Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Comes Back: The review

Fittingly, for a year which was dominated with returns and reunions, one last comeback show, as the twelve months which made up the year get back together for one last run-through:


The year opened with the surprising news that Kate Moss and Pete Doherty were married. Or possibly not, as it depended on which paper you read. It was equally possible they'd just had a friendship ceremony, or maybe Pete had been kicked out after Kate caught him sneaking round for drugs. While Pete wasn't getting married, Babyshambles made a pledge of 'forsaking all others' to Parlophone. The Sun meanwhile offered a 10pence per call vote for its readers, asking if they'd had enough of stories about Doherty.

With bright, shining eyes, Donny Tourette, Leo Sayer, Jermaine Jackson and Jo O'Meara attempted to revive their careers by entering the Big Brother house. Except Donny, of course, who didn't actually have much of a career, but did turn out to be mates with Leo Sayer. With just as much hope, Britney went into rehab. The risks of a spell in CBB were clear to read, though, as Preston flounced off Buzzcocks when Simon Amstell read chunks of Chantelle's autobiography to him. Preston presumably was worried he'd be in for an hour of "if Simon Amstell's read my book, why can't you, then?" when he got home.

Tony Wilson had a kidney removed; Glastonbury announced a registration scheme and - demonstrating his love of the UK's place in Europe - everyone hoped Morrissey would write Britain's Eurovision song. And Ringo Starr's house was saved again for a grateful nation.

Could there be something wrong with Amy Winehouse? She barely managed a single song during her performance at GAY before dashing off-stage to be sick.

Also seeming green about the gills: EMI. Perhaps a major management reshuffle would turn the company round? Still, it seemed to be going more successfully than V2, which dropped all its current artists. Universal started to think that it might need a new business plan. Roadrunner joined Warner's downward spiral while NME shuttered its Irish edition.

Back in the Big Brother house, Jo O'Meara had a good old laugh while Shilpa Shetty was subjected to racially-motivated bullying. Quickly, the masses (or at least O'Meara's fans) gathered to stress how, in some way, she was the victim. As she was drummed out the house, O'Meara insisted she couldn't be racist because she thought Shilpa was attractive and insisted that Celebrity Big Brother be axed to save, erm, other non-racists like her from suddenly appearing to be racist.

Rumours of a new My Bloody Valentine album were, surely, just wishful thinking. Bobby Gillespie was busy trying to get his local pub to turn down the music so he could get some sleep and Ian McCulloch came out in favour of anti-Darwinism. And Beth Ditto complained that Scissor Sisters fans "had never heard The Ramones". And Pretty Girls Make Graves started to make their own arrangements and The Beautiful South finally gave out.

The money Sun readers spent hoping to keep Doherty out the paper seems to have been wasted.

It wasn't a good month for Kerry Katona: she got divorced from Brian McFadden.


Glastonbury launched its registration system and it fell over straight away. Also falling straight over: Pete Doherty made another foray into, and out of, rehab. He mumbled a sort-of apology. While, having realised that playing the victim wasn't entirely helping her, Jo O'Meara also sort-of apologised, while her fans complained that Channel 4 had deliberately been leaving Jo footage out the programme to portray her in a bad light. In further racism rows, Village Voice upset TV On The Radio by drawing a picture of them being run over by Bob Dylan.

You read it in the News of the World first: Rav Singh excitedly announced the Wham! reunion which, erm, um... hasn't quite happened yet. Equally oddly, Damon Albarn was insisting that The Good The Bad And The Queen didn't have a name. And one of the America's Next Top Model rejects claimed to have been pleasured in ways she'd never known before. By Robbie Williams. Shortly afterwards, Robbie checked into rehab. Presumably to stop doing that sort of thing.

The long running dispute between Apple Records and Apple Computer finally got settled and for his next trick, Steve Jobs called for an end to DRM. Reckless Records closed but Fopp, meanwhile, expanded and expanded, adding 70-odd Music Zone stores to its high street retail empire. In Cyberspace, Amazon confidently started taking orders for a new Radiohead album. Due August, apparently. The Manics decided to give their music away for free. Perhaps unrelated, Napster closed down its UK offices.

Louise whatusedtobeineternal slimmed to size zero for ITV, discovering it made you unhealthy and feel terrible. Surprising. Alesha Dixon flogged her wedding dress on eBay - should have held on to it, it'd worth a damn sight more now. Not as much as Jay-Z got for writing a coke jingle, but quite a lot. We shouldn't criticise, though. You know what it's like when you're huge - people will try to do you down. It happens to the Kaiser Chiefs all the time. According to them.

