News on Roadrunner, Johnnie Taylor, Twiztid

NickelRoadrunner Records has made its entire catalog available as downloads on its Web site, Billboard Bulletin reports. The New York-based rock label has launched an online store, the Vault, offering downloads in the Windows Media format for 99 cents per track or $9.99 for full albums. All downloads are burnable to discs. Back-end services are provided by Liquid Audio.

Roadrunner says the Vault will eventually contain every song ever recorded by the label's artists, including B-sides, remixes, live tracks, demos, and out-of-print titles. Offerings will be updated weekly. Special features include "Treasure of the Month," in which a deleted title from the label's archives is examined in detail, and favorite selections from Roadrunner artists and employees.

Roadrunner acts include Nickelback, Slipknot, Sepultura, Fear Factory, and Coal Chamber. The label has licensed its content for digital distribution through Pressplay; it currently has no such deal with Apple's iTunes or MusicNet.


-- Carolyn Horwitz, N.Y.







JohnMalaco Records will on July 1 release "There's No Good in Goodbye," a collection of 15 previously unreleased tracks by the late Johnnie Taylor. The songs were recorded over Taylor's 16-year tenure with the blues label, including four from sessions for his final album, 1999's "Gotta Get the Groove Back."

As for the quality of the material, liner notes author Rob Bowman ("Soulsville USA: The Story of Stax Records"), says, "Tracks that were discarded when Taylor first recorded them would have been automatic A-sides for most of his contemporaries."

Taylor, who died of heart failure in 2000, is best remembered for his many crossover hits, including No. 1s "Who's Making Love" (1968), "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" (1971), and "Disco Lady" (1976) on what was then known as Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles chart.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Detroit rap-rock duo Twiztid will release its fourth album, "The Green Book," July 1 on Psychopathic Records. The set features guest appearances by rapper Layzie Bone, E-40, Tech N9ne, Bushwick Bill, and Twiztid mentors the Insane Clown Posse.

The band plans to tour starting in August in support of "The Green Book," the follow-up to the group's 2002 breakthrough "Mirror Mirror," which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and has sold 51,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"We went through hell making 'The Green Book,'" said member Jamie Madrox in a statement. "I still believe it's what drove [bandmate] Monoxide crazy. This album sums up Twiztid."


-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.