Category Archives: Economics

35 years since Band Aid’s monster Christmas single and the 80s ceased to swing

Band Aid , Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The Band Aid band, Nov 25, 1984: most of the pop stars who performed, plus artist Peter Blake who created the record sleeve for Do They Know It’s Christmas?

◼︎ TODAY WAS THE DAY IN 1984 THEY RECORDED the song that became, for 13 years, the biggest selling UK single of all time. Do They Know It’s Christmas was released four days later, stayed at No 1 for five weeks, sold over three million copies and raised significant funds for famine relief in Africa. The project lead naturally the next year to Live Aid, the biggest globally televised rock concerts ever, viewed by two billion people in 60 countries, who coughed up still more dollars…/ Continued inside

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
How Geldof and Ure rounded up the unlikeliest megagroup
to record the biggest selling single of its era


➤ 20 years ago today the free world wide web was born

❚ TO COMMEMORATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY of the web being made available free to all, the international physics laboratory CERN has recreated the world’s first website and posted it today, at its original address and this is it – The home page provided an explanation of what the world wide web was, and how to use a browser and set up a web server.

The British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed an information management system in 1989 and had a working version of the web in Dec 1990. The first website built was at CERN within the borders of France and went online on August 6, 1991, but by 1993 some user groups were positioning themselves to try to monopolise the web as a commercial platform. So on April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the world wide web would be free to anyone, with no fees due.

CERN, firsts, website, worldwideweb,

The web’s first home page: click on the image to visit the site at CERN

➢ The World Wide Web Became Free 20 Years Ago Today – By Mark Fischetti, senior editor at Scientific American:
You and I can access billions of web pages, post blogs, write code for our own killer apps – in short, do anything we want on the web – all free! And we’ve enjoyed free reign because 20 years ago, today, web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and his employer, the CERN physics lab in Geneva, published a statement that made the nascent “world wide web” technology available to every person, company and institution without royalty or restriction …  / Continued online

➢ Long live the web: Tim Berners-Lee wrote a treatise for Scientific American in 2010 explaining why the web must remain for ever free:  “The web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity – and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending.”



Tim Berners-Lee at the Olympics opening ceremony (Photo: Getty)

Tim Berners-Lee at the Olympics opening ceremony (Photo: Getty)

❏ The internet is a global computer system that provides information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardised communication protocols. In contrast, the web is one of the services that runs on the internet. It is a collection of text documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs (addresses), usually accessed through web browsers from web servers. A browser is a so-called “graphical user interface” which simply means an accessible visual entry point into the arcane world of computer coding. Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularising the world wide web and today most popular browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) retain the characteristics of the original Mosaic.

In July 2012 Tim Berners-Lee was honoured as the “Inventor of the world wide web” during the Olympics opening ceremony in London where he appeared in person, working at a NeXT computer, the model on which he worked at CERN in 1989. He tweeted the message: “This is for everyone.”

The mighty tweet: Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world at the Olympics

The mighty tweet: Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world at the Olympics

➢ EFF asks, How safe is your privacy? CISPA passes out of the House without any fixes to core concerns

➢ CERN’s original Public Domain document of April 30, 1993: “CERN’s decision to make the web foundations and protocols available on a royalty free basis, and without additional impediments, was crucial to the web’s existence. Without this commitment, the enormous individual and corporate investment in web technology simply would never have happened, and we wouldn’t have the web today.” – Tim Berners-Lee, Director, WWW Consortium


➤ Shapersofthe80s is declared an “invaluable website” by British historian

“winter of discontent” ,  Leicester Square, strikes,

Britain’s infamous “winter of discontent” that brought down the Labour government in 1979: as public service workers went on strike, rubbish piled-up even in London’s Leicester Square

Seasons in the Sun,Battle for Britain, Dominic Sandbrook, books, history, Allen Lane,❚ AN “INVALUABLE WEBSITE” — this is the verdict on Shapersofthe80s by historian Dominic Sandbrook, author of the rich new cultural analysis, Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974–1979. It’s a doorstep of a book, yet highly readable, which reveals numerous upbeat aspects to the chaotic decade many write off as worthless.

Chapter 31 is especially inspirational! Sandbrook gives generous credit to key characters who Shapersofthe80s has long maintained deserve recognition as movers and shapers pivotal to the energy of the 80s. And, having quoted chunks from our own texts, the historian gives due acknowledgement in his extensive bibliography. Indeed, the scope of his research is more impressive than for much other contemporary history, as Sandbrook not only cites political and economic mandarins, but also sifts fine detail from popular culture and eye-witness reportage across the whole social spectrum.

