Billboard Bits: Rush, Zombie, Simmons
News on Rush, Rob Zombie, Russell SimmonsRush's first four albums for Atlantic Records have been remastered and will be re-released Aug. 24 by the label. The titles include 1989's "Presto," 1991's "Roll the Bones," 1993's "Counterparts" and 1996's "Test for Echo," which have collectively sold more than 2.4 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Rush is in the midst of its 30th anniversary tour, which resumes July 29 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The group's recent covers EP, "Feedback," debuted last month at No. 19 on The Billboard 200. The single "Summertime Blues" reached No. 30 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Rob Zombie is developing an animated feature based on his Spookshow International comic book "El Superbeasto." He will executive produce and write the DVD feature, which will be produced by DPS Film Roman, a division of IDT Entertainment.
The title character is described as an over-the-hill masked wrestler who encounters zombies, super-intelligent gorillas and manic depressive mad scientist Dr. Satan. Other characters include Superbeasto's sister, Suzie X, and her 10-foot tall robot sidekick, Marvin.
"'El Superbeasto' is Austin Powers meets 'The Munsters' by way of 'Hard Days Night,'" Zombie says. "The bizarre stories and insane characters are perfect for animation and DPS Film Roman is the best animation studio to bring the comic to life."
Lion's Gate Entertainment last year released Zombie's first feature film, "House of 1000 Corpses," which he wrote and directed. The studio will release his next film, "The Devil's Rejects," sometime next year.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Court TV will on Oct. 6 air "Russell Simmons Presents: Hip Hop Justice," a one-hour documentary on the link between hip-hop artists and law enforcement. The special will probe cases involving C-Murder, Tupac Shakur and Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. Records.
"Hip hop artists have long been the target of law enforcement and government officials," music mogul and political activist Simmons says. "'Hip Hop Justice' seeks to investigate and reveal this underexposed history between law enforcement and hip-hop's biggest stars."
The documentary will feature interviews with C-Murder and his attorney, Ron Rakowsky, Simmons' brother, Run DMC's Reverend Run, and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.