Results for Coldplay

interviews

Brian Eno

Frequent Sound Opinions listeners know they can count on one thing: Brian Eno references. In fact some have taken to making it a drinking game. The legendary producer and electronic music pioneer seems to come up no matter what Jim and Greg are talking about. And for good reason-Eno is not just an innovator in the experimental world, but a major pop force as well, first as a member of the new wave band Roxy Music, then as a producer and collaborator with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, John Cale, Devo, U2 and Coldplay. He also composes solo work as well, though whether or not he'll use lyrics, singing or poetry is never known. His last album Drums Between the Bells was inspired by the poetry of Rick Holland. And he has a new EP called Panic of Looking. Brian joins Jim and Greg from England and shares his unique philosophies on writing, recording and the studio as an instrument.

Go to episode 310

Jenny Lewis

Another California native with a country spirit is singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis. The Rilo Kiley frontwoman joins Jim and Greg to talk about her latest solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat. Last year Rilo Kiley achieved some success with their second album More Adventurous, and even opened for Coldplay and played at Coachella. Therefore, the timing of this solo project seems to be curious. As Jenny explains, however, doing solo projects and side projects has always been apart of her band's experience. She previously worked with Ben Gibbard on The Postal Service, and Rilo Kiley bandmate Blake Sennett has another band called The Elected.

One of Jenny's motivations for this solo album was her desire to sing with women. She is joined on Rabbit Fur Coat and in our studio by The Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh Watson. Jenny explains that she grew up singing with her mother and was inspired by albums like Gonna Take a Miracle by Laura Nyro and LaBelle.

It should be noted that Jenny didn‘t just grow up singing. She was also a fairly successful child actress and appeared in ’80s movies like Troop Beverly Hills and The Wizard. She explores some of that history on the album. She also addresses people who are skeptical of her authenticity — being that she was born in Las Vegas and bred in L.A. rather than Kentucky. But, as Jenny points out and as listeners learned in the previous segment, California and towns like Bakersfield have significant country roots. Oddly enough, Jenny is not the only member of Rilo Kiley to have that dreaded“child actor”label. Blake Sennett was a regular on shows like Boy Meets World and Salute Your Shorts.

Go to episode 19

Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande went from virtual unknown to performing at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremonies, and in between she penned songs for Leona Lewisand even Susan Boyle. She's also made it her personal mission to put the poetry back in pop music. It's a mission that has caught on in the U.K. Emeli received a Brit Critics Choice Award (previously won by Adele and Florence + the Machine) and was asked to open for Coldplay on a recent American tour. So Jim and Greg were eager to have this rising star perform in the studio. They describe her music as a mix of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill.

Go to episode 384
specials

Copyright Infringement

This week's feature is all about stealing…notes, that is. Throughout the history of recorded music, there have been a number of instances where one artist accuses another of plagiarism. As Jim and Greg discuss, creative thievery can be much more complicated than the bank kind. You have to consider issues of access, influence, song structure and production, not to mention greed and sour grapes.

So to wrap their heads around music copyright lawsuits, they first talk to attorney Charles Cronin about a recent lawsuit involving Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly." Professor Cronin is a visiting fellow at Yale Law School and the manager of the Copyright Infringement Project at UCLA. He explains to Jim and Greg that while it may be unlikely that the members of Coldplay sat around jamming to Satriani's guitar licks, a jury might still feel they had access, even unconsciously. The melodic similarities are tiny, but evident. What may be harder for the plaintiff Satriani to prove is that the audience for his music was at all affected by the release of the Coldplay song.

If Satriani vs. Coldplay ever goes to trial, its verdict will no doubt be affected by precedents set in other landmark copyright cases. For a mini legal clinic, read up on these three major cases:

  • Mack vs. Harrison
  • Bridgeport vs. Combs
  • La Cienega Music vs. ZZ Top

To end their discussion on rock plagiarism, Jim and Greg go to one of the most absurd instances of legal action-that when one artist is sued over his own work. In Fantasy vs. Fogerty, the works in question are "Run Through the Jungle" by John Fogerty and "The Old Man Down the Road" by…you guessed it…John Fogerty. The Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman was accused of cribbing his own notes. Jim and Greg speak to Kenneth Sidle, the attorney who successfully defended Fogerty against his former publishing company in this case. Sidle agrees that major changes are needed in copyright laws and how they are handled in court.