Sandbrook writes: “Behind the lurid news stories, the late 1970s were the decisive point in our recent history. Across the country, a profound argument about the future of the nation was being played out, not just in families and schools but in everything from episodes of Doctor Who to singles by the Clash. These years marked the peak of trade union power and the apogee of an old working-class Britain – but they also saw the birth of home computers, the rise of the ready meal and the triumph of a Grantham grocer’s daughter who would change our history for ever”

Seasons in the Sun is the fourth title in Sandbrook’s survey of postwar Britain. His unstuffy combination of high and low life is behind the BBC2 series The Seventies currently viewable live and on iPlayer.

BBC2 series The Seventies,Seasons in the Sun ,Dominic Sandbrook

Sandbrook’s Seasons in the Sun forms the basis of the current BBC2 TV series The Seventies


❏ “The first three volumes of Dominic Sandbrook’s epic history of Britain between 1956 and 1979 were exceptionally good. The fourth, Seasons in the Sun, is magnificent … marked by its pace, style, wit, narrative and characterisation as by its exhaustive research.” — Roger Hutchinson, Scotsman

❏ “Sandbrook has created a specific style of narrative history, blending high politics, social change and popular culture … his books are always readable and assured, and Seasons in the Sun is no exception … Anyone who genuinely believes we have never been so badly governed should read this splendid book.” — Stephen Robinson, Sunday Times

1977, Jayaben Desai, Grunwick, strike, picket

August 1977: Jayaben Desai, treasurer of the strike committee at the Grunwick photo-processing plant, had been picketing for a year, supported by white, male trade unionists while postmen blocked the company’s mail. (Photograph by Graham Wood/Getty)


➢ Playwright David Edgar draws together the Sandbrook quartet in The Guardian, May 9, 2012: The 1970s was the moment when our century arrived… As Sandbrook insists, the women’s liberation movement was as much about Hull’s fishermen’s wives and female machinists at Ford Dagenham as feminist activists disrupting Miss World. In 1971, workers campaigning against the closure of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders borrowed the student tactic of the sit-in. As 1970s chronicler Andy Beckett argues, the gay groups who stood shoulder to shoulder with trade unionists outside Grunwick prefigured an alliance which “would become commonplace in the decade to come”. The identity politics that were to become such a satirised feature of the left of the 1970s arose not just out of campus and culture but class war… / continued at Guardian online


2012 ➤ Welcome JLS to the pop millionaires club

Rich List, JLS, Marvin Humes, JB Gill, Oritsé Williams, Aston Merrygold

£5m apiece: JLS’s Marvin Humes, JB Gill, Oritsé Williams, Aston Merrygold

❚ NO REALLY POPTASTIC SURPRISES in the annual Sunday Times Rich List for the UK and Ireland, published today. Adele, inevitably, tops the Richest Young Musicians after the past year’s runaway success that more than tripled her estimated wealth from £6m to £20m ($33m). There are only five newcomers each worth £5m ($8m) in the top 20 millionaires aged 30 and under. One is Jessie J, 24, the former Brit School student who has sold close to 1m copies of her album Who You Are and is currently mentoring on the television show The Voice UK. The others are all four members of JLS (short for Jack the Lad Swing), the UK’s coolest boy band, who came to fame on The X Factor and released their third album, Jukebox, last November.

♫ View video: JLS performing their January release,
Do You Feel What I Feel?

The under-30s millionaire list is nowhere in the same stratosphere as the main Sunday Times Music Millionaires Top 50. These are the grandees from the headier days of British rock who have had a lifetime in which to amass royalties — ex-Beatles, Stones and assorted moguls. Among pop performers, the 70s are still represented by David Bowie (today valued at £100m, $163m); the Swinging 80s only by George Michael (up this year to £100m); the 90s by Robbie Williams (£100m), as a new entry the joint husband-and-wife wealth of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow (£72m), plus Take That’s Gary Barlow (£50m).

The same trio as last year head the Young Entertainers Rich List, led by Daniel Radcliffe, aged 22, who starred in eight Harry Potter films and has increased his wealth by £6m in a year to £54m ($88m), helped by the success of his latest movie, the gothic thriller The Woman in Black. At No 2, Twilight star Robert Pattinson has added £8m in a year to his fortune and is now worth £40m. Keira Knightley is the third top-earning movie star, still worth £30m.

