My top ten – update…

I mentioned in a blog this week that it was over five years ago that I started this blog. It was during my trip to the USA that I ‘discovered’ blogging through my good mate John Lyle.

I was flicking through some of those early posts yesterday – and found one which amused me. It was about the apparent death of the CD and growth of iTunes. It was also an opportunity to share my (impeccable) music taste by lodging my ‘top 10’ tunes.

My top 10 was here.

A couple of things occur to me.

Firstly – I still buy CD’s but I also buy vinyl now (which I didn’t back then). I rarely buy from iTunes – but I do have a spotify account – which I use a lot. Spotify was a start up in those days – it has over 40million users today…

Secondly my top ten is pretty much intact and if I did I would only swap one song out. I think my old No.7 (Razorlight) has fallen out of favour! I think it is replaced by Morrissey and The First Of The Gang To Die.

But the old list is:

1. Young Americans – David Bowie

2. Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies

3. Wonderful World – Joey Ramone

4. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

5. I Don’t like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats

6. Don’t Speak – No Doubt

7. Somewhere Else – Razorlight

8. Cool for Cats – Squeeze

9. 11:59 – Blondie

10. Because the Night – Pattti Smith

CD’s the dilemma

I have blogged before about my music collection – and the fact that I buy CD’s not downloaded music. But it looks like I am in the minority. The major multiple retailers like HMV are struggling as sales of CD’s plummet.

Conversely Vinyl is making a comeback – especially as artists realise that this is a great way of making money out of ‘record’ sales.

Coupled with this is the expansion of space I need for my CD collection. I have lost count of the number, the rack is full – and they are beginning to pile up on top of it. They represent a lot of history and many happy memories. I know what I have in the collection – I doubt any of it is worth anything in reality – just sentimental value.

Downloading isn’t quite the same. That’s even ignoring the lower quality.

MY entire music collection is now held on itunes – and amounts to 300gB of data. Too much for the ipods I have. It is backed up three times (the thought of re-digitising it doesn’t appeal!)

I have seen a Brennan system which might be the answer. It looks great – and it is British! But it too looks like it wants to compress the music (like itunes does). So if I buy it, what do I do with all of those CD’s. Do I box them up and put them in the corner of the loft which doesn’t have stuff piled up? Will I even fetch them down again?

Any ideas? (please don’t say buy another CD rack…)

Apple – the excitement?

Todays front page at has changed!

Oh the excitement!

Apparently we are being treated to to some world changing news – but we have to wait. Rumours have suggested that Apple will stream music much like Spotify and they will introduce a 90 second preview (three times the length of the current preview).

How much more domination of the music industry can Apple grasp? They have just about single handedly made the CD defunct – and with it the record store.

But what really interests me is the hype that this sort of ‘announcement’ can generate!

They (Apple) truly are the masters of marketing…


The Beatles? As Geldof said “Is that it?

The state of the music industry?

I was in HMV in Nottingham last week and couldn’t help but notice that the shop floor has changed. The humble CD (of which I have rather a lot) is being squeezed and marginalised into a smaller and smaller place. In fact it is now almost invisible when you walk in.

It seems that the sales of CD’s are crumbling. The internet has probably played quite a big part in this shift. File-sharing has changed the Industry – although there is evidence that suggests that illegal downloaders actually spend more money on music than other fans!

The live music scene is changing – probably boosted by a fairly massive festival scene in the UK. But gigs generally are now easier to find (I only have to look at my forthcoming ticket list – Gorillaz, Squeeze, Faithless and The Kings of Leon. And thats without the Isle of Wight Festival… Groups have realised that they can make more from touring than the old ways of sitting back on a completed album. Mumford and Sons played recently in New York – to 4,000 people. This was in spite of a lack of airplay! These bands have learned that they must tour ceaselessly and they connect with their fans using Facebook, Twitter and their own fan pages.

They have also learned to give away the base level material – and then offer bonus tracks at a premium – either as ‘special editions’ or ‘signed’. Offering something unique can then put them back in the black.

New York is an interesting barometer. The last time I was there the Virgin Megastore in Times Square had closed – which left them with no big music outlets left. There are some cool small indies left – particularly in the Village.

The music scene is changing – but I still like my CD’s – they are a bit like having a back up – just in case I lose / break my various ipods / applemacs!