group's MySpace page came to life eight days ago and, since, it has been announced that they are in the midst of mixing their first album.

Also in the group are singer Gary Briggs (formerly of Haven), drumer Paul Kehoe and programming / tour manager Phil Murphy.

The official list of acts playing this year's Americana Music Festival includes veterans Asleep at the Wheel, J.D. Souther and Marty Stuart. It will be held September 16 to 19 at various venues around Nashville.

A special concert will be presented on September 11 at London's O2 Arena to benefit the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity. The show, titled Rockwell, will feature Robert Plant, Joss Stone, Razorlight, Tom Jones, David Gray, Ronan Keating, Lulu and more with collaborations expected among the many participants.

Taking Woodstock Soundtrack Features Many Original Festival Artists

Ang Lee, director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain, is taking a look at some of the events involved in the original Woodstock festival in his Taking Woodstock. The film is scheduled to be released on August 28 via Focus Features.

The soundtrack album will be released on August 25 and will feature not only the music of film composer Danny Elfman but also acts that appeared at the festival and a few from the day that didn't perform.

The soundtrack will be released in several different configurations, including a physical CD with selections from the score and performer music, a digital version of the standard soundtrack, a digital version of the score and an iTunes exclusive with both the soundtrack and the complete score.

The track list for the soundtrack to Taking Woodstock:
  • Freedom (New 2009 recording) – Richie Havens
  • Taking Woodstock Titles
  • Wooden ShipsCrosby, Stills & Nash
  • China Cat Sunflower (Live) – Grateful Dead
  • Maggie M’Gill – The Doors
  • Elliot’s Place
  • Coming Into Los Angeles (Live) – Arlo Guthrie
  • I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag (Live) – Country Joe McDonald
  • Going Up The Country (Live) – Canned Heat
  • Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Live) – Janis Joplin
  • A Happening (Office #2)
  • The Red TelephoneLove
  • Beautiful People (Live) – Melanie
  • I Shall Be Released (Live) – The Band
  • Perspective Extended
  • One More MilePaul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Volunteers Jefferson Airplane
The track listing for the Score album is after the cut.
  • Taking Woodstock Titles
  • Elliot’s Place
  • At Ease Man
  • Welcome Home
  • The Magic Tickets
  • Get The Money
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Groovy Thing (Office #1)
  • A Happening (Office #2)
  • Groovy Thing (Guitar Solo)
  • Life Goes On
  • The Acid Trip
  • Hash Brownies
  • In The Mud
  • Perspective Extended
  • I Love Her
  • Woodstock Wildtrack #1
  • Woodstock Wildtrack #2

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Springsteen to Play Born to Run Album in Chicago, Flaming Lips Release Preview, more

The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune are both reporting that Bruce Springsteen will perform the album Born to Run in its entirety when the group plays the United Center on September 20. There are also rumors that he will play a different album each night during his September/October five-show run at Giants Stadium.

As for the future, Springsteen told Vanity Fair "I think that the E Street Band will probably take a rest for a little while, but it all will happen again. We’re lifers, we’re gonna go on forever."

The Flaming Lips digitally released a three song EP today called Songs From The Future Album Embryonic EP which, obviously, is a preview of their upcoming album Embryonic, which will be out this fall. The songs include Convinced of the Hex, The Impulse and Silver Trembling Hands.

Reba McEntire will be making her first appearance ever on QVC this Friday night at 7 PM ET to preview her new album Keep on Loving You. Viewers who preorder the album via QVC will receive a bundle that includes McEntire's autobiography Reba: My Story.

McEntire will be performing her current hit, Strange, her next single, Consider Me Gone and the dance club hit, I Want a Cowboy.

Whitney Houston's new album, I Look to You, has had its released moved up a day from September 1 to August 31 to qualify for this year's Grammy Awards.

Nothing official comes out tomorrow, but Hit's Daily Double's building album sales chart has Michael Jackson's Number Ones returning to the biggest selling album in the U.S. next week (no matter how Billboard classifies it) after being knocked to number 2 by Daughtry. They estimate sales of 161,000 (down 8% from the previous week). Their number five and six are Thriller and Essential with sales of 75,000 and 74,000 respectively (both off about 30 to 40%).

Vince Gill Receiving Recording Academy President's Merit Award

Vince Gill will receive the Recording Academy President's Merit Award during the first-ever Grammy Salute to Country Music on September 9 at The Loveless Barn in Nashville.

