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Adele Scoops Two Top Gongs At BBC Music Awards

Adele Coldplay The 1975 Izzy Bizu Craig David

Adele dominated the BBC Music Awards on Monday night, taking home two of the top prizes.

The singer, who was unable to attend the ceremony, picked up the awards for song of the year, for ‘Hello’ and album of the year for 25.

AdeleAdele has won two BBC Music awards

Continue reading: Adele Scoops Two Top Gongs At BBC Music Awards

Chris Martin Reveals Beyonce 'Showed Coldplay The Door' When They First Asked To Collaborate

Chris Martin Beyonce Knowles Coldplay

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has revealed that the band were rejected by Beyonce the first time they approached her for a collaboration.

Appearing on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ Martin said they were "politely shown the door” after coming to her with an idea for a song.

Chris MartinChris Martin has said Beyonce once turned down Coldplay for collaboration

Continue reading: Chris Martin Reveals Beyonce 'Showed Coldplay The Door' When They First Asked To Collaborate

Mariah Carey Fails To Land Billboard No.1 As Coldplay Reigns Supreme

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Mariah Carey was beaten to the Billboard 200 top spot this week after her record "Me: I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse' entered at No.3 with 58,000. It matched the effort of the last non-holiday studio effort, 2009's Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel, which debuted at No.3 with 168,000.

Mariah CareyMariah Carey Had To Settle for No.3

It was Coldplay's Ghost Stories that held onto the top spot for a second consecutive week, selling 83,000 to take overall sales to over 460,000. It makes it the sixth-largest-selling album of 2014, with the Frozen soundtrack way ahead with 2.5 million, according to Billboard.

Continue reading: Mariah Carey Fails To Land Billboard No.1 As Coldplay Reigns Supreme

A Week In News: Weed, Boobs, Ghosts, Guns...And A Wedding

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Kim and Kanye Wed

The Wedding: Kim and Kanye got married last weekend. Kthxbai. It has been pretty hard to avoid but if you want to know more about their wedding, click here, get the goss on their weirdly un-Kardashian honeymoon, head here, or find out why Kim's brother Rob decided to skip the wedding here.

The Outrage: Seth Rogen has been forced to abandon his goofy bear act this week to stand up against Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday, who wrote a controversial column implying that the "frat-boy" style movies comedians Rogen and Judd Apatow produce could have fuelled Elliot Rodger's horrific mass shooting last week. Rogen and Apatow let Hornaday have it...and it wasn't even slightly funny. Read more.

Continue reading: A Week In News: Weed, Boobs, Ghosts, Guns...And A Wedding

Coldplay Break 2014 Records With "Ghost Stories's" Billboard Debut

Coldplay Brantley Gilbert Michael Jackson

Coldplay’s sixth studio album “Ghost Stories” landed straight at No. 1 in the Billboard chart on its debut this week. The record sold 383,000 million had sold 383,000 copies in the week ending Friday, May 25, making this the best sales week for any album in 2014 so far. The previous record holder was Eric Church's "The Outsiders", which sold 288,000 in the week ending Feb. 16 (all figures calculated by Nielsen SoundScan, via Billboard).

The album's sales number were boosted by a promo deal with NBC.

In fact, “Ghost Stories” is the biggest seller since Beyonce dropped her surprise album last December, selling 617,000 in the week ending Dec. 15 (as an iTunes-exclusive). Barring Bey's smash hit, "Ghost Stories" also had the biggest digital debut since One Direction's "Midnight Memories" last year. Chris Martin and co. sold 245,000 in digital copies, or 64% of the album's total.

Continue reading: Coldplay Break 2014 Records With "Ghost Stories's" Billboard Debut

Coldplay Score Their Sixth Number One Album And The Year's Fastest Seller With 'Ghost Stories'

Coldplay Chris Martin

It’s a double celebration for Chris Martin and Coldplay today, as Ghost Stories debuts in the number one spot of the UK album chart.

ColdplayColdplay on stage at Radio One's Big Weekend

Ghost Stories landing on means Coldplay are not only enjoying their sixth consecutive number one album, but now also have the fasted selling album of the year so far. Since last Monday, Ghost Stories has sold an impressive 168,000 copies, beating previous best seller Paolo Nutini’s Caustic Love which sold 109,000 in its first week in April. They’ve also managed to knock Michael Jackson’s Xscape down to the number two spot just one week after its release.

Continue reading: Coldplay Score Their Sixth Number One Album And The Year's Fastest Seller With 'Ghost Stories'

Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' And The Five Best Breakup Albums Of All Time

Coldplay Abba Adele Bon Iver Alanis Morissette Amy Winehouse

Coldplay’s new album Ghost Stories has been released, to quite a mixed bag of reviews. When just three weeks after the album’s track listing had been announced Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow announced their “conscious uncoupling” we all had a pretty good idea what the tone of the album would be like. With tracks like “Another’s Arms,” “Always in my Head” and “Magic,” it became pretty self-explanatory that "Ghost Stories" was going to be a breakup album.

