The week's music news rounded up, including Queen breaking a streaming record, Taylor Swift using facial recognition tech, and Kanye reaching out to Bob Dylan.
KANYE AND BOB DYLAN COLLABORATION?
In what must be the most unlikely prospective musical alliance in pop history, Kanye West has reached out to none other than legendary songwriter Bob Dylan to ask for a collaboration.
Finding time in his schedule between posting pictures of trees and reigniting his on/off feud with Drake, Kanye took to Twitter to ask Dylan to work together on something unspecified.
“Calling out to Bob Dylan - Let’s get together,” the 41 year old rapper wrote on Wednesday (December 12th).
We won’t be holding our breath though. It’s not even clear that 77 year old Dylan will ever see or hear about this. While he does have a Twitter presence of sorts, it’s clearly run by a management team, and Kanye didn’t even think to directly tag him in his tweet.
Avril Lavigne RETURNS WITH NEW ALBUM
Avril Lavigne has revealed details of her first new studio album in five years.
Her sixth album in total will be released on February 15th 2019, with the title Head Above Water. To mark the announcement on Thursday, Lavigne also dropped a new single, an empowering break-up banger titled ‘Tell Me It’s Over’.
It follows September’s single ‘Head Above Water’, the title track for the new record, which marked her return to the music industry after her battle with Lyme disease.
“I feel like I’ve really opened up on this record more than I ever have before,” Lavigne said about her newest album. “Each song tells a story that will hopefully inspire others to believe in themselves and stand up for what they know is right and what they truly deserve.”
FACIAL RECOGNITION TECH AT Taylor Swift GIG
Taylor Swift’s concert at the Rose Bowl back in May this year was secretly monitored by a facial recognition system - designed to keep track of her many stalkers.
According to Rolling Stone, which spoke to a concert security expert who worked with the revolutionary software for the gig back in May, the facial recognition tech was built into a kiosk that was displaying recorded highlights of Swift’s rehearsals.
Gig-goers who looked at the kiosk were secretly scanned by the software, with the data being relayed to a centre in Nashville, Tennessee that matched the hundreds of images with a database of known stalkers that runs into the hundreds.
This kind of tech isn’t theoretically new – efforts to prevent touting and second-hand ticket sales are increasingly looking at facial recognition software as part of their campaigns – but it’s the first time that the software has been used in the kind of way that Swift has intended.
‘BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY’ ATTAINS STREAMING RECORD
Queen’s signature song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has been named the most streamed track of the 20th century.
The song, which reached no.1 in the UK upon its original release in 1975, and hit the top of the charts again in 1991 in the aftermath of lead singer Freddie Mercury’s death, has been streamed more than 1.6 billion times across all platforms, including Spotify and YouTube.
It’s therefore ahead of classics like Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ to take the number one spot in Spotify’s list of the 20th century’s most streamed songs. Those two tracks are in second and third respectively, with the Gunners’ ‘November Rain’ taking the fourth spot and a-Ha’s pop classic ‘Take On Me’ finishing off the top five.
The resurgence in interest in the song is largely down to the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, in November, which has taken over $600 million at box offices around the world.
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED
Radiohead, Janet Jackson and The Cure are among the big names to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, it has been revealed.
The 34th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is to take place on March 29th 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Stevie Nicks – the only female artist to have been inducted twice, after her work with Fleetwood Mac – Roxy Music, Def Leppard, and The Zombies will be joining the trio to complete the annual seven names who are granted entry into the Hall of Fame.
The unfortunate nominees who missed out this year are Rage Against the Machine, Kraftwerk, MC5, Rufus & Chaka Khan, LL Cool J, Devo, Todd Rundgren, and John Prine.
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