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Loggins preps discs, book, tour

ORLANDO, Fla. — The day after Kenny Loggins performs on the upcoming Academy Awards telecast, the first greatest hits album of his 25-year career hits the streets and puts in motion a promotional push for the disc, an upcoming book, a summer tour and another new album, his first in nearly five years.

The perf will also signal the start of a new era for the enigmatic singer, as it will mark the first worldwide appear-ance of a beardless Loggins, since he recently shed the trademark facial hair he has had his entire career, as part of a newfound self-awareness and security, revelations that prompted the co-authoring of a book dubbed ”The Unimaginable Life.”

The Avon Books tome, which Loggins wrote with his wife, Julia, will be backed with a new album of the same name, and its song titles will reflect the chapters in the book, which is scheduled to be released in May.

But unlike many celebrities who pen autobiographies, Loggins’ new book is designed as a self-help tool that he hopes fans and non-fans will be able to use to improve their lives and relationships.

Kenny and Julia — who is expecting the couple’s third child in October — will do a round of TV appearances to promote and explain the projects. Julia will likely appear via satellite, as her ability to travel will be restricted dur-ing the pregnancy.

Coincidentally, at the annual confab of the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers, which concluded here Wednesday, a survey commissioned by the trade org found consumers wondering why albums couldn’t have jackets like books, where the tone of the disc could be gleaned from comments contained on exterior liner notes. The in-formation would then allow customers to make an informed decision on whether or not to buy the disc.

”So many of us are struggling to find that relationship that works on various levels,” Loggins told Daily Variety. ”But we are so often programmed to think that it will fail, that it does.

“Hopefully the book will help people find their (strengths), or resolve issues that will allow them to stop thinking they are screwed up when they probably aren’t.”

Loggins has also recently joined the growing ranks of artists self-managing their careers, and formed his own ban-ner, Higher Vision, to handle his business and outside interests, such as environmental issues.

He bowed the firm after amicably parting from his manager of many years, Denzyl Feigelson, and handed the day-to-day duties of his career to HV execs.

Loggins doesn’t feel that his many songs over the years have sufficiently tuned fans into his feelings, even though most of the lyrics in the tracks evolved from a journal he kept, in which his thoughts and observations were de-tailed.

”(While) there were lines here and there in each of the songs, I don’t think the body of work would have communi-cated everything I was feeling about my life … or my relationship with Julia,” Loggins said. ”Hopefully, the book will accomplish that.”

In addition to TV appearances for the book, Loggins will hit the road in August to promote the Columbia Records discs as part of a national tour.

He’ll then head overseas for a series of shows.

He’ll be meeting with bookstore chain execs soon to preview the book prior to publication.

Though his last studio album was ”Leap of Faith” in 1992, Loggins has been active writing and recording, as well as doing corporate confab performances, such as for IBM.

Loggins clearly wowed the NARM crowd during the gathering’s dinner gala Tuesday night, with a blistering 30-minute set that included a roaring version of ”Celebrate Me Home,” during which Loggins and saxman Marc Russo stood atop banquet tables in the middle of the ballroom during an extended vamping of the song’s chorus.

Loggins, who has sold more than 40 million albums during his career, also previewed ”Good News, Bad News,” a new song and a chapter title in the book, and sang ”For the First Time,” the best song Academy Award nominee from the film ”One Fine Day.” The tune will also appear on the Columbia Records hits disc, and he’ll perform the song live on the March 24 Oscarcast.

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