Column from November 20th, 2000 issue

No big surprise on the future of EMI front: EMI and BMG got together in New York last week to try and hammer out a deal for BMG to buy them. Still the same tag-lines as the aborted EMI-Warner deal are being trotted out. They're saying things like "we're going to create the world's leading music group" - heard it all before, it didn't mean anything before and it doesn't mean anything now.... If I was an investor with a goldfish-like memory capacity I might roll over and think "great deal", but everyone knows it is just window dressing to try and print some money while they can.

BMG is proposing to give EMI shareholders a cash pay off from anything between 1 to 2 a share. That'd mean it would have to pay something like 1.6 billion to get EMI which it would then "inject with" the BMG label operations. The two are already preparing to dispose of some label assets which would help the potential deal get through European
and US antitrust approvals.

On more useful things: thought I'd fill you on some useful new Japanese releases. Mark Boals "Ring of Fire" comes out this week and will have a bonus track on it. Also out in Japan this week are a re-issue of Shawn Lane's "Tri-Tone Fascination" with a bonus track and Steve Vai's new one "The Seventh Song" which also gets the obligatory bonus track treatment. On the way in December is a first-time-on-CD issue of the Keane Brothers album from 1978 plus a "Welcome to Heaven" from John Wetton, which has a bonus track. Tour de Force's "Unreleased" comes out in Japan December 21 but does not get a bonus track. Gentle Giant's first and "Octopus" albums get released December 20 with limited LP style paper sleeves and the benefit of digital remastering.

Visitors to the AOR Basement web site will have noticed that there hasn't been any new reviews added for a considerable length of time - those that know we well will know why, but hopefully that'll be corrected soon. However, the main links page has had an update and now has a whole raft of new sites listed on it.