Saturday, April 8, 2023


This headline certainly caught my eye …


Sting Now Paid $5,000 a Day for Diddy's Police Sample


Back in 1983, Sting and The Police topped Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart for eight weeks with their classic “Every Breath You Take.”  (You guys voted it the #74 Most Essential Classic Rock Song Of All-Time a couple of years ago.)


Then, in 1997, Puff Daddy sampled that tune as part of HIS #1 Hit “I’ll Be Missing You,” recorded as a tribute to his friend, The Notorious B.I.G..  It ALSO went on to top the chart for another 11 weeks.  (To say that The Police riff is a significant part of the song … and the song’s success … would be an understatement … it literally defines the song … and, being as familiar as it was by that time, Diddy’s rap tribute was an immediate smash.)


BOTH songs are considered classics today (albeit of somewhat different genres ...  which is to say that you won’t find Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, P.Diddy, Diddy, and countless other recordings on which he was involved, anywhere on our Classic Rock Essentials list.)


Well, apparently Diddy sampled Sting’s tune without his permission … in fact, he didn’t ask for it until AFTER his song had already been released … and in a 2014 court-decreed penalty for that little formality (or lack there of), he had to turn over ALL of the royalties earned for that record to that point … and a percentage thereafter.  That means that he has now paid out something to the tune of $1.8 million … and continues to pay, by his estimation, “$5000 a day” to Sting for the use of his tune.


Sting was outraged at the time … he told Rolling Stone Magazine “Those guys just take your shit, put it on a record and deal with the legality later,” going on to say that Elton John told him at the time, "'You gotta hear it … you’re gonna be a millionaire!'  I said, 'I am a millionaire!' He said, 'You’re gonna be a millionaire twice over!' I put a couple of my kids through college with the proceeds, and me and Diddy are good pals still.”  It is estimated that Sting earns about $170,000 a year in royalties for this little snippet.


But the funniest thing about that little snippet (well, I guess it’s not funny if you happen to be Police Guitarist Andy Summers!) is that Sting isn’t even on the segment used.  In fact, Summers is the only member of the band whose performance is heard on Diddy’s version.  (For the record, he was never credited as one of the song’s writers ... that distinction belongs to Sting alone.)  Summers says that Diddy “actually sampled my guitar, and that’s what he based his whole track on.”  Drummer Stewart Copeland’s not on it … Sting’s not even on it … the sample that Puff Daddy used is strictly Summers’ guitar riff!  (Personally, I think for $5000 a day, Sting could at least buy the guy lunch once in a while!!!)  kk

Hey Kent,
The Beatles also held down the Top 5 spots in Cash Box for the week ending April 4, 1964. As you indicate, a feat that really required one to spend some hard earned Ca$h to get the music you wanted to own and listen to over and over again.

Joe Cantello
Marietta, Ga

Speaking of The Beatles, can you believe that Beatlefest / The Fest For Beatles Fans will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary next year??? 


And they're tying it all into another Beatles milestone ...


Their first convention of 2024 will be held on February 9th, 2024 ... exactly SIXTY YEARS to the day of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.


And they'll be holding it at the brand new TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in New York!


More details in the link below ... 


And, before we leave The Fabs, here comes news that Ringo Starr has added more tour dates to his upcoming All-Starr Band Tour.  (Last year's trek had to be abandoned when Covid reared its ugly head!!!)


Here's the complete list of show dates so far.  (Added dates are shown in bold type)  Ringo is being joined by Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Edgar Winter, Warren Ham, Hamish Stuart, Gregg Bissonette for this year's jaunt.

May 19 Temecula, CA Pechanga Resort Casino
May 20 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
May 21 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
May 23 Long Beach, CA Terrace Theater
May 24 Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre
May 26 Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre
May 27 Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre
May 28 San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts
May 30 Prescott Valley, AZ Findlay Toyota Center
May 31 San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts
June 2 Eugene, OR Cuthbert Amphitheater
June 3 Bend, OR Hayden Homes Amphitheater
June 4 Woodinville, WA Saint Michelle Winery
June 6 Denver, CO Bellco Theater – Denver Convention Center
June 7 Colorado Springs, CO Pikes Peak Center
June 9 Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino
June 10 Jacksonville, OR Britt Festival
June 11 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
June 13 Salt Lake City, UT Eccles Theater
June 15 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
June 16 Paso Robles, CA Vina Robles Amphitheatre
June 17 San Jose, CA San Jose Civic


Don't miss the Grammy's Salute to The Beach Boys, airing tomorrow night (Sunday, April 9th) from 7 - 9 pm Central Time on CBS.  The Boys are their up in the balcony box seats enjoying the show as a number of today's top artists pay tribute to their songs.


Among the artists performing Sunday Night (the event was actually taped in February), you’ll get the chance to see Beck, Brandi Carlile, Hanson, Norah Jones, John Legend Michael McDonald, Mumford and Sons, Pentatonix (singing “Heroes And Villains … now THAT should be something to see!!!), LeAnn Rimes, St. Vincent and Weezer, all doing their interpretations of some Beach Boys classics! 

(Billboard Magazine picks THEIR winners from The Beach Boys tribute show here ...


Much as we did the other day, using information compiled by former Billboard Magazine Chart Beat Journalist and Researcher, Fred Bronson, Billboard Magazine has now compiled their OWN assessment of the impact of Sire Records on their Hot 100 Charts.


You’ll find a few discrepancies here and there as their point system method differs from Fred’s in some respects … but essentially it still represents the overall scheme of things, with Madonna once again reigning supreme.  (She’s got 29 of the Top 50 entries listed here … including 8 of The Top 10 and 17 of the Top 20!)


