Copyright 1999 The Times Mirror Company

Los Angeles Times

September 5, 1999, Sunday, Home Edition


SECTION: Calendar; Page 60; Music;

LENGTH: 356 words

HEADLINE: POP EYE:  Aimee Mann's Post-Interscope Future Blossoming



Aimee Mann has more critical acclaim than record sales, but now two albums featuring the singer-songwriter's music have been stirring a buzz in the music business.
     Her still-unreleased "Bachelor No. 2" was in the spotlight earlier this year when it was held up in the Universal Music Group restructuring that saw the label she was signed to, Geffen Records, absorbed by Interscope Records. The Interscope team asked her to do more work on the album, she refused, and after some negotiations she was allowed to become a free agent.
     Now a second Mann-related album is floating around as well, and it ranks among the most coveted projects in the business: the soundtrack to director Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film "Magnolia," a story that was actually built around the seven Mann songs it features.
     That album was also supposed to be released by Interscope, but the company decided recently to let it go. Now, according to sources close to the film (which will open Dec. 25), it appears headed to Warner Bros. Records and the label's soundtracks vice president, Danny Bramson. He's on a major hot streak that includes the multimillion-selling "City of Angels," the still-hot "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (an album he co-produced for Maverick Records with that company's Guy Oseary) and the much discussed Stanley Kubrick swan song, "Eyes Wide Shut."
     "I know the album is going to be great and Paul is a genius, and it was the biggest disappointment of my career to not be able to do it," says Karyn Rachtman, Interscope's vice president of soundtracks, whose credits include influential hits with "Bulworth" and "Pulp Fiction," as well as "Boogie Nights," Anderson's last film. "We had this record. But it was right during the merger, and people above me determined that we could not release it."
     Interscope officials declined to comment, but a source close to the project says the label felt it had too many soundtrack projects coming up--including the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "End of Days," a "Celebrity Deathmatch" album and the next Baz Luhrmann film. Deciding it couldn't do justice to all of them, the company let Mann's go.
     As for her own album, Mann and her manager, Michael Hausman, are planning to release it through their own Superego Records, with deals for distribution currently in negotiation. In the meantime, though, they've printed 2,500 copies of a seven-song preview EP that Mann will sell at upcoming concerts and can also be ordered by mail. For information, e-mail
     "We're talking to some major labels," says Hausman of the full album's release. "But having been through all that, there are some basics we need. We'll retain ownership of the master tapes, so any deal would be for licensing. The best thing that's come of this is that Aimee is excited about her career again."