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Tuesday, December 29, 1998 Published at 17:02 GMT


Old British favourites ousted

Massive Attack: Unfinished Sympathy is top in Radio 1's poll

New songs from contemporary bands such as Radiohead and The Verve have ousted old favourites as Britain's favourite tunes, according to a BBC Radio 1 poll.

Radio 1's National Anthems chart, released on Monday, showed Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy as the nation's favourite song, with traditional favourites such as Elton John and The Beatles nowhere to be seen.

US grunge act Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit came second, with The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony coming third in the chart, voted for by the station's listeners.

Radio 1 said the chart added a "fresh twist" to the more traditional countdowns, usually dominated by the same middle-of-the-road tracks.

Also featured in the top ten were dance acts Underworld and Stardust, alongside REM, U2 and John Lennon.

Oasis featured nine times in the top 100, while the Spice Girls only featured once - with Wannabe at 76.

DJ Scott Mills, who presented the top 100 countdown, said: "This is the choice of a new generation of pop fans - much more representative of the UK's musical taste as we approach the new millennium."

Meanwhile, an end of year poll of polls conducted for music retail chain HMV shows the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty as the album of the year.

Staff analysed end-of-year lists in newspapers and magazines to compile the poll, which featured French band Air second and Massive Attack third.

HMV's poll-of-polls top 10 is:

1. Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty.

2. Air - Moon Safari.

3. Massive Attack - Mezzanine.

4. Gomez - Bring It On.

5. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.

6. Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way, Baby.

7. Jurassic 5 - Jurassic 5.

8. Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs.

9. Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours.

10. Beta Band - Three EPs.

Sir Elton is top US draw

[ image: Sir Elton John: The USA's top show earner]
Sir Elton John: The USA's top show earner
Pop showman Sir Elton John earned $46.2m on the road in the US in 1998, making him the country's biggest concert draw, according to industry figures.

Sir Elton beat Celine Dion - who saw phenomenal success with her Titanic soundtrack - New Age artist Yanni and US rock act The Dave Matthews Band to head the list.

According to US trade publication Pollstar it was the first time Elton John had reached number one. The result came as a surprise.

"He wasn't even among Pollstar's five nominees for its honorary distinction as the year's top concert tour," said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar's editor. "But he has seen interest in his shows revived by his Candle in the Wind tribute to Princess Diana."

Last year's winners, the Rolling Stones, earned $31.8m in just 20 US shows. The veteran rockers spent most of their time outside the US, where they earned an estimated $161m during 1998.

Concert promoters are optimistic about 1999 when Bruce Springsteen is set to hit the road with his E Street Band. Madonna and Barbra Streisand are also expected to perform well next year.

Seized Titanic props go on show

[ image: Titanic: Antique props donated to museum]
Titanic: Antique props donated to museum
Props featured in the movie Titanic made from endangered species which were seized by UK customs officers have gone on show at a museum in Liverpool.

The collection made up of over 30 items fashioned from parts of tortoises, elephants and even a hippopotamus were held at London's Heathrow Airport. They had been sent out of Britain without a valid import licence.

Twentieth Century Fox had used the genuine antiques, including a tortoiseshell hair clip worn by Kate Winslet in her nude modelling scene with Leonardo DiCaprio, to make the hit disaster movie.

"The items were sent out of this country without the relevant permit. This was discovered as they were coming back into Britain at Heathrow and they were subsequently confiscated," said a Customs and Excise spokeswoman.

"The agent had applied for retrospective permits after the ivory had left the country but these were refused after it was found they had been knowingly sent out of Britain in the first place," she added.

The failure to obtain licences resulted in the props being forfeited to Customs and Excise which donated them to the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool.

They are now being shown in the museum's exhibition called Titanic and Lusitania - Floating Palaces of the Edwardian Age.

Unicef campaign adopted by musicians

[ image: Robbie Williams and Ian Dury in Sri Lanka]
Robbie Williams and Ian Dury in Sri Lanka
Musicians across Britain are backing childrens' charity Unicef's campaign for war-traumatised youngsters in 1999.

The Musicians Union has chosen Unicef's Children in Conflict campaign as its principal charity, thanks to Robbie Williams and Ian Dury's visit to war-torn Sri Lanka, back in September.

Heart-throb Williams and punk rocker Dury went up to the front line of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict to see a polio immunisation campaign on a "Day of Tranquillity" truce.

The cause is especially poignant for Ian Dury because childhood polio left him with a withered leg. He went on the trip despite undergoing constant medication in his battle against cancer.

"Musicians everywhere know the power of music, and those few moments in a classroom in northern Sri Lanka proved its universal appeal," said a spokesman for the union.

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