Coldplay Breakup Albums "Ghost Stories" focuses on the marriage breakup between Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow

Perhaps he was inspired to call the album “Ghost Stories” as some of these breakup albums have been the some of the most hauntingly heartbreaking albums ever released.

Continue reading: Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' And The Five Best Breakup Albums Of All Time

Coldplay - Ghost Stories Album Review

Coldplay are obviously a band who need no introduction, with numerous hit singles since 2000's 'Yellow' and five successful albums of big, but sensible pop music that has gained them millions of fans around the world. So we can expect 'Ghost Stories' to be an album full of melody and huge choruses, right? Well, apparently not.

Coldplay - Ghost Stories Album Review

There's no avoiding the subject, but one can assume that this is a break-up album brought on by Martin's recent split with actress Gwyneth Paltrow. This could be a reason why the album leaves behind the safer Coldplay of old and finds the band exploring darker territory. Fans shouldn't be too shocked to hear the inclusion of electronic beats and beeps, given 2011's 'Mylo Xyloto''s use of colourful synths, but one will be surprised how cold the electronics are this time around.

From the moment 'Always In My Head' starts, you can tell that this is not the Coldplay we are familiar with, with choir samples that skip and the slightly jilted drums. There's a sense that Coldplay have taken influence from a few newer artists about at the moment, such as SBTRKT and Jamie XX, whilst 'Magic' has an electronic drum beat and guitar which makes it sound like it's straight from Warpaint's playbook. Vocalist Chris Martin demonstrates the power of his pipes with R&B style vocals, something else that will be new to Coldplay fans.

Continue reading: Coldplay - Ghost Stories Album Review

Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' Infected With Chris Martin's Marital Woes, Say Critics [Video]

Coldplay Chris Martin Gwyneth Paltrow

The release of Coldplay's sixth studio album, Ghost Stories, is imminent. We already know that the British indie rockers have embarked on a sleeker, more electronic sound for their new record thanks to singles 'Midnight' and 'Magic' but must turn to early critics to find out the verdict on the entire nine song collection.

The Release Of Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' Is Just Around The Corner.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on whether you take the view that all publicity is good publicity), the new album will land at a time that is a little too close to the very public "conscious uncoupling" of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Continue reading: Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' Infected With Chris Martin's Marital Woes, Say Critics [Video]

Coldplay Turn To Restorative Powers Of 'Fix You' For Mick Jagger

Coldplay Mick Jagger Chris Martin

Coldplay's Chris Martin dedicated a rendition for Fix You for the grieving Rolling Stones man Mick Jagger during a show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. "It's for Mick Jagger," Martin told the crowds, just days after a memorial was held for Jagger's longtime girlfriend, fashion designer L'Wren Scott.

ColdplayColdplay Dedicated 'Fix You' To Mick Jagger

According to Rolling Stone, the service was held at Manhattan's St Bartholomew's Church and attended by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Scorsese, Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, and Jagger and Scott's family and friends.

Continue reading: Coldplay Turn To Restorative Powers Of 'Fix You' For Mick Jagger

Coldplay Unveil New Song, Pay Tribute To Mick Jagger At NYC Show

Chris Martin Mick Jagger Coldplay Gwyneth Paltrow

Coldplay spread the love to fellow rocker Mick Jagger Rolling Stones on Monday. During Coldplay’s show in New York City on Monday, May 5, Chris Martin seemed to give his condolences to The Rolling Stones frontman over the death of his partner L’Wren Scott. Scott, who committed suicide in March, had dated Jagger since 2001. From the stage, Martin simply said: “This is for Mick Jagger.”

The song, which includes lyrics like: "When tears come streaming down your face/ When you lose something you can't replace/ When you love someone and it goes to waste/ Could it be worse?" made for a pointed tribute to the tragedy.

Chris Martin
Martin stuck up for his fellow musician.

Continue reading: Coldplay Unveil New Song, Pay Tribute To Mick Jagger At NYC Show

Coldplay - Midnight Single Review

Whatever it was that we were expecting from Coldplay's upcoming album, it certainly wasn't this. The first single from 'Ghost Stories' entitled 'Magic' felt like standard Coldplay material with its gentle guitars, gritty rock vocals and memorable melody, but on the release of second single 'Midnight', all that seems to have been stripped right back.