Kate Moss told Pete he couldn't go to the Brits - she was afraid he was getting too close to Lily Allen. Kate! It was Winehouse you should have been watching out for. Pete wasn't the only one missing out on awards: North Dakota's elected representatives told Bono they didn't think he deserved an honour. Joss Stone did get to go to the Brits, although wasn't allowed to take her own voice along. Beth Ditto was up for sexiest female in the NME awards, but was annoyed at having to compete with Kate Moss. She consoled herself by telling us how much Noel Gallagher loves her.

Britney Spears cut her hair off. Oddly, this attracted far more concern that Madonna comparing herself to Ghandi and Martin Luther King, which surely is a bigger sign of serious problems?

The long-awaited Jam reunion finally happened, although, erm, without Paul Weller involved in any way. He was probably best off out of it: after all, every last one of the All Saints turned up for their reunion. Awkwardly, though, no fans did. The Darkness pulled off the double though: they reformed without their central member or anyone noticing. Perhaps it was the reinvention of Gareth Gates stealing their thunder. Out went the largely-forgotten soft MOR artist; in came a mostly-ignored soft MOR singer-songwriter. Thank god Mel C was insisting she'd never go back to the Spice Girls.

It wasn't a good month for Kerry Katona: she wanted a showbiz wedding but had pissed off so many people she couldn't muster the required numbers.


The White Stripes revealed their new album would be an homage to The Goodies. The chances of East 17 doing another homage to Take That weren't entirely dead as there was still a chance of a second reunion. Apparently. All Saints, meanwhile, decided they hadn't split again, actually, and were going ahead. And Mel C's strong line against a Spice revival started to waver. Peter Kay and charity sent The Proclaimers back to number one. But not even Channel 4 and Harvey Goldsmith could spark life back into Samantha Mumba's career.

Motherly love: Robbie Williams' mam told all to the papers while Mitch Winehouse suggested Amy calm down a bit.

Brett Anderson went solo while Avril Lavigne abandoned the largely unwanted grown-up makeover to shore up sales by reverting to the role of the gothy-lite Hannah Montana. Also suffering an image problem was Bono, as Bloomberg looked at u2's tax regime. And Snoop Dogg couldn't work out what it was about his image that made the UK bar him from the UK. Not caring it how it looks was Pete Wentz, happily stuffing advertiser's cash into his pockets in return for product placement.

EMI sniffily said no to a proposed merger with Warners as Starbucks launched their own label. Sensing the way the wind was going - and not for the first time - Alan McGee called for a cull of record shops. HMV responded by revealing plans to become a coffee shop instead. Not for the first time, the USB stick was waved as a possible saviour of physical sales.

Scooch were chosen to represent the UK in Eurovision. Could that be right? Getting it very wrong, Mean Fiddler sent confirmations to lucky Reading-Leeds ticket purchasers before, erm, withdrawing the confirmations.


Glastonbury tickets - aided by the demand for citizens to register and present papers - sold out without further incident. We tried to find out exactly what was happening with Ringo's house, but it's not easy. Joss Stone sacked her manager, although allowed her to stay on in her secondary 'mum' role. Labour signed up Dave Rowntree as a potential councillor.

A car was driven into the gates of Paul McCartney's house. It wasn't Heather, for once. Another surprise attack came from Avril Lavigne, who declared Britney Spears' character to be wanting. The battle between Britney and her Canadian nemesis was one of the few sites of conflict that wasn't chosen by George Michael for his mawkish and ill-advised tour of places of horror with John Lennon's piano. Even that, though, wasn't quite as tacky as the Joy Division training shoe. Justin Timberlake mused on the link between art and commerce, claiming responsibility for saving McDonalds. And The Grammys. He couldn't save Britney though; her management tried and were rewarded with sarcastic backchat.

EMI dipped a toe in selling tracks without DRM on iTunes. Rednex, on the other hand, put their band up for sale on eBay. The RIAA sent cease and desist letters to fans taking part in, erm, a Nine Inch Nails promo campaign. And, erm, The Sun defeated touting. Forever. Ebay wasn't so sure; it introduced a 20% levy for anyone flogging Live Earth tickets - and then braced itself for unwanted Mike Oldfield records after the Mail On Sunday raised the giveaway stakes by handing out free Tubular Bells. Travis embraced free, too, making old stuff available on the MySpaces.