The award honors the 20-time Grammy Award winner for his professional achievements and his historic career. Scheduled to appear are Amy Grant, Alison Krauss, Steve Martin, Michael McDonald and Brad Paisley.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Academy said in a statement, "We are thrilled to be celebrating country music in its epicenter of Nashville, and to honor a legendary artist like Vince Gill who has made an indelible mark on the genre. Our 'Salute To' series pays homage to and celebrates the work of extraordinary people and organizations that continue to ensure that these genres remain a vital part of our culture. This event shows our commitment to recognizing musical excellence all year long, and the impact it has on our lives everyday."

Gill's career began his musical career in the 70's playing in bluegrass groups like Rickey Skagg's Boone Creek and Byron Berline's Sundance before being chosen as lead singer for Pure Prairie League in 1979. He recorded three albums with the group, including their hit Let Me Love You Tonight, before leaving for Rodney Crowell's band.

His solo career started in 1984 and, since then, has placed 19 albums on the country and 13 on the pop chart, along with scoring 25 top ten country hits, four of which went to number one. In 2007, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

U2 Have Tour Schedule Put In Jeopardy by Protesters

Dubliners are less than happy with one of their own. Residents around Croke Park in Dublin have taken to the streets to disrupt what they say in round-the-clock noise from the dismantling of U2's immense stage.

According to the protesters, their aim was to embarrass the city council for allowing workers to work all night; however, they held up the group's huge battery of trucks for a couple of hours, putting them behind schedule in setting up the stage for shows Friday and Saturday in Goteborg, Sweden.

The protesters ended their blockage when the Gaelic Athletic Association, owners of the park, promised to never allow overnight construction or dismantling again. The group had also received a letter from U2's management threatening legal action against about fifty area residents, by name, over financial losses that the group would incur.

The U2 stage is so large and complex that there are actually three separate setups, with the group performing with one while the other two are being erected in future cities on the tour.

New Releases: July 28, 2009

Jackson's Doctor May Have Been Injecting Him With Propofol, Early Apple Record Sells Big, more

We've tried to stay away from all the innuendo and rumors around the Michael Jackson case, but today's news seems a bit too important to ignore. A number of reports have come out that Dr. Conrad Murray had been regularly injecting Jackson with the highly potent drug Propofol, including the night before his death. The problem is that the drug is only meant as an anesthetic and not as a regular cure for poor sleep.

An official told the Associated Press that the drug is most likely what caused Jackson's death. Even though Murray's lawyer has said that he "didn't prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson" it is possible that, if it is proven that he injected the singer with the drug, he could be charged with manslaughter.

An extremely rare 45 on Apple Records has sold for a record price on eBay. King of Fuh/Nobody Knows by Brute Force (Apple 8), sold for $8,063. It was what was known as a "thick" copy, normally used for radio promotion as compared to the commercial copy which was on a thinner vinyl.

EMI would not distribute the 45, over objections from John Lennon, and most of the 2,000 commercial copies that were circulated were given out or sold by mail order.

Yes, there seems to be as much news about music in video games as there is music on CD. The advent of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises have certainly boosted music's exposure, but it had previously been used extensively in many of Electronic Arts' (EA) sports games.

EA had just announced the track for their upcoming football, basketball, hockey and soccer franchises and there are a few veteran artists that made the cut.

The soundtrack for Madden NFL 10 includes:
  • Sabotage - Beastie Boys
  • Paranoid - Black Sabbath
  • Aces High - Iron Maiden
  • Painkiller - Judas Priest
NBA Live 10 includes:
  • Zulu! (We Don't Stop Yaw!) - Afrika Bambaataa feat. Why G, Mickey Factz &The Fort Knox Five
  • Pop Your Balloon - Beastie Boys
NHL 10 includes:
  • Peace Sells - Megadeth
Finally, the fairly lengthy list of tracks in FIFA 10 does not include any veteran artists.

Wanda Jackson Has An Alley Named After Her (and Really Doesn't Mind)

Wanda Jackson has always had trouble getting the recognition she deserved as one of the first great female rockers, at least until her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past spring.

Still, you would think it would marit at least a road to be named after her. Last week, the Oklahoma City Council voted to name an alleyway in the Bricktown neighborhood as Wanda Jackson Way. At least she'll be in good company as South Mickey Mantle Drive is on one end and it's near Flaming Lips Alley. Others who have merited streets, or at least alleys, include Vince Gill and jazz guitarist Charlie Christian.

Jackson told the Oklahoman's Brandy McDonnell that she doesn't mind it being an alley. “I was always known as an alley cat, so that’ll work.

"I’ve always loved Bricktown and now to have a street with my name on it there, that’s just wonderful. Thank you, Oklahoma City, my home sweet home.