Coldplay - Midnight Single Review

The surprise is immediate as it kicks off with a gently paced guitar and synth lull, and from then on we are taken on a totally unexpected ambient journey. It's not that we thought Coldplay couldn't do the dreamy, atmospheric thing, it's just that such minimal guitar use wasn't something we expected to experience as strings are kind of a Coldplay staple. Bringing further (pleasant) surprises was the addition of a vocoder in their instrument collection, which made Chris Martin's distinctive vocals feel echoed and effortlessly immersive.

Most of the song feels like an ever building crescendo, taking its time to add various new layers such as the mellow piano and more and more drawn-out vocals, altogether accumulating into this fantastic cinematic vibe before the synth and a measured rhythm takes over and turns it into more of a dance number.

Continue reading: Coldplay - Midnight Single Review

Coldplay Donate Big Money To Sports Relief, Chris Martin Joins The Voice

Jo Whiley Coldplay

Coldplay have got in on the whole Spots Relief shebang by donating a hefty sum to Jo Whiley’s walking challenge, putting  £260k toward the Radio 2 DJ’s running task. And lead singer Chris Martin has gone and joined The (American) Voice. Busy times. 

Jo WhileyJo Whiley does her bit for charity

Many big stars have been exerting themselves physically in the name of charity, with Davina McCall’s effort sapping everything the presenter had.  Jo said: "I have loved my challenge. It has had some highs and lows." It has truly been one of the most amazing experiences ever, but everything was worth it for Sport Relief.”

Continue reading: Coldplay Donate Big Money To Sports Relief, Chris Martin Joins The Voice

Coldplay Debut New Album Material At Lauded SXSW Comeback Show

Coldplay South by Southwest Chris Martin London Grammar Imagine Dragons

Last night, Coldplay took to the stage at Texas' South by Southwest Festival where they debuted new material from forthcoming album Ghost Stories alongside well-worn favourites. Support acts London Grammar and Imagine Dragons were big enough names for the crowd to pick out songs from each that they recognised but the former had the air of "evidently nervous musicians still working out how to feel comfortable commanding an audience," according to The Guardian's Tim Jonze.

Coldplay Emirates Stadium
Coldplay Played A Triumphant Comeback Show At SXSW Last Night In Austin, Texas.

Whereas Imagine Dragons "threw the kitchen sink at the audience in an attempt to make that vital emotional connection." Luckily for Coldplay, such effects come almost too naturally to the British rockers who seem to soundtrack every wedding first dance, graduation party, or Olympic triumph.

Continue reading: Coldplay Debut New Album Material At Lauded SXSW Comeback Show

Coldplay Are Back With Sixth Album: 'Ghost Stories'. The First Single Is 'Magic'

Coldplay South by Southwest

Perennial British rockers Coldplay have announced their sixth album; it’ll be called Ghost Stories, the first single will be called Magic and it will be released on 19 May via Parlophone/Atlantic Records.

ColdplayThe Coldplay boys pick up their 2012 Brit Award

Pre-orders for Ghost Stories – the band’s follow up album to Mylo Xyloto released in October 2011 – have already shot up to second place on iTunes behind the highly anticipated new album from Pharrell Williams’ G I R L, which currently holds the top pre-order slot.

Continue reading: Coldplay Are Back With Sixth Album: 'Ghost Stories'. The First Single Is 'Magic'

10 Upcoming International Acts You Should Watch At SXSW 2014

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SXSW Festival

South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) is widely known as THE festival for emerging musical talent with artists both established and up-and-coming flocking from around the globe to Austin, Texas to offer the musical experience of a lifetime to eager festival goers. Having begun in 1987, the weekend event has seen some exciting acts, virtually all of which have shot to international recognition since their slot on the SXSW bill - and very deservedly.

It's a huge opportunity for fledgling bands across the world with such a vast line-up that takes over the whole of Austin for over a week. Unlike most festivals were an artist has to be signed or at least have an agent to feature in the line-up, SXSW does a great job at embracing unsigned talent. The weekend even sees dozens of secret gigs dotted around the city as no-one is ever quite sure of who is and who isn't playing. Prince, Arcade Fire and Jay-Z are just a few of many who have surprised and delighted event goers with their unexpected appearances, so make sure you keep an eye out this year. For now though, we're excited to give you ten top acts from across the planet that are well worth your time this March.

Continue reading: 10 Upcoming International Acts You Should Watch At SXSW 2014

Coldplay Announce New Album 'Ghost Stories' Out 19th May 2014 And New Single 'Magic'plus ITunes Festival And SXSW 2014 Dates

Posted on03 March 2014

Coldplay Announce New Album 'Ghost Stories' Out 19th May 2014 And New Single 'Magic'plus Itunes Festival And Sxsw 2014 Dates

Coldplay Pull A Beyoncé And Surprises Fans By Dropping New Single 'Midnight' [Video]


Coldplay have taken a leaf out of Beyoncé's book and released a surprise single with no warning or promotional work. The British rock band dropped the single 'Midnight,' as well as a music video which was launched on their YouTube page.

