Sales of "The Beatles: Rock Band" totaled 357,000 units in the U.S. during December, and more than 1.7 million units worldwide since its Sept. 9 launch, according to new data from the NPD Group. In contrast, the 2008 release of "Rock Band 2" sold 1.7 million units in the U.S. alone during its first four months. For the year, overall sales of video games, consoles and accessories dropped 8 percent from 2008, while music video game sales have experienced a 46 percent decline, the largest of any genre. (1/15)
IPod Named Decade's Top Music Moment
Apple's introduction of the iPod in 2001 was named Billboard's top music moment of the decade. Other moments making the top 10 included the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, the launch of "American Idol" in 2002, the introduction of YouTube in 2005, and Led Zeppelin's reunion concert in 2007. (12/29)
James Blunt Tops UK Decade Album Chart
James Blunt's Back To Bedlam (2004) was the decade's top-selling album in the UK with sales of 3.1 million copies as of 2008, besting Dido's No Angel (1999), according to the Official Charts Company. Amy Winehouse's Back To Black (2006) was No. 3, followed by Leona Lewis' Spirit (2007) and David Gray's White Ladder (1998). (12/29)
Music Video Games Sales Decline In 2009
Sales of music video games will total $700 million in 2009, down 50 percent from sales of $1.4 million in 2008, according to a Wedbush Morgan Securities report based on data from NPD Group. The projected decline is due to sales of new high-profile releases not meeting forecasted sales expectations. "The Beatles: Rock Band," which has sold 800,000 units, failed to meet first-month sales forecasts of 1 million units; "Guitar Hero 5" sold 500,000 units in its first month compared to "Guitar Hero III," which sold 1.4 million units in its first month in 2007; and "DJ Hero"'s sales of 123,000 units in its first days of release led analysts to cut their yearly sales forecast from 1.6 million units to 600,000 units. (12/29)
For as long as we've had toes to tap, society's great minds have tried to explain the inner workings of music, searching for what makes it "good."
The results of this search range from the most basic reductions like minor-key-sad/major-key-happy to sophisticated brain wave data analysis and dopamine measurements — all aimed at decoding how a composer's decisions impact the quality of a song.
So when Gizmodo asked a small group of neuroscientist and music enthusiasts for their take on science's role in determining what makes a song "good," the answers touched on every aspect of music interpretation from the most analytical to the most visceral.
"We can measure how people respond to a song in a bunch of ways, including brain scans," neuroscientist and Director of the Science Gallery at King’s College London Daniel Glaser explains. "Actually measuring foot tapping or the smile muscles is probably just as good as more 'scientific methods.'"
In the end, perhaps the most convincing argument is the impromptu tweetstorm that prompted Gizmodo's investigation to confirm that, indeed, GRAMMY-winning band Toto's "Africa" is the best song ever made. Just ask a scientist:
"Science says 'Africa' is the best song ever made," jokes David Poeppel, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, after concurring with the sentiment on Twitter and pointing to Toto's respected musical credentials.
While we love this song too, somehow we think this is a case that is far from closed.
So it seems that just about everything Jones touches musically turns to gold. That's why we are excited about the announcement that he will be teaming with television producer and noted jazz patron Reza Ackbaraly to launch a brand-new subscription video on-demand service dedicated entirely to jazz and jazz-inspired music programming.
Qwest TV will debut in fall 2017, and is expected to be packed with a curated, personalized selection of exclusive original content encompassing live concerts, documentaries, interviews and archival footage.
The early plans for the network include a forward-thinking crowd-sourced pre-launch phase, which will open on Sept. 6 via Kickstarter. The first 1,500 users to sign up via the crowdfunding platform will be classed as "co-founding subscribers," and will receive a free year of premium access, as well as having a direct line of communication to the Qwest TV team to give consumer feedback, make specific feature requests, and a whole host of additional benefits only available through the Kickstarter promotion.
Sharing his excitement over the launch of the new platform, Jones explained, "The dream of Qwest TV is to let jazz and music lovers everywhere experience these incredibly rich and diverse musical traditions in a whole new way. …it is my hope that Qwest TV will serve to carry forth and build on the great legacy that is jazz for many generations to come."