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Topic: Variety story on the releases Return to archive
08-13-02 08:18 AM
patioaintdry Stones reissues rolling into stores


Let the Rolling Stones barrage begin.

Having announced the first 40 dates of a worldwide tour that will celebrate their 40 years as a band, Virgin Records will release on Oct. 1 a two-CD career retrospective, "Forty Licks," the first album to bring together their post-1970 tracks and 1960s recordings that have been in the hands of former manager Allen Klein.

The Virgin package represents the first joint cooperative venture among the Rolling Stones, ABKCO Records and Virgin Records/EMI. The album will include four new tracks: "Keys to Your Love," "Stealing My Heart," "Losing My Touch" with Keith Richards singing and "Don't Stop," which will be released as a single this month . The new tracks were recorded in May and June in Paris. EMI will release the album Sept. 23 in Japan and Sept. 30 outside North America.

Klein's label, ABKCO, will issue on Aug. 27 the titles in his catalog --- the 13 albums they recorded for London in the 1960s before creating Rolling Stones Records, "Rock and Roll Circus" and eight compilations --- on a dual-layer CD that contains Super Audio CD and standard CD information on the same disc. ABKCO, which also owns the catalogs of the Animals, Sam Cooke and many Phil Spector productions, is not creating any new packages of Stones material at this time.

"This is a reintroduction of the Stones," said Jody Klein, ABKCO's product manager for the series. Universal Music is distributing.

"Forty Licks," said David Munns, vice chairman of EMI Recorded Music, is "over 21/2 hours of music personally selected by the band that will appeal to both longtime fans of the Rolling Stones and to people who want to experience them for the first time."

TV campaign

Virgin will launch a direct-response television campaign over the Labor Day weekend, using portions of 20 songs to sell the disc. A Virgin rep said the company will be "aggressive with in-store placement" and will be promoting the hits disc via CD bin drop-ins after the ABKCO titles hit stores. How the CD will be marketed at concert venues, if at all, is still in discussions.

Virgin, which has released Stones recordings since 1994 and distributes all Rolling Stones Records albums in the U.S., has done little in special packaging or compiling Stones hits packages. EMI issued the hits package "Jump Back" overseas in 1993 but never in the U.S.; band's last studio release was 1997's "Bridges to Babylon," sandwiched between the live albums "No Security" and "Stripped."

Low breakeven point

In the 1990s, new Rolling Stones albums have had a breakeven point at around 2 million copies sold; "Forty Licks" should move into the black at considerably less than that figure.

ABKCO initially released its Rolling Stones albums --- among them "Let It Bleed," "Beggars Banquet" and "Flowers" --- in 1986. Since then, despite a 1995 reissue series, Klein's company has not attempted to find better quality masters.

"We didn't want to force fans to buy these records over and over," Klein said, "plus there really wasn't a technological reason to do it until the invention of SACD."

The Stones discs are the first albums to be released as hybrid discs and, while Klein would not discuss any production details, he did say all SACD-CD manufacturing plants are handling only one project --- the Rolling Stones albums. Plants have been printing Stones discs, using master recordings superior to those employed previously, for close to two months and have put all other SACD-CD projects on hold for at least three months.

Catalog surge

Retail outlets could feel a bit of a logjam with releases from diskery vaults in coming weeks. Aug. 27 will see new discs from Dixie Chicks, BB Mak and Coldplay plus a deluxe edition of "The Who Sings My Generation" and a Kiss "Best of." Record companies are shying away from high-profile releases on Sept. 3 and 10.

The first Stones packages will hit stores just as RCA is pumping its collection of Elvis Presley releases tied to the 25th anniversary of his death this Friday . A week before "Forty Licks" is released, RCA will hit retail with "Elvis 30 No. 1 Hits," which will be fighting for premium retail space along with the Stones.

Well-known Stones hits packages such as "Hot Rocks" and "Big Hits: High Tide and Green Grass" will arrive in stores five weeks ahead of "Forty Licks," and buzz over the band will no doubt begin as reports come in from the Sept. 3 opening of their tour in Boston.

"We want to reach the fan who has '1' and wants to put together a collection of great rock 'n' roll hits, not necessarily the person who finds the need to reacquire 'Between the Buttons,' " the Virgin exec said.

Touring advantage

Catalog repurposing has been growing exponentially in the nearly two years since Capitol Records released the Beatles' "1," which has now sold 8.3 million copies. Last winter, Capitol ran a similar campaign for Pink Floyd's "Echoes," and many members of the marketing team behind the Beatles' "1" are working on "Forty Licks."

Of course, neither the Beatles nor Floyd benefited from having a band on the road. The Stones will be performing in North America through early 2003 and then will visit Europe, Australia, Mexico and the Far East. They are playing three different types of venues --- stadiums and arenas, where tickets cost up to $ 350, and small theaters/clubs, in which all tickets are $ 50.

The Rolling Stones last toured in 1999 and grossed $ 66.7 million. Jagger, Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood will be augmented on the tour by keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bassist Darryl Jones.

08-13-02 08:32 AM
scull Are the re-issues released world-wide or US only? I guess they will be available here in the UK on import, but that can get expensive. If there's a separate UK/Europe release date, does anyone know when that is? Apolgies if this has been covered, I'm new here!
08-13-02 09:43 AM
Boomhauer Well if that guy says its also for the fans, that means they also might put some obscure songs on Forty Licks, as well as the 4 new songs.
08-13-02 11:58 AM
Mr T wow - a Keith song is gonna be the first single? ballsy
08-13-02 12:16 PM
sandrew The first single, apparently, is going to be "Don't Stop." Keith sings on "Losing My Touch."
08-13-02 12:17 PM
Mr T oh, ok - I misread that - thanx

On June 16, 2001 the hit counter of the WET page was inserted here, it had 174,489 hits. Now the hit counter is for both the page and the board. The hit counter of the ITW board had 1,127,645 hits when it was closed and the Coolboard didn't have hit counter but was on line only two months and a half.
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