The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent

15 Albums You Won’t Believe Turn 20 In 2015

Posted by Mike McCready | February 26th, 2015 | No responses

Nothing is capable of making you suddenly aware of your mortality more than the moment you realize the music of your youth is now classic rock.

For those who grew up during the ’90s — back when voicemail was a phone message scribbled by your mom on a tattered piece of notebook paper — the transition has been more subtle than in generations past. That’s because, unlike the way it was with radio for decades, we gradually gained the ability to listen to whatever we chose whenever we wanted and could ignore whatever recent trends began taking hold.

Music Xray Blog Named As One Of Music Industry’s Top 100

Posted by Mike McCready | February 25th, 2015 | 3 Responses

The Music Xray blog has been named by Musicians Empowered as a top music industry blog. It’s an honor.



Steve Jobs Quotes: On His 60th Birthday, 10 Inspirational Sayings About Apple, Creativity And ‘One More Thing’

Posted by Mike McCready | February 25th, 2015 | No responses

Tuesday would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. The late Apple co-founder was famous not only for the Macintosh computer, iPod and iPhone but also for his eloquent musings on everything from LSD to entrepreneurship. The tech mogul was known for his direct style of speaking and his charisma, especially on display in his keynote speeches at Apple events. They often ended with Jobs feigning forgetfulness, saying the phrase “And one more thing…” and then debuting a revolutionary new product.

Jobs died at age 56 on Oct. 5, 2011, after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. Before he lost consciousness, Jobs looked at his sister, children and wife and repeated the words “OH WOW” three times, according to his sister’s eulogy in the New York Times. She wrote Jobs’ last words in all capital letters.

He left a legacy of innovation and a treasure trove of memorable quotes. Read 10 of the best below, courtesy of Business Insider, Wikiquote and Goodreads:

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

“I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”

“Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

“It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.”

“That’s been one of my mantras: focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

“And one more thing…”


What Do Artists Think Of Music Xray?

Posted by Mike McCready | February 25th, 2015 | No responses

We are thrilled to get “love letters” every week but this week we received a couple we thought we’d share here on the blog.

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Number of Music Retailers in UK Climbs To Record High Despite Tumbling Sales

Posted by Mike McCready | February 24th, 2015 | No responses

Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images

The number of brick and mortar stores selling music in the United Kingdom has reached an all-time high, despite the falling popularity of physical product.

According to new figures published by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), there were 10,391 outlets selling CDs and vinyl in 2014, up 20% from 8,633 the year before.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley cites an increase in the number of supermarket convenience stores and discount stores like Wilko and Matalan selling a limited range of music and video product as a contributing factor behind the growth.

Read more at –


Tom Silverman’s Industry Predictions: Slow Growth Through 2019, Streaming Dominance

Posted by Mike McCready | February 24th, 2015 | No responses

The future record business could be huge. Despite the potential, revenue growth is going to be modest in the next five years, says music industry veteran Tom Silverman, founder of Tommy Boy Records and executive director of New Music Seminar. He does not warn that downloads and CDs will fall off the proverbial cliff. He does not expect an explosion of streaming revenues. Instead, he sees a steady transition to new business models over the next five years.

Two years ago, Silverman talked about “the $100 billion music business” that’s waiting for labels and digital service providers.

Read more on –


ISIS Reportedly Photographed Burning Drums

Posted by Mike McCready | February 22nd, 2015 | No responses

According to a report released this week, ISIS in Libya have reportedly released photos of members burning musical instruments.

The photos, posted on The Daily Mail on Feb. 18, show masked ISIL members holding weapons, looking on as piles of drums burn in front of them. The instruments were allegedly seized by ISIL police and later burned near the eastern Libyan city of Derna.

“Hesbah seized these un-Islamic musical instruments in the state of Warqa [also known as Derna],”,” according to a statement posted on the Daily Mail’s website.

