Source – Music Week
Universal has lined up a worldwide radio and commercial release date of July 7 for Miracle Worker, the first single from a newly-launched supergroup featuring Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Joss Stone.
Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack composer A R Rahman and reggae artist Damian Marley also feature as part of SuperHeavy, whose eponymous first album is due to be released via Universal’s A&M label on September 19.
Jagger told Music Week, “Dave really wanted to make a record with a different group of musicians; in other words, with different backgrounds of music. Instead of everyone being a rock musician, or basically a blues musician, or some other genre, he wanted to get as many genres together that would fit. I said,
‘It sounds like a good idea.’ I never thought it would actually happen.”
A&M UK managing director Orla Lee, who with her team is co-ordinating the project’s global roll-out, said the unique collection of the artists involved meant the campaign could target a wide range of fans both musically and geographically.
Lee, who also looks after The Rolling Stones for Universal, added, “On paper it maybe shouldn’t work but the combination of their voices together makes it work and when you look at it from a social-networking side
A R Rahman, for example, has 5m Facebook friends and The Rolling Stones 6.4m so you’ve got a truly global project.”
Ahead of the first single’s release, teaser images will roll out this week online and will include the album’s artwork, designed by American artist Shepard Fairey who was behind Barack Obama’s Hope poster for the 2008 US presidential election.
Other activity, including a video for the single, will follow in the run-up to the album’s release.
SuperHeavy brings together Jagger and Stewart for the first time since they worked on the soundtrack to the 2004 remake of the movie Alfie, while Stewart explained to Music Week that Stone was an “obvious” addition to the group. “She’s such an incredible singer and spirit,” he said.
Marley’s involvement was born from Jagger and Stewart’s shared love of Jamaican music. “We’d always wanted a Jamaican musician because Mick and I are crazy about Jamaica and Jamaican music,” said Stewart.
As for Rahman, he ended up in the group as the album began to be recorded in his home city of Los Angeles and they crossed paths with him. “He brings so much musical knowledge, amazing musicianship, melody and singing power from a different culture,” Stewart explained.
In just the first six days together 26 songs were written by the collective, while recording spread from LA to the south of France, Turkey, Miami, the Caribbean and Chennai in India, the locations mirroring the variety of the musical and geographical backgrounds of the five members.
And, despite all those egos in the same studio, Jagger said they found a way of working harmoniously together.
“With five of you everyone has to give and take quite a lot. We tried to understand everyone wouldn’t be too egotistical, start throwing things around the studio, we wouldn’t have fights,” he said.
“We were writing a lot of stuff and throwing it away. I would say, ‘That’s rubbish, another cliché Joss,’ and she’d say, ‘Well, you come up with something then!’”
But what emerged, according to Jagger, was something refreshing for everyone involved. “We’re four vocalists. We’ve never worked like that before. It’s great because the whole burden’s not on you and that made it fun.”