Go to episode 166
reviews
Mylo XylotoMylo Xyloto available on iTunes

Coldplay Mylo Xyloto

One band that has been working with Brian Eno in recent years is Coldplay. They first linked up for Viva La Vida in 2008. And now Eno has co-written songs for their 5th album Mylo Xyloto. It has already shot to #1, but does it deserve it? Jim compares the band to rice pudding. It's never phenomenal, but sometimes exactly what you want and need. But rice pudding should never be deconstructed or overcomplicated, and perhaps that's where the band went wrong with this release. Eno's presence alone doesn‘t make them any more experimental. And he didn’t do much to improve the inauthentic and melodramatic lyrics. Jim says Trash It. Greg agrees, but admits the Coldplay lyrics game is quite a fun one. He is disappointed by the stale arena rock formula and accuses them of cribbing notes from Bruce Springsteen, or worse The Killers imitating Springsteen. Mylo Xyloto gets a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 310
Ghost StoriesGhost Stories available on iTunes

Coldplay Ghost Stories

In 2011, not even Jim and Greg's disapproval could keep Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto from taking the band to new heights of arena rock success. Three years later, Chris Martin and his plaintive falsetto are back for more with Ghost Stories, the band's sixth studio album. Initially, Greg appreciated Ghost Stories's move away from the anthemic sing-alongs of Mylo Xyloto into a more sparse musical landscape, not unlike the band's melodic debut Parachutes. Ultimately, though, Ghost Stories never quite reaches the same heights as that album, with both critics put to sleep by Martin's (newfound) heartbreak-filled lyrics set to somber music that's molded in part by EDM producer Avicii and hip hop Timbaland. Jim and Greg both say Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 443
A Head Full of DreamsHead Full of Dreams available on iTunes

Coldplay Head Full of Dreams

Over the past 15 years, Coldplay has arguably become the biggest rock band in music. The group returns with their 7th album, A Head Full of Dreams, which lead singer Chris Martin says is the band's last effort. Greg thinks that in the past the group has presented some interesting and layered material, but not in 2016. This is their most pop/danceable album yet Greg feels there's a lack of conviction. Coldplay just didn't take it far enough, and the lyrics are pretty awful to boot. Greg gives it a Trash It. Jim agrees and thinks the Coldplay of yore was a very good band indeed. But the Coldplay of today doesn't go anywhere new. Even bringing in the big guns like Beyoncé and President Obama can‘t save this record. It’s a double Trash It for A Head Full of Dreams.

JimGreg
Go to episode 528
Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsX&Y available on iTunes

Coldplay X&Y

After months of anticipation and a high profile iTunes publicity campaign Coldplay's new album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends has finally been released. This album follows up three multi-platinum releases, making the band one of the biggest of this century. The Chris Martin-fronted act sought out Brian Eno to take their music to the next level, but neither Jim nor Greg hear anything particularly groundbreaking. In fact, they both think X&Y was a little more radical. Greg appreciates the sound of this record, but wishes Martin had more to say. And, as far as arena rock anthems go, Jim doesn't think anyone does it better these days. But neither critic thinks listeners need to invest money in this album. Viva La Vida gets two Try Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 133
Drums Between the Bells (Bonus Track Version)Drums Between the Bells available on iTunes

Brian Eno Drums Between the Bells

And now it's time for everyone's favorite Sound Opinions drinking game: How many times can Jim name-drop Brian Eno? But let it be known that these mentions are entirely warranted. Jim's favorite“Super Genius”is out with a new record, Drums Between the Bells, a collaboration with the British poet Rick Holland. Eno has a been a major influence in the music world since the early seventies, first as a member of Roxy Music, then as a solo artist and ambient music innovator, and most recently as a producer for industry powerhouses like U2 and Coldplay. First to the plate to review Drums Between the Bells is Jim, who wants to set the record straight. He's no slavish Eno devotee, though he's championed the artist at his best. Unfortunately Eno's best isn‘t what Jim gets on“Drums.”The album is part ambient music - perfectly fine for what it is, but Jim misses the vocal gravitas that Eno himself might have brought to Holland’s poetry (instead, Eno has regular folks - non-actors and singers - speaking Holland's lines). Jim gives Drums a Burn it. Greg agrees, calling the album's vocals a little too dry. But he was intrigued enough by all the interesting rhythmic work on Drums to give the album a Burn it.

