Article In Billboard About The VH-1 Crossroads CD
As sent to me via email by Matt Presidente.
"Atlantic's 'Crossroads' Set Offers Best of VH1 Show"
Billboard Magazine, September 21
New York--Tapping into their obvious strengths, Atlantic Records and VH1 are teaming to realease a compilation of recordings from the cable channel's nightly "Crossroads" program, which features intimate performances and interviews with emerging and established artists.
Titled simply "Crossroads," the collection features previously unreleased live recordings by Blues Traveler, Melissa Etheridge with Joan Osborne, Edwin McCain with Darius Rucker, k.d. lang, Son Volt, Goo Goo Dolls, Del Amitri, Deep Blue Something, Pete Droge & the Sinners, Tori Amos, and Jewel. The release-- which is scheduled to hit the street October 1--also contains album versions of the Gin Blossoms' "Til I hear it from you," and Chris Isaak's "Somebody's Crying."
The first single and video from "Crossroads" will be Amos' solo rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," which will go into medium rotation on VH1 Sept. 27, just as the track is serviced to alternative rock radio outlets. The clip is featured on the CD version of the title, which is being released in the enhanced-CD format.
The album features Etheridge and Osborne performing a duet of Etheridge's "Bring me some Water," which was recorded as Osborne was beginning to break through.
Among the most recognizable songs on the compilation, besides the album version of the Gin Blossoms' "Til I Hear It From you," are Goo Goo Dolls' "Name," Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Del Amitri's "Roll to me," and Blues Traveler's "Run-Around"--also recorded before that group broke.
VH1 senior VP of music and talent Wayne Isaak--who serves as co-executive producer of the compilation--says, "When we created 'Crossroads,' we thought it was important to show off more than he artists' ability to perform in video clips. And as we shot more and more footage over the last year and a half, we realized we had great stuff. We had Blues Traveler performing 'Run-Around,; we had k.d. lang doing 'If I Were You.' So we thought,Let's make an album of this if we can.'"
Atlantic senior VP (US) Vicky Germaise says "Crossroads" will give up and coming artists critical exposure. "These are core, seminal artists," she says. "It's fabulous for fans of each of these artists to be exposed to other artists. I'm thrilled that everyone who buys this record to hear a Melissa Etheridge track will get to hear Jewel."
McCain says the "Crossroads" show and album give fans a fresh viewpoint on artists' material. "It's excellent," he says of the show's concept. "It's a great way for fans to get in touch with the songwriting side of the artists they listen to. The experience is really amazing, because it's such and excellent way to expose how songs are written."
VH1 senior VP of marketing, Joshua Katz, says the release of the "Crossroads" album reflects the strength of the show as a venue for new music. "If you look at the artists on the CD, almost every one had a big hit, and they got their first national video rotation on "Crossroads," says Katz. "That's almost a validation of the concept: 'Crossroads' works, people watch it and it turns songs like 'Solitude' or 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' into hits."
Having already begun promoting the "Crossroads" release through VH1 with president John Sykes' recent appearance on the NBC-TV program "Good Morning America," the music channel will kick its campaign for the album into high gear the week of the set's release, when it will air five 30-minute specials that feature the participating artists. Then, on Oct 5, VH1 will broadcast a one-hour "Crossroads" special.
Atlantic Records will take out spots on VH1, hold giveaway contests, and send teaser fliers to college radio stations to promote the title, according to Lisa Gray, Atlantic's senior director or product development (US). She adds that Atlantic and VH1 will link their Internet WWW sites.
Atlantic will also focus on nontraditional retail outlets. Germaine says, "There's a grass-roots element to this album, so we're going heavily after non-traditional outlets. We have an alternative sales division that sells to nature stores, catalogs, lifestyle shops, etc."
Citing the success of other VH1 and MTV-related compilations -- like the MTV Party to Go series on Tommy Boy, the "MTV Buzz Bin" compilation on Atlantic, and a VH1 80s-themed collection on Rhino-- executives at both VH1 and Atlantic say they see a great opportunity in joining forces to promote the "Crossroads" release.
VH1's Katz says, "We're bringing the full power of VH1 to bear. We're not going to just release the album and hope it sells. We feel we're full partners with Atlantic on this."
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