➢ 2010, Rich List puts George Michael top of the popstars from the un-lucrative 80s

➢ 2011, Soprano Jenkins tops pop’s young Rich List

Daniel Ek, Spotify ,Rich List, social media

Daniel Ek: Swedish entrepreneur who launched Spotify’s streaming service in 2008

➢ Britain’s top ten richest people in the world of social media are worth a combined £15.8bn — The Daily Telegraph reports that, sprinting fast behind the billionaires, is the 29-year-old co-founder of Spotify, the legal online music streaming service. London-based Arsenal supporter Daniel Ek is the highest new entry on the Music Millionaires Rich List as well as No 8 in the…

top ten Social Media Millionaires

1 Alisher Usmanov, Facebook: £12.3bn
2 Michael Moritz, LinkedIn: £1.08bn
3 Niklas Zennstrom, Skype: £600m
4 U2 (Bono), Facebook, Yelp: £514m
5 Andrey Andreev, Badoo: £500m
6 Michael and Xochi Birch, Bebo, TweetDeck: £270m
7 Vikrant Bhargava, SocialGO: £230m
8 Daniel Ek, Spotify: £190m
9 Tihan Presbie, Miniclip: £155m
10 Joanna Shields, Bebo, Facebook: £50m


2012 ➤ All about reclusive Sade, the singer who trumps Adele in US list of top earners

Sade Adu, Letterman, TV shows,Billboard, Top 40 Money Makers,

Launching her album in Feb 2010: Sade meets US TV host David Letterman. (Videograb from his Late Show on CBS)

➢ Sade proves to be highest-earning British musical act in America last year — read Caspar Llewellyn Smith in today’s Guardian…

Viewers of the 2012 Grammys awards last month watched Adele, the 23-year old girl from Tottenham, north London, walk away with six awards, but the top-earning act from the UK in America last year was an artist who fans back home have to some extent forgotten.

1 Taylor Swift: $35.7m
2 U2: $32.1m
3 Kenny Chesney: $29.8m
4 Lady Gaga: $25.4m
5 Lil Wayne: $23.2m
6 Sade $16.4m
7 Bon Jovi: $15.8m
8 Celine Dion: $14.3m
9 Jason Aldean: $13.4m
10 Adele: $13.1m
[Touring and record sales 2011]

Sade raked in $16.4m (£10.5m) in 2011 on the back of her first tour in North America for a decade and the release of The Ultimate Collection. The 53-year-old singer came sixth on a list of the biggest-earning acts of last year, compiled by the American trade publication Billboard, eclipsing Adele, the only other Brit in the top 10, who earned $13.1m.

Sade [say it “Zhah-Day”] is the most successful solo female artist Britain has ever produced, selling more than 50m records in a career that stretches back to her 1984 hit Your Love Is King. Famously reclusive — nicknamed Howie by her friends, after millionaire hermit Howard Hughes — she toured the world for eight months last year, but the bulk of the tour was devoted to North America, where she played 59 shows. The tour started 18 months after the release of her US No 1 album Soldier of Love, a record that reached No 4 in the UK… / continued at Guardian Online

➢ Smooth Operator Sade is surprise US smash,
beating Adele and Take That to be Britain’s biggest music export
— today’s Daily Mail feature

➢ Billboard’s Top 40 Money Makers 2012


Rolling Stone described Sade’s studio album, Soldier of Love, as “unimpeachably excellent” … Billboard said: “It’s been 10 years since Sade released an album, but be forewarned – the giant has awoken” … People magazine said Sade’s enduring appeal was as “the voice of comfort to the wounded heart”

❏ In her American fan forums black guys are besotted with Sade, and here in an audience for a live TV performance we see doting female fans for whom she is a role model. On Jimmy Kimmel’s show in February 2010 (above), Sade performed Soldier of Love live as her eponymous album hit No 1 in the US (502,000 copies sold there in its first week — the best sales week for an album by a group since AC/DC in October 2008). Susan Boyle, the finalist from the Britain’s Got Talent contest, was holding steady at No 9.

❏ Backstage video interview with Sade by The Insider, June 2011 (above) — “I’m really a country girl. I don’t give too much of myself away. When I go in a studio I lose all my shyness.”

➢ Read Sade: The Billboard Cover Story by Mitchell Peters, August 19, 2011 — Preparing for a 100-plus-date international concert tour is daunting for even the most seasoned musical acts… “I do the opposite and pretend it’s not going to happen, immersing myself in the details of production as a way of distracting myself from reality,” says English singer Sade Adu. “When the time comes, I don’t test the waters — I just jump straight in.”

❏ Listen to The Moon and the Sky (remix featuring Jay Z):


Sade’s debut with her own band in Aug 1983 at the Yow club, London, Paul Denman to the fore. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 1981 — Pix of fashion designer Sade’s Demob outfits during the first Blitz invasion of the US

➢ 1982 — Pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s fashion show by Londoners in Paris

➢ 2010 — Her first interview in 10 years finds comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ — On her new man, Ian Watts, who has been in turn Royal Marine, fireman and scientist: “I always said that if I could just find a guy who could chop wood and had a nice smile it didn’t bother me if he was an aristocrat or a thug as long as he was a good guy. I’ve ended up with an educated thug!”