Erykah Badu ‘Baduizm’ & ‘Mama’s Gun’ available on vinyl

Erykah Badu’s game-changing debut, Baduizm, and her smash sophomore album, Mama’s Gun, are now available back on vinyl as part of Motown/UMe’s Respect The Classics initiative. Previously released on vinyl as a shortened nine-track single LP, this release marks the first time Baduizm has been released on vinyl in its entirety with 14 tracks across two standard-weight LPs. The vinyl reissue of Mama’s Gun is also as a double LP.

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Stevie Wonder releases Ariana Grande duet

Stevie Wonder delivers the new collaboration entitled “Faith” featuring Ariana Grande for Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ Sing, it was announced during Grande’s interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week. The song will be available soon via Republic Records, as well as on the upcoming release of the Sing Official Soundtrack Album. Sing opens in theaters everywhere on December 21st.

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Usher announces ‘Hard II Love’ for Sept 16th

Global megastar and eight time Grammy Award winner Usher has announced that his highly-anticipated new album entitled Hard II Love will be released on September 16th via RCA Records.

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Netflix series ‘The Get Down’ gets soundtrack

Baz Luhrmann’s label, House of Iona, and RCA Records have announced their partnership to release The Get Down: Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series, set for exclusive release via Apple Music on August 12th. The soundtrack accompanies the highly anticipated music-driven drama series The Get Down, premiering globally on Netflix the same day. The soundtrack will be available for pre-order on August 5th.

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U2, Drake, Britney Spears headline iHeartRadio Music Festival 2016

iHeartRadio Festival 2016

iHeartMedia has announced the headliners for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival. They include U2, Drake, Britney Spears, Sam Hunt, twenty one pilots, Billy Idol, Florida Georgia Line, OneRepublic, Sia, Cage The Elephant, Zedd, Tears for Fears, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Usher and Sting. The iHeartRadio Music Festival will also include performances from this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Los 5. Read more

Brian McKnight teams with PledgeMusic for live release

Brian McKnight has chosen PledgeMusic, the leading direct-to-fan platform, to bring his fans, An Evening With Brian McKnight. This will be his first release on SRG Records, via the ILS Group and Universal Music Group, since signing an exclusive label and distribution agreement.

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Boyz II Men gets vinyl releases

Boyz II Men gets reissued on vinyl

Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Boyz II Men’s 1991, GRAMMY-winning debut, Cooleyhighharmony and its multi- GRAMMY-winning 1994 follow-up, II, with exclusive vinyl releases of both, with the latter, a two-LP set, for the first time ever on that format, on August 19th.

Produced by Bivins and Dallas Austin, Boyz II Men’s debut album, Cooleyhighharmony – named after the real-life Cooley Vocational School in Chicago and inspired by the 1975 movie Cooley High – was originally released by Motown Records February 14, 1991. The album eventually peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than nine million copies to date, winning a GRAMMY for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and a nomination for Best New Artist (they lost to singer/songwriter Marc Cohn). Cooleyhighharmony combined old-school street corner vocals with drums in the New Jack Swing style, multi-layered samples, a style dubbed “hip hop doo-wop.” All four members shared leads, featuring Wanya “Squirt” Morris’ vibrato, Shawn “Slim” Stockman’s tenor, Nathan “Alex Vanderpool” Morris’ baritone and Michael “Bass” McCarty’s low range.

The album’s first single, the Austin-produced “Motownphilly,” set the tone, an origin story in which Bivins raps how the group met, with a title perfectly describing a new Motown Sound. The song peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the R&B chart; the song’s popular video featured cameos by fellow high school alumni Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots. The album’s second single, the band’s cover of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Freddie Perren and Christian Yarian and originally performed by G.C. Cameron for the Cooley High film soundtrack, hit the top of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and crossed over to #2 on the Hot 100, blocked only by Michael Jackson’s “Black or White.” The third single, “Uhh Ahh,” also topped the Hot R&B Singles chart and went to #16 on the Hot 100, and was later sampled by Beyonce Knowles for her 2011 song, “Countdown.” The final single released from the album, the Dallas Austin-produced “Please Don’t Go,” went to #8 on the Billboard R&B chart.

While Cooleyhighharmony was re-released in 1992 with a new cover, remixes and an inclusion of the single, “End Of The Road,” then again in 1993 to include “In The Still Of The Nite (I’ll Remember),’ from the soundtrack of the TV mini-series, The Jacksons: An American Dream, this vinyl reissue is the original ten track release with its (now-rare) original cover. Motown/UMe released a 2 CD deluxe edition of the album, including two previously unreleased songs, in 2009.

