Take me to space, Bo!
Bo Diddley’s Guitar: Gretsch G6199 Billy Bo Junpiter Thunderbird Guitar in Firebird Red
Exactly 20 years ago, a co-ed quartet from Sweden called Ace of Base released “The Sign,” the fourth single off their multiplatinum debut album. It took Americans a few months to open up their eyes and see the sign themselves—the track didn’t top the Billboard charts until the following year, when it was released in the U.S.—but the song has become the band’s most enduring legacy, and it remains compelling evidence that Swedish people are great at writing catchy pop songs.
From Abba to Icona Pop, from Roxette to Robyn, Sweden’s reputation for pop superiority has spanned decades, and it continues today. But the arrival of Ace of Base helped usher in the “Swedish Music Miracle,” a period of time from about 1990 to 2003 when Sweden’s musical exports were at their economic peak. A 1999 report from Sweden’s Ministry of Finance found that royalty payments to Sweden from foreign markets were twice the U.S. per capita figure. Today, according to other reports, Sweden is the third-largest music exporter in the world behind the U.S. and the UK. In 2003, Swedish music exports began to decline, but behind the scenes, the country’s pop talent has remained active: In May of 2012, half of the top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 were written or produced by Swedes.
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Blindworm Guitars - The “Chinook” Lord of the mountain wind
Brian Eno, Advertisement, ZigZag Magazine, 1982
“Jay Z’s latest album was released exclusively to Samsung owners through a Google Play app [$5] last Thursday, on July 4th… Essentially this means the newest album from the once retired rapper had gone platinum prior to any records being sold.”
Took me a minute
Pink Floyd’s three surviving members have reunited to pen an op-ed accusing Pandora of trying to rip off artists over royalties from online radio. The service is currently asking Congress to cut musicians’ pay for digital radio plays by 85 percent. “It’s a matter of principle for us,” Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason wrote. “We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists.”
The war of words between Pandora and much of the music industry continues to escalate. The latest volley was fired by none other than members of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd, who lashed out at the web radio service in an editorial published over the weekend.
Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason accused Pandora of trying to deceive music artists into joining the company’s effort to cut artist royalties. Pandora is expected to again ask Congress to lower the royalties that web radio pays for music, and recently sent a mass email to music acts asking them to sign a petition to support web radio.