JimGreg
Go to episode 295
The ShipThe Ship available on iTunes

Brian Eno The Ship

If you‘ve ever listened to Sound Opinions, you’ve learned one thing – Jim loves himself some Brian Eno. Eno has worn many hats over his long career, starting as a member of Roxy Music, collaborating with artists like David Bowie, and producing commercial successes for U2, Talking Heads, and Coldplay. His own solo output has varied wildly in style, recording pop albums in the '70s and basically inventing ambient music. His latest work, The Ship, is a concept album about the Titanic and the slaughter of World War I. Greg says Eno is finally merging his pop and ambient music, resulting in one of his best albums yet. He's freed himself from traditional song structures and rhythms to create cinematic images filled with orchestral synthesizer colors. Greg gives it a Buy It, impressed that Eno is still coming up with new ways to express himself. In a shocking turn of events, Jim is less impressed. He thinks that Eno's voice is the strongest tool in his arsenal, yet here he's burying it under the mix and fussing with Vocoders. Jim loves some ambient Eno, but feels he's done it better than on The Ship. But Jim says the doo-wop inflected cover of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free" is amazing, earning The Ship a Try It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 545
High LifeSomeday World available on iTunes

Karl Hyde & Brian Eno Someday World

Pop/Rock icon (and enabler of the Sound Opinions drinking game) Brian Eno boasts a tremendous library of groundbreaking work, as well as a long history of rich collaborations, including joint projects with artists such as the Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2, and Coldplay. Most recently, Eno joined forces with electronic Underworlder Karl Hyde. The partnership produced two albums, Someday World and High Life, both released in rapid succession this year. Jim believes the that the two albums must be considered together, with the latter, High life, simply an extension of the first and former Someday World. That one was a“poppier”album, mostly comprised of Eno's previously unfinished pieces bolstered by Hyde's intervention. From Jim's perspective, the duo's attempt to combine Phillip Glass-minimalism with afro-beats is“not the greatest in the world”(a staggering response from the "unofficial president of the Brian Eno fan club). And most importantly it fails to provide Eno fans with what they truly want: more singing Eno. That said, an ever-faithful student, he asserts a Buy It stance for himself and a Try It for the rest of us.

Unlike Jim, Greg argues that these two albums must be viewed as two distinct entities—separate endeavors each with their own merits and shortcomings. Although he dishes out a borderline Trash It rating to the patchwork Someday World, he remarks that“the duo really hit their stride,”with this second, more experimental attempt and gladly jumps on board Jim's Eno train to give High Life a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 450
Loose (iTunes Version)Loose available on iTunes

Nelly Furtado Loose

Up for review this week is Loose, the third album from singer Nelly Furtado. She had breakout success with her 2000 record Whoa, Nelly!, featuring the hit single, "I'm Like a Bird." But she had less luck with her second album, Folklore, so on this go-around, Furtado sought out acclaimed producer Timbaland. Our critics disagree about the results. Jim finds her newly sexed-out image manufactured and unoriginal. He misses her more adventurous approach to music that incorporated pop with worldbeat and folk. Basically, Jim finds Nelly to be a“skanky ho.”That said, he does appreciate the Latin songs on Loose, and her ballad with Coldplay's Chris Martin. For Greg, these are the worst songs on the album. He prefers the irresistible dance numbers "Promiscuous" and "Maneater," which are full of Timbaland's signature grooves. Greg questions why Jim is upset by a woman being overtly sexual, and explains that he finds her lyrics flirtatious, playful and ultimately harmless. Both critics give Loose a Burn It — for very different reasons.

JimGreg
Go to episode 30
Shields: ExpandedShields available on iTunes

Grizzly Bear Shields

Jim was a fan of Grizzly Bear back when the band appeared on Sound Opinions in 2009. But something was missing from their album Veckatimist. Who knew that“something”was a little Coldplay? The harder rocking stomp and grandeur on this year's Shields fits perfectly with their beautiful harmonies and baroque-pop craftsmanship, according to Jim. He says Buy It. Greg loves Grizzly Bear's take on chamber pop, and especially the drumming on Shields. But he's missing a sense of immediacy on the songs. So Greg goes with a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 360
news

Music News

Spotify and other digital streaming services are definitely the wave of the future. But some artists are eschewing streaming for more traditional methods of marketing and distribution. Coldplay, for one, has decided not to make its new album Mylo Xyloto available to Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. In addition, Tom Waits and Adele have said no thank you. The reasons behind this may be similar to ones we've heard from old school acts like Pink Floydand AC/DC-they want their albums heard as a whole, not broken up into singles. But, as Greg points out, it may simply be that acts as big as these don‘t need streaming services. They’re doing just fine on their own with radio and a large fan base behind them. Just look at Adele and Coldplay, both sales success stories for 2011.

Go to episode 310

Music News

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently released an official Spotify playlist for her 2016 campaign, featuring the likes of Katy Perry and Ariana Grande. Jim doubts that Clinton made the playlist herself, suggesting that the featured artists are more in tune with the tastes of a young campaign staffer. But President Obama's playlist is more authentic, featuring tracks by The Tempations, The Isley Brothers, and even one of Jim's favorite bands, Low Cut Connie. But this isn‘t to say that Obama’s playlist is flawless – Jim is sorely disappointed by the Coldplay pick.

Speaking of presidential candidates, New Jersey governor Chris Christie recently issued a statement proclaiming his adoration for Bruce Springsteen. The politician writes that the Boss“gave voice to the suburban kids like me who were filled with dreams and doubts. He was one of us.”Christie goes so far as to say "Born to Run is my Desert Island disc." Greg is surprised by the pick, given Christie's preference for Bon Jovi, another New Jersey native. Jim thinks that his home state has quite a lot to be embarrassed about these days.

From time to time Jim and Greg like to sit down and take a look at the Billboard Chart to discuss the country's most popular albums. Country rocker Luke Bryan is at #1 with his new album Kill the Lights, but Jim doesn‘t see what’s so great about this seemingly generic country music. Familiar artists Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift continue to dominate, with the #2 and #7 records, respectively. Greg is happy to see former The Voice contestant Melanie Martinez on the charts, a former member of Jim's favorite artist Adam Levine's team. And let's not forget about the #8 artist, Bullet for my Valentine, a Welsh heavy metal band that Jim and Greg just can't get enough of. But perhaps the most interesting chart topper this week is Elvis Presley, whose retrospective album Elvis Forever is selling big in your local Post Office.

Go to episode 509

Music News

One of the biggest sales in record company history has just been completed. EMI, until now one of the four remaining major labels, is being broken up and sold off by the megabank Citigroup for a combined $4.1 billion. After many months of negotiations, French media company Vivendi, which owns Universal Music Group, will buy EMI's recorded music division and Sony Corp. will pick up the publishing arm. Now we're down to three. But some people speculate that consolidation is necessary for this industry's survival. One thing is certain, Universal, already the largest music company in the world, with an estimated 27% of the global market, is now an even bigger giant with the addition of Coldplay, Katy Perry and Pink Floyd to its roster.

It may be years too late, but Google is finally in the digital music business. They launched their online store with a splash on Wednesday, demonstrating how its 13 million songs will be integrated with Android and can be accessed across various devices and shared with friends. The Internet company inked licensing deals with 2 of the 3 labels, save Warner Music Group, but it seems unlikely Google be able to compete with reigning digital music king iTunes, as well as services from Amazon and Spotify. The secret to success rests with its dominant search engine. People will come to Google Music first. But will they stay is the real question.