Coldplay dropped 'Midnight' with no prior warning

The four-piece first hinted that they were going to release some new material with a cryptic tweet, which read, "Something new at 0:00 in Ulaanbaatar #midnight PH."

Continue reading: Coldplay Pull A Beyoncé And Surprises Fans By Dropping New Single 'Midnight' [Video]

Coldplay Almost Unrecognisable In Surprise Single 'Midnight': Is Sixth Album Release Imminent? [Video]

Coldplay Chris Martin Bon Iver Caribou

Coldplay have suddenly and unexpectedly released a brand new single, 'Midnight,' and accompanying music video which launched on YouTube today. The first signs of an announcement came when the British band wrote the cryptic tweet "Something new at 0:00 in Ulaanbaatar #midnight PH," seemingly referring to the capital city of Mongolia.

Coldplay Have Pulled A Beyoncé, Releasing New Single 'Midnight' Unexpectedly.

It didn't take fans long to work out how to research time zones to learn when to check Twitter again for more news from the band. Sure enough, a couple of hours afterwards, the band tweeted: "Here is the video for our new song, Midnight. " and lo! the people were given 'Midnight,' Coldplay's new single.

Continue reading: Coldplay Almost Unrecognisable In Surprise Single 'Midnight': Is Sixth Album Release Imminent? [Video]

Madonna Tops Forbes' List Of Highest Earning Musicians In 2013

Madonna Lady GaGa Toby Keith Bon Jovi Coldplay Bruce Springsteen Justin Bieber Taylor Swift Elton John Kenny Chesney Beyonce Knowles

Forbes have once again compiled their yearly list of highest earning celebrities in every possible respect and the winner for highest earning musician in 2013 is a very familiar face indeed: Madonna. The Queen of Pop came out on top despite tough competition and the fact that she didn't really create or release any new music in 2013. Call that staying power.

Madge earned big through her touring and business ventures

According to the magazine, Madge earned most of her money over the last year through touring, with her 'MDNA' tour grossing $305 million in total since it was launched, earning the singer a cool amount in the process. Her other major sources of income has been royalties, her clothing line and the launch of her new fragrance, Forbes revealed, putting her total earnings for the past 12 months at an estimated $125 million.

Continue reading: Madonna Tops Forbes' List Of Highest Earning Musicians In 2013

Sony Music Announce 'BBC Top Gear Driving Anthems' Released November 18th 2013

Posted on08 November 2013

Sony Music Announce 'Bbc Top Gear Driving Anthems' Released November 18th 2013

Chris Martin Messes Up 'Clocks' Twice During LA Solo Show [Video]

Chris Martin Coldplay

Chris Martin is used to entertaining audiences with his band Coldplay but when the British frontman gave a solo performance at LA's Hotel Café, he unwittingly put on a comedy show.

Chris Martin
Oops! Chris Martin Messes Up Coldplay's Most Famous Song.

The 36 year-old can be seen in our video settling down behind his piano to applause and beginning to play the first few bars of what is arguably his band's most famous song, 'Clocks.' However, he hits a wrong note and rather than styling it out and carrying on he stops playing.

Continue reading: Chris Martin Messes Up 'Clocks' Twice During LA Solo Show [Video]

Video - Chris Martin Entertains His Audience In LA During His Live Set

Coldplay's Chris Martin thanks applauding fans as he sits down to his piano and begins to play his 2003 single 'Clocks' live at Hotel Café in Los Angeles. While playing the intro, he interrupts himself. 'Let me just preface this by saying I might be a little rusty on this one and I'm missing my band which is sad, y'know?' He tells the audience. 'I have to practise this because on Saturday I'm doing a concert in New York with Michael J. Fox for his Parkinsons charity and I get to play songs from 'Back To The Future' with him. Which is great for me because that's what got me into music and without that film there wouldn't be this song.'

Continue: Video - Chris Martin Entertains His Audience In LA During His Live Set

Coldplay - Atlas Single Review

Since the original movie was released, it seems like bands have leapt at the opportunity to be involved in The Hunger Games soundtracks. The first OST featured the likes of Arcade Fire, The Decemberists and Kid Cudi and the latest instalment of the franchise sees just as many big names appear (The National, Antony and the Johnsons & Patti Smith to name but a few). 

Coldplay - Atlas Single Review

Opening track 'Atlas' by British band Coldplay proves to be a mellow yet strong contender due to its epic infrastructure and mass interpretation, inspired by the film's themes and the band's own back catalogue. 

