Billboard Bits: Lenny Kravitz, Starting Line, Sparks

News on Lenny Kravitz, Starting Line, Sparks

Lenny Kravitz has penned a new song, “Breathe,” for Absolut vodka as part of the company’s Absolut Tracks initiative, which seeks original musical interpretations of the brand from artists.

The track is available for free for download through the Absolut Kravitz Web site, which also features an accompanying music video. According to the artist, the track was "inspired by the brand's core values of clarity, simplicity and perfection."

Kravitz is on tour with Aerosmith through February. His last studio album, "Baptism," was released in 2004 and peaked at No. 14 on The Billboard 200.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.

Rock act the Starting Line has signed a new deal with Virgin, which will release its 2005 album, "Based on a True Story," later this year. Originally issued by Drive-Thru, The set has sold 152,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan and debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200.

The band is in the midst of a U.K. tour with MxPx and will set off on a North American headlining outing beginning Feb. 11 in Millvale, Pa. Copeland, Gatsby's American Dream and Cartel will support; from Feb. 26-March 4, the tour will also include Virgin labelmate Red Jumpsuit Apperatus.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

As tipped here in October, eccentric rock duo Sparks will release its next album, "Hello Young Lovers," in the coming weeks. The 10-track set is due Feb. 6 in the United Kingdom via Gut and March 21 in North America via In the Red Recordings. First single "Dick Around" will see release Jan. 30 in the U.K. and Feb. 14 across the Atlantic.

In support, Sparks will begin a European tour Feb. 12 in Glasgow. Siblings Ron and Russell Mael will be backed by on the road by drummer Tammy Glover, guitarists Josh Klinghoffer and Dean Menta and bassist Steve McDonald.

"We are very proud of 'Hello Young Lovers,' and feel that it is musically as daring as any of the earlier Sparks albums were at their release," Ron Mael previously told

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.