With a joined-at-the-hips new CD series and tour, Sony BMG's Legacy Recordings and Viacom's VH1 Classic hope to extend the reach of their respective brands.

With a joined-at-the-hips new CD series and tour, Sony BMG's Legacy Recordings and Viacom's VH1 Classic hope to extend the reach of their respective brands. At the same time, if all goes as planned, they will reintroduce core '80s artists to new and old fans alike.

The CD series, "We Are the '80s," named after VH1 Classic's video show of the same name, debuts Tuesday (July 18) with seven collections from the Bangles, Loverboy, Eddie Money and Scandal (Columbia/Legacy); Bow Wow Wow and Rick Springfield (RCA/Legacy); and A Flock of Seagulls (Jive/Legacy).

The tour, headlined by Springfield, features Loverboy, Money and Scandal. It gets underway early next month.

Each CD in the "We Are the '80s" series contains hits, B-sides, album tracks and rare cuts. The Scandal and Seagulls sets will also include previously unreleased material. In fact, it was the inclusion of unreleased material that appealed to Scandal lead singer Patty Smyth. "We had lots of recorded songs that were never released," Smyth tells Billboard. "They were just lying around. Now they have a home."

Smyth is referring to tracks like "Grow So Wise," "If You Love Me" and "I'm Here Tonight," which hardcore fans will recall from seeing the band live. And while she smiles at the notion of twentysomethings "discovering" the band's music years after its original release, for her the tour's the thing.

"When we did the VH1 Bands Reunited Tour a couple years ago, all I heard from fans was, 'I've waited 20 years to see you play live,'" Smyth says. "Scandal rarely toured after those first few hits. I want to go out and sing and connect with fans who may have never seen us live."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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