Keith and his readers discuss Cher, Depeche Mode, the Cars and Twenty-Four Flowers.

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


SHARING CHER ON CD

Keith,

Cher released four albums on the Warner Bros. label from 1975-1977 and they still have not been released on CD.

The titles are "Stars," "I'd Rather Believe In You," "Cherished" and an album billed as Allman and Woman (which she made with then-husband Gregg Allman) entitled "Two the Hard Way."

Do you know why these have not been released on CD? Or do you know when they will be on CD? It seems to me that Warner Bros. would have released them in 1999 when Cher was riding high with "Believe," but they didn't.

Also do you know anything about an album recorded by Cher right after "Take Me Home" came out in 1979 that was rejected by her record company and never released by Casablanca? Her album "Prisoner" was released instead.

Thanks for your help with these two questions.

Michael Birr


Hi Michael,

As it turns out, Cher owns the masters for those four Warner albums, so she controls their fate. We reached out to Warner Bros. and Rhino Records to confirm this.

So, why haven't they come out on CD? We'd have to ask Cher the next time we get her on the phone.

Unfortunately, I don't have any information about the alleged aborted Casablanca album.



MODE ON THE ROAD

Hi Keith,

I'm a big fan of Depeche Mode and was wondering what their record sales figures are.

They've put out some amazing records in their career. I've noticed a major decline in the group's radio airplay the past 10 years, but the tours still sell strong and the shows get better and better. How about their tour figures?

Another band that has enjoyed similar success is the Cure, and they too get little radio play, yet have strong tours. The band's latest tour in North America brought in over $10 million. I'd be curious to see how the Cure have done as well.

Thanks,

Bryan Hepburn
Toronto, ON Canada


Hi Bryan,

Depeche Mode's last studio album, 2005's "Playing the Angel," has sold 422,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's not too far off from the sales of its previous set, 2001's "Exciter," which has moved 449,000. And then before that, there was 1997's "Ultra," which has shifted 592,000.

If anything, the band has certainly been consistent.

They may not get the radio airplay in the U.S. like they used to in the early 1990s, but they certainly have a dedicated fanbase that turns out to buy their studio albums and see their concerts.

As far as touring goes, Depeche Mode's last batch of concert dates that were reported to Billboard BoxScore happened in the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006. There were 25 shows reported, most in North America, with 14 of those being sellouts.

Total attendance was 360,719 while those 25 shows grossed $20 million. Keep in mind that Depeche Mode's last tour actually ran for 124 shows, so we only have a small sampling of how the entire tour performed.

As for the Cure, the band's last studio release, 2004's self-titled effort, has sold 327,000 in the U.S. Before that, 2000's "Bloodflowers" shifted 301,000 while 1996's "Wild Mood Swings" has done 371,000.

The Cure recently completed a tour, and of its global dates, we have information on 26 of those shows, nearly all were in North America. Nine of those were sellouts, with a reported attendance of 204,920. Total gross for those shows were $12 million.

The Cure's new as-yet-untitled new album is due out Oct. 13.



VINTAGE CARS

Hello Keith,

Are there any plans for the Cars catalog to receive an updated remastering from either Rhino or the band's original label Elektra?

Thanks,

Kelly Mullins
Charleston, W. Va.


Hello Kelly,

There's nothing on the horizon over at Rhino with regards to upcoming Cars reissues. If we hear anything, Billboard.com will be the first to let you know.


VINTAGE CARS

Hi,

I was watching Sony's E3 conference and the opening song was amazing... but nobody has been able to find what the song is and I was wondering if you could help me out.

You can listen to the song here. (Note: the song plays for about first 1:54.)

Josh Balka


Hi Josh,

Funny, when I went to watch the clip, in the comments below it, someone had already said who the artist and song was: Twenty-Four Flowers, "Burn in My Mind."

You can visit the band's MySpace page at myspace.com/twentyfourflowers.