Image Entertainment and Smile Records Sign Exclusive 10-Year License Agreement
Image to Distribute Titles From Newly Formed Power Pop Label
CHATSWORTH, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2001--Image Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: DISK - news), a leading licensee and distributor of DVD programming in North America, today announced the signing of an exclusive 10-year licensing agreement with newly formed power pop music label, Smile Records.
Smile Records was created with a focus on power pop and plans to develop a brand identity within this music genre not unlike Motown accomplished with the ``Motown sound.'' Image and Smile Records launched the label to pop fans this week during the renowned ``International Pop Overthrow'' in Los Angeles.
The label will release product from well-known artists in the genre such as The Knack, which will be among the company's first releases in September, in addition to emerging new artists including L.A. pop stalwarts Supremium and The Andersons. Other recent signings include The Stand, Oranges and Smash.
Tony Valenziano, president and founder of Smile Records, commenting on the agreement, said: ``Smile is very pleased to be working with Image in a deal that not only benefits the artists, but benefits the music as well. Image is the right company at the right time to get the Smile sound out to people who just love great pop music.''
Martin W. Greenwald, Image's president and CEO, stated, ``With the signing of the Smile Records agreement, Image further states its position as a leading independent provider of music programming throughout the world, not only in the home video and broadcast arena, but now with an emphasis placed on audio-only formats.''
Image's vice president of sales, Barry Gordon, stated: ``The music on the Smile Records label is stellar and the timing is right for a worldwide resurgence of this genre. With Image's distribution and Smile Records' pulse on what's the best of the best in pop music, we will bring this sound to a whole new market of kids who missed it the first time around and the die-hard pop fans who will definitely love that it's back with a vengeance.''
Image Entertainment Inc. is a leading aggregator of content for DVD with nearly 1,500 Image-exclusive DVD titles in release. The company also has exclusive videocassette, broadcast, streaming video and downloading rights for certain properties. The company maintains its distribution facility in Las Vegas and is one of the largest distributors of DVD programming in North America.
Image has distribution agreements in Japan, China and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil and throughout most of Europe for select programming on DVD and videotape as well as for broadcast. Additionally, the company owns and operates an e-commerce subsidiary, DVDPlanet.com.
Take A Listen....
and if you like
what you hear...
You know you want to !!
GOLDMINE By Ken Sharp
The Knack, Normal As The Next Guy
GET THE KNACK..AGAIN!.. Twenty-two years ago, the music world was electrified by the Beatlesque sounds of power pop avatars, The Knack. Through a career marked by dizzying highs and lows, The Knack have plowed forward, continuing to thrill their fan base with their signature brand of shiny and bouncy Merseybeat inspired pop. ....The Knack have just issued their latest release, Normal As The Next Guy. The new disc finds the band--Doug Fieger, Berton Averre and Prescott Niles--in top form, stretching the boundaries stylistically. Fresh blasts of juicy power pop like the jangle rock fest "It's Not Me" and "Seven Days Of Heaven" merge with a more diverse palette of sounds, numbering distinctive C&W, "Disillusion Town," the jazzy Steely Dan sophistication of "Dance Of Romance" and a remake of "One Day At A Time," originally recorded for the band's Don Was produced, Serious Fun release. Closing the album is the stunning "The Man On The Beach," a Berton Averre composition that sounds eerily like an outtake purloined from Brian Wilson's aborted "Smile" album....
BILLBOARD Jan. 12, 2002 From Chris Morris' column Declarations of Independents
The writing of catchy, bliss-fully melodic, punchy rock'n'roll songs about heartbreaking girls is an increasingly arcane art, but this Los Angeles quartet seeks to restore it. Anyone who has had a kick out of Fountains of Wayne and its rockin' neo-pop ilk will be enraptured by this economically played and neatly composed slab. In a perfect world (similar to the one that existed in, say, 1966), AM radio programmers would spin tracks like "This Time," "Fall Out," "Her Name" and yell, "That's a hit !""