The News of the World was first with the Girls Aloud split story. Mel C went to see Take That and mused how terrible Robbie must feel, missing out on the reunion. Pete Best, meanwhile, made some tenuous move towards getting back together with The Beatles. Even Tony Hadley reuniting with Spandau Ballet would seem more plausible. A reunion which wouldn't happen: Wham. One which would: Carter USM. Topping the lot, though, was the Jesus And Mary Chain with added Hollywood actress.

James Blunt claimed he's inspired by Cat Power; the Arctic Monkeys sniffed they didn't like Radio One. Vogue liked Johnny Borrell so much they put him on the cover - but, of course, they didn't like him as much as he likes himself. Mark Ronson was surprised his terrible version of a Smiths song generated angry emails; Ryan Adams was surprised he couldn't play a gig at Stonehenge. And Bryan Ferry expressed his admiration for Nazi achievements - although he insisted this wasn't the same as supporting them. Right Said Fred were also getting embroiled in politics, as Richard Fairbrass threw his hat into the London mayoral ring. Russell Simmons hit the campaign trail to try and stop rappers using 'nigga' - at least on their Christmas albums if not all the time. Sum 41 released a political song but then rushed out a full apology to their fans.

Click, off, gone: Channel 4 axed Popworld and Christians wanted 50 Cent to drop his 'inappropriate' crucifix.

Amy Winehouse got engaged while Pete Wentz tried to get some bisexual cool rub off on him - although not penises, for god's sake, no. The BBC denied that Kylie was going to be in Doctor Who. Patrick Wolf announced he was quitting, but sadly changed his mind almost immediately.

Oh, and the Glastonbury ticket sale turned out not to have been quite so slick after all.


Comebacks are just getting stupid now: Jazzy Jeff? Mel C explicitly ruled out a Spice Girls reunion. It would take place over her dead body - much like the Thin Lizzy one. Carl Barat promised the Libertines would one day reunite if not over Doherty's body. The Police also decided to join in. Oh, good.

At the other end of their career, Peter Hook announced the end of New Order, 5ive's comeback imploded due to lack of interest and Liberty X split - surprising everyone as nobody knew they were still going.

Akon dry-humped a child onstage and shot his Verizon sponsorship. In the UK, advertising trojan horse band Honeyshot were exposed as the corporate shills they were. Doc Martens got themselves in a state as fans reacted badly to dead icons in boots.

Mean Fiddler were caught breaching the Glasto T&Cs while the Kaiser Chiefs offered booking fee free tickets by renaming the booking fee. Perhaps the Canadian politicians who pocketed cash from intellectual property companies while considering copyright law might want to revise the word 'bribery' in the same way. The Culture select committee in Westminster were also enjoying good times at the entertainment industry's expense. American rights organisation SoundExchange were having 'difficulty' finding people to pay - apparently Chris DeBurgh has gone into hiding.

EMI plumped for cash from Terra Firma, Warners restructured 400 out of work, while indies demanded better treatment from eMusic on pain of pull-out. Trent Reznor told his fans they were being ripped off when they bought his music. Twice, some might say. Xfm got rid of daytime djs, who took a large chunk of the audience with them. Asda stopped selling singles and Alan McGee closed Poptones.

Prince announced his intention to take up residency in London; Sting's chef sued for unfair dismissal - lets hope he's a better employer in his strip joint. Lily Allen worried everyone with her MySpace gloom and Fergie sent a letter to her teenage self. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 tried to please his gay fans while not sounding, you know, like he liked that sort of thing himself. Winehouse became Mrs Fielder-Civil.

Sending Scooch to Eurovision turned out to be a mistake. After he was queerbashed in Moscow, Richard Fairbrass might also feel less keen on Eastern Europe. Blood Red Shoes got beaten up by their own security, and Mika whined that gays didn't like him enough. Beth Ditto stripped naked for NME's front page, to demonstrate that all body types are valid and sexy. Oddly, though, she allowed herself to be heavily airbrushed.

Those Jo O'Meara fans who claimed Channel 4 hid footage of her on Celebrity Big Brother were vindicated. Only it turned out the Channel 4 hid some of her worst behaviour.


Victoria Beckham's relocation to the US started to fall apart while the exchange trip, sending Justin Timberlake to Manchester, also went badly. Jack White flew into a rage against a dj who played the new Stripes album.

