HITS Daily Double
The godfathers of EDM are preparing to present what’s shaping up as the most accessible album of their careers.


Versailles Guys, Helmeted Chic Acolytes and
the Usual Complement of Modern-Day Music Business Characters Combine to Keep Things
as Wacky as Ever
Glassnote’s setup for Phoenix’s just-released Bankrupt! (the follow-up to the French band’s 2009 breakthrough, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, now at 706k), included a Saturday Night Live appearance and culminated with a pair of extremely well-received headlining performances at Coachella. The first-week label projection for the new album is a Top 5 debut in the 50k range. Lead single “Entertainment” failed to ignite sales-wise, and a new single is starting to break at radio.

All this activity has taken place amid ongoing speculation that Daniel Glass is in negotiations to sell half of his company for $50m. The potential partner is said to be a billionaire who has been trawling the music business for some time now in search of a viable property to pick up. Glass is expected to reject the offer and retain his indie status, explaining to his confidants that he’s carrying the torch for such legendary independent label executives as Chris Wright, Chris Blackwell and Jerry Moss, all of whom left gigantic footprints on the business. At any rate, this overture has people asking whether Glass is the sole owner of the wildly successful indie. He is indeed.

Speaking of French imports, the buzz on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is growing from loud to deafening as the album’s May 21 release date approaches, causing numerous retail watchers to state that a 300k+ first week isn’t out of the question.

Columbia Chairman Rob Stringer and President Ashley Newton heard the album before its completion, flipped out, made the deal and put their money where their mouth is, as one label exec put it. EVP/GM Joel Klaiman’s team, headed by SVP Marketing Scott Greer, then put together a content-rich worldwide marketing plan, which, though still in mid-rollout, has notably included a an illuminating, artfully made series of video interview pieces with album contributors Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder and Todd Edwards. And this week, the team rolled lead single “Get Lucky” at both Top 40 and Alternative, getting immediate and somewhat surprising adds at such influential PoMo stations as KROQ and LIVE 105 for what is essentially a dance record.

All of the above has combined to bring unprecedented attention to the duo’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, better known as the godfathers of EDM, as they prepare to present what’s shaping up as the most accessible album of their careers.

Michael Buble’s To Be Loved, which hit Tuesday, has all the earmarks of another potential international smash—just what the doctor ordered for long-struggling Warner Bros. Records, whose Cameron Strang is carrying out a new policy of prioritizing fewer releases and locking them in globally in an effort to turn the label around. The new record debuted with 121k in the U.K., breaking Justin Timberlake’s first-week record for the year. To Be Loved is currently #1 on the iTunes chart. It’s on track to bow at 150-175k domestically and, with Mother’s Day looming, could well match or exceed Crazy Love's three-week total of 437k; it went on to sell 2.25m. More changes are impending at WBR as Strang continues to revamp the company.

Several high-profile music executives are bemoaning the state of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which they feel has become less a celebration of musical brilliance through the decades than a reflection of Jann Wenner’s personal agenda, shutting them—and everyone else—out of the process. Indeed, some industry heavyweights have become openly disdainful of the present-day Hall of Fame, referring to it as “Wennergate.”

Lyor Cohen reportedly has been trying to sign artists to his as-yet-unnamed, N.Y.-based newco, but the acts he’s met with have discovered that there’s no distribution, no organization and no there there. Now, however, Todd Moscowitz is in the process of becoming a partner in a joint venture with his old boss at Warner and Def Jam, making him the first key person to join Cohen’s company.

Some brief observations: What embattled label head is said to be on the ropes? Could he be facing an early exit from his long-term deal if he’s unable to make it rain soon?... Now that L.A. Reid and Avril Lavigne have reunited at Epic, will they be able to summon up the magic they created together at Arista a decade ago?... Jennifer Lopez has moved to RedOne’s imprint at Steve Barnett’s Capitol Music Group. There’s an early buzz surrounding the RedOne-produced first single, “Live It Up.”… Guggenheim Partners’ just-announced decision to combine the red ink-hemorrhaging bible with John Amato’s Backstage has label gunslingers asking, “Who is John Amato, and what is Backstage?”

Names in the rumor mill: Sharon Osbourne, Edgar Bronfman Jr., the Rolling Stones, Eric Greenspan, Big Jon Platt and Larry Rudolph.