AMI Prereleases New Alice Cooper Album, Brings SPV Records’ Rock/Metal Catalog To Digital Jukes
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Alice Cooper, original architect of the shock-rock live show, brought his menacing new album “Along Came a Spider” to more than 10,000 AMI-powered Internet jukeboxes this week. The exclusive prerelease from AMI Entertainment will provide two weeks of attention- building exposure in bars and restaurants prior to the album’s July 29 retail rollout. Onscreen, AMI- powered jukes will feature CD cover art and Web trailer clips.
The Alice Cooper release is part of AMI’s new partnership with German-based SPV Records, a hard rock/heavy metal label. The affiliation will make music from Whitesnake, Helloween, King’s X, Gamma Ray, Iced Earth, Kamelot and others available on the AMI network. This is SPV’s first venture into the digital jukebox realm.
“Along Came a Spider” is Cooper’s 25th studio release to date, and song-by-song chronicles the tale of a serial killer named Spider who collects a leg from each of his victims, with the goal of obtaining eight. This structure is often called a “concept album” or, less definably, a “rock opera.” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and The Who’s “Tommy” are among the best-known examples of the format.
Commenting on the storyline, Cooper said: “Evil should get punished. It should never win. And that, to me, is what’s most satisfying. I may love Darth Vader when I watch Star Wars, but I feel relief when he finally gets what’s coming to him.”
For AMI, the release represents a focus on giving an extra promotional push to albums before they are available in stores, officials explained. “The network releases thousands of music files each week,” the company said, “but is making conscious efforts to highlight artists vital to the jukebox culture it serves. Since AMI started doing prereleases last summer, artists prominently featured onscreen have seen jumps in customer plays up to 10 times, for new and back-catalog titles alike.”
Earlier this week, the music provider prereleased “Partie Traumatic” (Sony/Red) by The Black Kids and Buddy Guy’s new album, “Skin Deep” (Silverton/Zomba).
Southern Rockers Black Stone Cherry Prerelease Album On Ecast Network
SAN FRANCISCO — Emerging Southern rock band Black Stone Cherry this week prereleased its second album, “Folklore and Superstition,” on Ecast’s broadband media network, where it will leverage the onscreen “Just Added” playlist and “New Music” video loop to build interest. The album, distributed by Roadrunner Records, goes on sale August 19.
With a relatively youthful roster of musicians all younger than 23 and only one major-label record under its belt, Black Stone Cherry is finding unprecedented success, Ecast reports. The band’s self-titled debut sold more than 110,000 units, and its powerful rock anthem “Lonely Train” reached the top 15 on the ARC Weekly Top 40.
“Black Stone Cherry’s last record had strong play on the Ecast network, highlighting the fact we reach young music lovers who are very tuned into emerging artists,” said Ecast senior vice-president of business affairs Lisa Tiver. “This audience already uses the Internet to discover and hear music before it hits retail outlets. By prereleasing music on Ecast, labels and artists are extending visibility to a larger audience, reaching these savvy fans in a relaxed setting where they play the jukebox to share their favorite artists with friends.”
“Folklore and Superstition” was produced by Bob Marlette, famous for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, and has already turned out the hit single “Blind Man.” Currently on tour with Shinedown and Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry is planning its own U.S. tour this fall. The band joins past emerging artist prereleases on the Ecast network, including Albert Hammond Jr. and Augustana.
June BarPulse Results: Hit Songs Top Plays; Diverse Genres Fill In Gaps
NEW YORK CITY — Ecast’s June BarPulse survey, like most popularity-measuring music lists, saw Capitol Records’ international sensation Katy Perry take the “most-played song” slot with the saucy track “I Kissed a Girl.” Ecast’s monthly new music study also recorded strong play of songs by hip-hop superstar Lil’ Wayne. His album “Tha Carter III” has already gone platinum, and earned five spots on the BarPulse survey’s top-10 list, including No. 2 and No. 3.
Other top selections in June’s BarPulse ranking reflected the diverse tastes of Ecast audiences, with genres from adult-alternative to British soul revival represented. Taking the No. 6 spot was country duo Sugarland’s lead-off single “All I Want to Do,” which stoked anticipation for the band’s upcoming album “Love On The Inside.” The full album will be in stores July 22.
“The hit songs of the next few months are the ones that will become indelibly tied to our memories of this summer,” said Paul Koehler, Ecast’s manager of label relations. “BarPulse reflects what people across the country are actively choosing to play and share with their friends when they are out having fun.”
TouchTunes Restores Foreigner As The ‘Juke Box Hero’
NEW YORK CITY —”No End In Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner” (Rhino Records) will bring some of the most popular rock ballads of the late 1970s and early ‘80s to TouchTunes’s jukebox catalog. The Foreigner compilation is being prereleased exclusively on the company’s out-of-home music network, and supported by a sweepstakes promotion.
The 32-song collection brings classics like “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold As Ice” and “I Want To Know What Love Is” alongside the band’s first new material in more than a decade, including the new single “Too Late.”
“Foreigner’s music evokes great memories for its legions of fans, and we’re privileged to bring their first new music in 12 years to the TouchTunes network,” said digital marketing chief Ron Greenberg. The Foreigner compilation joins a series of prereleases administered by TouchTunes, which have included the works of Beck, Billy Joel, Usher, Wyclef Jean, 3 Doors Down, Garth Brooks and the iconic funk band WAR. This week, TouchTunes also launched a prerelease and autographed guitar giveaway for country music star Miranda Lambert, who gained acclaim as a finalist on the television singing competition “Nashville Star.”
TouchTunes and Rhino Records partnered with Chicago radio station 97.1 The Drive for a sweepstakes offering fans the chance to win tickets and backstage passes to Foreigner’s August 24 concert in Chicago. On jukebox screens, customers can enter to win the prizes and take a semi-humorous survey with such poignant questions as “What makes a Juke Box Hero?” The survey also asks them to identify their favorite song on the Foreigner album.
“Whenever we launch a new release, we look for channels that will help us reach core fans, as well as build new ones,” said David Dorn, senior vice-president of e-commerce strategy at Rhino Entertainment. “TouchTunes offers just such an opportunity for our brand-new Foreigner album.”