Bono lavished more praise on Bush and - given Blair's enthusiasm for war - might have thought a little longer about applauding Blair for going out "with all guns blazing". Glastonbury took on 170 piss police. Edinburgh Jazz invited Ike Turner to play the festival; campaigners called for the invite to be withdrawn and for Ike to drop dead. The invite wasn't withdrawn. ITV's big charity album for childrens hospices turned out to be handing over just two quid a copy to the kids.

Look! Look at Lily Allen! She's saying she's an alcoholic now. Amy Winehouse, meanwhile, saw her destiny in motherhood. Probably the coke talking. Especially since she beats Blake up for a bit a of a laugh. The very idea of Gerard Way and Marilyn Manson arguing about something-or-other sounded like a weak plot for a piece of fanfic. Rav Singh was convinced Britney and Kevin Federline were getting back together.

When she wasn't interviewing Al Gore, Victoria Newton announced that Blur would be recording again as a four-piece - by November was her deadline. (The Sun also claimed Prince was going to do a set in the Big Brother house, mind you.) Not-quite-all The Smashing Pumpkins got back on stage in Berlin - no Iha, but his place was more-than-filled by Corgan's ego. Mel C swung again, this time seeming to lean towards a mulit-million pound Spice reunion. Mel B had happily expedited the DNA testing of Eddie Murphy's kid to ensure she was free to concentrate on as much rehearsing as anyone would expect them to do. Rebuilding his career was Craig David, bless him, as The Verve reunited. Again.. Surely Led Zeppelin, at least, would stay dead?.

Tracks record shop in York hit the buffers while Sheffield club Gatecrasher was razed to the ground. Dick Clark's American Bandstand business was swallowed up by private equity firms for only marginally less cash than a publisher wasted on Doherty's self-indulgent diaries. Prince broke record shops hearts by announcing his new album would come free with the Mail On Sunday. It also upset his largely non-Mail reading fanbase. It wasn't the last straw for Fopp, though: they were already going under.

Throwing an unlikely showbiz strop, The Wurzels pulled out of Glastonbury but at least Nicky Wire apologised for having called the place a shithole in the past. Equally sorry: Iggy Pop, who tossed the phrase "Paki shop" into the BBC's Glasto coverage.

It was a bad month for Kerry Katona: she found out even moving couldn't stem the bad stories.


With the Diana Gig looming into view, P Diddy suggested that he could "relate" to the loss of Diana because she was a bit like Biggie Smalls and Bono said he trusted Blair because he was a "guitarist". Apparently that's a better sign than being Prime Minister. Putin had Allofmp3 shut down in the hope that Bush would trust him a little bit more. Africa asked if Bono could stop trying to save it, thank you. In a speech to the BPI, David Cameron told it what it wanted to hear. One of the comments on our post on this told us that "insulting" Cameron was "offensive". Not as offensive as Tony Wilson having to fund his own drug treatment, though; nor as offensive as Dave Mustaine's anti-UN album. In a surprising example of free-thinking, the government rejected BPI calls for copyright extension.

Jennifer Lopez decided she no longer wanted to be known as J-Lo despite it being, erm, the brand she uses on her perfume; Timbaland had had enough of music. Music had had enough of Duncan James. Rachel Stevens had had enough of being a fading star in the UK and planned to go and be a nobody in the US. Johnny Borrell had had enough of trying to 'save' Pete Doherty.

Thurston Moore defended Starbucks being the new home of Sonic Youth. Beth Ditto turned out to be more than a little biphobic. Surprisingly, Snow Patrol managed to get themselves arrested while Paolo Nutini had a crack at satire. The People wasn't being satirical when it suggested Kate Moss was going to lead the anti-drugs campaigning for the government; they believed it. David Letterman may have pushed Morrissey over the edge with a plate of spare ribs.

It was KajaGooGoo's turn to announce a return - without Limahl, of course. George Galloway saluted the Spice Girls comeback. The resurrection of Steps faltered, probably, as nobody could remember what they looked like. New Order rejected Peter Hook's claim that the band was finished. Although it seemed to be just Barney now.

Live Earth was supposed to change people's attitudes to climate change and launch Al Gore's presidential campaign. It didn't really work. Madonna attempted to square her multiple homes, private jets and massive carbon footprint with playing the gig by sending a letter praising her own "self-education" to the papers. That didn't work, either.

We think Victoria Newton was trying to help when she started collecting sightings of Amy Winehouse drinking - although it's like spotting cats in an old lady's house, isn't it? Rhianna was number one forever and ever. The mystery of how Liz Kershaw did phone-ins when she wasn't in a studio was revealed. Everyone decided there must be some sort of sex tape featuring Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, thinking "you can pixelate out Doherty's ass, surely?" simultaneously. Painting themselves into rock history, Kasabian decided they should be in the pantheon, and where.

