As a principal member of what was arguably the greatest rock'n'roll band of all time, John Paul Jones was in need for a change by the time Led Zeppelin dissolved in 1980. Putting his own music on the backburner, he thrived as a producer and arranger with artists as diverse as Diamanda Galas, the Butthole Surfers, and R.E.M. But since 1999, Jones, now 56, has turned his attentions inward to make his own solo albums. His second album, "The Thunderthief," arrived in early February via King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp's Discipline Global Mobile label.
Veteran rock artist Bob Mould has joined the label collective United Musicians, founded by musicians Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. The company, in conjunction with RED Distribution and Mould's own Granary Music label, will promote the artist's upcoming album "Modulate."
The biggest-selling various artists compilation series in history will bow its latest installment March 19, as the 20-track "NOW That's What I Call Music! 9" (UTV Records, a division of UME) hits stores with recent hits from Jennifer Lopez, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, and others. Remixes of tracks by Pink, City High, and Petey Pablo are also included.
Even though artists who win Grammy awards or perform during the annually televised ceremony can traditionally expect a sales bump in the weeks following the event, a majority of music fans say the show holds no sway over their purchasing plans. Out of 4,372 respondents to a recently completed Billboard.com poll, 51% said their music purchases were not influenced by Grammy accolades or performances.
"It was kind of a challenge for us," Jon Spencer offers, relaxing at the Matador Records offices in lower Manhattan. "We just wanted to make a more traditional record. And, personally, I was looking for someone to pat me on the back and push me to something new." The record in question is Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Plastic Fang," due April 9 in the U.S. on Matador.
INXS is lining up its first North American tour since original lead singer Michael Hutchence's 1997 suicide. The 40-city tour will begin May 30 in Anaheim, Calif., with vocalist Jon Stevens filling Hutchence's role, as he has since the spring of 2000. "Much of our career has been spent in America and Canada and it'll be great to be back playing there again," guitarist Kirk Pengilly said in a statement.
Rapper C-Murder (real name: Corey Miller) has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the January shooting death of a teenager at a nightclub in Harvey, La, Billboard Bulletin reports. Miller -- the younger brother of hip-hop mogul Master P -- was arrested Jan. 19.
Most of the residents of Ferriday, La., showed up to see Jerry Lee Lewis reunited with his famous cousins for their induction into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame. But Lewis stayed away because he didn't like the twin-engine plane sent to pick him up.
O.J. Simpson urged the crowd at a Cincinnati hip-hop concert to leave recent racial unrest behind and work to improve the city's image. "Rap has gotten a bad rap, and I know about bad raps," Simpson said Saturday at a show that featured rappers Foxy Brown and Juvenile. "We are trying to bring back hip-hop to Cincinnati. Let's not do anything to spoil it."
Will Young, the winner of the recent "Pop Idol" TV talent series, walked straight into the record books yesterday (March 3) with his debut RCA single "Evergreen"/"Anything Is Possible." Already assured a No. 1 entry on the U.K. singles chart thanks to immense media coverage, the single sold 1,108,269 copies -- the best first-week total in the history of the U.K. singles chart, easily outstripping Band Aid's 750,000 opening tally for 1984's "Do They Know It's Christmas."