Boyz II Men’s II, originally released on Motown Records, August 30, 1994, was the group’s global breakthrough, featuring two consecutive Billboard Hot 100 singles in “I’ll Make Love To You” and “On Bended Knee,” making the group the third artist to succeed themselves at #1 on the U.S. chart after Elvis Presley and The Beatles, and the first to achieve the feat in 30 years. Produced and written by Tim & Bob (Tim Kelley and Bob Robinson), Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, II topped the Billboard 200 for five weeks and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, going #1 in France and New Zealand, Top 5 in Australia and Canada, Top 10 in Japan, The Netherlands and Top 20 in the U.K. Spain and Sweden, eventually selling 12 million copies in the U.S. alone. It became the inaugural winner of the GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Album, while “I’ll Make Love To You” won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The latter song had already been #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, breaking the group’s own chart record, set by “End of the Road,” which had 13 weeks at the top. “On Bended Knee” succeeded “Love,” staying at No. 1 for six weeks. Other singles from the album include “Water Runs Dry,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Thank You,” which reached #21. The emotional spoken-word track, “Khalil (Interlude),” was a tribute to their road manager Khalil Roundtree, who was killed in Chicago while the band was opening for MC Hammer on his “Too Legit To Quit” tour.

The newly issued double LP vinyl edition of the album includes the band’s stunning cover of The Beatles’ “Yesterday” as well as the international edition bonus track, “Fallin’.”

Formed at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts by Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson (who eventually left), later joined by fellow school choir members Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Michael McCrary, Boyz II Men found their inspiration in the echoes of their school bathroom and their city’s tradition in classic a cappella and doo-wop harmonies. Inspired by New Edition, they took their name from one of the group’s songs, and then impressed the band’s lead singer Michael Bivins with an impromptu backstage audition of “Can You Stand the Rain,” leading to his agreeing to manage and produce them.

Boyz II Men - Cooleyhighharmony

Cooleyhighharmony Track ListingBUY

Side One
1.”Please Don’t Go”
2. “Lonely Heart”
3. “This Is My Heart”
4. “Uhh Ahh”
5. “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”

Side Two
1. “Motownphilly”
2. “Under Pressure”
3. “Sympin'”
4. “Little Things”
5. “Your Love”

Boyz II Men - II

II Track ListingBUY

Side One
1. “Thank You”
2. “All Around The World”
3. “U Know”
4. “Vibin'”

Side Two
1. “I Sit Away”
2. “Jezzebel”
3. “Khali (Interlude)”
4. “Trying Times”

Side Three
1. “I’ll Make Love To You”
2. “On Bended Knee”
3. “50 Candies”

Side Four
1. “Water Runs Dry”
2. “Yesterday”
3. “Falling”

Little Richard to be celebrated with deluxe 5 LP set

Specialty Records — an imprint of Concord Bicycle Music — is pleased to announce the release of Mono Box: The Complete Specialty and Vee-Jay Albums: a deluxe, 5-LP box set that celebrates one of the most influential entertainers in popular music history, Little Richard. The collection includes the entire output of studio albums that Little Richard had recorded for both the Specialty and Vee-Jay labels, spanning 1957–1965. The albums, each featuring original label and jacket art, have been meticulously remastered from analog tapes and are presented in their original mono mixes. Completing the collection is a 16-page booklet featuring new liner notes by journalist Bill Dahl, plus era-specific photos.

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Marvin Gaye ‘Volume 3: 1971-1981’ 7 LPs set for May 27th

It’s been 45 years since the release of Marvin Gaye’s momentous album, What’s Going On, May 21, 1971, on the Motown subsidiary Tamla Records. To mark the occasion, Universal Music Enterprises is preparing a series of special vinyl releases, including a seven-LP box set, Volume 3: 1971-1981, which features on 180-gram vinyl Gaye’s final seven studio albums for the label, on May 27th, a follow-up to the first two installments of the collection. The albums included are: What’s Going On (1971), Trouble Man (1972), Let’s Get It On (1973), Diana & Marvin (1973), I Want You (1976), the double-LP Here, My Dear (1978) and In Our Lifetime (1981). In addition, four of the albums from the box set – Let’s Get It On, Diana & Marvin, Here, My Dear and In Our Lifetime – will be made individually for the first time in several years.

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David Bowie, Cheap Trick, Elvis among Record Store Day 2016 releases

The list for exclusives being released for Record Store Day 2016 has been unveiled. David Bowie, Cheap Trick, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, The Doors and many more are on the list of collectible vinyl releases that will be available at independent record stores worldwide on Saturday, April 16th.

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