A handful of Fopp stores were rescued by HMV, if you can call that a rescue.

It was a bad month for Kerry Katona: She was the victim of an 'armed raid'.


Elton John came up with an answer to online piracy: shut down the internet. We're awaiting the man with the Keep Out sign and the planks to nail across the front door any day. Eminem sued Apple again, this time because his publisher hadn't said it was okay to sell his songs online. DMX backed out of a deal to sell dog trousers and so on, so he was off to court, too. Cleaner than clean, though, was the Eurovision Song Contest - a thorough investigation found no evidence of block voting. They clearly hadn't spoken to Wogan, mind.

Although it had been axed in February, Liverpool City Council got round to telling the world the Mathew Street Festival was off a couple of weeks before it had been due. To keep her Malaysian gigs on-track, Gwen Stefani agreed she'd cover herself up so as not to outrage morals. She still did her bloody songs, though. It turned out, though, Christina Aguilera's near-naked prance-dancing had been just an expression of angst at how sexist the music industry is, and not an attempt to sell downloads by frottage.

Families of the dead at Virgina Tech were unhappy that Nas had been invited to sing at a memorial event - even after he promised not to do one of his jolly tunes about shooting people to death.

Sun editor Rebekah Wade eviscerated her entertainment team when the Mirror got that week's big Doherty scoop (probably something to do with drugs, we're guessing); someone or other - we lose track of who - "revealed" Kate had dumped Pete to save his life. Amy Winehouse had her life saved at her local hospital; unfortunately, they returned it to her for safe keeping.

Faced with a music industry in turmoil, the Thurston Revival decided to try charging a hundred quid per copy for their debut single. Everyone waited to see if it'd turn up in Woolworths' half-price bin. By contrast, Ooberman made all their work to date free to download. Nobody wanted Sam And Amanda off Big Brother's cover of Barbie Girl.

In an accident even non-tabloids would call bizarre, Supergrass' Micky Quinn sleepwalked out a window and did himself a serious injury.

A musical based on American Idol managed one night before closing - roughly a Chico lifespan. Madonna invited guests to her birthday party to "dress up as travellers" (=poor people). For some reason, Pete Waterman decided to make a single with the women from the Sheilas Wheels advert. Even more oddly, Beth Ditto got confused about gay men in fashion. Darren Hayes reminded us about his being gay in a bid to try and dampen down the apparently racially-tinged incident he was mixed up in.

A load of dead dogs turned up buried in DMX's garden. Perhaps thats why he quit the dog fashion deal, then.


Things were starting to look really bad for Amy Winehouse: Courtney Love was offering to help. And her story was merged with Pete Doherty's. Funnily enough, it turned out being a pop star is bad for your life expectancy. Andy Kershaw's falling apart personal life became public as he got arrested after breaching a restraining order. The White Stripes might never play live again, as Meg White gets too anxious. But not about the sex tape: that wasn't her.

Amazon finally got round to launching its long-promised mp3 sales; SpiralFrog decided to seek more venture funding seeing as it can't give away its advertising. Vodaphone launched a mobile music store which, like everything else, ever, was dubbed an iTunes killer within seconds. Virgin megastores went up for sale.

The Kaiser Chiefs had a go at Pink's 'idiotic' political songs. Has she ever predicted a riot? See? They also revealed they're too busy to break America. "You don't need drugs" announced Lily Allen, despite her love of the two that apparently don't count. Fergie decided to fight global warming by selling a Hummer. Britney Spears launched her comeback on the MTV Awards, if drunken mistimed stumbling counts as a launch these days. Barry Manilow said he wouldn't be interviewed by someone who believed in the literal truth of the bible. Bono didn't really have anything to say about Burmese monks being murdered by the state, but didn't let that stop him. The surprising sight of Girls Aloud discussing EU harmonisation shows where this sort of thing leads.

Avril Lavigne couldn't resist sharing how generous she is, or at least how much old shit she sent to New Orleans. Fred Durst started driving over people. Slightly surprisingly this far into her downward spiral, Paul Weller praised Amy Winehouse as a "great role model" while Faye Dunaway offered her sanctuary. Rachel Stevens decided the decline in her fortunes was down to rock forcing out pop and not because 'turning up at nightclubs' isn't quite a bona fide career yet.

