❚ BRITISH POP’S NEXT JUSTIN TIMBALIKE, according to PopJustice, is Tyler James, the slick-suited Mr Fit who amazingly did NOT win The Voice TV talent show last year, despite a brilliant soulful voice and emotive falsetto. This week he swaggers through the video [below] for his new single Worry About You, featuring British rapper Kano to underline hard-man East London cred. It’s the second heartfelt tune to be released from his recent album A Place I Go, some songs on which reflect his turbulent past as a best buddy of the tragic Amy Winehouse who died last summer.
In the softly porny video for his last release Single Tear we see Tyler as a ho-master. In the new video for Worry About You he moves up to scarfaced power player in gangland. What is it with casting white boys as gangstas? It doesn’t wash. Nor does it square with the songwriter’s yearning in lyrics such as “I haven’t cried a single tear whole year” and “Worry about you baby, I worry about you”. This dude cares about people.
OK, his album is a ballad-led tearjerker but among 14 tracks it contains only two upbeat numbers: we hear none of the mischief we can see in those bright blue eyes. The reviews have been mixed and a consensus feels his handlers have yet to grasp how to project Tyler’s simmering matinee-idol charisma. What is it with today’s pop-biz shapers that they no longer know how to assess a talent and play to his strengths?
❏ “A bit late but here aremy faves of 2011. I actually think 2011 has been a great year for music but, more so now than ever, you just had to get through a hell of a lot of dross to find the good stuff.” Moore places S.C.U.M. at number 4.
❏ Listen online to the mammoth 6½ hour Top 100 Dazed & Approved tracks of 2011 which is pretty wild, they say… starting with Africa HiTech, AlunaGeorge and A$AP Rocky all the way to WU LYF, Zola Jesus and Zomby.
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+++ ❚ 2011 WAS THE BIGGEST YEAR for single sales in the history of the Official Charts (founded 1997), according to Official Charts Company data released by the BPI, which operates the OCC jointly with the Entertainment Retailers Association. Over the past seven years, the singles market has been redefined to include legitimate downloads. Since 2004, sales of singles have increased by more than five times, from 32m in 2004 to a record 177.9 million in 2011. The vast majority (99.3%) were sold as digital tracks and bundles. Last year, 1.1m CD singles were sold, representing just 0.6% of the total. All of the top 20 best-selling singles of 2011 sold more than 500,000 copies apiece.
Adele bagged two places in the 2011 year-end singles chart. The recorded and live performance of Someone Like You — recorded at the BRIT Awards — together sold 1.2m copies to become the top-selling single of 2011 overall, with Rolling In The Deep ending the year at No 9. Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s mega-seller, Moves Like Jagger, finished the year in second place and has now sold over a million copies despite never actually reaching No 1. LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem comes in at No 3. For all Lady Gaga’s exposure [above], Born This Way made only No 14.
GOVT ATTACKED FOR UK ALBUM SALES SLUMP
❏ Overall sales of albums fell by 5.6% in 2011 to just 113.2m, and the UK has fallen behind Germany as a music market. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “While other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our government is taking too long to act on piracy.”
In the UK Adele’s 21 was by far the biggest selling album of 2011, ending the year with nearly 3.8m copies sold — more than double the 1.8m sales achieved by 2010’s top album, Take That’s Progress. 21 became the highest-selling album of the 21st century in December, achieving more sales in a single calendar year than any other album in British chart history. 2011 ended with Adele’s debut album, 19, in fourth place, alongside Top 10 placings for Michael Bublé [above], Bruno Mars and Coldplay.
BRITS DOMINATE TOP-SELLING DEBUT ALBUMS
❏ Out of all the debut albums released last year in the UK, eight of the Top 10 are by British acts, topped by award-winning London singer Jessie J’s Who You Are [right] and Ed Sheeran’s +, which holds the record for the fast selling digital debut album in Official Charts Company history.
HMV’S ALTERNATIVE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
❏ Totally at odds with the official year-ending charts, retailer HMV’s Poll of Polls announces its own Top 50 albums of the year, headed by an entirely different Top 10 for 2011 led by P J Harvey, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes… The Dorset-born musician and singer-songwriter Harvey, who in September claimed a second Mercury Prize for her tenth studio album Let England Shake, scored an impressive 21 nominations in total from the 35 media outlets surveyed, including “album of the year” selections from NME, Mojo, Uncut, The Sunday Times and BBC music writers.
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MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984
They didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did.
“I’d find people at the Blitz who were possible only in my imagination. But they were real” — Stephen Jones, hatmaker, 1983. (Illustration courtesy Iain R Webb, 1983)
“The truth about those Blitz club people was more interesting than most people’s fantasies” — Steve Dagger, pop group manager, 1983
“See David Johnson’s fabulously detailed website Shapers of the 80s to which I am hugely indebted” – Political historian Dominic Sandbrook, in his book Who Dares Wins, 2019
“The (velvet) goldmine that is Shapers of the 80s” – Verdict of Chris O’Leary, respected author and blogger who analyses Bowie song by song at Pushing Ahead of the Dame
“The rather brilliant Shapers of the 80s website” – Dylan Jones in his Sweet Dreams paperback, 2021
A UNIQUE HISTORY
➢ WELCOME to the Swinging 80s ➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates ➢ ROLL OVER THE MENU at page top to go deeper into the past ➢ FOR NEWS & MONTH BY MONTH SEARCH scroll down this sidebar
❏ Header artwork by Kat Starchild shows Blitz Kids Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise Brazier, Judi Frankland and Steve Strange, with David Bowie at centre in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes
VINCENT ON AIR 2022
✱ Deejay legend Robbie Vincent returned to JazzFM on Sundays 1-3pm in 2021… Catch Robbie’s JazzFM August Bank Holiday 2020 session thanks to AhhhhhSoul with four hours of “nothing but essential rhythms of soul, jazz and funk”.
SEARCH our 800 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
UNTOLD BLITZ STORIES
✱ If you thought there was no more to know about the birth of Blitz culture in 1980 then get your hands on a sensational book by an obsessive music fan called David Barrat. It is gripping, original and epic – a spooky tale of coincidence and parallel lives as mind-tingling as a Sherlock Holmes yarn. Titled both New Romantics Who Never Were and The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet! Sample this initial taster here at Shapers of the 80s
CHEWING THE FAT
✱ Jawing at Soho Radio on the 80s clubland revolution (from 32 mins) and on art (@55 mins) is probably the most influential shaper of the 80s, former Wag-club director Chris Sullivan (pictured) with editor of this website David Johnson
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