"To be honored by the place that you love is really them showing their love for me and the fact that I did stay here. And I’ve always talked a lot about Oklahoma around the world."

Chart Watch Britain: July 26, 2009

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current British music charts. Chart highlights:
  • Michael Jackson holds down the top spot on the British Album chart for the fourth week with Essential but, once again, the majority of the other albums drop position. Still, with the addition of The Collection, which premiers at number 14, the number of Jackson albums on the top 100 has increased from nine to ten.
  • It's not the same on the singles side. On the Pop Singles chart, Jackson drops from 30 two weeks ago to 18 to 12. On the R&B Singles, he goes from twelve to nine.
  • Elsewhere on the singles chart, the latest from A-Ha, Foot of the Mountain, premiers at number 81.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles

  • #1 (1) - Beat Again - JLS
  • #2 (N) - Supernova - Mr. Hudson Featuring Kanye West
  • #3 (3) - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • #4 (2) - Evacuate the Dance Floor - Cascada
  • #5 (4) - Bulletproof - La Roux
  • #16 (8) - Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
  • #37 (28) - Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  • #44 (33) - Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
  • #47 (35) - Thriller - Michael Jackson
  • #53 (39) - Beat It - Michael Jackson
  • #55 (87) - Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer) - Ironik/Chipmunk/Elton John
  • #60 (42) - Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson
  • #66 (45) - They Don't Care About Us - Michael Jackson
  • #75 (49) - Black or White - Michael Jackson
  • #80 (95) - Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
  • #81 (N) - Foot of the Mountain - A-Ha
  • #82 (53) - You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson
  • #86 (59) - Bad - Michael Jackson
  • #88 (55) - The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
  • #91 (62) - ABC - Jackson 5
  • #96 (60) - Earth Song - Michael Jackson
  • #100 (83) - Story of a Heart - Benny Andersson Band

The R&B, Rock and Dance Charts are after the cut.

Top 40 British R&B Albums
  • #1 (1) - Essential - Michael Jackson
  • #2 (2) - The E.N.D. - Black Eyed Peas
  • #3 (N) - Battlefield - Jordan Sparks
  • #4 (4) - I Am...Sasha Fierce - Beyonce
  • #5 (5) - Year of the Gentleman - Ne-Yo
  • #24 (21) - Ultimate - Whitney Houston
Top 40 British R&B Singles
  • #1 (1) - Beat Again - JLS
  • #2 (N) - Supernova - Mr. Hudson Featuring Kanye West
  • #3 (2) - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • #4 (4) - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - Pitbull
  • #5 (8) - Sweet Dreams - Beyonce
  • #10 (3) - Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
  • #16 (13) - Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
  • #17 (14) - Thriller - Michael Jackson
  • #18 (34) - Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer) - Ironik/Chipmunk/Elton John
  • #22 (16) - Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson
  • #25 (17) - They Don't Care About Us - Michael Jackson
  • #28 (19) - Black or White - Michael Jackson
  • #30 (21) - You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson
  • #33 (22) - The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
  • #35 (24) - Earth Song - Michael Jackson

Top 40 British Rock Albums
Top 40 British Rock Singles
  • #1 (1) - New Divide - Linkin Park
  • #2 (2) - If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
  • #3 (3) - What I've Done - Linkin Park
  • #4 (N) - Never Change - Fightstar
  • #5 (5) - Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
  • #8 (6) - Livin' On a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  • #9 (7) - Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
  • #14 (13) - Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • #16 (17) - Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • #17 (16) - Enter Sandman - Metallica
  • #18 (18) - Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
  • #26 (22) - Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • #29 (20) - We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions - Queen
  • #37 (21) - Ace of Spades - Motorhead

Top 40 British Dance Singles

  • #1 (2) - I Remember - Deadmau5 & Kaskade
  • #2 (3) - When Love Takes Over - David Guetta Featuring Kelly Rowland
  • #3 (5) - Raindrops - Basement Jaxx
  • #4 (6) - Warrior's Dance - Prodigy
  • #5 (R) - Champion Sound - Fatboy Slim
  • No Veteran Artists Charting

Monday, July 27, 2009

Preview: Levon Helm's Ramble at the Ryman

PBS will be showing a Levon Helm concert during its upcoming August pledge drive. Ramble at the Ryman was recorded on September 17, 2008 with guests Buddy Miller, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow and Sam Bush.

It is known that Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Steve Earle also appeared at the original show, but most press materials are not mentioning that they are included in the program.

Here are two songs from the broadcast, Ophelia and The Weight.

