Billboard Bits: J-Swift, Smiths, Little Steven
News on J-Swift, Joe, The Smiths, Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, Little StevenFormer Pharcyde producer/group member J-Swift has filed an $11 million law suit against Jive Records, Zomba Recording Corp., and Touchstone Pictures for uncredited use of his track "Passin' Me By" in a remix of R&B vocalist Joe's No. 1 single "Stutter." The song was also featured on the soundtrack to the film "Double Take"
"People were coming up to me congratulating me, asking how much I was getting paid. I went into the store to see if I had been credited, and saw everyone's name listed but mine," J-Swift said in a statement. "They used my actual music. They even stole the lyrics and melody that I wrote."
"Stutter," which features rapper Mystikal, spent five weeks at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100. A Jive spokesperson did not return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Half of the late U.K. rock icons the Smiths will cross the Atlantic for a handful of dates at the end of the month. Former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce has rejoined his ex-bandmate Andy Rourke to form the Manchester-based Specter, which will make its U.S. debut May 26 at New York's CBGB. The band is fronted by singer/songwriter Jason Specter.
Specter marks the first time Joyce and Rourke have worked together since the Smith's 1987 split, although the two did sue Smiths frontman Morrissey in the mid-'90s, claiming that he and guitarist Johnny Marr hoarded the Smiths' royalties. In May 1999, the case was decided in Joyce's favor (Rourke settled out of court), awarding him more than #1 million in back royalties.
Here are Specter's tour dates:
May 26: New York (CBGB)
May 27: New York (Don Hill's)
May 29: Washington, D.C. (Black Cat)
May 30: Boston (Milky Way)
May 31: New Haven, Conn. (Tune Inn)
-- Todd Martens, L.A.
"Affection," a previously unreleased Little Steven Van Zandt song that appears on the second volume of Columbia's soundtrack to "The Sopranos," will be heard over the closing credits of this week's episode of the HBO drama series. The penultimate episode of the third season of the show -- on which Van Zandt co-stars as mobster Silvio Dante -- airs Sunday (May 13) at 9 p.m. ET.
Van Zandt recorded the song in the early 1990s with a band called the Lost Boys, but never released the group's completed album, "Nobody Loves and Leaves Alive." According to a statement, "discussions are ongoing" regarding the album's release.
Released on Tuesday, the two-disc "Sopranos" set features songs by the Pretenders, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, and the Rolling Stones, as well as dialogue from the show. Also included on the set is a mix of the Police's "Every Breath You Take" and Henry Mancini's "Theme From Peter Gunn" that leads off the first disc, as well as a track from Van Zandt's E Street Band-mate Nils Lofgren, "Black Books."
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.