Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Charlotte Observer : 2 labels sell music of `Fahrenheit 9/11'

Deals are a sign that execs see a market for politically charged tunes

New York Times

Michael Moore has struck deals with two major record companies to release "Fahrenheit 9/11" theme albums less than a month before the presidential election, record executives and Moore said.

The deals, with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, were reached after months of closely guarded and laborious talks and will add a musical dimension to Moore's political efforts. The albums are set for release Oct. 5.

Sony BMG will release the more unusual of the two recordings, a compilation of artists who Moore said provided motivation to him and his crew while they were making the film. It includes a new song from Zack de la Rocha, the former front man for the politically charged rock band Rage Against the Machine, and songs from Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Clash, System of a Down and Jeff Buckley. It also includes a new song from the Nightwatchman, an alter ego of Tom Morello, the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist.

Warner Music is to release a soundtrack of the film's score and several songs used in the film, including Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" and R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People."

The industry's pursuit of Moore is the clearest sign yet that music executives see commercial potential in music that has sometimes scared them off, and it comes at a time when talent scouts are taking fresh looks at socially outspoken bands.

The compilation is to be released on Sony BMG's Epic Records label. Officials from Warner Music, which also paid a small advance, said its album would be released on the company's Rhino label. Proceeds will be donated to the voter registration organization Rock the Vote.

Moore said: "There are some songs that might upset some people. Sony has in the end done the right thing and said, `Let's go for it.' "


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