The move, long rumoured, has finally been announced as part of plans to raise student numbers

Essay: CDs were built to last, and to throw away

Music isn't special when it comes out of a little silver beer mat.

Pop: The Big Noise: Texas: The Hush Mercury

WITHOUT GOING too far out on a critical limb, it's safe to say that this is the album that will win all the awards this year. Painstakingly designed and faultlessly performed, it fulfils all the criteria to attract what music-industry insiders refer to as the five-albums-a-year punters - those consumers who aren't addicted to music like the rest of us, but limit themselves to just a few high-profile purchases each season. It's those punters who keep The Corrs high in the charts week after week, and it's their attentions that an artist has to attract to achieve crossover success - all the more so during such lean times for the industry as these.

Film: Scott of the arch antics

Jake Scott, son of Ridley, has just made his first feature film, Plunkett & Macleane. It's MTV meets The Scarlet Pimpernel. But that wasn't the plan.

Norway's new nightingale

Thanks to her child-like voice and airy-fairy songs, Anja Garbarek is often compared to Bjork. But her jazz-musician father has been her main influence.

Massive attack

This week, designers sent a fat lad down the catwalk. COLE MORETON - no Jarvis Cocker - spots a cynical stunt

Massive Attack sees off old guard

ANYONE OVER 30 should stop reading here. As the year draws to a close and critics rush to catalogue the events, people and anthems of the year, a poll of Radio 1's listeners to find the all-time top 100 has chosen few of the old classics.

Who's Suing Whom: Music sample strikes a note of contention

MANFRED MANN (real name Manfred Lubowitz), the popular musician and songwriter who found fame and fortune with his eponymous band in the 1960s, is suing the extremely trendy group Massive Attack for alleged plagiarism.

Pop: Lyric Sheets: 1998 - A Drear Year

A brief glance back at a fairly uneventful year in pop music

Going Out: Pop: massive attack

December is marked by several big names going out on arena tours. While some of these (Tom Jones, UB40 and the unnecessary return of Culture Club) are at best nostalgia fests and at worst mere excuses for companies to use their hospitality budgets, Bristol's Massive Attack (right) do offer an alternative. This is the first time that they'll be touring the Mezzanine album, and, while venues of this size are impersonal, their urban sound is rich enough to permeate the entire venue.

The 50 best: Sound investments from a record year

More CDs, records and tapes are sold in the month before Christmas than at any other time of the year. Most, of course, are intended as presents - but what to buy? Here, The Independent's team of music critics picks over the best of the year's releases - from rock and pop to classical and opera, via dance, hip hop, reggae, jazz, roots and blues - and offers suggestions for further listening. Just press play ...

UK trip-hop band makes cyber chart

A CHART in which the trip-hop band Massive Attack appears at No 39 would usually be about music. But instead the trio from Bristol have been picked by Time magazine as among the "50 most influential" names in the new cyber elite.

Mania on Manic Street as Welsh win top prize

THERE WAS finally some good news for Wales yesterday when two of the Principality's biggest bands walked off with the major prizes in the prestige Q Music Awards.

Going Out: Pop Morcheeba

South London-based Morcheeba's second album, the excellent Big Calm, is packed with diverse beats and rhythms, and spent almost six months in the Top 40. Since its release in March, they've been on a constant touring schedule in Europe and the USA.

Arts: Pop: Keep faith with the new church of ecstasy


Network: Making sweet virtual music - on a computer

Why bother using a studio, when computer technology is so cheap? By Hannah Gal
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower