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Songs About Radio & Opinions on Peter Gabriel

Jim and Greg discuss the impact of radio on the music industry and music fans. Tune in to hear their favorite Songs about Radio.

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Music News

First up in the news is Billboard's annual list of the year's biggest money makers in the music industry. The chart magazine compiled the list using CD and digital sales, publishing royalties and touring. And while most of the artists at the top still sell records, the majority made the cut because of their hugely successful blockbuster tours. At #1 is U2, who raked in more than $108 million in 2009, mostly through their gigantic 360-degree tour. The band is followed by Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, though a number of younger acts also made the cut including The Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift. Two glaring omissions: Beyonce and The Black Eyed Peas, neither of whom toured in 2009.

In more Billboard news, Sade is at the top of the charts for the third week in a row with her new release Soldier of Love. She's sold more than 800,000 records. Jim and Greg were interested to see so many adult-skewing artists on the charts, including Johnny Cash and Susan Boyle. It's the older consumers who are continuing to purchase physical product. However, they note that these sales numbers wouldn't have gotten an artist into the Top 50 ten years ago.

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Songs About Radio

This week's feature celebrates an important, albeit struggling medium: Radio. Last year national radio revenue fell 18%, and the industry overseas isn't immune either. Even powerhouse BBC has been facing tough economic times. While bands have many other methods of promotion and distribution these days, radio airplay still significantly boosts record sales. Musicians are now looking to radio performances as another source of revenue. Jim and Greg both fondly remember discovering new bands on their FM dials. To honor that legacy, they play these great Radio-Inspired Tracks:

reviewScratch My Back (Special Edition)Scratch My Back available on iTunes

Peter Gabriel Scratch My Back

While he won't be joining his former Genesis bandmates at the upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Peter Gabriel will be busy promoting his new album Scratch My Back. Gabriel graduated from Genesis to have a hugely successful solo pop career. Now he's tackling some of his favorite songs on this new covers record. Greg has immense respect for Gabriel and thinks the album concept, which focuses on melodies and lyrics, is a noble one. However, he thinks it loses steam and lacks any variety. He gives this“well-intentioned dud”a Trash It. Jim doesn‘t understand Greg’s criticism about tempo and points out that this is a mood record. He applauds Gabriel for taking a left turn at 60 and gives Scratch My Back a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. U2, Silver and Gold, The Joshua Tree, Island, 1987
  2. Sade, Soldier of Love, Soldier of Love, Epic, 2010
  3. The Velvet Underground, Rock and Roll, Loaded, Cotillion, 1970
  4. ZZ Top, Heard It On The X, Fandango!, London, 1975
  5. Wall of Voodoo, Mexican Radio, Call of the West, I.R.S., 1982
  6. Rush, Spirit of Radio, Permanent Waves, Anthem, 1980
  7. Beyonce, Radio, I Am… Sasha Fierce, Columbia, 2008
  8. The Replacements, Left of the Dial, Tim, Sire, 1985
  9. R.E.M., Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Europe (single), Hib-Tone, 1981
  10. Indeep, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life!, Sound of New York/Becket, 1982
  11. Donna Summer, On the Radio, Bad Girls, Casablanca, 1979
  12. The Modern Lovers, Roadrunner, The Modern Lovers, Beserkley, 1976
  13. Public Enemy, How to Kill a Radio Consultant, Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black, Def Jam, 1991
  14. Nirvana, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, In Utero, DGC, 1993
  15. Peter Gabriel, The Boy in the Bubble, Scratch My Back, Real World, 2010
  16. Peter Gabriel, My Body is a Cage, Scratch My Back, Real World, 2010
  17. The Clash, This is Radio Clash, This is Radio Clash (single), CBS, 1981
  18. Violent Femmes, Telephone Book, 3, Slash, 1989
  19. Gil Scott-Heron, I'm New Here, I'm New Here, XL, 2010
  20. Johnny Cash, I Can‘t Help Wonder Where I’m Bound, American VI: Ain't No Grave, American, 2010


Billboard's Top Money Makers > Sade's Third Week Topping the Charts Radio Revenue Down in 2009 Peter Gabriel