Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hopeless Romantic:The Best Of Billy Vera & The Beaters

In Stores February 19

Los Angeles, CA – On February 19, Shout! Factory will release Hopeless Romantic: The Best Of Billy Vera & The Beaters, a compilation celebrating Vera’s talent as both singer and songwriter. Produced by Billy Vera, this new compilation includes songs from his albums Billy & The Beaters, the album recorded live at the Roxy in Los Angeles and which included his smash hit “At This Moment,” and Billy Vera, which was recorded at Muscle Shoals, as well as three previously unreleased tracks. Hopeless Romantic is the only current release of the original chart topping version of “At This Moment,” and the first time that version will be available on iTunes.

Born in Riverside, CA, and raised in New York, Vera started out his musical career as a songwriter. His song “Make Me Belong To You” was a hit for Atlantic Records star Barbara Lewis, and Rick Nelson had a hit with Vera’s “Mean Old World.” Vera released two albums on Atlantic himself, and had a series of hits for the label in the 60s.

In 1979 Vera moved from New York to Los Angeles to write songs for Warner Music after Dolly Parton had a #1 hit with his cut “I Really Got The Feeling.” After starting a band with a friend, Vera was playing the Troubadour every Monday night and his became one of the most talked-about bands in town. In 1980 Vera signed a deal with Alfa Records. Vera’s first release on Alfa was Billy & The Beaters, a live recording released in 1981 that included the single “At This Moment.” The song wouldn’t become a hit until 1986, and Alfa shut its doors not long after Vera’s third release.

Richard Foos, then CEO of Rhino and now CEO of Shout! Factory, had formed a friendship with Vera through a mutual friend. After Vera told Foos he was selling out shows every week, Foos agreed to put an album out, thinking they’d be lucky to break even. As Rhino began to license the album, Vera mentioned that the show “Family Ties” had used the song a few months before, generating bags of mail from fans asking where they could buy the song. As luck would have it, the show used the song again about the time that By Request: The Best of Billy Vera & The Beaters came out. The song shot to #1 in Billboard, held the position for two weeks and remained on the charts for approximately five months. “It turns out that the album that we put out as a favor to a great guy became the biggest-selling record in Rhino’s annals, and the only hit single in its entire 30-year history,” says Foos.

“At This Moment” wound up a #1 hit that crossed all boundaries of age and demographics, charting Pop, Country and R&B, and changing my life in the process,” writes Vera in the album’s liner notes. I will always be grateful to Richard for giving me that shot, and now that I own my own masters, the first place I called was his new label, Shout! Factory, to make them available again.” The version of “At This Moment” included on Hopeless Romantic is the original live version that topped the charts after “Family Ties” made it a sensation.

Billy Vera has continued touring with The Beaters, compiled and documented dozens of historical albums, and produced albums for other artists, including four for Lou Rawls, taking the great singer back to #1 on the jazz charts, and reviving his recording career. Their last collaboration was "Rawls Sings Sinatra," released one year prior to Lou’s passing. Vera, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is also an in-demand voice for commercial voiceovers. Artists who have recorded Billy Vera songs include Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, Fats Domino, the Shirelles, Tom Jones, and Etta James. Further biographical information available at www.billyvera.com.

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, Calif. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.

Track Listing:

1. Corner Of The Night (Billy Vera)
2. Someone Will School You, Someone Will Cool You (Billy Vera)
3. Strange Things Happening (Percy Mayfield)
4. I Can Take Care Of Myself (Billy Vera)
5. Millie, Make Some Chili (L. Russell Brown-Billy Vera)
6. At This Moment (Billy Vera)
7. Here Comes The Dawn Again (Billy Vera)
8. I’ll Be There For You (Jeffrey Monday-Cassandra Gaviola-Billy Vera)
9. I Want To Marry You (Billy Vera)
10. I’m All For You (Steve Diamond-Billy Vera)
11. You Own It (Billy Vera)
12. Private Clown (Billy Vera)
13. Once In A Lifetime (Will Do) (Billy Vera)
14. Hopeless Romantic (Billy Vera)

Tracks 1–7 From Billy & The Beaters Alfa album 10001
Produced by Jeff Baxter
Recorded live at The Roxy, Los Angeles, January 1981

Tracks 8–10 are previously unreleased
Produced by Jeff Baxter
Recorded at Cherokee Sound, Los Angeles, July 1981

Track 11 (Alfa single 7020) and Tracks 12–14 From Billy Vera Alfa album 11012
Produced by Jerry Wexler & Jimmy Johnson
Muscle Shoals Sound, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, December 1981

Billy Vera Hopeless Romantic: The Best Of Billy Vera & The Beaters
Release Date: February 19, 2008
Suggested List Price: $11.98

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