Read more at –


Oscars 2015: Predicting the Song Category

Posted by Mike McCready | February 21st, 2015 | No responses

A year ago, the biggest contemporary stars on the Oscar telecast were two of the original song nominees, “Let it Go” and “Happy.” This year, you’d be hard-pressed to find one person who could hum two of the nominated melodies.

Oscars 2015: See All of Our Coverage

While the songs nominated for the 87th annual Academy Awards are less familiar – we might never see the cultural saturation of last year’s tunes – they play equally important roles in their films.

Oddsmakers in London have Common and John Legend’s “Glory” out front as an even money favorite and it’s not surprising considering how it has timing and cultural momentousness on its side.


Why Zane Lowe Could Do More For Discovery At Apple Than Echonest’s $25.6 Million Does For Spotify

Posted by Mike McCready | February 21st, 2015 | No responses

BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe just announced a shock move to Apple. For the non-Brits and non-Anglophiles Zane Lowe is arguably the most influential radio DJ in the UK and is renowned for being a tastemaker with an eclectic pallet. His left of centre focus and his commitment to supporting and breaking new acts has allowed Radio One the freedom to be unashamedly mainstream in much of its other output. So why does this all matter for Apple? While it is not yet clear what sort of role Lowe will assume at Cupertino it is a move bristling with significance and a clear statement of intent from Apple.




Starbucks to Stop Selling CDs

Posted by Mike McCready | February 20th, 2015 | No responses

Starbucks, the coffee giant with over 21,000 retail stores throughout the world, will stop stocking and selling physical compact discs, Billboard has confirmed, with the CD clean-out due to start next month.

“We will stop selling physical CDs in our stores at the end of March,” a rep for the Seattle-based company tells Billboard, adding: “Starbucks continually seeks to redefine the experience in our retail stores to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Music will remain a key component of our coffeehouse and retail experience, however we will continue to evolve the format of our music offerings to ensure we’re offering relevant options for our customers.


The decision follows a tough environment for the format, which saw a sales decline of 15 percent in 2014. Music has been one of the few items offered at Starbucks stores that didn’t have to do with coffee, tea or food, the chain’s main revenue streams, and was often at the center of various programs and cultural initiatives.

Is Kenny G Responsible for the Starbucks Frappuccino

Starbucks’ investment in music began when the company acquired the music retailer Hear Music. With the aim of compiling collections to spur music discovery, the wholly-owned subsidiary was first staffed with Starbucks employees in 1999 and saw significant growth over the next five years.

Indeed, a Billboard article from 2006 cites annual album sales of 3.6 million units or approximately $65 million in music revenue. That same year, Starbucks announced a partnership with William Morris to help identify music to feature in their stores. To support the 20 or fewer titles the chain would stock regularly, Hear Music also hosted several performance series based around the coffeehouse singer-songwriter concept and launched a Sirius XM station to play Starbucks-friendy tunes.

Around the mid-aughts, and with much fanfare, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz boasted of a slew of exclusive music releases in partnership with Concord Music Group, including albums by Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell and Alanis Morissette, whose Jagged Little Pill acoustic album was initially sold only in Starbucks stores to mark the breakout record’s 10th anniversary in 2005.

Among the albums that Starbucks has given prime positioning to in recent months were: Taylor Swift’s 1989, the Frozen soundtrack and a jazz compilation called Blue Note Blends, released as recently as Feb. 10.

In one interview with Fast Company from 2004, Schultz noted of Starbucks’ jump into music: “The nature of shopping for a CD or a piece of music at a traditional record store is, at its best, a very poor consumer experience. … The Starbucks customer [who] might want to find a Diana Krall album, a Tony Bennett album, or anything that was not being played on the radio, well, they would have a hard time going into Tower Records. Maybe they’d find the album there, but they could not find someone who could talk to them about it. That consumer has disposable income and has had a long history of buying and enjoying music, but they have nowhere to go.”

Other music offerings at Starbucks included themed compilations (like their long-running holiday album series) and single-song downloads, the latter of which are offered via promotional cards that are expected to continue. Digital music will have a presence in the stores of Starbucks’ future, but in what form, sources don’t yet know.