Go to episode 312

Music News

Taylor Swift dominated 2014 with her album 1989, selling 3.6 million copies and narrowly beating out Disney's Frozen for the top spot. With only four records achieving platinum status, not even Queen Bey made the cut this year. 2014 also saw a change in how consumers listened to music, as streaming increased 54% and vinyl sales were at their highest since 1991.

Just when people thought they "forgot about Dre", it turns out he was the highest paid musician of 2014 according to Forbes. Dr. Dre made $620 million before taxes, which can be attributed to his success with Beats headphones and collaboration with Apple. In second place is Beyoncé. Rounding out the top five are boomer acts The Eagles, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.

For the first time in UK chart history, the ten best-selling albums of the year were British acts. Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Coldplay and One Direction all held prominent places on the list, perhaps signaling that there is another British invasion on the way.

vx2 Sony is reintroducing the Walkman to give music enthusiasts a new old obsession. This Walkman has 128 GB of memory and 60 hours of battery life, and the device is competing with Neil Young's Pono, another high-fidelity music player. Young says his device does not do anything but play music and argues that is what it all should be about.

Go to episode 476

Music News

Making news are recent announcements about upcoming summer concerts. First, there was release of the lineups for the annual Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals. The Coachella Festival in southern California usually has one of the more exciting and diverse bills of the summer, with past headliners like Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead. This year, though, Jim and Greg are skeptical of whether headliners Tool and Depeche Mode can be enough of a draw. It's up to support acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Massive Attack and Wolf Parade to make the desert heat bearable. There is also exciting news for Chicagoans: Lollapalooza will be returning with an expanded three-day format. Plus, indie rock fans can look forward to not one, but two new festivals in the city—the Pitchfork Music Festival and the newly independent Intonation Festival.

Joining Jim and Greg for the news this week is former Supreme Mary Wilson. Ms. Wilson made headlines recently when she began a national campaign to support legislation that would prevent imposters (but thankfully not cover bands) from posing as major artists. To prove the point that there is only one true Mary Wilson, the singer did an a cappella rendition of The Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love" for the Illinois House of Representatives.

Go to episode 12

Music News

While CD sales are down, vinyl sales are up this year, and labels are looking to cash in on this trend. A number of major artists, from Coldplay to The Raconteurs, are releasing vinyl versions of their albums. Jim and Greg talk with Tom Biery, a VP at Warner Bros./Reprise who is heading up the label's vinyl initiative. Tom explains that the resurgence there really began with Neil Young. The veteran WB artist explained to label executives how important sound still is, and that sparked something with Tom. Now a number of major albums are being re-released in high-quality vinyl, and according to Biery, it's not just the audiophiles who are buying.

Even though CD sales continue to plummet, new research is showing that major label artists can remain successful. Eric Garland is the co-founder of Big Champagne Online Media Measurement, which researches piracy and file-sharing sites. Jim and Greg talk with Eric about how distributors are facing the facts of the digital era and looking for ways in which they can use leaks to the industry's advantage. Leaks can even be viewed as promotional tools today, Nas‘ manager believes that the latest leak has helped the rapper’s new album, which Jim and Greg review later in the show. Evidence shows that the artists that have the highest album sales also see the most illegal downloads. Eric admits that piracy isn't the only factor in the consistent drop of CD sales, suggesting that alternate forms of media may take a priority today; competitive products like video games and DVDs are more popular now than ever.

Go to episode 138

Music News

The Rolling Stones made headlines this week after inking an exclusive recording deal with Universal Music. This has prompted speculation that the Stones are planning to leave longtime label EMI, which is restructuring under new ownership. This would be one of many big name acts rumored to be headed for the hills, including Coldplay and Robbie Williams. Paul McCartney and Radiohead have already fled, and the potential loss of the Stones catalog could cost EMI over $6 million. New CEO Guy Hands refuses to express concern, but Jim and Greg predict that the music industry may come down from the six major labels it had at the turn of the century, to only three.

