HITS Daily Double


Our Editor in Chief Tokes Up and Sounds Off

The following manuscript, scrawled on the back of a take-out menu, was balled up and flung into our offices recently. It appears that our esteemed Editurr in Chief has been thinking again--aided, no doubt, by a copious infusion of O.G. Kush. Make of the following what you will.

1. Are the “new charts” really all that? I mean really, we knew that singles sellers would advance on a chart that combined single sales with album sales, but did we really expect that streaming would have almost no effect on the chart at all? By leaving YouTube out of the equation, the new charts have basically been a cosmetic addition to make us all see somewhat higher numbers—but hardly reflect much of a change outside of a 10/1 ratio on track sales—while not really being an evocation of the still-evolving “new music business.”

2. With the sneak-attack digital release of the Drake album, Monte Lipman’s Republic strikes the first blow in this year’s marketshare wars. Add the 500k album sales of Drake to a solid first week for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and defending champion Republic sits at a solid 1-2, no matter how one calculates the charts.

3. So, what did we really learn from this year’s Grammy Awards show and Grammy winners?

A. Well, we learned that Sam Smith is well-loved by every part of NARAS, including the secret voting committee.

B. We also learned that Pharrell Williams deservedly remains a favorite of one and all. His magical “Happy” single, which should have won awards last year, found the recognition he earned due to a last-minute inclusion on this year’s ballot. Kudos to Rob Stringer, Joel Klaiman and team Columbia for a great plan to break the record and to play the Grammy rules to work in their favor.

C. And we learned that there is much respect for the body of work that has made up Beck’s remarkable career. His victory, has been described by some as analogous to Marty Scorsese finally getting his Oscar for The Departed. A career-achievement Grammy works for me. He is one of our most important artists, and his meditative Morning Phase has been one of our internal favorites, high on the year’s best list of one and all.

D. However, it must be added that the show this year lacked a climactic ending, as the Record of the Year award was given out before the show finished with an additional approximately 30 minutes of performances. Was this forced on the show’s producers by a network fearing tune-out from music segments that were pushed past the 11pm hour, or was it a choice by Ken Ehrlich and Jack Sussman?

E. And speaking of choices, while I’m sitting here watching the Oscars live on ABC, isn’t it time that CBS broadcast the awards show LIVE in the West? One would think it is time for Music’s Biggest Night to stop being the unlucky stepsister to the Academy Awards. That one’s up to you, Leslie Moonves.