Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tina Turner unveils first tour in 8 years

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Soul legend Tina Turner on Friday unveiled plans to tour for the first time in eight years after her friend and film icon Sophia Loren told her it was time to hit the road again.

Turner, 68, came out of retirement when she sang her hit song "Proud Mary" with R&B singer Beyonce at February's Grammy Awards, and the pair brought the crowd to its feet. Turner, who has been living in Europe, said that after the duet fans begged her to go back on tour.

An eight-time Grammy winner, Turner will bring her show to 17 cities across the United States and Canada, starting with an October 1 performance in Kansas City, Missouri, and wrapping up in Montreal, Canada on December 8.

"My blessing is that most of my audiences are right there with me," Turner said in an interview on "The Early Show" on the U.S. television network CBS.

"They're so ready," Turner said. "It's just like -- even when they're in their chairs, they don't stay in their chairs very long!"

Turner said her friend Loren, the Italian-born actress and 1960s sex symbol, told Turner she had "rested" long enough since her last tour.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the Beatles world records

The Beatles world records

Throughout their relatively short time recording and performing together, The Beatles set a number of world records - most of which have yet to be broken. The following is a partial list.

The Beatles are the best selling musical group of all time, estimated by EMI to be over one billion discs and tapes sold worldwide.

The most multi-platinum selling albums for any artist or musical group (13 in the U.S. alone)

The Beatles have had more number one singles than any other artist or musical group (22 in the U.S. alone). Ironically, the Beatles could easily have had even more number ones, because they were often competing with their own singles. For example, The Beatles' "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were released as a "double A" sided single, which caused sales and airplay to be divided between the two songs instead of being counted collectively. Even so, they reached number two with the singles.

The most successful first week of sales for a double album (The Beatles Anthology Volume 1), which sold 855,473 copies in the U.S. from November 21 to November 28, 1995).

In terms of charting positions, Lennon and McCartney are the most successful songwriters in history, with 32 number one singles in the U.S. for McCartney, and 26 for Lennon (23 of which were written together). Lennon was responsible for 29 number one singles in the U.K., and McCartney was responsible for 28 (25 of which were written together).

During the week of April 4, 1964, The Beatles held the top 5 positions on the Billboard singles chart. No one had ever done anything like this before, and it is doubtful that the conditions will ever exist for anyone to do it again. The songs were "Can't Buy Me Love", "Twist and Shout", "She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and "Please Please Me".

The next week, April 11, 1964, the Beatles held 14 positions on the Billboard Hot 100. Before the Beatles, the highest number of concurrent singles by one artist on the Hot 100 was nine (by Elvis Presley, December 19, 1956).

The Beatles are the only artist to have back-to-back-to-back number one singles on Billboard's Hot 100. Boyz II Men and Elvis Presley have succeeded themselves on the chart, but the Beatles are the only artist to three-peat.

The Beatles' "Yesterday" is the most covered song in history, appearing in the Guinness Book of Records with over 3000 recorded versions.

The Beatles had the fastest selling single of all time with "I Want To Hold Your Hand". The song sold 250,000 units within 3 days in the U.S., one million in 2 weeks. (10,000 copies per hour in New York City alone for the first 20 days)

The largest number of advance orders for a single, at 2.1 million copies in the U.S. for "Can't Buy Me Love"

With their performance at Shea Stadium in 1965, The Beatles set new world records for concert attendance (55,600+) and revenue.

The Beatles broke television ratings records in the U.S. with their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

On June 12, 1965, The Beatles were awarded the order of Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen.

On July 2, 1966, The Beatles became the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nine Inch Nails offers freebie of new album

By Susan Visakowitz

NEW YORK - In a surprise move, Nine Inch Nails posted access to a free download of its new album, "The Slip," on its Web site on Monday morning (May 5).

The 10-track album is available in its entirety in several formats -- including MP3 and high-quality, "lossless" audio compression options like FLAC -- via a link on All of the formats come free of digital rights management.

A statement on the site from frontman Trent Reznor says simply, "Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years -- this one's on me."

Nine Inch Nails plans to release "The Slip" on CD and vinyl in July and will use traditional brick-and-mortar distribution. Further details about the physical product have yet to be announced.

The band's manager, Jim Guerinot, told that the timing for the free digital download felt right because "we just put a record out (and) we're going on-sale with tickets."

He added that Reznor's "been in a prolific phase and we didn't want 'business' to get in the way of getting the art in the hands of the fans. We've looked at the climate and the many advantages of being able to do whatever we want without bureaucracy."

"The Slip" features Reznor on vocals and various instruments, as well as Josh Freese, Robin Finck and Alessandro Cortini. Guerinot also told that Reznor "worked again with his team of Alan Moulder and Atticus Ross out of his garage" on the recording and said that word of the album arrived late.

"(Trent) let me know there was some new music coming, and the next thing I knew there was a full-length record done," Guerinot said. "It's very exciting to be finishing mixing on Thursday, mastering Friday, finishing artwork on Saturday and having the world hear it (Monday morning)!"

To get the download of "The Slip," site users need to provide an email address, to which a link is sent that includes access to all format options. All downloads also include a PDF with lyrics and artwork.