Amplifier, Jan-Feb 2002 By Rick Schadelbauer
The Andersons, Family Secrets
....the Andersons' repertoire, as most recently evidenced by Family Secrets, goes well beyond "Smoke on the Water" and "Rock and Roll All Night"....and the Andersons' possess three vocalists that can actually sing on key.....creating a pure pop delight such as "Snub," or anything as ethereal as "Apology." And... the emotionally profound melancholy "Falling Out.".....Family Secret's (not-so) hidden bonus track, "A Million Dollars for Christmas," has all of the earmarks of a seasonal classic - save for one Grinch-like use of the f-word.....
LAFM (Los Angeles Film & Music Magazine) By Rick Anthony
Cheerful music in time of need. With the world the way it is we all need something to take our mind off reality. This band delivers the pop happy sounds of yesterday with songs like "This Time" . Moreover, a song that I know should be at number one is "Fall Out", which is destined to be on a movie soundtrack. .....This CD has a clean sound and good feel of today's sound.
Entertainment Today Feb 2002 By David Bash
The Andersons, Family Secrets
The moment you hear the playfully spooky opening licks of the first cut on Family Secrets, you'll know you're in for a treat, as The Andersons are a local band who wrote the book on "fun." On their second album, the guys proffer a passel of good old fashioned, danceable rock 'n' roll tunes that borrow heavily from power pop and psychedelia....If you're a fan of The Smithereens, songs like "Killing Me," "Snub" "Let You Down," and "Ledonia B" are especially for you, while "Everybody Knows That You're The One" takes a page out of the rockabilly handbook and the heavily Eastern influenced "Looking Glass" is delightfully trippy. Other standouts....Bill Andersons' poignant "Falling Out" and Bob Anderson's histrionic tearjerker "Apology."
....every song is a mixed concoction ....it's four parts fun, four parts chutzpah, mixed with sly rock and pop references from the sixties through the nineties, stirred well with energy and talent and topped with a maraschino cherry....14 tracks of exciting studio music, you get welcomed into a multimedia bonus room of the Bamboo Lounge..."Monster" leads off the proceedings, with Susan West serving up an Ann Wilson-ish vocal that will get your Heart thumping..."She May Be Nice" gives us the other sparkle*jets u.k., with Michael Simmons pleasant voice harmonizing nicely with Susan's, in a catchy romantic ditty that steals a wee hook from Kiss (heaven forfend) and still manages to win you over..."Beautiful Girl" lets Simmons show his lounge lizard chops.... Fans of loud punk rock will enjoy "Hate Your Hair"...Fun and talent meet up at the Bamboo Lounge and you get a great musical bang for the buck....
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY May 2002 EW Recommends....
Stew, The Naked Dutch Painter....and Other Songs
The black Burt Bacharach tells well-worn poetic pop tales of dangerous women and innocuous drugs, among othe things. A-
Fun! Exiting! Oh Hell,bordering on brilliant, The Oranges have worked the British pop-rock formula to near perfection with this collection of fourteen songs. These cartoons turned three-dimensional rockers(the transformation occuring pre-Gorillaz)have stumbled upon a fantastic formula with their shameless love of late '60s/early '70s rock via the Bay City Rollers, Hanoi Rocks,Beatles, and most importantry, The Monkees.They wear these lovery influences on their sleeves, which is fine by me, as they emulate them with such flair one can't help but gladly go along for the ride.
Jeff,Robin,Nelo and Pea-they've got a wonderful gimmick going for themselves. Now, Japanese rock can have difficulty catching the public eyes, but provided The Oranges are at forefront of the scene it will only be a matter of time before it catches on.Hey,imagine if these guys were the next Strokes.
