Billboard Bits: Eminem, Simon, Gibb, Twisted Sister
News on Eminem, Paul Simon, Robin Gibb, Twisted SisterEminem will release his fourth album, "Encore," Nov. 16 via Interscope. It will be the follow-up to 2002's "The Eminem Show," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 9.2 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The 2002 soundtrack to his hit film "8 Mile" also reached No. 1 on The Billboard 200. It spawned the hit "Lose Yourself," which spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Although he released a new album with his group D12 this spring, Eminem has kept a low profile over the past year. He recently announced plans to launch a hip-hop music channel with Sirius Satellite Radio, on which he will host shows with acts from his Shady Records imprint. The channel is expected to go live in the fall.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Paul Simon gave a surprise performance at a benefit for local musician Sean Rafferty last night (Aug. 29) at the Steven Talkhouse in Amagansett, N.Y. Rafferty has performed regularly with various bands at the small Eastern Long Island club. Last week, he had surgery to remove a tumor, but biopsy results are not known yet.
During last night's set, Simon performed such classics as "Homeward Bound," "America," "The Boxer" and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard." Approximately $18,000 was raised for Rafferty's medical treatment.
Simon is at work on a new studio album with producer Brian Eno, his first since 2000's "You're the One."
-- Christopher Walsh, Amagansett, N.Y.
Robin Gibb will kick off an eight-date tour of Germany Sept. 17 in Stuttgart. Dubbed the Magnetic Tour after his 2003 solo release "Magnet," it will find Gibb performing songs from his solo career as well as hits from the Bee Gees’ catalog.
The concerts will feature a four-piece backing band, four backing vocalists and a 30-piece philharmonic orchestra from Frankfurt. Guitarist Nikolo Kotzev of
the band Brazen Abbot has arranged the songs and scores. According to Kotzev's official Web site, one of the concerts will be recorded for a future DVD release.
The Bee Gees vowed to cease performing after the death of Maurice Gibb in January 2003.
-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto
Veteran hard rock act Twisted Sister has re-recorded its iconic 1984 album, "Stay Hungry," and will release it Oct. 5 via Eagle Rock. In addition to such favorites as "We’re Not Gonna Take It," "I Wanna Rock" and "Burn in Hell," the new edition sports seven cuts that did not make the final cut for the original album.
"[These are] obscure songs from our club days but never officially recorded then," says guitarist Jay Jay French of the extra tracks. "On two of these songs, 'Never Say Never' and 'Blastin' Fast & Loud,' we used the original drum tracks that [drummer] A.J. [Pero] recorded. These songs were meant to be included on 'Stay Hungry' but were never finished."
"Even the cover art is now the way we wanted it," French adds. "It shows us as five starving musicians in street clothes in a tenement sitting at a table to represent where we came from, and the ghostly looking image of us in our stage clothes behind that shot represents what we imagined we could achieve."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.