PICTURE THIS: Houston Gets Interactive On Arista DVD; Baker & Taylor Forms
Web Division (Billboard May 20, 2000)
INTERACTIVE WHITNEY: Having gotten its feet wet in the DVD market with releases from Britney Spears, "N Sync, and others, BMG Entertainment is pulling out all the stops for "Whitney-The Greatest Hits."
Priced at $24.98, the title will be released on Tuesday (16), day and date with Whitney Houston's 15-year Arista Records career retrospective, also titled "Whitney-The Greatest Hits."
The two-CD set features 36 songs; a four-record vinyl boxed set, titled "Whitney-The Unreleased Mixes," is also available.
In addition to the audio tracks, the DVD features 23 videos, rare performances such as her TV debut on "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1985, and behind-the-scenes footage from the "Greatest Hits" album photo shoot.
Another feature is performances from various concert and TV appearances, including her 1989 Grammy performance of "One Moment In Time"; two versions of "My Love Is Your Love," from "The Making Of The Album" and from her 1999 Mannheim, Germany, concert; and her rendition of "Impossible" from the Disney TV movie "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella."
While the DVD is packed with material, BMG is most proud of its interactive menus that feature Houston introducing many of the segments.
"We think we have the first DVD where the artist comes out and talks to you," says BMG senior VP of creative services Ken Levy. "It was shot especially for the DVD."
Levy says Houston acts as the viewer's guide through the disc and provides commentary about what the viewer is about to see. Production of the disc began only in January and was "put together pretty quickly," Levy says.
"When we saw the magnitude of the tracks, we wanted it to be different," he says. This is the first disc that BMG has created in-house; it features an interview with outgoing Arista Records founder and president Clive Davis, who signed Houston.
More Houston performances will be seen on the "Arista Records Anniversary Celebration," which airs Monday (15) on NBC and will be released June 6 on DVD. The label, which is distributed by BMG, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
NEWSFILE: 12 MAY 2000
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