Column from January 31st, 2000 issue

Charlie Farren should have the second and third Farrenheit CDs finally out on CD in March. The second is the excellent "Raise the Roof" which I've talked about before and the third is "Grease Town" which has only been available on tape and also masquerades as a Charlie Farren solo release some of the time.

Been looking closely at some of the things coming out in Japan over the next month or so, and here's some of the more interesting (for whatever reason) things that are on the way: Anthem has a new album coming on February 23rd which will feature Graham Bonnet on three or four tracks; Faith Hill's "Breathe" comes out February 9th and gets one bonus track; Jaded Heart's boring "IV" comes out towards the end of February and gets a bonus song (please don't let it be another god awful cover!); Enuff Z'Nuff has a new album due on March 1st, and it will have one exclusive bonus track for Japan; Joe Satriani has a new album coming March 15th called "Engines of Creation" and it too will have a bonus track for Japan; John Sykes has two albums coming March 8th - "Chapter One" and an untitled new album; and Michael Schenker releases "Adventures of the Imagination" coming March 1st.

Oh and here's an interesting quote, that will strike a cord with all UK based readers. Virgin's Chief Operating Officer Simon Wright says, "Pressure from Internet selling could drive Virgin Megastores to pull out of the music retailing business". Wright went on to say that "even a 10% fall in CD sales because of the Internet would be enough to make most retailers non-viable. At the moment the view in Virgin is that the terms being offered by the record companies would not justify further investment in music."

That's an interesting and downright funny comment to make. Everyone in the UK knows that the labels and retailers totally stitch them up with exorbitant profit margins. I mean, a UK retainer probably has more than double the mark-up in each CD that their American counterparts have.... Conclusive proof of what Virgin is all about, now they'll have to find something else to exploit mercilessly. Weren't they just taking about trying to target a slightly older audience last year, guess they've forgotten about that now. Like every other big organization in the current music industry, they need to stop moaning about changes and think about how they can react and actually improve things....