Billboard Bits: George Martin, Matthew Sweet, Plaid

News on George Martin, Matthew Sweet, Plaid

Sir George Martin will be inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame at induction ceremony to be held later this year in London. The "fifth Beatle" will receive this year's honorary member trophy for his contribution to British music. Martin will join past honorary members John Peel (2005) and Chris Blackwell (2004).

In the past two years, 20 artists have also been inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame; they include the Beatles, Madonna, Bob Marley, Queen, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, Eurythmics and the Kinks.

Acts for the 2006 induction ceremony will be selected by the U.K. Music Hall of Fame steering group, which consists of over 80 artists, journalists, broadcasters and industry executives. Presented by Channel 4 and production company Initial, the event will be broadcast in the U.S. by VH1 for the second consecutive year. Channel 4 International will distribute the broadcast worldwide.

-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.

Matthew Sweet's 1991 breakthrough album, "Girlfriend," will be reissued in an expanded edition June 13 via Volcano/Legacy. The new version boasts a second disc dubbed "Goodfriend," featuring demos, live tracks and radio sessions from the era.

Among them are acoustic takes on album opener "Divine Intervention," "Winona" and John Lennon's "Isolation," a 1992 BBC session version of the title cut and "Someone To Pull the Trigger" and live renditions of "Thought I Knew You," "Does She Talk" and Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer." The studio album is appended with demos for "Good Friend," "Teenage Female" and "Superdeformed" originally released on the Japanese version of the set.

As previously reported, Sweet's collaboration with the Bangles' Susanna Hoffs, "Under the Covers Vol. 1," is due April 18 via Shout! Factory.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Warp has set a June 26 release date for "Greedy Baby," an audio/visual project from veteran electronica act Plaid and video artist Bob Jaroc. "Greedy Baby" was first unveiled at the 2004 Ether Festival but has since undergone significant evolution.

The project will be presented both as an audio CD and a DVD featuring Jaroc's films and the music in 5.1 Surround Sound. More information can be found at

Plaid will be back on the road this spring for an April 29 appearance at France's Bourge Festival, the following evening in Nottingham, England, May 4 in Brussels and May 12 at the Carpentras Festival in the south of France.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.