Billboard Bits: Go-Go's, Prince, G. Love & Special Sauce
News on the Go-Go's reunion tour, Prince's new Web site, and G. Love & Special Sauce's new album.'80s pop icons the Go-Go's will return with their first new studio album in 17 years, "God Bless The Go-Go's," on May 15 via Beyond Records. The set was produced by Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole) and will be preceded by first single "Unforgiven," which was co-written by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. The track goes to radio on March 20.
"Between the five of us and 15 years of being away, we call it '75 years of drama to draw on,' " lead singer Belinda Carlisle tells Billboard in its Feb. 17 issue. "We've had babies, gotten married, divorced, we've been through rehab, we've had lives, and hopefully matured into smart women."
The album's release will be followed by a summer amphitheater tour in the U.S., as well as international gigs. "I used to love touring when I had no responsibilities, but with being a wife and mother, it's very difficult," Carlisle says. "I hate the tour bus and the traveling. I love doing the shows, and that makes it worthwhile. This is such a gift -- I don't take it for granted."
-- Melinda Newman, L.A.
Prince is offering fans access to his creative world -- for a price. This week, the rock star is launching a new Web site, www.NPGMusicClub.com. Visitors can register to join the club, which will offer new music each month from his group, the New Power Generation, plus other perks. Those interested will have to pay $7.77 a month.
Fans willing to shell out $100 a year can get VIP access to after-concert parties, a special edition of the album ''Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic'' and more music. The site also plans to offer cybercasts of Prince rehearsals. Prince will celebrate the site's launch with a party at Studio 54 tomorrow (Feb. 12).
The new club is about the only way to get new Prince music these days. The reclusive singer has no record contract, and has been wary of signing with a label since his protracted battle with Warner Bros. He recently ended his relationship with Arista Records after disappointing sales for "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic."
Blues-leaning rock outfit G. Love & Special Sauce will release their fifth Epic album "The Electric Mile" on April 24. First single "Unified," written by group frontman G. Love and Ras of the Long Beach Dub Allstars, is due to hit radio in March. Among the special guests are Morphine drummer Billy Conway and keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood.
"The Electric Mile" is the follow-up to 1999's "Philadelphonic," which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. A North American tour is in the works in support of the new set, but in the meantime, G. Love and company are featured as the house band on the new season of "Turn Ben Stein On," which airs 11:30 p.m. EST on Thursdays on Comedy Central.
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