ERASURE frontman ANDY BELL has contributed vocals to a new track 'Will I Ever' from up and coming dance act In_Vox. The single precedes the release of ANDY BELL's debut solo album which is expected to be released in 2005 once he has finished promotional and touring duties for the new ERASURE album 'Nightbird'. The currently untitled album is expected to be in a more dancey vein to Erasure's usual output and will feature 'a duet or two' with PROPAGANDA / ONETWO singer CLAUDIA BRUCKEN... KD LANG will be undertaking a short UK tour in November, The groundbreaking alt-country singer will play five shows starting in Manchester on November 26th and finishing in Glasgow on December 3rd.
THE B-52's are working on a new remix album, featuring new mixes of their classic hits, for release in 2005. The band have also promised an album of new material for next year which they expect to tour extensively.
BROS are rumoured to be in talks about reuniting for a one-off gig. The trio consisting of brothers MATT and LUKE GOSS and CRAIG LOGAN are said to have been offered a six-figure sum to reform for one show in London's Hyde Park this summer. However if the show does go ahead there will be no more reunion activity from Bros according to Matt who is reported as saying "I know for a fact we'll never reform, that will never happen, never in a million years. I know that I'm not for that, Luke's not up for it and I know Craig isn't"...
DEAD OR ALIVE are to be the subject of a forthcoming tribute album 'Rocket' as we reported last week, however we have been contacted by the compilation organisers, Irish electro-popsters Empire State Human, who are organising a competition to find the final track for the album. Artists are invited to submit their own versions of one of two Dead Or Alive tracks, either Hooked On Love' or 'Black Leather' and the winning entry will find a place on the album. For more information email Empire State Human.
ALISON MOYET will release her new album 'Voice' in September. The eleven track album, produced by THE ART OF NOISE's ANNE DUDLEY will feature a mixture of cover versions and new material and is expected to include versions of a number of classic songs including 'Cry Me A River' and Jacque Brel's 'La Chanson des Vieux Amants'. A UK tour to coincide with the album release is expected to be announced shortly.
A-HA will be the subjects of a new book which is expected to be published later this year. 'The Swing Of Things - 20 years With A-Ha' has been written by journalist Jan Omdahl and is promised to feature many new photographs as well as using interviews with all the band members to paint a real picture of the band and the tensions within.
SHEENA EASTON has provided the voice of Professor Fiona Pembrooke in the new Scooby Doo movie 'Scooby Doo & The Loch Ness Monster'. The film was released on DVD and video last week.
PET SHOP BOYS are to perform a very unusual free gig in London's Trafalger Square. The duo have written a soundtrack to the classic 1925 silent movie 'Battleship Potemkin' which they will perform in full at the gig while the movie plays. Although the score is mainly instrumental, three new songs are thought to have been written for soundtrack, but it is currently unknown who the vocalists will be. The show will take place on September 12th.
DURAN DURAN have finally signed a new record deal after months of negotiating. The band, in their classic eighties line-up will release a new album on Sony's Epic label in October. The album is currently untitled but it is expected that it will include the tracks 'Sunrise', 'What Happens Tomorrow', 'Bedroom Toys' and 'Still Breathing' some of which the band have already been performing live. The album will be the first new material from this line-up of the band since 1983's 'Seven & The Ragged Tiger' album! Limited quantities of the new album are expected to feature a bonus DVD disc of live footage shot at the band's London shows earlier this year.
BOY GEORGE features on a track on DJ Erick Morillo's forthcoming album. The album will be released during the summer on the Subliminal label and features the track 'Who Am I Today' which features George on vocals.
ANNIE LENNOX has been talKing about wanting to reform the EURYTHMICS with DAVE STEWART. The duo are on good terms after reforming for their 'Peace' album and tour in 1999 and performed together at Nelson Mandela's 46664 fundraiser in South Africa last year. Lennox is about to start an extensive US tour with STING and will have a solo hits compilation released later this year.
SHAKESPEAR'S SISTER are to release a best of album on August 30th this year. At this stage a tracklistin g hasn't been announced but it is understood that both SIOBHAN FAHEY and MARCELLA DETROIT are co-operating on the release.
SCRITTI POLITTI are to have a retrospective album featuring their early work released on Rough Trade Records later this year, meanwhile mainman GREEN is working on new material, although there is currently no release date scheduled. THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH are to release an album of cover versions... there is no release date scheduled but the album is rumoured to contain The Beautiful South's takes on songs by The Bee-Gees, S Club 7 and Womack & Womack!
PETE WYLIE is working on a new record that he is calling 'Pete Sounds'. THE MIGHTY WAH! frontman is working towards a release towards the end of this year or early 2005. Wylie also features on The Farm's 'All Together Now' which has been remixed and made the official England song in the European Championships.
REM frontman MICHAEL STIPE has produced a new film... 'Saved!' revolves around a group of "Jesus-centric" kids at a Christian school in suburban Baltimore, and is described as an alternative high school comedy. "I would not work on a film that I thought might insult the people in my life," says Stipe, who comes from a long line of church ministers. "I think it challenges certain ideas that are put forward. But anyone, Christian or otherwise, I believe, who is secure enough in their beliefs, who can laugh at themselves, they will like this movie."
PET SHOP?? BOYS are among artists appearing at a very special show for the Prince's?? Trust charity at Wembley Arena on November 11th. 'Produced by Trevor Horn' will?? bring together many of the musicians who have worked with the legendary producer?? and will also feature appearances from ABC, ART OF?? NOISE, BUGGLES, LISA STANSFIELD,?? PROPAGANDA, SEAL and YES.??More artists may be announed in the lead-up to the show.