This is the first time Nine Inch Nails has made a new album available completely and exclusively for free as a digital download.

Demand for the new music appeared to be immediate and heavy. Just after 2:30 p.m. British time, the site was slowed to a crawl because of traffic.

Like the band's previous album, "Ghosts I-IV," "The Slip" is being released under a Creative Common license, so it can be redistributed freely. Reuters/Billboard

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jimi Hendrix sex tape not genuine

Jimi Hendrix company says sex tape not genuine

Friday, May 02, 2008 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The company that controls rights to rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix's music and likeness said on Thursday a purported sex tape of the musician being sold on the Internet was not authentic.

"We strongly dispute the claimed authenticity of the tape," Experience Hendrix said in a statement.

"We view the release as nothing more than a callous attempt to trade on the image and reputation of a deceased artist who is unable to defend himself against such an outrageous and baseless assertion," the Seattle-based company added.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles-based adult video company Vivid Entertainment released a 45-minute DVD that includes 11 minutes of roughly 40-year-old film footage showing a man resembling Hendrix cavorting with two unidentified brunettes in a dimly lit bedroom.

Vivid said it consulted several experts to authenticate Hendrix's likeness on the tape, including women who knew the guitarist. It said it acquired the tape from an individual who purchased it from a collector who found it.

Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid, said in his own statement on Thursday that Experience Hendrix's comments were "not in any way a refutation of the authenticity" of the tape.

"We are very comfortable this is the real thing," Hirsch said.

Others have also called the tape's authenticity into question, including Charles Cross, author of Hendrix biography "Room Full of Mirrors." He told the New York Times that "it doesn't add up to Jimi" and said he had previously encountered the film himself when he was researching his book.

The sex tape DVD was available for sale online and Vivid said it would be in stores starting next Tuesday.

Hendrix is considered one of the great rock guitarists of all time with hits such as "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady." He died in 1970 at age 27 in London.

Vivid, in addition to marketing adult videos, has also distributed the notorious sex tape of actress Pamela Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee.

(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Mary Milliken)

Aussie rockers Midnight Oil dusting off old albums

By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If there's a silver lining when a rock band breaks up, maybe it's that the members have more time to contemplate reissue projects.

This is the case with Midnight Oil, the politically inspired Australian rock band that enjoyed an unlikely international hit 20 years ago with a concept album about Aboriginal rights.

The band's 25-year run ended after imposing vocalist Peter Garrett announced in 2002 that he was quitting to pursue a career in politics. The surfing skinhead is now a member of Australia's new centre-left federal government.

His comrades kept busy with various musical endeavours, but now guitarist Jim Moginie is leading an ambitious reissue project, beginning with the aforementioned album, 1987's "Diesel and Dust." The disc, which features the hit single "Beds Are Burning," has been remastered, and a bonus track called "Gunbarrel Highway" appended.

The band also has included a DVD documentary of its 1986 tour of the harsh Australian outback. The trek, during which the musicians viewed first-hand the abysmal poverty of Australia's Aboriginal people, as well as their cultural achievements, inspired the tunes on "Diesel and Dust."

"When you think about us singing about dispossessed indigenous people, you wouldn't think that would be a record that anyone would want to hear," Moginie, 51, told Reuters in a recent interview. "But it turned out that they did. There's hope for the world yet."

The album, the band's sixth release, went to No. 1 in many countries, and peaked at No. 21 in the United States. "Beds Are Burning," which receives U.S. radio airplay to this day, hit No. 17 on the pop chart.


While the lyrics were decidedly forthright, "Musically, I think we managed to make it reasonably palatable and simple in a way that anyone could enjoy it," said Moginie, who wrote or co-wrote most of the band's songs. "It had a good beat, wasn't too messy or complicated or ragged. It's pretty focused."

He said plans are in the works for a follow-up documentary that will retrace the band's steps in such desert settlements as Kintore East and Yuendemu, which were both immortalized on "Beds Are Burning."

"The same problems are still there," he said. "The petrol sniffing's still pretty rampant, same poverty."

In the meantime, he is working on a reissue for iTunes of the band's 1982 breakthrough "10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1," which featured tirades against their compatriots' political apathy, the American military and colonial arrogance.

Moginie and that album's producer, Nick Launay, also have shot a documentary about the making of the album.

"We did find a bunch of cassettes with some demos on it," Moginie said. "It's really interesting to listen to. It was quite surprising."

He hopes both projects will see the light of day within the next 12 months.

With Garrett rocking the halls of power, Moginie often gets together for writing sessions with drummer Rob Hirst and guitarist Martin Rotsey, and has "vague ideas about doing something in the future" with them.

But it would take a lot to bring one former Oils member back into the fold. Bass player Peter Gifford left after the band's extensive touring to promote "Diesel and Dust." He is now the Lamborghini-driving owner of a company that makes micro bikinis and lingerie, Wicked Weasel.

"He's quite the ex-rock star actually, much more than the rest of us," Moginie said. "We're still chipping away at the coal face, whereas Giffo's, 'Nah, nah. I'm finished with that. I'll just become a bikini millionaire.'"