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HITS LIST IN
EXECUTIVE ORDER
This top 10 is a stimulating package. (4/9a)
FEARLESS,
THEN & NOW
Child is mother to the woman. (4/9a)
THE BOWL WILL
HAVE A SEASON
A hopeful sign of an eventual return to normalcy (4/9a)
STREAMING SONGS:
A SATANIC #1
Provocateur hits another one out of the park. (4/9a)
REVENUE CHART:
ROD’S STERLING WEEK
A more than tidy sum for the unpretentious hitmaker (4/9a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: SNUTS SECURE #1
4/9/21

The debut release from The SnutsW.L. (Parlophone), has landed at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart while Demi Lovato takes second place. Over on singles, Lil Nas X remains on top.

In topping the chart, The Snuts become the first Scottish band in 14 years to enter at #1 with their debut; the last to do so were The View with Hats Off to the Buskers.

Lovato’s Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over (Island) is her highest-charting record to date in the U.K.; her previous peak was #5 in 2017.

Justin Bieber’s Justice (EMI) is the most-streamed album this week, down one place to #3, while London post-punk band Dry Cleaning are new at #4 with their debut, New Long Leg (4AD).

Lil Tjay’s Destined 2 Win (Columbia) is new at #7, while The Fratellis’ Half Drunk Under a Full Moon (Cooking Vinyl) lands at #12.

…Read more

U.K.'S BIGGEST SELLERS IN Q1
4/9/21

Dua Lipa claims the #1 position on the list of the best-selling albums of Q1 2021 in the U.K. with Olivia Rodrigo on top at singles. Celeste’s Not Your Muse was the only British album released this year to appear in the Top 10.

Lipa's Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) has logged 33 weeks in the Official Albums Top 10 since arriving just over a year ago, clocking 334k U.K. sales to date. That includes 69k this year, boosted by the release of its Moonlight Edition.

In total, there are six (and a half, counting Fleetwood Mac) British releases in the albums Top 10; only Celeste’s debut, Not Your Muse (Polydor), was released this year. At #2, Foo FightersMedicine at Midnight (Columbia) brings 2021’s total release tally up to two.

Universal counts five albums, Warner follows with three and Sony has two.

Rodrigo's “drivers license” (Polydor) is the U.K.’s biggest song of 2021 so far with 707k chart sales to date, including 84.2m streams. The singles Top 10 is slightly more current than the albums list:  Of the seven British-born releases, two arrived this year, and Rodrigo increases that count to three when including international tracks. The label’s tally is exactly the same as albums.

...Read more

U.K. MULLS COVID PASSPORTS
4/8/21

The use of COVID passports or certificates to grant access to events and venues has divided opinions in the U.K., with critics saying the idea could be discriminatory and infringe on freedom, while others, including Reading and Leeds promoter Melvin Benn, say they could remove the need for social distancing.

COVID-status certificates, which would likely be an app-based document, are being discussed amongst British politicians as one of the measures that could enable the safe return of social life. The document would show vaccination status and/or a recent negative test and are said to be part of a number of measures being tested in the pilot events the Government is currently running, ahead of the possible return of gigs at the end of June.

However, there's growing opposition to the idea. Liverpool comedy club Hot Water, which was supposed to be running the first pilot event on 4/16, has pulled out of the scheme after receiving backlash as a result of being linked to the proposals for coronavirus health certificates. Alongside 4,000 negative messages, club co-owner Paul Blair said he received "a lot of refund requests" for the now canceled pilot event. "There’s a lot of damage, whether it’s short- or long-term it’s hard to gauge because we’re not open,” he said.

...Read more

 

 

 

YOUNG, YES; TURKS, NO
4/7/21

British independent label Young Turks, which works with Arlo Parks, FKA Twigs and The xx, has changed its name to Young to remove any association with the similarly named group that carried out the Armenian Genocide beginning in 1915 .

The label’s founder Caius Pawson said Young Turks was originally named after the Rod Stewart song. “When I first heard the song, it took a week of 2005-era internet searches to find out what it was and even longer to understand its meaning,” he said. “The name intrigued me, evoking the solidarity of youth. In 2005, it seemed to perfectly sum up what we were—teenagers, wanting and waiting to do something, anything.”

Since then, Pawson said he’s become aware of the deeper history of the term relating to the genocide. “Through ongoing conversations and messages that have developed our own knowledge around the subject, it’s become apparent that the name is a source of hurt and confusion for people.

“We loved the name for what it meant to us, but in retrospect should have listened more carefully to other voices and acted more quickly. We have always tried to affect positive change and knowing what we do now, it's only right that we change our name.”

Other artists signed to Young include Sampha, Kamasi Washington, Jamie xx and Ethan P Flynn.

U.K. HAS A TEST FOR RETURN OF FANS
4/6/21

The U.K. Government will be putting on live events to test the waters ahead of a possible reopening of venues and nightclubs this summer. Gigs could be back on by the end of June.

The first of nine initial pilots from the Government's science-led Events Research Program will take place 4/16 at the 300-capacity Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool; it’s an indoor seated event. Second is the the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley on 4/18 that will host 4k people seated outdoors. More events ranging from 1k to 8k capacity to follow. The final event in the pilot program is the FA Cup Final at Wembley, which will take place on 5/15 and allow 21k people to watch as outdoor seated spectators.

The program will be used to provide key scientific data and research into how small- and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown as part of step 4, commencing no earlier than 6/21.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: HOWARD COLLECTS A #1
4/2/21

Ben Howard has hit the top of the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with his fourth release, Collections From the Whiteout (Island). Over on singles, Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” (RCA) enters straight in at #1.

Collections is Howard's second U.K. #1 album and is the best-seller in independent record shops this week, also topping the vinyl chart.

Elsewhere on albums, Justin Bieber’s Justice (EMI) is at #2 while Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) rises one to #3, marking its 33rd week in the Top 10 one year from release.

Evanescence’s The Bitter Truth (RCA) is new at #4, their highest charting album in 10 years, while Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra debut at #6 with Promises (Luaka Bop).

…Read more

MORE ORGS GET RECOVERY CASH
4/2/21

More than 500 music organizations in the U.K. have been handed £400m in grants from the second round of the British Government’s cultural recovery. Among recipients are Glastonbury Festivals, which has received £900k, Standon Calling, The BRIT School and a number of venues.

This second round of funding has been taken out of the Government’s £1.57b support pot for culture and is aimed at helping recipients reopen and recover. Glastonbury’s payout will make “a huge difference in helping to secure our future,” said organizers Michael and Emily Eavis, who had to call off the festival for a second time in January and have recently announced a live-stream event in May.

The Music Venue Trust says its members have now received almost £16m in support from the fund with an 80% success rate for applicants. From this latest round, that includes Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (£213.9k), The Leadmill in Sheffield (£120.8k), and London venues The Roundhouse (£1.5m), The Lexington (£90k) and Village Underground (£310k).

The Standon Calling festival, which is set to return at the end of July after canceling in 2020, has received £418.5k while The BRIT School, which is part state-funded with support from The BRIT Trust, has been awarded £249.5k.

Other music-related organizations to have received significant payouts for this second round include Earth Music Agency (£165.9k), Y Not Festivals (£120k), music development org Urban Development (£92k), Giant Artist Management (£61.8k), Prolifica Management (£67.4k) and Rough Trade Retail (£61.9k).

PPL PAYS OUT £61.3M
4/1/21

British CMO PPL paid out £61.3m ($84.6m) to more thana 25k performers and recording rights holders in its Q1 distribution. Since the start of the pandemic, PPL has now distributed a total £308.8m ($426m). 

That payout included the third-highest quarterly international distribution in the company’s history—£28.1m ($38.8m). The £28.1m is made up of revenues collected from 63 CMOs around the world, with significant payments from CMOs in Germany, the U.S. and Italy. For the first time, the distribution also contains money from the Netherlands’ org STAP, which represents producers of sound carriers in the distribution of the home copying levy and lending right remunerations .

PPL Chief Executive Officer Peter Leathem  said this quarter’s payment “reflects the quality of our operations and the popularity of our members’ repertoire.” The firm established its international collections arm in 2006, and since then, has distributed “hundreds of millions of pounds” to its mandating members for the use of their recorded music overseas.

He continued: “Each year our team of neighboring rights experts work with CMOs around the world to maximize the global recorded music royalty revenues we collect and distribute each quarter.” PPL has more than 100 agreements in place with CMOs across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America.