Billboard Bits: Page/Plant, Breaking Benjamin, The National
News on Page/Plant, Breaking Benjamin, The NationalAdditional details have come to light regarding the highly anticipated DVD release of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's "No Quarter -- Unledded." The project, which captures the Led Zeppelin principals' historic 1994 reunion for an "MTV Unplugged" broadcast, will arrive Oct. 27 on DVD via Warner Strategic Marketing/Atlantic. The soundtrack will be released the same day.
DVD extras will include the bonus tracks "Black Dog" and "Most High," interviews with Page and Plant and a montage of footage from the duo's performance in Morocco. The release was overseen by Page in tandem with longtime engineering collaborator Kevin Shirley.
The VHS release of "Unledded" peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Music Video chart. The accompanying Atlantic album has sold more than 1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Rock act Breaking Benjamin is providing 11 tracks from its first two albums to Buena Vista Games' "TRON 2.0: Killer App" videogame. "TRON 2.0" is due this fall exclusively for Xbox Live.
Rob Souriall, VP of marketing at Hollywood, explains that "the in-game play features only instrumental tracks to stay true to the 'TRON' franchise." But cross-promotional marketing efforts will feature tracks, including lyrics.
Hollywood Records is planning a pre-sell and/or gift-with-purchase program for a bonus CD-ROM that contains all 11 music tracks and several videos from Breaking Benjamin. Featured are the band's first radio hit, "Polyamorous," and two other tracks from its 2002 debut album, "Saturate." The other eight tracks, including the single "So Cold," are from new album "We Are Not Alone," which debuted last month at No. 20 on The Billboard 200.
-- Steve Traiman, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Brooklyn-by way of-Cincinnati rock act the National has signed a worldwide deal with Beggars Banquet. The group's third studio album is expected in spring 2005. The National's two prior full-lengths, including 2003's acclaimed "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers," were issued by New York independent label Brassland.
"We found out in May that Roger Trust, who runs Beggars Banquet, was a big fan of 'Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers' and he showed up at our show in London a month later," group member Aaron Dessner tells Billboard.com. "The next day we spent a few hours at the Beggars office in London, which was really impressive, and then Roger came over to see us play in Paris a few nights later. It just felt like a perfect match for us and them."
Dessner says the group is in the midst of recording new material, including tracks like "Mr. November," "Minor Stars of Rome," "Abel" and "The Thrilling of Claire." No shows are planned until an Oct. 3 appearance at New York's Bowery Ballroom, with fellow Ohio rock combo the Black Keys.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.