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8-main.shtml"> Nov 2001

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Jail sentence for King Rat.
Former pop guru Jonathon King was escorted to a high security prison last Wednesday after being convicted for sexual assault charges against five schoolboys.  The Old Bailey was told how Mr. King, 56, used his fame to lure young boys into his home.  The self-styled 'King of Hits' was jailed for sentences ranging from six months to seven years. A reporting restriction was lifted after the prosecutor decided not to proceed with hearings from six more victims.  Judge David Paget told him, "This was a serious breach of trust.  You used your fame and success to attract adolescent and impressionable boys.  You then abused the trust they and their parents placed in you."

The former Cambridge student sold over 4.5 million copies of his debut single 'Everyone's gone to the Moon' in the mid 1960's.  He then became a top record company executive, ran the Brit Awards and broadcast shows from the UK and America.  He now has to pay over £14,000 in legal expenses for offences ranging over three decades His friend, the former Radio One DJ Paul Gambaccini said, "It is so difficult to reconcile the two truths, of someone who was capable of high entertainment and knowledge and such low behavior." The celebrity still maintained his innocence and is now using his website to fight for an appeal.  Detective Inspector Brian Marjoram, who led the investigation said, "We have achieved justice today for Mr. King's victims.  He got the best defense money could buy, but the jury saw through his deceit and justice was seen to be done."

Singles - The Charlatans 'A Man Needs To Be Told' (Universal)

It isn't often that a song comes along that is so beautifully crafted that your life suddenly feels better for hearing it.  And strangely, it takes.  The Charlatans, a band whose early 90's popularity was beginning to wane to come back with a single of such impact.  The infusion of a country twang with the band's distinctive upbeat indie sound is testament to them for knowing how to move with the times, as it is more like.  The White Stripes than The Stone Roses.  They even manage to work in a techno edge to the end of the song, which is flawless that you wonder how the Charlies had it in them.  Even Tim Burgess' deliciously whispering vocals have never sounded better.  This single is essential, and is a sign of a band that are yet to reach their peak.

Singles - Cypress Hill 'Trouble/Lowrider' 

Trouble was written in collaboration with Fear factory bassist, Christian Olde Wolbers.  Unsurprising then, that the song sounds similar to the rap-metal material of last year's Bones release.  Good but nothing new or original.  The 'Hill adopt their more familiar hip-hop style for Lowrider.  An easy groove, which makes me want to sip gin on an idyllic Sunday afternoon (as if I need an excuse for that!).  The Latino acoustic solo is a nice touch, nothing more.  This will not change the world.

Albums - Smashing Pumpkins 'Rotten Apples:The Greatest Hits' (Hut)

Well, well.  Christmas is coming, and here comes the Greatest Hits deluge. Still, any new material from these now defunct alt-rockers has to be more palatable than yet another cash-in job from Sting, eh?  Two lovely, shiny silvery discs are included, the first being the Hits collection itself.  Its an understandably varied mix from a band whose musical direction has taken more twists and turns than a twisty, turny thing.

Spanning post-grunge (Cherub Rock, Siva), eclectic pseudo-pop whimsy (1979, Rock-Is-Dead), electronic (Ava Adore) and finally, terminal weirdness (Try Try Try).  This is - oh my - a true musical journey. There are some debatable inclusions/exclusions, such as Where's Tonight Tonight? and The Everlasting Gaze, even though it wasn't even a hit.  But all in all, this is pretty solid stuff.  Oh, and of the two new songs - one Real Love, is pure joy, fast paced and uplifting.  The other, final single Untitled, is an absolute travesty.  Perhaps it's an omen of the way that the Pumpkins were headed - any longer, and they'd have disappeared up their own bottoms!

The bonus CD is a b-sides/rarities compendium.  At least as diverse as the Hits disc itself, it does admittedly contain some fairly ill-advised tracks.   However, there are some true gems here - the emotionally charged Slow Down, James Iha's gentle Believe, and the dark, brooding Saturnine.  Its the bonus disc that completes the package really - showing that behind the big singles, the Smashing Pumpkins were a strange, spacey kind of band.  Go on,   pick this up, and give Billy Corgan a hand to pay for his Christmas presents (not that he needs one!).
Articles by Miranda Schunke.