Does this mean we can buy “Mean Mr. Mustard” on iTunes?

Apple Inc. (the guys who invented the iPod) and Apple Corps (the guys who invented Revolver) announced Monday that they’ve agreed to settle out of court. The two companies have been at odds for years over Apple Inc.’s use of an apple as its logo. Apple Corps was founded in 1968 by the Fab Four to oversee their business interests, using a green apple as its logo.

While financial terms were not disclosed, the new deal give Apple Inc. ownership of all of the trademarks concerning “Apple,” including the logo for iTunes. In return, the computer maker agreed to license certain trademarks—the ones pertaining to specific music—back to Apple Corps. Both sides also agreed to end litigation and pay their own legal costs.

A deal seemed imminent for several weeks. In January, when trumpeting the new iPhone, [Apple Inc. CEO Steve] Jobs proclaimed the company was changing its name to Apple Inc. and expanding its business to include more high-tech gizmos in addition to Macintosh computers.

[Apple Corps] confirmed months ago that the Beatles were in the process of remastering their entire catalog for online sales. Industry analysts and fans alike point to the just-announced deal as a precursor for the band’s iconic songs and albums to finally be sold via iTunes. Some rumor sites have gone so far to predict Jobs unveiling a Beatles-themed iPod.

Now if we can just get that AC/DC catalog on iTunes, we’ll be good to go.

  

Anyone who cares at all about music…

…will surely find their blood boiling after they read this.

Finally, the leopard reveals its spots.

  

Scissor Sisters state the obvious, and Ta-Dah! Your local record store has banned them for it

File under ‘You have got to be kidding me’: Trans World Entertainment, which owns retail music chains For Your Entertainment, Sam Goody, Strawberries, Wherehouse, Specs and Coconuts, is refusing to carry the Scissor Sisters’ new album, Ta-Dah (which is really freaking good, btw), because of comments singer Jake Shears made at the National Association of Music Retailers convention that CD prices were too high.

Ta-Dah

According to Trans World President and CEO Jim Litwak, his company was just expressing its displeasure at Shears’ comments, which he said were untrue and unfair. And furthermore, he said the whole situation could’ve been avoided had the band bothered to pick up the phone and call him.

“Mr. Shears said that he tried to buy a Raconteurs album but didn’t because it was too expensive,” Litwak told MTV News. “But he didn’t bring it up to register, because if he did, he would’ve seen that the CD was on sale.

“So Mr. Shears made an incorrect statement at a convention instead of reaching out to us, to discuss our pricing,” Litwak continued. “We decided that it would’ve been nice to get an apology from them, so we reached out to their distribution company [Universal Music Group Distribution] to let them know we were displeased, and we never heard back from them. So we made the decision not to carry the band’s new release.”

In fairness to Trans World, Jake should have taken up this issue with the band’s label, Universal, which decides the suggested retail price for their albums. This is what Tom Petty did back in the day with his album Hard Promises when he found out that his then-label MCA was going to charge a full dollar more for his record than every other record on the market. He refused to turn the album in until the label relented, which they ultimately did. Score one for the common man.

However, in fairness to Jake, CD’s are way, way, WAY too expensive.

(Click here to read the rest of the Chauffeur’s mad rant.)


Read the rest after the jump...

NOW that’s what I call a poor excuse for a number one!

Relating to the Spotlight Kid’s fine posting below, one should also be aware of a highly disturbing article which appeared on the always-fair-and-balanced Fox News website last week about the album. What’s worse is that there’s nothing in it that really surprises me…

Record Biz Crisis: Top 20 Misses 750K
By Roger Friedman

The top 20 pop albums sold fewer than a total of 750,000 CDs last week.

You read that correctly. The actual total was 738,211. The number includes 220,000 copies of a greatest hits singles collection from all the labels, “Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 22.” Without “Now 22,” regular releases came in around 500,000 copies.

This is a crisis that no one acknowledges in the record business. But consider that recently dismissed Sony execs Donnie Ienner and Michelle Anthony were making $2 million a year, and that their income is typical of upper echelon management in any record company. If the half million CD sold at full price — $15 — then they didn’t even pay for a small part of one salary.

Consider also the execs at radio conglomerates, who have tightened playlists so that few new records are played unless — as identified by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s findings — stations receive free trips, gadgets and other gifts as inducements. You might wonder how any of the companies on either side can afford to stay in business.

Consider that last Tuesday, “Now 22” was not the only new release. Sony/Epic issued a new CD by writer-producer Butch Walker, a performer whom this column has extolled over and over. Not only did no one from the company bother to send it here, this reporter only learned about it by accident — yesterday. Walker, who should have a following from his extensive touring — he produces and opens for Avril Lavigne. But he’s been ignored by his label and radio. What’s he supposed to do? The CD sold fewer than 15,535 copies — the minimum it would have taken to hit the top 50. And here’s an amazing statistic: four songs from the new album have been played a total of 200,000 times on Walker’s MySpace page. I doubt this is the work of one person who clicked the links that many times. Some group of people is interested in Butch Walker. They’re just not a group that his label or radio stations are interested in, apparently. If they were, there would be more of an investment in Walker’s career — and other countless talented artists like him — by the record companies. Instead, the record stores are empty, and customers are drifting toward other entertainment.

There isn’t a lot to look forward to right away in terms of new releases: Rapper DMX has a new album on Aug. 1, but his last one was three years ago. Rocker Tom Petty’s waited four years to put his new CD, and the last one wasn’t exactly a bestseller with fewer than 350,000 copies sold.

Yesterday’s crop of new releases has only one promising title, by Los Lonely Boys, whose previous album sold 2 million copies. All eyes will be on them to see if they can beat their last first week sales record: 4,000 copies. That shouldn’t be too hard. Or Music, a satellite label from Epic, sticks with their artists the way most labels do not.

  

The dinosaurs are comin’ to your town!

Ah leave it to VH-1 Classic and Sony BMG Legacy! The two giants have paired up to create a new CD series entitled We Are the ’80s. Yes, once again you can have another artist-specific best-of compilation from the likes of Loverboy, Rick Springfield, Bow Wow Wow, and A Flock of Seagulls! But wait! These aren’t just any old comps. No, sir, they also include “b-sides, album tracks, and rare cuts!” Holy shit, you mean kinda like other superfluous “deluxe editions” of albums that include an entire second disc larded with crap, but this time it’s all within the comp! Wow!

But wait, there’s more! There’s also a tour for these people that will be hitting your better county fair tents everywhere! On the lineup is Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, Scandal and Loverboy! Look out!

This is key for labels like Legacy, which has a strong desire to reach a younger, hipper demographic group. “How do you get a 20-year-old to buy discs by Rick Springfield?” asks Jeff Jones, executive vice president of Legacy Recordings and Sony BMG Catalog Worldwide. “VH1 Classic helps the 25-40 demo discover this cool music.”

Hey, now about telling those young hipsters to not buy Rick Springfield albums? The guy’s been cranking out crapper after crapper for decades now. And does anyone really want to see Loverboy? Money’s been touring any place that will have him for years. The ’80s are toast, folks. We don’t need to have any more rgurgitated fun packs of the most plastic decade in music. The nostalgia is stronger than the music, just remember that. I lived through it. Many a could have been great album was botched thanks to cheeseball ’80s production and bad synths. Yes, there were also some groovy albums that came out as well…but I can’t think of one that was by Loverboy or Eddie Money.

  

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