Billboard Bits: Tom Waits, Olivia Newton-John, Hendrix
News on Tom Waits, Olivia Newton-John, HendrixTom Waits will make a rare television performance appearance May 8 on CBS' "Late Night With David Letterman," the day after Anti Records' release of his new albums, "Alice" and "Blood Money." Although Waits is expected to perform something from one or both of the new, distinctly different albums, it is unknown exactly what selections he has in store for the show.
While the Letterman appearance bodes well for fans hoping the artist will tour in support of the new releases, it is unknown if Waits has any road work planned. He last toured behind his 1999 Anti debut, "Mule Variations," playing theaters in the U.S. and Europe.
Fans who can't wait for the May 7 release of the albums can download full MP3 versions of the "Blood Money" track "Another Man's Vine" and the title track of "Alice" from the Anti Web site.
As previously reported, the material on each album stems from songs Waits and wife/chief collaborator Kathleen Brennan created for European productions staged by director Robert Wilson, "Alice" (1992) and "Woyzeck" (2001). "Alice" is described as "a reflective cracked mirror odyssey about longing, obsession, and madness," while the "Blood Money" set (originally titled "Red Drum") "is a blunt essay on a dispassionate world, a series of news flashes from the state of incredulity," according to the label.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Olivia Newton-John's 1994 album "Gaia: One Woman's Journey," will see its first U.S. release May 7 via Hip-O Records. The album is the only one in Newton-John's 30-year recording career to feature all self-penned songs and has become somewhat of a collector's item due to its limited availability.
Originally released in Newton-John's native Australia on Festival Records, "Gaia" peaked at No. 7 on the Australian album chart in 1994. It was subsequently released in Japan, the U.K., and Europe on various independent labels. The album was recorded in the wake of the 1992 passing of Newton-John's father and her winning battle with breast cancer, and features autobiographical songs like "Not Going To Give In to It," "Why Me," and opener "Trust Yourself."
The digitally remastered rerelease is part of Hip-O's archival series celebrating Newton-John's career, joining last year's "Magic: the Very Best of Olivia Newton-John" (UTV) -- which debuted at No. 150 on The Billboard 200 -- and a forthcoming Hip-O box set. The artist is perhaps best known for such No. 1 pop hits as "I Honestly Love You," "Magic," "Physical," and "You're the One That I Want."
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Jimi Hendrix's family has just received new footage of the guitar virtuoso playing at Woodstock. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that that theater benefactor Albert Goodman sold the two-hour long black and white film to the Hendrix estate for $95,000.
In 1969, Goodman followed a friend onstage at Woodstock who sneaked through only because he was carrying a guitar. Goodman set up a camera just to the left of Hendrix's drummer, Mitch Mitchell, about 10 feet away from Hendrix. He kept the film for over 30 years before restoring it. It is not known if the Hendrix family will release the footage.
Steven Roby's new book "Black Gold," published this month by Billboard Books, is the first comprehensive biography to authenticate Hendrix's lost recording sessions, previously unknown recorded collaborations, and rare film/video documents. To read an excerpt from the book, click here.
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