STILL HE RISES: Death Row Records will release a new double-CD of unreleased Tupac Shakur songs, Until the End of Time, on March 27. A second double-CD featuring the prolific rapper, who was killed in 1996, is on tap for later this year.
CROWING LIONS: Raucous rockers The Black Crowes will release Lions on May 15 through V2 Records. Their first studio album since By Your Side in early '99, the Don Was-produced Lions was recorded in a converted Yiddish musical theater in New York.
PROGRESS RETURNS: Producer Jeff Lynne's prog-rock crew, Electric Light Orchestra, has finished recording its first studio album since 1986's Balance of Power. Zoom, with ELO's signature soaring pop songs, will hit stores June 12, while the single "Alright" will be sent to radio in May.
TRIPLE THREAT: Three big-name producers shared the control booth on the debut album from The Incredible Moses Leroy. Electric Pocket Radio, a Cornelius-like pop pastiche due April 12, features work from Keith Cleversley (Flaming Lips, Spiritualized), Joey Waronker (Beck, Elliott Smith), and Wally Gagel (Folk Implosion, the Eels).
ISOLATED GUIDANCE: Prolific songwriter Robert Pollard has switched the name of the latest Guided by Voices album from Broadcaster House to Isolation Drills, setting the release date for April 3 on TVT Records. The band's often-changing membership retains guitarists Doug Gillard and Jim McPherson from 1999's Do the Collapse, and Elliott Smith and former GBV member Tobin Sprout make keyboard contributions to the power pop record.
PRODUCTIVE ABSENCE: Britney Spears was noticeably absent from Wednesday night's Grammy Awards. According to USA Today, it's because she was hard at work in Sweden, home of über-producer Max Martin, working on a new album for a November release.
CHEAP SILVER: Cheap Trick will release a two-CD live recording of its 1999 25th anniversary concert in Rockford, Ill. The three-hour set included 29 songs (with at least one from each of the band's albums), as well as guest appearances from Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, Art Alexakis of Everclear, and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.
DURY, R.I.P.: Paul McCartney, Sinéad O'Connor, Robbie Williams, Madness, Billy Bragg, and former Pogues singer Shane McGowan are all set to contribute songs to Brand New Boots and Panties, a tribute album to British rocker Ian Dury, who died of cancer in March 2000. The tribute will be a track-by-track cover of Dury's 1977 album of the same name and is due out April 7 in the United Kingdom on label East Central One.
BLINK MAKES A FUNNY: Southern California pop trio Blink-182 is completing work on its fourth album, according to MTV, and in the time since the band's 1999 breakthrough (Enema of the State), the group has thought up another pun for the title: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. The band is planning to tour in advance of the June 12 release.
BRIT RAP: British hip-hop act Stereo MCs have completed their fourth album and plan to release it May 28 through Island Records in Britain. Deep Down & Dirty, which features a title track as its first single, is the band's first full-length since its 1992 breakthrough, Connected.
ANI'S SONGS: Independent singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco will release a double album, Revelling/Reckoning, on April 10, through her own Righteous Babe Records. The project reportedly began as a triple album but was downsized to this 29-track collection, which includes acoustic songs, spoken-word pieces, instrumentals, and several tracks with a full band. DiFranco will return to the studio in May to record more new material for the missing third disc.
ALL THE COVERS: Ambitious musical movie Moulin Rouge, due out in May, is lining up an eclectic mix of musicians (and actors) for its soundtrack. In addition to the Timbaland-produced Beck cover of David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs," the collection will include the Fatboy Slim song "Because You Can Can-Can;" an Ozzy Osbourne version of "The Sound of Music;" Latin singer Valeria's cover of the 1985 DeBarge hit "Rhythm of the Night;" a Missy Elliott-produced cover of the 1975 hit "Marmalade," with Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera; and Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman teaming on a cover of the R&B tune "Come What May."
QUICK HITS: Electronica producer Si Begg, who recently signed to Novamute, will release a new album under the name S.I. Futures in the fall. Stereophonics expanded the name of their upcoming April album from J.E.E.P. to Just Enough Education to Perform to avoid offending auto maker Chrysler, which says it owns the copyright to that word. Kylie Minogue reportedly recorded a song with little-known Australian trio Gerling, which will release an album in May. Iggy Pop has completed work on a self-produced, 15-song album titled Beat 'Em Up, due later in spring.
For a comprehensive list of CDs due in the next few weeks, check Wall of Sound's Release Dates.