Monday, January 15, 2007

Historic Day On UK Music Charts: Unsigned Band Charts With Single Available Through Them Only As A Digital Download

History is made today as the band Koopa debuts at #31 on the UK music charts with the single "Blag Borrow & Steal." They're not signed with any record label whatsover -- neither indie or major. You can't walk into any record store and buy their single. The band just toured and toured, made a name for themselves and then posted this digital single on sale online. And now they've broken onto the Top 40 charts of the UK. (The rules were just changed to make a song eligible based on digital sales alone.) This has never happened before. It's as if I formed a band, recorded a song, put it up for sale on Popsurfing and then it debuted on Billboard's Hot 100. Is this the end of record labels? It always seemed modest, established acts (think Randy Newman or Elvis Cosello or Jimmy Buffett) would be the ones who could do best on their own. But now even unsigned bands can break out. Will Koopa get radio play? (It's not as difficult in the UK, where a few stations dominate and payloa isn't so necessary.) Also of note: Mika, the flamboyant (read: gay) singer picked in a BBC poll to be the breakout act of 2007 has debuted at #3 with his marvelous single "Grace Kelly." On the album charts, rehab-ready singer Amy Winehouse is on top with her album "Back To Black."

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