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Guest saleen351

These are both from the BBC you can find them at BBC.com....

The UK music industry has called on the government to help set up a music office in the United States to try to address the problem of falling music sales in the country.

British acts have performed increasingly poorly in the US in recent years, and last month the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart contained no British act for the first time since October 1963.

A report commissioned by the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the industry body representing smaller music companies, recommends the opening of a British music "embassy" in New York.

The Beatles broke open the US music market

The report, being launched with a seminar on Tuesday, calls on the government to co-fund the music office - following the success of the British Film Office in Hollywood, set up in 1998.

The proposal has the support of all the UK music industry bodies, including record company organisation the BPI, the Music Publishers Association and the Music Managers Forum.

The report follows a series of meetings by music industry figures at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The declining impact of UK acts in the $10bn (£6.86bn) US market has been a music industry talking-point for some years.

British acts have traditionally enjoyed a strong presence in the US charts, since the Beatles took the top five places in April 1964.

Allure

Two decades ago there were 40 British singles in the Top 100, and British market share in the US reached 32% in 1986.

This fell to 0.2% last year - and UK acts' lack of allure was exemplified by the decision not to release Robbie Williams' UK chart-topper Swing When You're Winning in the US.

The UK's biggest recent success has been Dido, who has spent a large part of her career in the US and benefited from a collaboration with US rapper Eminem.

Britpop acts like Oasis made very little impact in the US

Her album No Angel sold six million copies in the US.

The music office would, says the report, act as a focal point for UK music exporters and initiate collective marketing of UK acts.

It would also offer business support services and up-to-date information on the US market and music industry.

But the report acknowledges that part of the problem is the emergence of genres such as rap, hip-hop and nu-metal in which it is hard for UK acts to compete with the US originators.

And the report adds that the US has become one of the most nationalistic music markets in the world.

In 2000, US acts made up 92% of the US recorded music market - a total only exceeded by Pakistan.

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For the first time in more than 38 years, there are no UK acts in the top 100 singles chart in the US.

Craig David's Seven Days has just dropped out of the Billboard rundown, leaving the singles chart totally free of UK music stars, reports Music Week magazine.

The last time this happened was in October 1963. One week later UK act the Caravelles entered the chart at 84 with You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry.

Since then British musicians have maintained at least some presence on the countdown, until now.

The news comes despite an increase in interest in UK acts in the US.

Impact

Coldplay, Gorillaz, Radiohead and Dido have all made successful breakthroughs into one of the world's toughest markets.

However the difficulty in making an impact can be highlighted by Robbie Williams.

The singer is arguably the biggest star in the UK, and he has had success in Europe and Australia.

Dido was a success in the US before breaking the UK

But he has struggled to make a major impact in the US.

Jeremy Marsh from Telstar Records told Music Week that breaking the US is a "quantum leap" for UK acts - and cited the example of British boy band BBMak.

He said: "BBMak took 12 consecutive months to promote there.

"Craig David has spent the whole of the back end of 2001 and all of 2002 so far breaking the US and establishing himself."

In the past success came easy for UK acts across the Atlantic.

Success

In May 1965 and again in May 1985, there were eight UK records in the top 10.

In April 1964 the Beatles held all of the top five positions and exactly 20 years later there were 40 UK singles in the top 100.

The US album charts are not looking particularly healthy either for UK acts, with only Craig David's Born To Do It (81) and Ozzy Osbourne's Down to Earth (97) in the top 100.

In 2001 UK artists had an 8.8% share of the top 100 albums.

This compares with just 1.7% in 2000 and 0.7% in 1999.

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