The back-up article can be found here:


And their chart looks like this:

Sire Records’ Top 50 Hot 100 Hits:

Rank, Title, Artist, Label Listing / Peak Pos., Date:

1, “Like a Virgin,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (six weeks), 12/22/1984
2, “Vogue,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (three weeks), 5/19/1990
3, “Take a Bow,” Madonna, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (seven weeks), 2/25/1995
4, “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal, ZTT/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 8/26/1995
5, “Justify My Love,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (two weeks), 1/5/1991
6, “Like a Prayer,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (three weeks), 4/22/1989
7, “Papa Don’t Preach,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (two weeks), 8/16/1986
8, “Live To Tell,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 6/7/1986
9, “Pop Muzik,” M, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 11/3/1979
10, “Open Your Heart,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 2/7/1987

11, “Who’s That Girl,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 8/22/1987
12, “Material Girl,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 2, 3/23/1985
13, “I’ll Be Your Everything,” Tommy Page, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 4/14/1990
14, “I’ll Remember,” Madonna, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 2, 5/28/1994
15, “Causing a Commotion,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 2, 10/24/1987
16, “Express Yourself,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 2, 7/15/1989
17, “True Blue,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 3, 11/15/1986
18, “Cherish,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 2, 10/7/1989
19, “La Isla Bonita,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 4, 5/2/1987
20, “Secret,” Madonna, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 3, 11/5/1994

21, “Couldn’t Get It Right,” Climax Blues Band, Sire/ABC / No. 3, 5/21/1977
22, “Back on the Chain Gang,” Pretenders, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 5, 3/19/1983
23, “Angel,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 5, 6/29/1985
24, “This Used To Be My Playground,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 1 (one week), 8/8/1992
25, “Dress You Up,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 5, 10/5/1985
26, “Lucky Star,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 4, 10/20/1984
27, “Enjoy the Silence,” Depeche Mode, Sire/Reprise / No. 8, 7/14/1990
28, “Tainted Love,” Soft Cell, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 8, 7/17/1982
29, “Crazy,” Seal, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 7, 9/7/1991
30, “Hocus Pocus,” Focus, Sire/Famous / No. 9, 6/2/1973

31, “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” Pretenders, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 10, 12/27/1986
32, “Borderline,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 10, 6/16/1984
33, “Keep It Together,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 8, 3/31/1990
34, “Deeper and Deeper,” Madonna, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 7, 1/30/1993
35, “Burning Down the House,” Talking Heads, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 9, 10/22/1983
36, “People Are People,” Depeche Mode, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 13, 8/3/1985
37, “Erotica,” Madonna, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 3, 10/24/1992
38, “Chains of Love,” Erasure, Sire/Reprise / No. 12, 10/29/1988
39, “Brass in Pocket (I’m Special),” Pretenders, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 14, 5/31/1980
40, “I’ll Stand by You,” Pretenders, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 16, 12/3/1994

41, “A Little Respect,” Erasure, Sire/Reprise / No. 14, 3/4/1989
42, “Policy of Truth,” Depeche Mode, Sire/Reprise / No. 15, 10/20/1990
43, “Rescue Me,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 9, 3/23/1991
44, “Hanky Panky,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 10, 7/28/1990
45, “Holiday,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 16, 1/28/1984
46, “Get Over Yourself,” Eden’s Crush, 143/London-Sire / No. 8, 3/31/2001
47, “Wild Wild Life,” Talking Heads, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 25, 12/6/1986
48, “Oh Father,” Madonna, Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 20, 1/6/1990
49, “Middle of the Road,” Pretenders, Sire/London-Sire / No. 19, 2/11/1984
50, “Far Behind,” Candlebox, Maverick/Sire/Warner Bros. / No. 18, 10/1/1994

Sire Records’ Top 50 Hot 100 Hits recap is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.

In the same issue, Ice T fondly remembers Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records, who passed away recently …


This issue also reports that Stein, then a teen-aged high school student, had some input into creating what immediately became known as the industry standard:  The Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.  (Unfortunately, this article is available to Billboard subscribers only, so linking to it won’t do you much good.  However, if any subscribers would like to offer up a recap as to Stein’s involvement, we would love to share that information as part of our on-going tribute to his legacy.)


The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Fan Vote closes April 28th ... which is now less than just three weeks away ...


So head on over and cast your votes for this year's nominees.


Current leaders include George Michael, with about 750,000 votes, Cyndi Lauper with 700,000 votes, Warren Zevon with 490,000 votes, Iron Maiden with 345,000 votes and Soundgarden with 330,000 votes.  (Boy, things sure have shaken up a bit since I last checked these standings!!!)


With just over four and a half MILLION votes cast, Willie Nelson has slipped out of The Top Five with 315,000 votes ... while early favorites The Spinners are now all the way down in 10th place with 230,000.  (kk) 


We told you recently about Allan Clarke's new album ... and how it pairs him with his former Hollies bandmate Graham Nash on a few tracks.

Well, here’s Part One of a new interview that Jeff Tamarkin did with Allan, running exclusively in Best Classic Bands, that also features video clips of a few of these hot new tracks …


>>>Don't miss our special look back at every Easter #1 Hit of The Top 40 Era (kk)
The only thing WORSE than not finding a Forgotten Hits Posting Easter morning ~~~
Is not finding a Hidden Easter Egg until the Summer!

Chuck Buell knows of what he speaks ...
Be sure to stop back sometime tomorrow and relive ALL of the Easter #1 Hits from 1955 - 1990 ...
Right here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)
[Dare I sign his piece CB ... aka Cottontail Boy???]