Singer/songwriter John Stewart passed away earlier this week at the age of 68. Stewart penned The Monkees' classic tune "Daydream Believer," but many listeners may not know about the huge song catalog he left behind. He recorded nearly four dozen solo albums and helped to create what we now know as "Americana." In addition to influencing artists like Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Roseanne Cash, he was idolized by Lindsey Buckingham, the Fleetwood Mac member who teamed up with him and Stevie Nicks for Stewart's hit single "Gold."

Go to episode 113

Music News

The Beatles remasters were a big success story for Apple Corp. In one week they sold more than 600,000 albums in the U.S. and had 13 of the 14 best-selling catalog albums. So the question is, are they worth it? Jim and Greg give their answers. The sound is improved, but the packaging isn‘t much to write home about. And, as Jim says, how many new Beatles formats should fans be expected to buy? Greg thinks the real gems are the Fab Four’s mono mixes, but those are only available as a separate and pricey box set. Jim and Greg think fans deserve a little more for their money.

Two rock lawsuits are making the news. First, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is being sued by some of the largest record companies for copyright infringement. As viewers know, Ellen frequently and enthusiastically dances during the show. Unfortunately for her she doesn‘t like any fair-use beats. Instead she’s boogied down to over 1,000 copyrighted pop songs without permission. As Jim notes, the ironies abound: Ellen has not only hosted the recording industry's biggest award show, The Grammys, but she's been tapped as a new judge on American Idol, who works in partnership with Sony Music, one of the plaintiffs.

Next is an update on a lawsuit Jim and Greg discussed earlier this year. Guitar shredder Joe Satriani sued Coldplay for ripping off his composition If I Could Fly, in their track Viva La Vida. The suit has been dropped, and while no financial details have been revealed, Coldplay doesn't have to admit to any guilt.

Jim CarrollFamed poet, spoken word artist and punk rocker Jim Carroll passed away last week at the age of 60. Carroll may be best known for his 1978 book The Basketball Diaries, which was adapted into a film of the same name. He was also very involved in the CBGB's punk scene of the 1970s, and under the encouragement of Patti Smith, transformed his poetry into music. To honor Carroll, Jim and Greg play People Who Died from his 1980 album Catholic Boy.

Go to episode 199

Music News

First up in the news is the Future of Music Coalitions' report on the state of indie airplay on commercial radio stations. In 2007, after controversies surrounding payola, the FCC and four major radio corporations signed a voluntary agreement to air more local and independent artists. The FMC has been keeping tabs on how they're doing, and the stats are not good. Just as before, 85% of music on the radio comes from major labels. This may have been the conservative and profitable way to go for radio conglomerations in the past, but as the major label system crumbles, it would behoove radio to walk on the wild side a little more.

Following in the esteemed footsteps of Prince and No Doubt, Coldplay will give away a free live album with the purchase of a ticket to their Viva La Vida tour. Jim and Greg are always encouraged to see musicians try to give consumers a little more bang for your buck, especially since Coldplay tickets are not nearly as expensive as a lot of summer shows.

In other concert industry news, one group that isn't holding back spending in this economy is the corporate sponsor. According to IEG Sponsorship Report, sponsorships will hit an all-time high in 2009. Companies like JC Penney, Clorox and KC Masterpiece want to cash in on big name music acts. After seeing the Virgin Mobile-sponsored Britney Spears show recently, Jim and Greg wonder if these are such wise investments though. And, they shudder to think of the corporate presence at the upcoming Woodstock reunion.

Go to episode 180

Music News

First up in the news the sentence handed to Daniel Biechele, the tour manager of the band Great White. Biechele was ordered to serve four years in prison and three years probation for setting a fire in a Rhode Island nightclub in February 2003 — a blaze that killed 100 fans and injured twice that number. This was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. The ruling represents a compromise between the defense and the prosecution, who were originally seeking a ten-year sentence. Meanwhile. victims' families are awaiting the trial of the club owners, to take place later this summer.