DURAN DURAN??will release a second singles boxset on September 13th. 'Singles Box 2 '1986?? - 1995' will feature all of the tracks from the original UK 7" singles?? released during that period plus a host of 'bonus' tracks taken from the 12"?? versions, many of which are available for the first time on CD. The singles?? will be packaged in a flip top box with CDs in individual pouchettes reflecting?? the original single artwork, and will include a pull out poster.
NIK KERSHAW has been recording with Frou Frou singer Imogen Heap. Kershaw is also working?? on five new songs for inclusion on a new 'Best Of' compilation for release on?? Universal in September.
FIVE STAR??have altered their current line-up with original member DORIS PEARSON?? rejoining the band while STEADMAN PEARSON temporarily steps away from the group to pursue a solo career. FIVE STAR are to headline Manchester's?? Gay Pride Festival on August 29th.
ONETWO,?? the collaborative project from OMD's PAUL HUMPHREYS?? and PROPAGANDA singer CLAUDIA BRUCKEN, have?? announced their first live date. The show will take place at London's Islington?? Academy on September 30th and is promised to include material from OneTwo, OMD, Propaganda, ACT and solo material.
KYLIE MINOGUE?? is reported to be recording with up and coming dance act Scissor Sisters...?? Kylie is thought to be working on ideas with Scissor Sisters although there?? is no confirmation that anything from the collaboration will ever see the light?? of day.
DAVID BOWIE's?? classic single 'Heroes' has been covered by ICEHOUSE to coincide?? with the forthcoming Olympic Games in Athens. The record will be available as?? a single as well as on a new album and is a new version of the song rather than??a remix of a previous version recorded by the Australian act.
RICK ASTLEY?? has announced a UK tour for September. The singer will play??eight shows starting??in Dublin on September 5th and finishing in London on September 20th.
DEPECHE?? MODE are reported to be planning an album of remixes for release later?? this year. The album is expected to be preceded by a new remix of the band's?? epic 'Enjoy The Silence' from Richard X.
TEARS FOR?? FEARS will finally release their new album 'Everyone Loves A Happy?? Ending' on the Sanctuary label in the UK on August 23rd... TFF are also riding?? high in the Upfront Dance charts this week with new mixes of their classic tracks?? 'Shout', 'Change' and 'Mad World' from remixers Skylark, Fergie, Jakatta, Joey?? Negro and Afterlife.
HEAVEN?? 17 are in talks with Virgin Records about remastering and reissuing?? the entire Heaven 17 and BEF catalogue next year. The reissues?? are expected to feature bonus material and will include the classic albums 'Penthouse?? & Pavement', 'How Men Are' and 'The Luxury Gap'.
KIRSTY?? MacCOLL is to have a three-disc box set made available by EMI on October?? 11th. 'From Croydon To Cuba' will feature material from all stages of MacColl's?? career which was tragically cut short by her death in 2000. Tracks include her?? 1981 debut hit 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop (Swears He's Elvis)',?? her version of BILLY BRAGG's 'New England', and her duet with??THE POGUES on 'Fairytale Of New York'...
REM?? will release the first single from their new album on September 27th. The single??will be called 'Leaving New York' and will be followed by the still untitled??album on October 4th.
The long awaited union between two of the most intriguing and respected of musicians from the 1980s releases its first music in the summer of 2004. Paul Humphreys, the non-dancing part of the internationally successful electronic duo OMD, has formed a partnership with Claudia Brücken, the singing part of the deluxe German pop group Propaganda.
As Onetwo, Humphreys and Br³cken fulfill the promise shown during a shared American tour four years ago. Paul sang loved songs from his past, Claudia sang loved songs from her past - not just a couple of Propaganda songs, but also material from her time in the cherished Act and from her cult solo album for Island. Around the time of that tour, Paul began work with Claudia on some new Propaganda music, but whilst the Propaganda reunion fell apart, the pair continued working together on their own material. Something clicked into place. There was definite compatibility between their voices, their reluctance to cash in on their previous bands by joining in with any of the nostalgia tours that have come into vogue, and with how they wanted their music to move into the new century - they were both respectful of their past achievements, but didn't want to be shackled by them, or merely revisit them. The first sample of the music they have written together surfaces on a suite of songs written and recorded during 2003/4, Item.
Item contains five new pieces, music that draws on their respective experiences as writers, players, performers and collaborators. It also demonstrates their passion for the electronic song, their experimental spirit, the connection that there is between their voices and their melodic and rhythmic instincts, and the smart updating of their techno romantic sound.
Item features the discreetly majestic Sister, with Paul on lead vocals, and a song Claudia wrote with Depeche Mode's Martin Gore, the bittersweet and mesmerizing Cloud Nine. Martin also contributes guitar to the track. There is another approach to the song 'Sister' entitled 'One and Only' and two pieces, 'Element of Truth' and 'Signals', that reflect in a contemporary light the edgy, atmospheric side that was always present in their previous groups.
Other collaborators on Item include Bob Kraushaar, who previously worked with Claudia on the Propaganda material, and was part of the ZTT team that reimagined Propaganda's glossy gothic masterpiece 'Secret Wish' as 'Wishful Thinking'. His continuing work as a major part of the behind the scenes Pet Shop Boys technicians was a particularly important factor in Paul and Claudia choosing him to mix 'Sister' and 'Cloud Nine'.
'Element of Truth' and 'Signals' were co-written and co-programmed with Jon Russell, who had been recommended to them by the producer Pascal Gabriel.