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“They really are two completely different experiences. [But] I would like to think that in the interest of supporting the charities involved, many people will want to buy
both formats.”
——WEA SVP Sales
Bob Carlton

AMERICANS PAY (FOR) TRIBUTE

Document of Historic Telethon Arrives in Stores
On CD, DVD, Video
Nearly three months after deranged religious extremists killing in the name of God permanently altered our perceptions of ourselves, our country and our world through their hideously violent acts, the fundraising efforts for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and their families continues.

Amid a handful of 9/11-related fundraising releases comes the “soundtrack” to the first, and most dramatic, effort from the “let’s put on a show” set. America: A Tribute to Heroes, broadcast on Sept. 21 on every major television network, was a landmark event, made possible by an unprecedented degree of cooperation among the networks, the talent and those who represent them.

So it is with the America: A Tribute to Heroes two-disc CD set released Tuesday (12/4) on Interscope (within the U.S.) and Sony (everywhere else). All five major-label groups worked together and with their artists to make the release possible, with all involved waiving their usual fees. All of the artists who participated in the telethon also participated in the CD release.

A DVD/VHS tape of the entire telethon, including brief speeches by prominent celebrities, was also released Tuesday worldwide by Warner Bros. Records. Net proceeds from both the CD set and video are earmarked for the September 11th Fund.

“We at Interscope and UMG are working together with the four other major music companies on this project,” says Interscope’s Steve Berman. “By collaborating together, we hope to set a new precedent in the music industry, while continuing the fundraising efforts of the historic telethon and doing the right thing for this important cause.”

Interscope shipped nearly a million CD sets to retailers, while Warner Bros. has shipped about 250k of the video. While Circuit City and Best Buy are discounting the $19.99 list CDs to $17.99 and $18.99, respectively, retailers appear not to be discounting the video, which also lists for $19.99

Recent 9/11-related releases have done well. Columbia’s God Bless America collection debuted at #1 on Oct. 22 and has sold about 761k to date; the label’s Concert for New York City CD, meanwhile, debuts this week at #24 on sales of about 100k.

While some observers have expressed concern that the video release will stunt sales of the CD set, most are confident the project will do well on all fronts. “I think both the CD and DVD will be incredibly successful,” says Wherehouse Music’s Bob Bell. “People will want the music, and they will want to relive the TV special as well. Although some might buy both, I tend to think that there will be two different consumers buying one format or the other.”

WEA Sr. VP Sales Bob Carlton agrees: “They really are two completely different experiences. [But] I would like to think that in the interest of supporting the charities involved, many people will want to buy both formats.”

Ultimately, the strength of the effort and the cause will drive sales. Says Berman, “The lineup of musicians who participated in the telethon and the passion behind their performances is truly extraordinary, and we believe it’s a piece of history that every record fan will want in their collection.”

NEAR TRUTHS: THE KYNCL-LOUSADA DANCE HAS BEGUN
This oughta be interesting... (9/30a)
GRAMMY CHEW:
RAP EDITION
Michael and Kyle find a feast of hip-hop to chew on. (9/30a)
CHART FINAL: VERANO INVADES FALL
Like a broken record... which it is, figuratively speaking. (9/30a)
HITS LIST: COUNTDOWN
TO ECSTASY
We enter the month that was once known as Rocktober. (9/30a)
HIS OWN ARCHITECT:
THE STEVE LACY BUZZ
It was a surprisingly easy "Habit" to break. (9/30a)
GRAMMY SEASON
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
THE BIG DEAL
It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Allow us to apologize in advance.
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