Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about INXS, 'Fast Times' and Expose.
'ROCK STAR' REALITY
I see that "The Best of INXS" recently rose to No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart. Any idea as to whether the CBS reality "Rock Star: INXS" series has contributed to its ranking? The show kept referring to INXS as a rock supergroup. How has INXS done in the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991-present)?
Do you have any additional thoughts regarding whether hiring a new lead singer will help INXS achieve superstardom again?
It's fairly clear that "Rock Star: INXS" had a lot to do with how well "The Best of INXS" has sold over the summer. Since the show premiered in July, the Rhino compilation has moved 100,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. So far this year, the album has moved 130,000, which is quite impressive considering that in 2004, the album sold only 61,000.
INXS has sold nearly 4 million albums in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. However, the band had its biggest success before 1991 with albums like "Kick," "X" and "Listen Like Thieves."
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), INXS has sold more than 15 million units in the United States. Between 1985 and 1993, the group racked up 13 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including the top 10s: "What You Need," "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart," "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear."
So far, INXS' choice of a new singer -- JD Fortune -- has turned out well. The band's new single, "Pretty Vegas," is poised to enter some of Billboard's charts this week. At deadline, it was one of the top 10 selling songs at Apple's iTunes music store.
'ALOHA, MR. HAND'
I was wondering what the actual sales figures are for the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" soundtrack. The Recording Industry Association of America Web site doesn't have it listed as a gold or platinum album. I've seen articles that have mentioned it has sold in the millions.
Thanks in advance!
According to Nielsen SoundScan, the soundtrack to the 1982 film "Fast Times at Ridgement High" has sold 104,000 copies in the United States since the company began tracking sales in 1991. The album was unavailable and out-of-print for a number of years until Elektra re-issued it in 1995. That's probably one of the reasons why the album has yet to be certified gold (500,000 units shipped) in the United States.
Still, you'd think that due to the popularity of the movie and a track list that includes songs from Jackson Browne ("Somebody's Baby"), Jimmy Buffett ("I Don't Know" (Spicoli's Theme)) and Oingo Boingo ("Goodbye, Goodbye"), it might have crept past gold by now. It's possible that the label has never asked the RIAA to certify the album, a process for which the organization charges a fee.
One of my favorite vocal groups is Expose. Their main songwriter/producer was Lewis Martinee and they had hits with songs like "Come Go With Me," "What You Don't Know" and "Seasons Change." They also worked with songwriter Diane Warren for "I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)."
Their last album was 1995's "Greatest Hits" and I had heard recently that the group had reunited for a concert. What are the members (Jeanette Jurado, Ann Curless, Gioia, Kelly Moneymaker) doing now? Are they back together?
This is one of those questions that has come up often since I started writing this column in 1998. It would seem Expose has a larger fanbase than most would suspect.
During its career, the group scored 10 top 40 singles on The Billboard Hot 100, including "Seasons Change," "Let Me Be the One" and "Point of No Return."
The act's final album while together was 1995's "Greatest Hits." The last Expose single to chart on any Billboard chart was "I'll Say Good-Bye for the Two Of Us," which hit No. 35 on the Adult Contemporary tally in 1996.
Since then, the members have gone their own ways, with Gioia having the most visible music career. In 2004 she released the album "From the Inside" -- the title cut was originally featured in Showtime's "Queer as Folk" and became a hit in dance clubs. Later in 2004, she hit the Hot Dance Club Play chart with "Be Mine," peaking at No. 40. Gioia has an official Web site (gioiabruno.com) and is currently on tour.
Expose's other members have kept a lower profile. To our knowledge, none of the members have reunited recently for a concert. However, when Gioia performs, she is sometimes billed as "Gioia of Expose" or "Expose's Gioia," which could lead to some confusion.