High piano keys contrast the low chords as the iconic vocals of Chris Martin let you know this is a Coldplay song. Epic images of infinite space, atmosphere and landscapes are envisioned with the extension of words like 'sun', 'smoke', 'gun' and, most resonantly, 'bow' which is enhanced by the long extended keyboard chords. Fast paced keyboard riffs develop the song's momentum and maintain a fantasy element.

Continue reading: Coldplay - Atlas Single Review

'Gatecrasher 20 - Past Present Forever' 3cds Anthems Celebrating 20 Years Of Gatecrasher Due Out July 1st 2013

Posted on28 June 2013

'Gatecrasher 20 - Past Present Forever' 3cds Anthems Celebrating 20 Years Of Gatecrasher Due Out July 1st 2013

Gwyneth Paltrow To Open Healthy Eating Restaurant In London?

Gwyneth Paltrow Chris Martin Coldplay

Gwyneth Paltrow says she is planning to open a healthy eating restaurant in London to bring some of her Californian cooking to UK shores. The Hollywood actress, currently starring as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3, unveiled her business plan after trying out her techniques on husband Chris Martin, of British rockers Coldplay.

"I would make a Californian pop-up restaurant in London with all the healthy salads from the book and tuna burgers, salmon burgers and tacos," the Metro quoted her as saying. "He was focused on eating well to prepare for the tour, so I started developing these recipes. Nothing processed and nothing toxic, but still delicious. And that's how the book came about. It came out of a need in a very organic way."

The blonde actress recently came under fire after it emerged that she had banned her children, Apple, 9, and Moses, 7, from eating carbs, though she explains it isn't as draconian as many people assume, saying, "Sometimes the kids want a cookie and that's fine. But my son has eczema and gluten is really irritating to his skin, so when I can, I'll do quinoa pasta or risotto with brown rice, and I notice such a difference in all my family's health and mood and skin."

Continue reading: Gwyneth Paltrow To Open Healthy Eating Restaurant In London?

Will Alt J Add An Ivor Novello Award To Their Mercury Gong?

Alt-J Emeli Sande Bat For Lashes Jake Bugg Plan B The Maccabees Olly Murs Coldplay Ben Howard Lianne La Havas

Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J could well be adding an Ivor Novello award to their collection of gongs, NME announced today (April 17, 2013). The band have been nominated in the Best Contemporary Song category for their song Fitzpleasure, alongside Plan B’s Ill Manors and The Maccabees Pelican. Alt J won last year’s Mercury Music Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. The album has also been nominated in the Album Award category, alongside Beon Howard’s Every Kingdom and Lianne La Havas’ Is Your Love Big Enough?

The awards ceremony celebrates songwriting ability and the remainder of the categories are Best Song Musically and Lyrically, Best Contemporary Song, PRS for Music Most Performed Work, Best Original Film Score and Best Television Soundtrack.

The full list of nominees is below. The 58th annual Ivor Novello awards will take place on May 16th, 2013 at London’s Grosvenor House.

Continue reading: Will Alt J Add An Ivor Novello Award To Their Mercury Gong?

A Week In Music, Depeche Mode Back With New Album, The Gaslight Anthem Storm The Boards, Have Coldplay Released The Best Album Ever?

Depeche Mode Josh Kumra Telekinesis Bleached The Gaslight Anthem Big Black Delta The Heavy Rilo Kiley Story Books Psy Coldplay One Direction

Depeche Mode Delta Machine Cover

Albums of note… In 2013, the apparent year of the comeback, Depeche Mode made a mini-one of their own, with their first album in four years Delta Machine. Dave Gahan’s still at the vocal helm and the group still enjoy looking at the darker side of pop. Something they’re still doing with great success according to our writer Dom Gourlay, who surmised “'Delta Machine' is a worthy comeback that while not quite hitting the peaks conquered so magnificently by 'Black Celebration', 'Violator' and 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' back in the day, still sits comfortably in the upper quartile of Depeche Mode's finest releases to date.”

Another gaining the love of Contactmusic this week is Josh Kumra who released his debut LP Good Things Come To Those Don’t Wait. Give he’s only about 20/21 himself, it seems like he’s taken the title of his album to heart, and this Sony release looks set to make him a star early on in his career. Our man Jim Pusey reckoned “At its heart, Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait is a solid singer songwriter effort. It elevates itself beyond that by successfully dabbling in a number of musical styles along the way, while ensuring that Josh doesn't ever sound out of his depth. Certainly one of his strengths is his voice, and he gives himself ample opportunity to showcase that here too.”

Continue reading: A Week In Music, Depeche Mode Back With New Album, The Gaslight Anthem Storm The Boards, Have Coldplay Released The Best Album Ever?

