Billboard Bits: Eagles, Head Automatica, Napster
News on Eagles, Head Automatica, NapsterAlthough details are still under wraps, Billboard.com has learned that Warner Strategic Marketing will on March 15 release a nine-disc boxed set from the Eagles. The collection is expected to round up the group's six studio albums and one double-disc live release for Asylum, but not the 1994 Geffen comeback album "Hell Freezes Over."
The ninth disc will be the 1979 holiday single "Please Come Home For Christmas"/"Funky New Year," which is making its first appearance on CD.
The Eagles recorded a live DVD during their recent tour of Australia and New Zealand, which saw the debut of the new songs "No More Cloudy Days" and "One Day at a Time," but no details have been revealed about its planned release on the band's own Eagles Recording Co. II. imprint.
The Eagles will begin a North American tour March 5 in N. Charleston, S.C.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Head Automatica has pulled out of the upcoming Sub City Take Action tour. Frontman Darryl Palumbo is suffering complications from Crohn's disease, with which he's suffered for years, and has been ordered to rest by his doctor.
Hopesfall, who was already on board for part of the tour, will cover Head Automatica's dates from the kick-off tonight (Feb. 3) in Richmond, Va., through March 3. Tour organizers plan to announce another act for the March 3-12 leg.
Sugarcult and Hawthorne Heights lead the bill for the trek, which will raise funds and awareness of the National Hopeline Network. The organization maintains a suicide prevention and crisis hotline (1-800-SUICIDE) and the Youth America Hotline! (1-877-YOUTHLINE), a peer-to-peer crisis service.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Napster today (Feb. 3) bows its Napster To Go portable subscription product and says it will support the launch with a $30 million marketing campaign that includes a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 6. The U.S. service will carry a price tag of $14.95 per month and will be supported by hand-held devices from Creative Labs, Dell and iRiver, among others.
Prior to the introduction of subscription portability, consumers had the option of either buying permanent downloads for 99 cents each or paying about $10 per month for an unlimited amount of music that cannot be moved off the computer.
Napster To Go -- which is based on Microsoft's Janus digital rights management technology -- allows subscribers to transfer an unlimited number of songs in the Napster subscription library of more than 1 million tracks to a Janus-compatible device for a monthly fee.
Among the advantages of the new Napster portable service, subscribers will be able to transfer programmed playlists of as many as 50 songs with a single click in a feature called "Play Lists to Go."
-- Brian Garrity, N.Y.