R.E.M. has re-recorded one of its earliest tunes for the Reprise soundtrack to the upcoming Cameron Crowe film "Vanilla Sky." Never before released, "All the Right Friends" is an original R.E.M. composition dating from before the group's first recording session in July 1980. The song was scrapped from the band's repertoire prior to the release of its initial EP, 1982's "Chronic Town" (I.R.S.).
Britney Spears' "Britney" (Jive), released Tuesday in the U.S., is posting impressive numbers and is expected to debut at No. 1 on next week's Billboard 200, but retailers aren't exactly celebrating, Billboard Bulletin reports. Spears' set is expected to sell more than 600,000 units-far from a lukewarm success but considerably less than the million-plus the teen queen mustered in first-week sales of last year's "Oops! ... I Did It Again."
Former-Beatle George Harrison reportedly has received experimental cancer treatment at Staten Island University Hospital in New York. The 58-year-old Harrison was treated by Dr. Gil Lederman, the hospital's director of radiation oncology, according to published reports.
Limp Bizkit rolled on with three key victories at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2001, presented last night (Nov. 8) at Frankfurt's Festhalle, Billboard Bulletin reports. Fred Durst's nu-metal outfit was named best group, and its "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water" scored best album. Additionally, MTV viewers voted the act's official site as winner of the Web Award.
The star-studded Concert for New York City benefit, held at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 20, will be released as a two-CD set Nov. 27 by Columbia. A VHS/DVD will follow on an as-yet-undetermined date. The label's net proceeds from album sales will benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which has already been the beneficiary of some $30 million earmarked for Sept. 11 relief efforts.
Remastered titles with bonus tracks, new liner notes, and other goodies make it worthwhile to purchase an updated version of an album one already owns, according to a recently completed Billboard.com poll. Of 2,474 respondents, 38% said that sonic improvements and extra material made purchasing an album they already owned worth the cost.
Indie rock outfit the Promise Ring has finished recording its forthcoming album with producer Stephen Street (the Smiths, Blur, the Cranberries) at Jacob Studios in Surrey, England. Although no album title or release date has yet been finalized, the Milwaukee-based quartet's latest set is likely to bow in spring 2002 via a new worldwide contract with Anti-, an imprint of Epitaph Records.
Pop/rock act Smash Mouth has begun to confirm tour dates in support of its self-titled third Interscope album. The trek begins Nov. 30 in Omaha, Neb., three days after the new album hits stores. Dates are currently set through Jan. 20 in Lake Tahoe, Nev., including a New Year's Eve show at New York's Planet Hollywood.
Two years ago, Carlos Vives seemed to have passed his prime. After his spectacular success with "Clasicos de la Provincia" and its follow-up -- albums that introduced vallenato, the traditional accordion-based rhythm of Colombia's Atlantic coast, to the mainstream market -- Vives floundered, trapped in his own formula. Then came "El Amor de Mi Tierra" in 1999, an album that was a musical and commercial triumph.
Throat problems suffered by singer Steven Tyler have forced Aerosmith off of the road for a few days. This week alone, the Boston band postponed a hometown appearance on Sunday, as well as a show in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday, and tonight's (Nov. 8) show in Philadelphia.
As anticipated, Michael Jackson scores his fifth No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with the long awaited Epic album "Invincible." The set leads eight top-20 debuts on sales of 366,000 units, according to SoundScan, almost 100,000 more than the impressive showing by Enrique Iglesias, whose "Escape" (Interscope) enters at No. 2. "Invincible" also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.