Three years on from the launch of the Listening Party during lockdown, Tim Burgess is broadening the reach of the platform with various brand extensions.
The Charlatans frontman and solo artist based the listening parties - featuring special guests sharing insights on albums - around his Twitter account, so fans could share in the experience by playing the record alongside the commentary.
The Listening Party has become a regular part of artist campaigns. Previous guests include Paul McCartney, Michael Kiwanuka, Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and Kylie Minogue.
Music Week can reveal that Demon Music Group is working with Burgess on the official album of The Listening Party. Demon is nominated at the Music Week Awards 2023 in the Catalogue Marketing Campaign category for its box set, Life Moves Pretty Fast: The John Hughes Mixtapes.
Due for release in early 2024 on various CD and vinyl formats, The Listening Party album has been curated by Burgess and features some of his favourite tracks from the past three years of listening parties.
Tim Burgess said: “The Listening Party compilation album is the culmination of an amazing three years. Some of the biggest artists in the world and lots that might be new to people. It’s been incredible to have been involved in the process. Looking forward to getting my hands on the vinyl.”
The Listening Party compilation album is the culmination of an amazing three years
He added: “I was asked to come up with a wish list from over 1,000 albums that we’d featured at The Listening Party to give a good representation of what they're all about. Demon had the unenviable task of then getting clearance but everyone has said yes so far. The tracklisting will cover the full spectrum, from legends to upcoming acts.”
While the compilation market has declined sharply since streaming became dominant, the brand recognition for the Listening Party will undoubtedly help the album release. The compilation will also likely receive support from indie retail, which Burgess’ Listening Party site helps connect to fans with comprehensive listings of shops including those providing mail order.
Listening Party has established a dedicated website with replays, including guidance for users who want a high-quality listening experience in Dolby Atmos. With more than 1,300 listening parties in the last three years, the platform has already inspired two books featuring artists and fans reflecting on favourite albums, as well as branded products.
In addition, the concept has now become an audio format on Absolute Radio in association with Soho Studios Entertainment over six weeks, starting from Sunday, March 26.
Each week, Tim Burgess will be joined by a different guest as they share stories and insights from one of their classic albums. Guests lined up for the show, which will be broadcast on Sunday evenings from 10pm-midnight, include The Kinks who will talk about their collections album, The Journey Part 1, and Fall Out Boy talking about forthcoming new album, So Much (For) Stardust.
Tim Burgess said: “After three years online, it’s exciting to be bringing The Listening Party to the radio airwaves with Absolute Radio. We’ve got some ace albums and brilliant guests lined up.”
Paul Sylvester, Absolute Radio’s content director, said: “Tim’s Listening Party has become a phenomenon. Giving audiences the chance to listen to the music and conversation while engaging with other fans on social media ties everything together. It fits perfectly with Absolute Radio’s specialist and storytelling strategy, and we can’t wait to work with Tim to get the show on-air.”
The series will also be made available as a podcast, available from the Absolute Radio app and website, as well as other podcast platforms.