Taylor Swift is dominating the music business

Taylor Swift 1989

This article from BusinessWeek sums it all up:

It’s a Friday afternoon in early November, 11 days after the debut of 1989, which Swift, who came up in Nashville’s country music scene, described in an August Yahoo! Live stream as “her very first, documented, official pop album.” In 1989’s first week, 1.29 million copies were sold. That was 22 percent of all album sales in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the largest sales week for a record since Eminem’s The Eminem Show in 2002, and the biggest release in the past two years by far, topping heavy hitters such as Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Lady Gaga. That week, Swift had five songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including Shake It Off, the album’s first single, which was, and still is, sitting comfortably at No. 1. She also had two other albums on the Billboard 200—her 2012 album, Red, at No. 84, and her 2008 release, Fearless, on the chart for its 221st week, at No. 117.

This might bother many of you, but sugar pop has always been popular. Don’t sweat it.

Steve Perry sings again

It’s been about 20 years since Steve Parry performed live, but he recently took the stage in Minnesota and sounded as great as ever.

Covering “Under Pressure”

This is pretty awesome with with three guys on an acoustic guitar.

How bad was U2′s “Rattle and Hum”?

Rattle and Hum - U2

I stumbled onto this brutal take down of Bono and U2 in this article about when U2 almost jumped the shark with “Rattle and Hum.” The video picks out the 5 worst parts of the movie with Bono in all of his self-important glory. The video shots of him walking around onstage shirtless with just suspenders on are pretty pathetic. U2 is a great band, and all great artists stumble from time to time. This was a particularly bad one.

Bruno Mars will perform at 2014 Super Bowl

The NFL is on a roll in terms of popularity, and that has also translated to the Super Bowl half time show. While most football fans are checking out sportsbook reviews as they prepare to wager cash on the big game, many more casual fans are waiting for the half time show each year. This coming year we’ll have Bruno Mars as the featured superstar as the organizers went for a much younger act.

Not that the older acts were busts. Madonna did an excellent job with her half time show. Bruce Springsteen was also excellent several years ago. But if you look at the performers recently since the program started focusing on one artists, it’s really been mostly a classic rock tribute show. Iconic performers like the Rolling Stones, Prince, U2, Paul McCartney and The Who have been tapped along with Bruce and Tom Petty.

Then, with Beyoncé last year and the Black Eyed Peas several years ago, we started seeing more contemporary artists getting the nod. The Beyoncé reunion with Destiny’s Child was a very big hit last year as the dancing became a huge part of the show as it did with the Madonna performance.

Now with Bruno Mars we have another young performer who can really dance, so we can expect a pretty lively show this time as well. Though you have to wonder if the cold weather in New York might affect the half time show along with the game itself. The decision to have the game in New York during February was quite controversial.

The Super Bowl has come a long way since the first game that wasn’t even a sellout, and the half time show has changed quite a bit as well. The spectacle of these performances are light years away from the marching bands that were booked in the early days. I remember when the Orange Bowl half time show was the most talked about event of its kind. Now nothing really compares to the Super Bowl show.

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