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“ICON” is Now a Capitol Idea

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Belinda Carlisle ICONAnother few batches of Universal’s eye-rolling ICON series are on the way – and while they offer a few genuine surprises, there’s a lot, perhaps even more than usual, to shake one’s head over.

The big surprise right off the bat is that the mid-price compilation series will now chronicle not only Universal-controlled catalogue artists, but EMI-controlled ones as well. This is hardly a surprise, given the past year’s big story of music business restructuring that’s leaving the world with three major music labels including a Universal/EMI conglomerate.

But the budget compilation idea is nothing new for EMI artists – and frustratingly, ICON is starting off by covering those EMI artists with more than enough compilations to go around, including The Beach Boys, Poison and Pat Benatar. While we have a few surprises to go around on the Universal side of the ICON list – Liberace and Captain & Tennille are prime examples on the “didn’t see that coming” list – there’s very little new or exciting in these batches. (The ICON entry for Bon Jovi is, in fact, a clone of the band’s 1994 compilation Cross Road with the cover art poorly repurposed.)

The only real boon for collectors is the ICON title for Go-Go’s frontwoman (and recent acquisition by Demon Music Group) Belinda Carlisle, whose set will feature a brand-new recording, “Sun,” her first recording to hit U.S. stores in 15 years.

These new batches kick off tomorrow with five EMI-controlled gospel artists (including Amy Grant, whose biggest pop hits were ironically on Universal’s A&M label). Another 15 follow the next week, and two more (Jimmy Cliff and Bon Jovi) follow the week after that. And they’re all yours to consider after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 11, 2013 at 12:36