How’s this for a European sensibility, although I would have hoped for better from the British:
- The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Eurythmics, Culture Club: What do they all have in common? They’re British and they all topped the American charts, mid-’60s to mid-’80s, mop-top pop to camp new romanticism.
After 10 lean years in the U.S., the industry here is proposing extraordinary measures to restore its stateside standing. Essentially, by early next year it wants to establish a rock and pop embassy-cum-trade mission in New York to be called the United Kingdom Music Office.
This recommendation is the keystone of a report–“Make or Break: Supporting U.K. Music in the USA”–that hammers home some bleak statistics. On market share measured by rankings in Billboard’s Top 100 album chart, U.K. artists scored 18% of the action in 1965 (beat boom bands), 26% in 1972 (the prog and heavy rock era) and a whopping high of 32% in 1986 (glam pop, abetted by Dire Straits, in the early days of MTV, when British videos ruled).
The last decade, however, saw the Brits hit the skids, bottoming out in 1999 with 2% of the market, provided in its entirety by the Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land” collection.
“What that figure tells us is we can’t be too proud anymore,” says Paul Brindley, the report’s co-author…
I think what the statistics say are that British pop (as opposed to British rock) – the music that gets pushed over here by the labels – sucks even worse and with even less personality than does our own homegrown cotton candy. I don’t imagine it will be helpful to cram this tripe down the collective American gullet from a centralized office.
Oh, and by the way, I have always hated Oasis:
- A GOVERNMENT-backed campaign to reverse the poor performance of British music stars in America has been derailed after a vitriolic attack on the US industry’s power- brokers by Noel Gallagher.
The Oasis star, currently touring the US, delivered a foul-mouthed tirade in the New York Post against US record company executives.
Gallagher, who is recovering from whiplash injuries after a car crash, said that he refused to shake hands with the families of record company executives, marketing men and radio promoters. It is common practice in the US for artists to “meet and greet” industry figures with their families after shows. Stars who shun this swiftly gain a poor reputation and can be “frozen out”.
Gallagher said: “You meet people and meet people’s wives and meet people’s f****** wives’ sisters and all that s***. And it’s like, you know what? You can go f*** your wife and your f****** wife’s sister. If that means that I get a No 1 album, then you can stick it up your a***.”
He added that the Oxford-group Radiohead, a rare British success in the States after getting a No 1 album, had only reached the summit after making compromises. Gallagher said: “You don’t get to No 1 in America without sucking somebody’s d***.”…
Yes, but the fact is that Radiohead DOESN’T suck, unlike, say, Oasis.