Willie, Lenny, Dolly releasing albums in '08
By Jonathan Cohen
NEW YORK (Billboard) - What's the biz to do when the top-selling album of 2007 was a Christmas project released in November, Josh Groban's "Noel," and the second-best was a soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical" movie sequel?
Superstars underperformed, and not enough up-and-comers took their commercial fortunes to the proverbial next level. Still, there's a wealth of highly anticipated albums heading into stores later in 2008, including new sets from the likes of Madonna, U2, Metallica, Mariah Carey and Shania Twain.
In the meantime, Billboard presents a peek at the music you'll be hearing about in the first quarter.
Willie Nelson, "Moment of Forever" (Lost Highway, January 29)
The latest salvo from the legendary Nelson was produced by country superstar Kenny Chesney and Buddy Cannon. While Nelson contributed three songs, the 74-year-old also tapped the songwriting talents of Randy Newman (on the poignant "Louisiana 1927"), Kris Kristofferson, Big Kenny of Big & Rich and Dave Loggins, among others. Nelson also covers Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" and Dave Matthews' "Gravedigger," while the bluesy "Worry B Gone" is a duet between Nelson and Chesney.
Sarah Brightman, "Symphony" (Angel/EMI Manhattan, January 29)
Mega-selling soprano Brightman furthers her crossover ambitions here with songs featuring Kiss' Paul Stanley ("I Will Be With You"), Andrea Bocelli ("Canto Della Terra") and Fernando Lima ("Pasion"), in addition to a cover of Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" sung in Italian. "Symphony" will be supported with a PBS special during spring pledge-drive season and also sets up "Repo! The Genetic Opera," Brightman's film debut, due later in '08. Continued...