Warner Bros. Records Announce Ambitious 50th Anniversary Release
With exclusive interviews, never-before-seen photographs and insider accounts of how the hits were born, Revolutions in Sound celebrates the first fifty years of a company where music and legends are made. It's the "ultimate" box set, highlighted by the book authored by music historian and educator Warren Zanes. The accompanying USB memory key, shaped like the WB logo, is loaded with iconic music that is the equivalent of a 20 CD set. The collection reflects the diversity of the music released by Warner Bros., Reprise, Sire and affiliated labels from 1958 to the present day. The tracks follow the evolution of Warner Bros. Records, from fledgling record label, started by a movie mogul in the middle of the last century to its status today as one of the preeminent music content companies in the world.
Ranging from Jimi Hendrix to My Chemical Romance, the Grateful Dead to Madonna, Fleetwood Mac to Frank Sinatra, Tab Hunter to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the who's who of the label's roster reflects an unequalled cross section of cultural history and some of today's most important artists. Other notable artists associated with the company's rise and continuing industry leadership are Green Day, Van Halen, Michael Bublé, Regina Spektor, The White Stripes, Cher, Curtis Mayfield, Ramones, REM, Faith Hill, Alanis Morrisette, Randy Newman, Funkadelic, Seal, Big & Rich, Alanis Morrisette, Linkin Park, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and hundreds of others, many of whom have come to be known as household names over the course of fifty years and whom have continued Warner Bros. success as the industry's No. 1 label in the U.S. for two of the last three years.
Tom Whalley, Chairman of Warner Bros. Records, commented, "The company's 50th anniversary presents us with a singular opportunity to celebrate one of the richest and most storied traditions in the music business. It's a chance for us to reflect on the company's abiding belief in creative freedom and artistic self-determination."
In celebration of the company's milestone, the title "Revolutions In Sound," will be applied to a number of releases this fall highlighting Warner Bros. Records' golden anniversary. The multi-platform approach to telling the Warner story also includes a deluxe box set comprised of ten CDs packaged with an accompanying booklet derived from Zanes' research. Chronicle Books is scheduled to publish Zanes' Revolutions In Sound tome as a stand-alone title that will be available through traditional and on-line retailers
A coda to Revolutions In Sound will be released early next year in the form of a compilation CD with a unique unifying concept. The album will feature new recordings by contemporary Warner Bros. artists of classic songs associated with the label's history. The album, nearing completion at the moment, is slated for release in February 2009. The title, participating artists and track listing are expected to be announced shortly.
Fifty years ago, Warner Bros. Records was founded by Jack Warner, the last of the original pioneering Warner brothers, as an offshoot of Warner Bros. Studios, which, thirty-two years earlier, had introduced its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system for feature films – thus the "Revolutions In Sound" moniker. The acquisition of Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in 1963 built it into one of the most dynamic organizations in popular music throughout the next five decades. It is now the keystone component of the freestanding Warner Music Group.
Warren Zanes, a musician, writer, and educator, made three records as a member of the Del Fuegos for the Warner-distributed Slash label and released two solo recordings before earning his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester's Program in Visual and Cultural Studies. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Oxford American, the Los Angeles Times and other periodicals and scholarly journals. He is the author of Dusty in Memphis and editor of Runnin' Down a Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Jimmie Rodgers' America. A former vice president at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Zanes is currently the executive director of Little Steven's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.
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