Another court case also made news this week. In the battle between The Beatles' Apple Corp. and Apple Computer over trademark infringement and their shared apple logo, the judge ruled against the Fab Four. The band was contending that Apple Computer and its iTunes Music Store had breached a 1980 trademark agreement by expanding onto their turf — the music industry. However, the judge, who does own an iPod, responded that“even a moron in a hurry,”could tell the difference between the two companies. Now we just have to wait and see if the Beatles will finally release their songs to the online music retailer. Hopefully this will not confuse any of the morons in a hurry out there.

There was also an update on Keith Richards' health status, which was discussed last week. After a mysterious fall on the island of Fiji, Richards was admitted to a hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. On Monday, after complaining of headaches, he underwent an operation, which, according to his publicist, was 100% successful. The Stones' camp has not said how he fell or what the operation was for, but reports speculate that it was to drain blood from his skull. A spokesperson has, however, denied that there was more than one surgery or that Richards suffered any brain damage. Fans can expect to see the guitarist touring in June, and back to his old, randy self in no time.

Grant McLennan, frontman of Australian indie rock band The Go-Betweens, died in his sleep earlier this week. The singer/songwriter was 48. Greg discusses how The Go-Betweens, who were going strong up until McLennan's passing, were not necessarily commercially successful, but were very influential in the 1980s. Musicians like Bono and Morrissey and members of bands like R.E.M. and Coldplay have all sung the praises of McLennan and his partner Robert Foster. Many listeners will only know the band from their hit "Bachelor Kisses," but Greg points out that the songwriting pair penned many wonderful pop songs that were full of emotion and humanity. He chooses to play "Bye Bye Pride," and prompts listeners to pay attention to the oboe solo.

Go to episode 24

Music News

After being heralded as the next wave of music retail, Starbucks' Hear Music label is folding and moving its artists to Concord Music. Apparently Starbucks has realized that physical music sales is not an easy business. And now artists like Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Sia won't be able to depend on the coffee chain for their…um…buzz.

Jim and Greg's next news item concerns one of the biggest selling bands of all time: Coldplay. But this time, the British pop group is making headlines for making absolutely no money at all. The Chris Martin-fronted band released their new single "Violet Hill" as a free download earlier this week, and so far their strategy is a success. Within a day over 600,000 people downloaded the song the song for free. Jim and Greg will review the Brian Eno-produced album when it comes out in June, but right now they're more interested in this promotional plan. In the music industry's new era, even a band as established as Coldplay has to shake up the formula to get and keep fans.

Go to episode 127

Music News

2008 has come to a close, and the numbers are in. According to Nielsen SoundScan's end-of-year report, Taylor Swift was the top-selling artist of 2008. Lil Wayne and Coldplay also had good years, but overall album sales were down a whopping 14%. It's not all bad news for the music industry, however. While physical sales for complete albums continue to plummet, music sales overall are up; more than 1 billion digital tracks were sold. And, profits from concert sales are up 8%. This figure is the result of fewer tickets being sold for more money, and Jim and Greg wonder if consumers will be able to keep up with rising ticket prices in this failing economy.

It looks like digital music sales will only continue to increase. Steve Jobs of Apple has made it even easier for music fans to purchase and download music from the iTunes store by removing all Digital Rights Management software from its files. But, accessibility comes at a price—$1.29 to be exact. Amazon and other online stores have been selling DRM-free files for almost a year, but iTunes was the last to hold out with the labels' demands. So if both Apple and the music industry are winners, where does that leave the consumer?

Pioneering punk guitarist Ron Asheton of the Stooges died this week at the age of 60. While he died at young age, Asheton lived long enough to experience a Stooges reunion and revived fan interest. He is best remembered through his music, in albums like Fun House. And you can listen to Asheton's 2006 interview with Jim and Greg during this Sound Opinions episode.

Go to episode 163

Music News

Foes of digital music have often cited streaming services like Pandora as the reason for the demise of the middle-of-the-road musician. Sure, artists like Drake and Coldplay can succeed, but what about everyone else? Well, Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder has revealed some surprising sales numbers that put this idea to rest. He says Pandora pays over 2,000 artists more than $10,000 a year, and over 800 artists make $50,000. Of course, it's only the Adeles of the world that can rake in $1 million, but that still bodes pretty well for many working musicians.

Go to episode 359