Underground Garage

Little Steven's Underground Garage column, produced exclusively for Billboard. The charts are a combination of airplay from the Underground Garage format and coolness.

Are you ready for this one?

After the Beatles' company Apple Corps sued Apple Computer for copyright infringement, Apple Computer agreed in 1991 not to enter the music distribution business. But a British judge just ruled that selling music in the digital domain doesn't qualify as the music business! Now as much as I'd like to believe the judge was making a statement about analog vinyl being so superior to digital downloading that the quality of digital doesn't qualify as music, that's not what he meant.

He said as long as Apple Computer isn't the source of the content it's cool! So what was all the noise about Napster a few years ago then? They weren't in the music business either I guess.

Apple Computer says it is not in the music business, it is in the data transmission business. And this fruitcake judge bought it! Welcome to George Orwell's "1984" because if that ain't Newspeak I don't know what is.

Look, let's be honest. The Beatles had the name first. There is a lot of positive emotional resonance that came with that name, so Steve Jobs owes them one already. How about he does the right thing and donates some piece of the action to charities designated by Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia? Apple Corps doesn't want to keep Jobs out of the music business, they just want some respect. And maybe a little gratitude.

The Underground Garage world-premiered the new Joan Jett & the Blackhearts album "Sinner" this week. Its release is scheduled for June 6 to coincide with her headlining Vans Warped tour gig. The album is one of Joanie's best and includes 11 tracks she wrote or co-wrote, one song written by the Replacements' Paul Westerberg and a fabulous cover of Sweet's "ACDC."

See you next week.


(Coolest Song In The World This Week)

2. "Nothing Terribly New," The Hellacopters (Universal)
3. "Hands," The Raconteurs (V2)
4. "World Wide Suicide," Pearl Jam (J)
5. "Steady As She Goes," The Raconteurs (V2)
6. "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor," Arctic Monkeys (Domino)
7. "Wish I Never Loved You," Buzzcocks (Cooking Vinyl)
8. "Don't Listen To The Radio," The Vines (Capitol)
9. "Walk Of Fame," Boink! (Teenacide)
10 "Welcome To My Head," Willie Nile (00:02:59)



2. "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not," Arctic Monkeys (Domino)
3. "Living With War," Neil Young (Reprise)
4. "First Impressions Of Earth," The Strokes (RCA)
5. "Vision Valley," The Vines (Capitol)
6. "Other People's Lives," Ray Davies (V2)
7. "Flat-Pack Philosophy," Buzzcocks (Cooking Vinyl)
8. "Rock & Roll Is Dead," The Hellacopters (Universal)
9. "Show Your Bones," Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Interscope)
10. "Down In Albion," Babyshambles (Rough Trade)

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