The big comeback trail still had a tailback - MC Hammer edging onto the route, for example.

It was a bad month for Kerry Katona: Her former drug dealer claimed he was more than her drug dealer. Oh, and her tax bill came in.


Gary Barlow was moaning about British music being rubbish - almost as if someone had kick-started a reunion trend and strangled the scene. The Spice Girls sold out in mere seconds. Eminem hasn't got the hang of retiring and Wet Wet Wet have an album ready to roll. Michelle McManus went dance having tried everything else.

The Charlatans' free album giveaway got slightly overshadowed by something Radiohead had up their sleeves. Universal have cooked up some sort of iTunes killer service that won't work. The internet cowered as Courtney Love kept updating her MySpace. Microsoft refreshed the Zune line in time to confuse grandparents shopping for Christmas and those afraid of being killed by their iPods. Harvey Goldsmith was annoyed with people complaining about Led Zep tickets and flung an angry post onto his website basically grunting "I've got your money, what more do you want?" The NME attempted to show its power by orchestrating a campaign to get the Sex Pistols to number one. They managed the low 40s. Napster are still going, apparently, but Oink isn't.

Sharon Osbourne revealed she wasn't good at daytime TV, but it was the fault of daytime TV, which meant Oprah got the big exclusive that Sinead O'Connor's life is like a bucket. Duran revealed they'd recorded a political song about Iraq, but it was so angry, they dare not release it, ever. Chico weighed in on the size zero debate, the Chuckle Brothers still have yet to issue a statement. It turns out that Richard Littlejohn is a big fan of Glad To Be Gay. Indie rock turns out to be painfully white. Robbie Williams offers to show conquests a clean bill of health, said a woman.

Steve "left" Placebo; Cerys Matthews split from Seth Riddle and returned to Wales to live a life of quiet dignity. For a couple of weeks. Celebrity couple Chantelle and Preston also called it a day, after finding themselves to want different things. Like 'fame' and 'indie credibility'. The use of Blister In The Sun on a burger advert looks like the last straw for the Violent Femmes after all these years. And who says praying doesn't work? Simply Red are over.

Someone at Boulder turned up to see Annie Lennox wearing a gasmask. Not her wearing a gasmask, the fan was. Morrissey canned a support act who made a joke he didn't like. Heather Mills went on GMTV to sob her eyes inside-out.

It was a bad month for Kerry Katona: she had to read some books.


Cerys Matthews told the papers she was doing I'm A Celebrity to "find my Tarzan". She didn't quite manage it. Pete Doherty told the papers he was off smack for good. He didn't quite manage it. Morrissey attempted to stop the NME suggesting his views on immigration were reactionary. He didn't quite manage it.

Robert Fripp claimed EMI was less than honest in its dealings with him. The BPI got excited at the rise in encrypted peer to peer networks, seeing this as some sort of victory. Lily Allen was angry that Radiohead didn't price their album like eggs in a supermarket and so were Tool, although they didn't mention eggs. Prince started threatening everyone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers wanted the Californication pun back.

That creaking? That's the NME brand being stretched onto a TV channel while Virgin slimmed down its digital radio channels.

Craig David tried relaunching his already-stalled comeback mission. Let's give Mika his due - he did try to stop the Boyzone reunion in the only way he knew. Both Ray Quinn and Rik Waller stopped banging their heads against a brick wall built by an uncaring world, but more than offsetting the balance was confirmation that My Bloody Valentine were regrouping. Electralane went into hiatus. Saddest loss of all: Victoria Newton waved goodbye to the Bizarre column. Where would we find a supply of cheap gags? Oh, yes. There.

We won't see Elvis Costello for a while - he's annoyed he gets no respect in the UK. Amy Winehouse will be going to the US, if she can avoid the whole Blake conspiracy to pervert the course of justice case. Sophie Ellis-Bextor couldn't figure out why the Spice Girls took their tops off in their new video. Of Montreal admitted their music was on adverts because, you know, they get paid for it, Yoko flogged Lennon to Penneys but Band Of Horses said no to WalMart. R Kelly's long-suffering PR decided to stop suffering.

It was a bad month for Kerry Katona: She was running out of cash.


Having given away singles themselves, the Manics attacked Radiohead for, erm, selling albums; management companies suggested they - sorry, their artists - get a slice of ticket sales on eBay.

The year ended with questions: Did Scientologists make Beck pull out a movie project? What was Dolly Parton doing in Rotherham? Will any major labels survive into 2009?

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