Track Listing Announced For Streisand's Love is the Answer

Barbra Streisand's jazz influenced album, Love is the Answer, hits stores on September 29 and the final track line-up has been announced.

The album features Diana Krall's quartet as the basis for all the tracks, with orchestrations added by multi-Grammy winner Johnny Mandel. In a unique twist, a deluxe 2-CD version of the album will include a disc with all of the songs with Streisand backed only by Krall's group, while the other will be the album as recorded with the quartet and orchestrations.

Included on the album are a wide variety of jazz standards that cover a number of styles, including:
  • Make Someone Happy, a song from the 1960s musical Do Re Mi, with lyrics by Comden and Green and music by Jule Styne, who wrote the music for Streisand's breakout performance in Funny Girl.
  • In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, the jazz standard closely associated with Frank Sinatra.
  • If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas), a quintessential version of the Jacques Brel standard performed in English and French.
  • Spring Can Really Hang You Up, a song Streisand first sang in a St. Louis club at the age of 18. This is her first studio produced version of this jazz standard.
  • Gentle Rain a gentle bossa nova from Black Orpheus, the motion picture which introduced the world to the rhythms of Brazilian music.
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, the quintessential dreamy standard, originally written as a show tune by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach for the 1933 operetta Roberta, covered by Nat "King" ColePlatters, among others.
  • Some Other Time, a rarely-covered gem composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Comden and Green from the 1944 musical On The Town.
The complete track listing with composers:
  • Here's To Life (Artie Butler/Phyllis Molinary)
  • In The Wee Small Hours (Bob Hilliard/David Mann)
  • Gentle Rain (Luiz Bonfa/Matt Dubey)
  • If You Go Away (Jacques Brel/Rod McKuen)
  • Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most (Tommy Wolf/Fran Landesman)
  • Make Someone Happy (Jule Styne/Betty Comden/Adolph Green)
  • Where Do You Start? (Johnny Mandel/Alan Bergman/Marilyn Bergman)
  • A Time For Love (Johnny Mandel/Paul Francis Webster)
  • Here's That Rainy Day (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen)
  • Love Dance (Ivan Lins/Gilson Peranzzetta with English lyrics by Paul Williams)
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach)
  • Some Other Time (Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green)
  • Bonus Track (Not included on the quartet only bonus disc): You Must Believe In Spring (Michel Legrand/Alan & Marilyn Bergman)

Beatles Promotional Push Coming, Deep Purple Going Back to Studio, more

Expect to hear a lot of specials about the Beatles this coming Labor Day weekend. EMI and Capitol are coordinating radio stations across the U.S. into running their own weekend specials, from Beatles A-Z countdowns to running Beatles themed events, all to coincide with the September 9 release of the remastered Beatles albums and Beatles: Rock Band. Also look for many giveaways which are being provided by the label.

A second push will occur over the Thanksgiving weekend, just in time to get people buying for the Christmas holiday, with a special documentary on the group.

Deep Purple will be going into the studio early next year to record a new album. Ian Gillian told, "I think we are ready to make another album. We’ve been talking about it for some time already. I think we’ll start to work on it next February."
The performers list for the September 13 tribute to ABBA at London's Hyde Park is starting to take shape. Confirmed so far are Elaine Paige, Lulu, Jason Donovan, Russell Watson, Helen Sjöholm (with the rest of The Benny Andersson Band), the cast of Mamma Mia and many of the original musicians from the group's heyday. Anderson is also trying to get Annie Lennox involved.

Billy Joel has postponed a second show, set for Monday in Albany, NY, due to doctor's orders. His physician told him to not perform for three days due to "extreme fatigue."

It's just not TV dance competitions that are incorporating modern music into their work. Choreographer Michael Clark is currently using the music of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed in his latest ballet.

He told that he likens the three singers to a similar group of dancers. "This is a similar trilogy for me, Lou Reed, Bowie and Iggy Pop. I guess Iggy Pop would be Nijinsky, Lou Reed might be Nijinska. Would Bowie be Balanchine? No, I think not. Anyway. It was, you know, that idea. I’m actually wholeheartedly enjoying working with this music, I’m thrilled that I’ve been given permission to.”

Mick Jones of the Clash has opened his museum, which he calls a Rock-n-Roll Public Library, in London (2 Acklam Road, Portobello Green). Inside is over 10,000 items of memorabilia not only from the group, but also all of rock history. Included is Jones' guitar collection and Beatles' memorabilia along with interactive exhibits like computers to create period punk fanzines.

"It's a direct artistic challenge to the likes of the corporate British Music Experience," Jones told Britain's Guardian. The exhibition lasts five weeks.