As for the album itself, songs such as "Scootering" feature a brilliantly forgivable rip of "Taxman" melody, while the fantastic "Little Rabbit" has pop anthem written all over it. Ridiculously catchy without ever skirting on the possibility of wearing one's nerves. Special mention goes to the strong ballad, "Flower," a tender song exhibiting Jeff's Vocal strengths. All in all,if power pop is young thing, then the Oranges are worth a spin.
I'm not sure if it's really the case here, but Tony Valenziano, the man behind the "Smile" label that makes us do exactly that, could make his A&R-ing pretty easy. The only thing he must do is to give his own albums by The Stand and Smash to the possible signings, and tell them that if they're able to equal them, or even make better ones, they'll have a deal! And since he's managed to gather the cream of today's pop world, you'll realise that his albums are nothing less than genre-classics. The new one by The Stand will be a damn hard thing to equal, so if he really does apply the mentioned method in the future, the label will surely face the crisis because there won't be many new bands signing a deal. The man really has some kinda hypnotic thing about him ... he names his label "Smile", and we smile with every new release ..... he names his album "Replay", and suddenly, all we want to do is push the "replay" button.
The Stand has it all, "raspberry" flavoured melodies hidden behind the characteristic power-chords (Let's get together, Remember you, Damara ...), a million-selling potential of the bubblegum hit that the Bay City Rollers forgot to record on their roll to fame (Not the same), the folk rocking super-jangle, worthy of the works of the late Stringfellow, either on his own or with his Orange Humble self ... Then, there's the "Truth" hidden under the "Turtle" cover, complete with it's sunny vocal-harmmony heaven and the descending She's-my-girl bass line intro, "One love" and "Replay" are nothing but pop-kaleidoscopes with an arrangement-sophistication gone Jellyfishin', and "It doesn't metter anyway" is just a pefect piece of moderndaze Mersey splash. I could really go on like this until I count 'em all, and if there's an album that doesn't need bonus tracks, than this is it, but ........ you still get one .... and what a bonus!!! It's the pumped up version of the Smash original "I don't think I love you anymore" . If you'd ever heard this
and thought that it lacks something, believe me that the new one scratches the boundaries of your wildest imagination. What else you get on the Smash(ing) album is a pop sophistication in the vein of Canada's Brown Eyed Susans, if you know what I mean. Tony's own definition is the best description of the music : "It's not bubblegum, but sweet enough to be that close". Another reminiscing of the Turtle-like happy-go-lucky sunshine harmonies comes with the "Daydream girl", but in spite of this title, the real "Monkee business" you'll experience through "Paper thin". Some more of the USounds follows with the "wilsonian" "Road less travelled", sounding like if "Pet sounds" was recorded in the seventies, and "Play by the rules", with enough hooks to catch the greatest of the "jellyfishes". The other side of the ocean is represented by the Bevoir-like sophistication of "Won't ya" and "Stay", with it's stripped down acoustic arrangement leaving nothing but the beauty of the song itself, as well as "Easier said than done", owing it's sound to the British Sarrah sound, if you imagine it with some extra harmonies. So, if you're in a band, signing with the Smile label is easy. All you have to deliver is a timeless pop classic and you're in the game in no time!
On January 14th, 2003, Image Entertainment/Smile Records released RE-ZOOM - a new and improved version of the Knack's fabulous 1998 CD "ZOOM." There are three bonus tracks: "No Matter What," "Girl's Talk," and a secret bonus track not even listed on the CD. Also included will be a full lyric booklet, original cover art (with slight variations) and many photos. The CD has also been remastered for even BETTER sound than before, but the original mix remains the same.
The Andersons! are happy to announce that one of their songs, "The Truth Is Out" has been selected by the fine folks at The WB for inclusion on the next Dawson's Creek episode.
The show airs this Wednesday, February 5th, on The WB (locally channel 5) @ 8PM
The song is from their first release, "Separated at Birth"
Reviews coming soon!
Kathryn Keats - new CD, "After The Silence" (produced by Tony Valenziano), to be released March 07. More details to follow......