Music Power Rankings: Apple back at the top and, of course, Lee DeWyze
Frankly, this is one of those weeks where it seems like there were more losers than winners: “American Idol’s” ratings for its March 26 finale were down 16% from last year, both U2 and Christina Aguilera announced tour postponements and record sales continue to plummet.
Even our No. 1 pick, Apple (for the second consecutive week) had a mixed week. Sure, it overtook Microsoft in market cap, but on the down side, the Department of Justice is investigating iTunes allegedly pressuring record labels to not participate in Amazon’s $2.99 Daily Deal program. Amazon is the second largest digital retailer behind iTunes.
1. Apple (No. 1): We really didn’t plan to have Apple claim the top spot two weeks in a row, but darn the Cupertino, Calif. company if it didn’t overtake Microsoft in market capitalization this week to become the most highly-valued technology company in the world. Sure, most of that is for its hardware, but given that Apple changed the music industry, that makes them No. 1 in our book too this week.
2. Lee DeWyze (not ranked): Granted, it was the most boring of “American Idol’s” nine seasons, but when it seemed that Crystal Bowersox was all but a sure thing, DeWyze started moving up slowly until he passed her and was crowned the champ Wednesday night. That makes him the third bland boy rocker to win in a row. Like David Cook and Kris Allen before him, he’s the equivalent of a pony: shiny and non-threatening to all those adolescent girls voting every week.
3. Rage Against the Machine (not ranked): Like Shakira before them, the politically charged band has vowed not to play in Arizona until its controversial immigration law is repealed. They are part of The Sound Strike, an online movement launched by artists boycotting the state. Other acts promising the same include Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, Massive Attack, Ozomotli Juanes, Los Tigres del Norte and Conor Oberst.
4. Stone Temple Pilots (not ranked): What does going away for several years, recording with different bands, conquering your drug addiction and then reuniting for your first album in almost a decade get you? If you’re STP, it looks like it gets you to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. We’ll know for sure next week, but preliminary sales data shows they’re flying high.
5. Paula Abdul (not ranked): One year after getting dumped by “American Idol,” Abdul looks like the smartest one of them all and like she got out just in time. After being courted by lots of shows, she will once again be a judge, this time on “Got to Dance,” an all-ages, all-genre dance contest. Reality TV: it looks like she is, indeed, forever your girl.
6. Courtney Love (not ranked): No, not for Hole’s album, which already feels like an afterthought, but for her role as owner of Nirvana’s catalog. The New York Daily News reported this week that she has been offered $162 million for the 50% of Kurt Cobain’s catalog she still owns (she sold 50% in 2006). She’s still mulling the offer. She may not be the girl with the most cake, but she is the one with the most cash.
7. “Glee” (not ranked): For the second time in five weeks, the show lands soundtracks atop the Billboard 200. Following April’s “The Power of Madonna,” “Glee returns to the top with “Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers.” For those keeping count, that’s four albums that “Glee has landed in the Top 10 since the show launched and all four are in the Top 50 this week. You know who’s feeling the most “Glee-ful?” Columbia Records, who puts out the “Glee” albums.
8. Nicole Scherzinger (not ranked): Winning “Dancing with the Stars” may do something for this Pussycat Doll that Interscope could not: successfully launch her solo career. Meow.
9. Greyson Chance: (No. 9): Really? I know. We thought he’d fade away by now too, replaced by an accordion-playing Chihuahua or something on YouTube. But no. This week, the 13-year old, “Paparazzi”-playing sensation signed with Ellen Degeneres’ new label, eleven eleven, which goes through Interscope Records.
10. eMusic (not ranked): The digital retailer that mainly caters to indie music scored big this week when it added the Prince catalog from his glory days at Warner Music Group to its offerings. Party like it’s 1999, anyone?
11. Simon Fuller (not ranked): The creator of “American Idol” is attempting to buy the company that bought “AI.” That explains why he left CFX, owner of “Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and the rights to Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali images a few months ago. The Wall Street Journal reports that he’s making a $600 million bid for CKX. Did he watch this season?
Music Power Rankings appear every Friday on The Beat Goes On