New titles due from superstar artists whose last albums collectively sold more than 70 million copies worldwide

LONDON, 17 SEPTEMBER, 2002 — Industry leader Universal Music International unveiled its strongest-ever autumn/winter album release schedule today (17) at the company’s annual international marketing conference in London.

The line-up includes new studio albums by Andrea Bocelli, Bon Jovi, Bond, Mariah Carey, Mark Knopfler, Shaggy and Shania Twain, plus new “best of” sets by U2 and Elton John. Collectively, the last releases by these eight Universal superstar acts sold more than 70 million copies worldwide.

In addition, there will be greatest hits collections by Bjork, Pulp, INXS, the Cranberries and the Lighthouse Family, and an in-concert “best of” album from Lionel Richie.

Also, in October, Universal will embark on the largest-ever Rolling Stones catalogue reissue programme. Twenty-two albums from the band’s signature years (1962-70) with Decca Records will be re-released in the Super Audio CD (SACD) format, marking the first sonic upgrade of this historic catalogue in more than 15 years.

Jorgen Larsen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music International, commented, “This is certainly the strongest fourth-quarter schedule in our company’s history, and probably the strongest that any record company has ever offered for this time of the year. We’re confident that it will be a significant boost for the music market overall, while offering consumers an unbeatable choice of artists and music.”

Universal Music has the music industry’s biggest-selling album worldwide of 2002 so far: Eminem’s The Eminem Show (Interscope). It has sold more than 10 million copies. The soundtrack album from Eminem’s motion-picture debut, 8 Mile, will be released by Universal in October.

“We’ve enjoyed incredible success everywhere with The Eminem Show,” says Max Hole, Senior Vice President of Marketing and A&R at Universal Music International, “and the album continues to sell at a remarkable rate. Now our international marketing team is looking forward to working with the best fourth-quarter release schedule of any company in the industry, and helping our artists to generate the sales they deserve.”

Universal’s key releases for autumn/winter 2002 include:

Bon Jovi’s new album Bounce (Island Def Jam) is released internationally on 23 September 2002. The band’s 8th studio album, Bounce is the follow up to the multi-platinum Crush, which has sold 8 million copies worldwide since its release in 2000.

Shaggy returns with Lucky Day (MCA), released on 28 October 2002. Hot Shot, Shaggy’s 2000 debut for Universal, was the company’s most successful album of 2001, selling 10 million copies to date and also delivering Universal’s two best-selling singles of 2001: It Wasn’t Me (3m) and Angel (2m).

U2 release their highly anticipated The Best Of 1990 – 2000 (Universal / Island UK) on 11 November. The new album builds on the successes of 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind (10.3m) and 1998’s hits set, The Best Of 1980 – 1990 (13.8m).

Shania Twain’s Up (Mercury Nashville) is released on 18 November 2002. Twain’s 1997 album Come On Over has sold more than 34 million copies to date, making it Universal Music’s biggest selling album of all time. It is also the biggest selling album by a female artist in music industry history.

Andrea Bocelli releases his new classical album, Sentimento (Philips), on 4 November 2002. This follows the success of the Italian superstar tenor’s 2001 pop album, Cieli di Toscana (3.7m), and his earlier 1996 title Romanza, which sold 16m copies.

Bond’s Shine (Decca) is issued on 1 October 2002, building on the success of the quartet’s 2000 smash crossover classical debut, Born, which has sold 1.7m worldwide to date.

Mark Knopfler’s new album, Ragpicker’s Dream (Mercury), is released internationally on 30 September 2002. His previous set for the label, Sailing To Philadelphia, was released in 2000 and sold 2.5m copies.

Elton John will release an as yet untitled new greatest hits collection on Mercury on 11 November 2002. It will be his first such anthology for ten years, since 1992’s The Very Best Of Elton John (5m). Elton’s critically acclaimed Songs From The West Coast, released on Mercury in 2001, has also sold 2m to date.

Mariah Carey’s as yet untitled new studio album is set for release internationally on 2 December 2002 through her own label, MonarC Music. Carey, the world’s best-selling female performer of all time with worldwide sales of more than 150 million albums to date, signed to Island Records in May 2002.

Other artists releasing new studio albums during Autumn / Winter 2002 include Beck (23 Sept.), India.Arie (23 Sept.), T.A.T.U. (7 Oct.), Ace Of Base (21 Oct.), Samantha Mumba (28 Oct.), Portishead’s Beth Gibbons (28 Oct), and Ryan Adams (18 Nov.).

All sales figures detailed in this release are to date and worldwide (including the US).

Universal Music International

Universal Music International is a division of Universal Music Group; the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.