Better Than The Beatles? Coldplay Top Radio 2 'Favourite Albums' List

Coldplay Beatles Rolling Stones Dido Duran Duran Keane

Chris Martin can rest easy. It wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. It turns out that Radio 2’s listeners really do hold his band Coldplay in higher regard that the likes of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. So much so, that they have voted the Coldplay album A Rush of Blood To The Head as their favourite of all time. Coldplay beat the likes of Keane, Duran Duran, Pink Floyd and Dido, who filled out the rest of the top five places.

The poll, according to BBC News, had been held to coincide with the BBC season The Golden Age of the Album and the station’s listeners voted on their favourite albums. The Coldplay album, released in 2002, sold over 2.8 million copies and included the singles The Scientist and Clocks. Jeff Smith, the head of music at Radio 2 said “Musicians such as Coldplay and Dido have struck a chord with listeners and are in good company in the top 10 alongside legendary bands like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, whose appeal remains undiminished after all these years.”

The Rolling Stones didn’t enter the chart until sixth place, with their 1971 album Sticky Fingers and The Beatles went in at eight, after The Pet Shop Boys, with Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Continue reading: Better Than The Beatles? Coldplay Top Radio 2 'Favourite Albums' List

Len Blavatnik Becomes Music's Power Man After £500m Parlophone Takeover

Blur Tinie Tempah Coldplay

Parlophone Records, the once legendary record label, has been bought by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik and his Warner Music Group for £500 million.

Parlophone has the likes of Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Blur on its roster and Blavatnik’s purchase makes him an even stronger power in the music game. Back in 2011 he bought the Warners group for £2 billion, and now he has all of Parlophone and other EMI assets that were put up for sale by Universal after they’d taken over the company. Parlophone’s roster also includes the likes of Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars and they’ll join the Warner roster, which owns back catalogues by Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac. They can add classic albums by David Bowie, Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd to that list.

There had been much controversy about Universal taking over EMI, which effectively made three major record labels – including Warner – become two. Ultimately it was agreed that Universal would avoid a monopoly if they sold off 30% of EMI’s assets in order for the takeover to go ahead, and its these which Blavatnik has taken control of. According to The Independent, Blavatnik said “This is a very important milestone for Warner Music, reflecting our commitment to artist development by strengthening our worldwide roster, global footprint and executive talent.”

A Week In Music – Everything Everything Avoid Second Album Syndrome With 'Arc,' Paul Weller's 'Dragonfly' Is A "Victory Lap," Jools Holland Teams Up With The Stars

Everything Everything Paul Weller Jools Holland Fake Blood Coldplay Haim Angel Haze Azealia Banks Ellie Goulding Skrillex

Everything Everything Press Image

Albums of Note... Deftly side-stepping the pitfalls of ‘second album syndrome,’ Everything Everything have stepped things up a notch with second album Arc, which looks set to raise their profile even further. They’ve retained their quirky dance geek sound, but this time around, the songs have a darker, more emotional sound. Where their debut was playful, a newfound intensity can be found on this follow-up“Arc offers more drama and intensity than the playful-ness we heard on Man Alive, Everything Everything's 2010-released debut… each track stands in its own right; nothing is filler and Arc maintains interest throughout; it's a much more mature offering than Everything Everything's previous, particularly with the likes of the gentle, piano-backed 'The Peaks, which sensitively showcases their trademark falsetto vocals in an atmospheric setting.”

Paul Weller’s latest release, the ‘Dragonfly EP’ is described by our reviewer as a “victory lap.” The EP contains a number of unreleased tracks from the Modfather’s trilogy of experimental albums released in 2012. Described as “by no means essential for the casual fan,” the tracks contained herein are a step away from the sonic experimentation of the albums and are closer to his early solo days.“The Dragonfly EP is therefore well worth your time if you have any interest in Weller's more recent output. However, for the more casual listener, it may seem like it's business as usual for the Modfather. The 5 additional songs certainly deserve to be heard, and it's a welcome move that they haven't just ended up on the cutting room floor.”

Continue reading: A Week In Music – Everything Everything Avoid Second Album Syndrome With 'Arc,' Paul Weller's 'Dragonfly' Is A "Victory Lap," Jools Holland Teams Up With The Stars

Extravagant Childcare: Jay Z And Beyonce Rent Barclays Arena Nursery For $1 Million

Jay Z Beyonce Knowles Coldplay

Many of us know how hard it can be, keeping up with childcare and nursery payments whilst we go out to work. Spare a thought, then, for poor Jay-Z and Beyonce, who are shelling out a massive $1 million to rent a nursery space for Blue Ivy Carter at the Brooklyn Nets’ home ground, the Barclays Arena, in Brooklyn, New York. That’s a LOT of money to be paying for a nursery.

