Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  Jan. 6, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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England's Daily Mail quotes friends of accused drunken driving diva Diana Ross as saying her DUI arrest last week in Arizona could be a much-needed turning point for the troubled singer.

"Maybe this is what she needed to finally put the past behind her -- all of those ghosts of days gone by," a friend of Ross told the Mail. "The past has always come back to haunt her. Maybe it's time to deal with it, to accept her mistakes and put them behind her."

Ross, 58, was once Motown's top star as leader of the Supremes, but recently she has struggled through a series of personal setbacks in her family life as well as the humiliating spectacle of the failed Supremes comeback tour. Last summer Ross did time at the celebrity rehab center Promises, but last week's arrest suggests her problems may not be over.


The New York Post reports G-men have the rap label Murder Inc. in their sites. The Sunday Post reports the company, whose biggest stars are Ashanti and Ja Rule, is the target of a federal investigation into money laundering and drug dealing activities. Feds raided the label's offices in Manhattan Friday. The Post reports the raid was part of a yearlong investigation attempting to link Murder Inc. kingpin Irv Gotti with convicted Queens drug trafficker Kenneth McGriff. The Post reports the raid will shake up the hip hop industry over who gave feds the tip about the alleged drug dealing and money laundering scheme.

"This can create a lot of venom within the rap community," hip hop producer Ronnie Goodman told the Post. "It's going to be a black eye."


Radiohead fans have plenty to get excited about in 2003. The band has been working on material for a new album scheduled for release this summer. Britain's New Musical Express reveals the band has recorded demos for the album during eight weeks of recording sessions, describing the new music as "dark pop not too dissimilar to 'The Bends'." The band also is distributing free MP3s to its fans via the Internet. "Punch Up At A Wedding," "Good Morning, Mr. Magpie," "I Froze Up" and "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" are available for download at


America's loudest lounge singer Richard Cheese is back in black tie with "Tuxicity," an all-new CD featuring his trademark lounge-style covers of rock hits. With his swingin' Lounge Against The Machine band, the finger-snapping, liquor-lapping, night-capping crooner has turned another round of alternative, rap, and rock songs into traditional pop vocal standards. The CD is on sale online at While his critically acclaimed 2000 CD "Lounge Against The Machine" showcased lounge music interpretations of alternative songs, "Tuxicity" features 19 uncensored selections from the alternative, rap, pop, Eighties, and classic rock charts.

"We hope these new tunes will attract an even bigger audience," says Cheese, "and that equals more free drinks for me and the band."


AC/DC has signed with Epic Records and will re-release the band's back catalog on the new label in addition to future recordings. The reissue program begins in February with the re-release of the classic albums "Back In Black," "Live," "Highway To Hell," "High Voltage," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "Live" (two CD collector's edition). Following in March and May will be "Who Made Who," "Let There Be Rock," "The Razor's Edge," "For Those About To Rock," "Powerage," "If You Want Blood You Got It," "Flick Of The Switch," "Fly On The Wall," "'74 Jailbreak" and "Blow Up Your Video."

Re-issue titles will feature restored album art, enhanced packaging -- including additional rare and historic photos -- new liner notes and comprehensive track information. In addition to premium packaging, each AC/DC title will include Sony's proprietary ConnecteD technology, which allows fans who purchase the disc to unlock exclusive content on a special Web site created specifically for the release.

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