Answers to readers' questions about Roxette, Donna Summer and Jack Ingram.
ROCK THE ROXETTE
Thanks for answering all our questions each week! I am not the only one when I say that this is the best section of Billboard.com!
My question this week is about Roxette. I have heard that Roxette is going to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year and will be releasing a new single called "One Wish" next month. Can you confirm the rumors and do you know if this song will be released in the U.S. as well?
Considering how big they once were in the U.S., I am so surprised that they get so little exposure nowadays. They had several No. 1 hits in America and are still huge internationally.
With all the success of the other bands' Roxette covers in the recent years, I am surprised why they are not being pushed in the U.S. The band D.H.T. had a massive top 10 with their re-make of Roxette’s "Listen To Your Heart." This clearly shows that Roxette's music is much loved all around the globe.
Do you have any information about the possibility of getting new Roxette material releasef stateside as well?
It's been years since the U.S. has heard from Roxette. I thought -- after the news came out about Marie Fredriksson's brain tumor -- that our chance for new music was over. And, of course, I felt worse for her. Thankfully, Marie is healthy, and I recently read an article that Roxette has a box set coming out in October and a new single in September. Do you have any information about these releases? Will the U.S. get a chance?
Thanks for answering my question!
Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Hi Mat and Michael,
I contacted Roxette's management, and they confirmed that a hits compilation celebrating the 20th anniversary of the group is planned for release in the U.S. They are still in the midst of negotiations, so they didn't have any more details. Nor did they describe what this compilation might include -– if it is a box set or a single-disc hits CD.
Additionally, I spoke to a contact at EMI –- the label that holds the duo's U.S. catalog of albums. They suggested that an announcement about a new release may be imminent.
What we know for sure is that some European territories will see the release of a forthcoming project that commemorates the 20th anniversary of the hit-making duo. It will boast some newly recorded material, including the first single "One Wish." The latter tune will hit the airwaves in September.
A lot of people may read this and wonder, "Roxette who?" In the late '80s and early '90s, the Swedish duo was a major force on The Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. They've had 12 Hot 100 hits, including a string of nine consecutive top 40 hits between 1989 and 1992. They are: "The Look" (No. 1), "Dressed For Success" (No. 14), "Listen To Your Heart" (No. 1), "Dangerous" (No. 2), "It Must Have Been Love" (No. 1), "Joyride" (No. 1), "Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)" (No. 2), "Spending My Time" (No. 32) and "Church of Your Heart" (No. 36).
The most recent Billboard chart action for Roxette came in 2000, when they released the hits set "Don't Bore Us, Get To the Chorus." The album spawned the hit single "Wish I Could Fly," which reached No. 27 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 40 on the Adult Top 40 tally.
You may even be familiar with Roxette's work without even knowing it. In 2005, D.H.T. took its cover of "Listen To Your Heart" to No. 8 on The Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on our Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart.
SUMMER OF LOVE
Love your column. I heard rumors that Donna Summer has signed a record deal with Burgundy Records. Is that true? And have you heard any other details on the direction of the new CD, producers, collaborators, etc.? This would be the first full-length album in about 15 years! Would you have any sales numbers for the releases she has had in the last decade?
In the Aug. 12 edition of Billboard magazine, Michael Paoletta interviewed Donna Summer and got the scoop on her new deal. Burgundy Records is a SonyBMG imprint, which also includes Aaron Neville and Chaka Khan on its roster. Summer told Paoletta in our "Inside Track" column that a new album is planned for release in 2007. It will include original material as well as, perhaps, a few remakes. She'll head into the studio this fall to begin recording the project.
Summer's last new studio album came out way back in 1991. "Mistaken Identity" reached a lowly No. 97 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Here is a rundown of her post-1991 U.S. albums and how much they have sold.
1993, "Anthology" – A two-CD, 34-song greatest hits set. Includes the then-new "Carry On" single. (219,000)
1994, "Christmas Spirit" – A holiday album. (46,000)
1995, "Endless Summer" – A single-disc, 18-track hits album. It's no longer available on CD. (469,000)
1996, "I'm A Rainbow" – The belatedly issued studio set that was originally slated for release in 1981 as a double album. (13,000)
1998, "Greatest Hits" – A moderately-priced 12-song hits collection. (191,000)
1999, "VH1 Presents Live & More Encore!" – A live hits album, with a few new recordings included. (407,000)
2003, "The Best of Donna Summer: 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection" – An 11 track budget-priced album. (130,000)
2003, "Bad Girls – Deluxe Edition" – A 2-CD reissue of her landmark album. (15,000)
2003, "The Journey – The Very Best Of Donna Summer" – Another single disc hits album, but an impressive one. It also boasted two new songs (three if you purchased the limited edition that came with a bonus disc). (211,000)
2005, "Gold" – Another 2-CD hits set. Part of Universal's archival "Gold" series. (30,000)
2005, "The Best of Donna Summer – The Christmas Collection" – A repackaging of her "Christmas Spirit" album. (2,000)
Whew! Summer fans must be thrilled about her new record deal. They've had to be content with the odd new track here and there -- be it tacked on to a hits album, a stray compilation, a charity benefit release or a soundtrack.
For more information, visit Summer's official Web site at (www.donnasummer.com) or the Burgundy Records site (www.burgundyrecords.com). Also worth visiting is an unofficial, but exhaustive, Summer fan site: the Donna Summer Tribute.
ABSENCE OF INGRAM
I noticed that when Jack Ingram's single "Wherever You Are" hit the No. 1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart, his album "Live: Wherever You Are" wasn't even listed on the Top 75 Country Albums chart. How is that even possible? Wouldn't consumers be purchasing the album in order to get the single? They weren't purchasing the single as a digital download as it was never a hit on that chart. What gives? Wouldn't that be the first time a country single was No. 1 yet no one was buying the accompanying album?
There are likely many factors why the "Live: Wherever You Are" didn't set the charts on fire.
First, it's a live album. In fact, it's essentially a repackaging of a 2004 live release, with a few minor adjustments, including the addition of two new studio recordings. It was released in January.
Secondly, Ingram was really a Texas phenomenon before he broke through to the mainstream this year. It's likely that his strong Texan fan base already owned the all of the tracks on "Live: Wherever You Are" in some format, so perhaps they didn't feel the need to rush out to buy this repackaging.
Really, archival live albums – no matter how you dress them up – are usually not the best way to introduce an artist to a wide audience. Now, granted, Ingram made a name for himself by endless touring. And therefore, this "Live" album really represents a quasi "greatest hits" for him. Still, it's hard to get the public to buy a live album from an act that's new to them. Outside of Texas, Ingram was pretty much an unknown in the mainstream.
Also, while "Live" barely spent any time on the Top Country Albums chart, the digital track for "Wherever You Are" did fairly well. During its peak on the radio airwaves, it was selling about 2,000 – 3,000 each week. It has sold 43,000 to date.
The "Live: Wherever You Are" album has moved 39,000 total. During the single's reign at radio, the album sold about 1,000 a week. The set's current single, "Love You" (the other newly recorded studio track from the set), rose 30-28 on Hot Country Songs last week.