Oh hang on, we’ve just found that recent Forbes report. Apparently Beyonce and Jay-Z earned a staggering $78 million between them, in a 12 months period. Puts those nursery costs into perspective, really doesn’t it? This is no ordinary nursery of course. According to US Magazine, Jay Z rents a luxurious basement suite at the arena, which he has kitted out with plenty of toys for Blue Ivy. The basement space isn’t just a kids’ area, though. It seems to be something of an adults’ playground too; apparently the suite is “all glass with a champagne bar and TV screen. Jay lets friends use his digs when he’s not there,” a source told the magazine.

It might be a costly approach to childcare, but Beyonce and Jay Z do spend a lot of time at the Barclays Arena. Jay Z is a co-owner of its home basketball team and the couple are often watching their games there, or taking in a concert. Just recently, they were hanging out with Coldplay there on New Year’s Eve. Blue Ivy turns one on Monday (January 7, 2013).

Christmas Albums 2012: Which One Should You Buy? (Then Donate To Charity Before You Can Say 2013)

Rod Stewart John Travolta Olivia Newton-John Sufjan Stevens Coldplay Justin Bieber

Ah, the Christmas album. Everyone thinks they know what Christmas is about; it's about massive presents and force feeding, but really, in its essence, the festive season is about hurriedly compiled albums chocked with bad covers and even worse originals. To help organize proceedings, we're taken the liberty of formulating come handy categorisations that best describe the concept of Christmas Album. Enjoy. 

The Creepy: Merry Christmas, Baby by Rod Stewart (2012) - Classics by the gruff voiced classic songster. It includes collaborations with: David Foster, Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige, and Chris Botti. You can grab it for $11.88, but why do that when you can get the special edition for $39.99!? Ooh Merry Christmas, Baby. 

The Youthful: Now That's What I Call Today's Christmas! by Now Today's Christmas, Justin Bieber, Train, Coldplay and Norah Jones. Young people don't care about Cliff Richard and Rod Stewart, they like ipods, The X-Factor and falling over. This is the album for them!

Continue reading: Christmas Albums 2012: Which One Should You Buy? (Then Donate To Charity Before You Can Say 2013)

Coldplay - Live 2012 Album Review

Coldplay's new Live 2012 release is far from a way to cash in on the platinum success of Mylo Xyloto, despite a release date suspiciously close to Christmas. While the more cynical members of the record buying public may not view Coldplay as being 'cool', even they couldn't deny that Live 2012 is somewhat of a triumph. 

Coldplay - Live 2012 Album Review

The overall package is a masterclass in how to entertain millions of people with arena rock at its best. Even the band themselves admit that this is the first time they've toured without worrying about what people think. Both the Blu Ray and accompanying CD demonstrate that, thereby creating a companion piece to Mylo Xyloto that adds context to that record rather than just re-treading the hits in a live setting.

Comparing Live 2012 with Coldplay's similar package from 2003 also reveals a band that's now less awkward and self-conscious. The most interesting moments here are actually not to be found in the concert footage itself, but rather in the behind the scenes interludes that punctuate the performances. Each band member has an opportunity to reveal not only their enthusiasm for playing live around the globe, but also their perspective on the different elements that have made up the tour. These short vignettes include details of how the Mylo Xyloto artwork evolved and how they tried to translate that to a live setting with audience members wearing glowing wristbands. This peek behind the curtain is beneficial as it makes the gig footage from 3 different stops on the tour (including their most recent Glastonbury headline set) more engaging.

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UK Album Releases, October 22, 2012: Taylor Swift, Swedish House Mafia, Dappy, Kate Rusby

Taylor Swift Jake Bugg Mumford And Sons Swedish House Mafia Thomas Gold Tinie Tempah Coldplay N-Dubz Dappy Kate Rusby Paul Weller Eddi Reader Radiohead Philip Selway

It’s a mixed bag for UK albums, as the release schedule starts to slow in preparation for the big race for the Christmas sales market. This week, Jake Bugg toppled Mumford & Sons from what looked to be a pretty comfortable reign at the top of the albums chart. But can he stay there for a second week or do any of this week’s releases have what to takes to shift him?

The strongest competition for Jake will be coming from across the pond, in the shape of the fourth studio album from Taylor Swift entitled Red.

She performed on the X Factor results show here last weekend and her last album, 2010’s Speak Now reached number six. Her profile has increased considerably since then, though – thanks in no small part to her contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack. If anyone can shift Bugg from the top spot, we reckon it’s Taylor.

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Dual Success For Mumford And Sons As Babel Tops UK And US Charts

Mumford And Sons Coldplay

Mumford and Son’s second album, Babel is the fastest selling album of the year, in the UK and the US. A report from The Guardian today reveals that Babel sold 159,000 copies in its first week on sale in the UK and landed itself at the top of the UK albums chart in the process. In the US, they sold a staggering 600,000 copies and also topped the Billboard album chart in the States as well.

