Monday, July 11, 2005


The BPI squeezed a couple of bottles of Babycham out of the budget for suing single mothers and preteens in order to celebrate the ten millionth download from UK-based music servers - legal, obviously since the first one. Just imagine how they could have done if the prices were realistic.

It all adds up to a 52% increase in sales of singles across various formats - surprisingly, the seven inch vinyl single had something of a surge, too - in 2004, 154 thousand were sold; last year, that shot up to 288,000. Probably because they're not hobbled with Digital Rights Management.

The BPI is excited by the news of all those profit-heavy downloads:

BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson said: “The record industry has enthusiastically embraced the new legal download services since their emergence in the mainstream little more than a year ago and now we’re beginning to reap the rewards."

We love this idea they're trying to promote of themselves as being at the screeching, fire-spuming edge of technology - it would be more honest for Jamieson to say "having spent nearly a decade trying to scupper digital distribution, we're feeling a bit foolish that if we'd pulled our fingers out in 1998 we could have actually avoided that whole downturn in music sales altogether." But he wouldn't.

The BPI is also gurgling at how British bands are once again doing moderately well in America:

Top 40 UK Artist Albums in USA 2004, Sales

1, Stardust - Great American Songbook Vol. 3, Rod Stewart, (J), 1,207,703
2, Great American Songbook Vol. 2, Rod Stewart, (J), 814,173
3, Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand, (Epic), 778,229
4, 1, The Beatles, (Capitol), 708,982
5, Life For Rent, Dido, (Arista), 696,293
6, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, Coldplay, (Capitol), 669,730
7, Start Something, Lostprophets, (Columbia), 629,180
8, Me & Mr Johnson, Eric Clapton, (Warner Bros), 593,024
9, Great American Songbook Vol. 1, Rod Stewart, (J), 575,436
10, Permission To Land, The Darkness, (Atlantic), 559,958
11, Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd, (Capitol), 551.362
12, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone, (S Curve), 545,222
13, *Back In Black, AC-DC, (Epic), 455,085
14, Early Days & Latter Days, Led Zeppelin, (Atlantic), 432,951
15, Greatest Hits, Queen, (Hollywood), 399,572
16, Greatest Hits, Elton John 1970-2002, (Island), 388,474
17, Hopes & Fears, Keane, (Interscope), 387,014
18, Mind, Body & Soul, Joss Stone, (S Curve), 373,065
19, The Voice, The Very Best Of, Rod Stewart, (Warner Bros), 369,498
20, Patience, George Michael, (Epic), 356,484
21, Seal IV, Seal, (Warner Bros), 344,085
22, Jump Back, The Best Of The, Rolling Stones, (Virgin), 304,411
23, The Cure, The Cure, (Geffen), 298,442
24, Sacred Love, Sting, (A&M), 297,082
25, Number Ones, The Bee Gees, (Polydor), 288,202
26, Final Straw, Snow Patrol, (A&M), 277,784
27, Absolution, Muse, (Warner Bros), 269,918
28, Best Of, David Bowie, (Virgin), 267,262
29, Forty Licks, The Rolling Stones, (Virgin), 259,938
30, Parachutes, Coldplay, (Capitol), 257,495
31, * Live, AC-DC, (Epic), 253,357
32, Vault - Greatest Hits, Def Leppard, (Island), 248,371
33, Peachtree Road, Elton John, (Universal), 241,049
34, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club..., The Beatles, (Capitol), 227,104
35, Lennon Legend, John Lennon, (Capitol), 219,462
36, Hits, Phil Collins, (Atlantic), 217,911
37, Best Of, Sade, (Epic), 216,147
38, Mamma Mia, Original London Cast, (Decca), 210,808
39, Best Of, Van Morrison, (Universal), 209,308
40, Greatest, Duran Duran, (Capitol), 205,397

We're not entirely sure this is quite the putting one over of the US for both the Boston Tea Party and sending us Debbie Gibson: a market that size, and only one album manages to squeak over the million mark. Added to which, there's very little there that isn't compilationy or cataloguey. It's hardly the Beatles invading, is it?

Finally, the best sellers for the second pack of three months from the year (quarter 2, in other words):

Top Ten Albums, Quarter 2 (April-June) 2005

1, X & Y, Coldplay, (Parlophone)
2, Don't Believe The Truth, Oasis, (Big Brother)
3, Back To Bedlam, James Blunt, (Atlantic)
4, Forever Faithless - The Greatest Hits, Faithless, (BMG)
5, The Singles, Basement Jaxx, (XL Recordings)
6, Trouble, Akon, (Universal Island)
7, Demon Days, Gorillaz, (Parlophone)
8, Now That's What I Call Music 60, Various Artists, (EMI Virgin/UMTV)
9, In Your Honour, Foo Fighters, (BMG)
10, Employment, Kaiser Chiefs, (B Unique/Polydor)

Top Ten Singles, Quarter 2 (April-June) 2005

1, Axel F, Crazy Frog, (Gut)
2, (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, Tony Christie ft Peter Kay, (UMTV)
3, Lonely, Akon, (Universal Island)
4, Feel Good Inc, Gorillaz, (Parlophone)
5, Signs, Snoop Dogg/Wilson/Timberlake, (Polydor)
6, Switch, Will Smith, (Polydor)
7, Don't Phunk With My Heart, Black Eyed Peas, (Polydor)
8, I Like The Way, Bodyrockers, (Mercury)
9, Ghetto Gospel, 2pac ft Elton John, (Polydor)
10, Lyla, Oasis, (Big Brother)

Top Ten DVDs, Quarter 2 (April-June) 2005

1, Elvis By The Presleys, Elvis Presley, (BMG)
2, Family Jewels, AC/DC, (Sony Music Video)
3, Live At Wembley Stadium, Queen, (Parlophone)
4, Born To Boogie, Marc Bolan & T-Rex, (Sanctuary)
5, Live In Concert, Thin Lizzy, (ILC Video)
6, Who Put The M In Manchester, Morrissey, (Sanctuary)
7, Greatest Video Hits - 1, Queen, (Parlophone)
8, Legends In Concert, Dean Martin, (GMVS)
9, On Fire - Live At The Bowl, Queen, (EMI/Parlophone)
10, Love Metal Archives - Vol 1, Him, (BMG)

... and there's not much there which suggests that America is about to be hit by a scene they've never seen, is there?


Anonymous said...

Don't know if the asterisks were meant to indicate something, but I'd always thought AC/DC were Australian rather than British - how do they decide these things?

Eleanor G

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Ah, the sweet logic of the music industry dictates that your nationality is not determined by which passport you hold, but by which country your primary contract is held - the Scissor Sisters are actually a British band as far as the accountants are concerned. It's a flag of convenience.

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