Copyright 1999 Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone Magazine

March 5, 1999

WORD COUNT: 391 words
SECTION: Random Notes
BYLINE: Eric Boehlert

TITLE: Stand By Your Mann: Aimee Mann survives label upheaval, gears up for banner year


Aimee Mann recently received some good career news: she still has a home at the newly merged Universal Music Group. Mann had been signed to Geffen, which was drastically downsized during the Universal's $10.4 billion merger with Polygram. And with more than two hundred acts expected to be dropped in coming months from labels such as Geffen, A&M, Mercury and others, Mann, a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter who does not typically top the sales charts, was just one of many anxious artists wondering if they'd make the cut.

But according to the singer's manager Michael Hausman, Mann has been told her next record, tentatively titled Bachelor Number Two, will be released by Universal's Interscope Records, sometime this spring. "It was a little frustrating because they didn't come right out and say, 'You guys are in,'" says Hausman. "Finally they said, 'Don't you get it? We only told people who are dropped, not people who are staying with us.'"

Mann, the former lead singer of the Eighties group 'Til Tuesday, is particularly relieved since she's in the final stages of completing her new record. If she had been dropped, Mann might have had to buy back the record from her label, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Plus, Mann has already gone through one label trauma in her career. Her 1995 album, I'm With Stupid, was recorded for Imago Records, but the company folded before the record could be released. After much legal wrangling Geffen finally issued the album.

Helping Mann's case at Universal was the fact that her A&R rep at Geffen, Jim Barber, was also picked up by Interscope, which meant Mann had an additional ally inside the company. Also, Mann is working on the soundtrack to an upcoming movie from box office champ Tom Cruise, which no doubt interested Interscope. The film, Magnolia, is being directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who won acclaim for 1997's Boogie Nights. According to Hausman, the plan now is for approximately eight new Mann songs to be featured in the drama/comedy, set in the Valley outside Los Angeles. The movie will be released either late this year or early in 2000.

For Mann, who's also scheduled to hit the road this summer with Lilith Fair, this potentially tumultuous year is suddenly shaping up as one to remember. Says Hausman, "Things are looking good."

(March 5, 1999)