Stones, Dead, Traffic unveil discs at confab

New albums are on the way from the Rolling Stones, Traffic, the Grateful Dead, Boyz II Men, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Pretenders, according to product presentations at the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers convention.

The largest annual gathering of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers is a showcase for the hottest products that will be issued by the nation’s record labels over the next year. It serves as a forum for the suppliers and their customers to meet and lobby over various music industry issues. ]

The Stones disc for Atlantic, due in June, will feature bassist Darryl Jones in the place of Bill Wyman. Jones, who has played with Miles Davis and Sting, will also join the band on tour. ]

Bertelsmann Music Group Distribution prez Pete Jones, who reiterated the company’s commitment to the cassette configuration in a short speech, kicked off a light and fireworks show by firing a laser beam to various points of the auditorium.

The company announced plans to release albums by Henry Rollins, Pam Tillis, Atlantic Starr, the Church, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, the Grateful Dead, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon, Lisa Stansfield, TLC and Curtis Stigers. Other upcoming releases from BMG include “Kermit Unplugged,” which pairs the Sesame Street frog with Don Henley, Jimmy Buffett and Ozzy Osbourne, among others; a Kenny G holiday album; and a Whitney Houston greatest hits package. A David Bowie CD-ROM titled “Jump” will be issued through BMG’s new partnership with Los Angeles-based ION.

Performing live during the BMG presentation were Blackgirl, a female vocal trio; Dan Hicks & the Acoustic Warriors; and BMG/Latin act Di Blasio.

Polygram Group Distribution promised records from Kiss, Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli, Shanice, Nu Soul Habits, Boyz II Men, the Neville Brothers, Yes and Norman Brown, among others. In addition, Polygram Video will issue cassettes from U2, which will offer “Zoo TV Live From Sydney,” Bryan Adams and Cream.

Other CEMA titles of note heading to stores include albums by Boz Skaggs, Dada, Jon Secada, Steven Curtis Chapman, Cassandra Wilson, Tracie Spencer, Arrested Development, Richard Marx and the Beastie Boys; and boxed sets from Steve Miller, Tina Turner and early Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett.

Rounding out the day was the product presentation from WEA. WEA prez Dave Mount announced that the company would offer the first CD-ROM selections from its new multimedia division.

WEA announced new releases expected from Cheap Trick, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Stevie Nicks, Huey Lewis & the News, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Jade, Confederate Railroad, Seal, the Pretenders, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a live Steely Dan album, Eric Clapton, R.E.M., Rod Stewart, Porno for Pyros, Prince and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.