As if that wasn't enough success for Mumford And Sons to achieve in one week, the band have also beaten Spotify’s record for the number of streams from an album in a single week. Spotify users reportedly streamed “around eight million listens” from the record in its first week of release, beating the previous record by ‘a factor of three.’ Spotify’s chief content officer, Ken Parks told Billboard that one in every 10 Spotify users in the United States streamed a track from Babel last week. These results have somewhat quashed the popular theory that streaming services have a detrimental effect on CD sales.

Some major bands, such as Coldplay, have withheld their album releases from Spotify during the first week of release, fearing that it will impact negatively on people purchasing the album. Daniel Glass of the Mumford and Sons’ US label Glassnote commented “Spotify is a huge form of exposure, and they're not stealing…It's retraining people to buy music through streaming services. Could we be getting better compensation? Yes, but I'm not going to hold it back from them. That's old thinking.”

Universal Takes Control Of EMI, Loses David Guetta As Part Of Deal

David Guetta Katy Perry David Bowie Coldplay

Universal won clearance Friday to take over EMI, but with a few provisos to the deal, reports the Associated Foreign Press.

European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Universal Music agreed to part company with some of the biggest-selling acts in the business including Coldplay, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Cliff Richard, to get the deal approved, but perhaps the biggest loss will be French house music producer and DJ David Guetta. They will now acquire the talents of The Beatles, who EMI claim have all-time sales at more than a billion records and huge online revenues continuing. They also benefit from Katy Perry and Robbie Williams "to icons like The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Genesis and Bob Seger," owner French group Vivendi said in a statement. The deal "will benefit the artistic community and music industry," it added.

The decision to merge the two musical superpowers wasn’t without it’s complications, with some bodies concerned that it would create too much power over the terms it sets for digital platforms such as Spotify and Apple's iTunes that distribute music direct to consumers. “Competition in the music business is crucial to preserve choice, cultural diversity and innovation," Almunia said in a statement earlier. "In this investigation, we have paid close attention to digital innovation, which is changing the way that people listen to music." Basically, it’s worth loads and loads of money.

Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto Album Review

Over a decade since the release of their debut studio album, Parachutes, Coldplay are undoubtedly one of the biggest bands in the world. When you reach the level that Coldplay have powered up to, there's huge interest in everything that you do; the rumour mill works overtime, the pressure to continue to deliver is immense and there's massive anticipation surrounding everything that you release. So, if you are going to churn out an album, you pretty much have to make certain it's a damn good one. After a nigh on three year wait for its completion, Mylo Xyloto has finally landed complete with whiffs of the past, leaps to the future and even a perhaps unlikely collaboration with Rihanna; it is to be hoped that it's a grower.

Definitely not lacking in ambition, Mylo Xlyoto opens with its title track; not so much a track but more 43 seconds of atmospheric guitars punctuated by twinkling glockenspiel in the vein of a pre-gig instrumental introduction of sorts. The track build to launch into 'Hurts Like Heaven', a confident, fast paced, up tempo track with driving drums powering the usual Coldplay mix of lead guitar melodies lilting over a blend of rhythm guitar and bass, with Chris Martin's vocals in from the off; then, with their most recent pre-album single, 'Paradise', Coldplay step outside of their comfort zone and into and electro-flavoured new territory. 'Paradise' opens with a minute long string-laden introduction, but when the beat eventually kicks in, it really does kick in with an almost dub step swagger; the track has much more of a commercial leaning to it than anything by Coldplay that has preceded and almost verges on club territory with its swaggering chorus. Coming out of the chorus, 'Paradise' is again characterised by a catchy 'ooh' hook reminiscent of 'Viva La Vida', before the track plays into a much calmer piano and vocal intro.

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Coldplay, Viva La Vida Album Review

Read our album review of Viva La Vida (Death And All His Friends) by Coldplay released through Parlophone.

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Coldplay Dropping 'Green Eyes' From Live Set List After Paltrow Complained To Martin

Coldplay Chris Martin Gwyneth Paltrow

Coldplay will not be playing their live favourite, 'Green Eyes', as frontman Chris Martin wrote it about a previous love and now it offends his current girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. Martin and Paltrow have been dating since 2002, so now the track about a former girlfriend has been replaced with the newer song 'Moses', which Martin has written specially for his 'Se7en' star girlfriend.

Related: Coldplay Recording "Final" Album - Consciously Uncoupling?

While giving a concert in Australia on Wednesday 16th July 2003, and had to explain to the 150 people attending all about his decision to drop 'Green Eyes' from their live set list. He discussed the decision, by saying that: "It's not about the right person. It's like an old pair of trousers, it doesn't fit."

Continue reading: Coldplay Dropping 'Green Eyes' From Live Set List After Paltrow Complained To Martin