HITS Daily Double
Despite Hancock’s momentum, the Grammy spike will almost certainly do less for the jazz legend than it will for Winehouse.


The Grammy Spike, the iTunes Effect and Other Mid-February Phenomena
Sunday night’s Grammy Awards offered further proof of the age-old but still-relevant dictum that a record company’s success is predicated on making good records, with UMG dominating the event much as it dominates marketshare. That made it a gratifying night for Doug Morris, as Universal Republic’s Amy Winehouse took three of the four major categories, IDJ’s Kanye West dominated the rap sector with four wins and Verve’s Herbie Hancock got Album of the Year… The biggest accolades have to go to Monte Lipman, the architect of the Winehouse breakthrough, which was without question the most significant artist-development story of the year. Lipman continues on his roll, as Jack Johnson scores 2008’s first slam-dunk debut this week with 380k, around 140k of which came from iTunes downloads, easily breaking Kanye’s first-week sales record… The iTunes phenomenon has brought a new dimension to the traditional Grammy sales spike, enabling viewers to get instant gratification by downloading whatever strikes their fancy while the show is on the air. Following the telecast, Winehouse’s Back to Black zoomed to #2, right behind labelmate Johnson, while Hancock had come from nowhere to #3 by presstime on Tuesday… The Winehouse LP is presently at 1.54 million, and Lipman should have the top two albums on next week’s chart, as Winehouse’s post-Grammy total projects to north of 100k, after her sales doubled this week to 26k in the pre-Grammy build-up… Despite Hancock’s momentum, the Grammy spike will almost certainly do less for the jazz legend than it will for Winehouse considering the lack of physical product out there on the Hancock LP… The big behind-the-scenes buzz concerned Michael Jackson’s no-show, disappointing Sony executives, who were anticipating a big lift from his appearance for the Feb. 12 release of the Thriller 25th anniversary package. Not that anyone was really surprised, since not showing up has long been Jackson’s M.O…. On the downside, the 50th anniversary celebration wound up as one of lowest-rated in Grammy history. Some believe CBS dropped the ball by under-promoting the telecast… Guy Hands attended his first Grammys, and those who had their first direct contact with the EMI ruler expressed surprise at how likable he is, betraying nary a trace of the expected arrogance.