Liner Notes for January 7

- Bizarre but true: The loony tune Syd Barrett, the genius behind the original Pink Floyd line-up, would have turned 70 were he alive yesterday. The estate launched a new website in his honour on Jan 6 and traffic was so intense it crashed. A bit of a mad genius, he lasted three years before Dave Gilmour replaced him on guitar—but not before he had written some of the group’s most imaginative pieces, including “See Emily Play” and “Arnold Layne” – a song about a naughty sod who trolled back alleys stealing lady’s knickers off clothes lines. The Beeb ran it up the chart before realizing the content and blushingly yanking it lest it upset its toffy nosed audience. By then the hipsters were listening to Radio Luxembourg and Caroline so it really didn’t matter. He died of cancer in ’06, aged 60, broke and intentionally estranged from his band mates.


- Like most, we are still mopping up e-mails and details that have accumulated during the holiday break. Among them a somewhat astonishing top 10 list of best-selling albums for the week of Dec 17, supplied by Nielsen that shows Canadian albums had 60-percent of the top end of the chart. Bieber is 2nd, Michael Buble’s Christmas was 3rd, Jann Arden Christmas placed 5th, Quebec entertainer Francois Peruse placed 7th, a Muchdance compilation came in 9th and Johnny Reid’s current What Love Is All About came in at 10. Noteworthy in itself, and doubly so since it would have been one of the hottest sales weeks in the year.

Same source, in the month of October, had the Liberal Party of Canada, Government of Canada, and Progressive Conservative Party as the top, sixth and seventh largest advertisers, the same month as the federal election. The number two advertisers on the list was Rogers Communications.

- A report released by Coleman Insights in the US suggests that more people turn to and stay with a specific radio station (67% and 78.6% among P1s) when they hit the on switch than those who glide and fly. The big caveat is that pop formats - CHR, Rhythmic CHR, Alternative, Hot AC, Rhythmic AC, Urban and Active Rock – do not enjoy the same levels of loyalty. The take-away is that the number of listening occasions can have a bigger impact than the length of time listening, Knowing this, programmers should devise ways to capture return engagements than worry about attention spans. Surely food for thought, and pure gold for imaginative consultants needing new medicines to counter withering declines.

Here’s a real sign the vinyl renaissance is reaching a younger demographic than bearded hipsters: the first four Justin Bieber albums will be released on vinyl for the first time on Feb 12 through Universal Music Canada. They are 2009’s My World EP, 2010’s My World 2.0, 2012’s Believe and 2013’s previously digital-only compilation, Journals. Other news about the Stratford lad is his Nov 13, 2015 album is now certified 3X Platinum in Canada, and Purpose's 3rd single, the Ed Sheeran-penned ballad "Love Yourself", has knocked Adele's "Hello" from the top spot on the US iTunes chart.


- CES is grabbing a newsworthy share of headlines, among them reports on Harman Electronics’ new Summit audio platform for high-end cars. Pumping 7.1 sound through its patented Quantum Logic Immersion processor, it promises 3D sound split into 12 separate channels. Another feature replicates the acoustic properties of 10 well-known music venues so if one is of the mind to do so, you can blast Verdi’s ‘Il Trovatore’ as it might be heard at the Sydney Opera House…or CBGBs.


Worth Reading

US Copyright Office announces review of Safe Harbors - CMU

Russia’s PRO explains reforms amid widespread criticism – Billboard



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