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MCA Music Entertainment Group Reaches No. 1 in Current Album Market Share; Uni Distribution Experiences Largest Sales Month Ever

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- MCA Music Entertainment Group reached the number one position for current weekly album market share, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the appointment of Doug Morris as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Uni Distribution has already achieved its largest sales month in the history of the company in November.

For the week ending November 10, 1996, MCA Music Entertainment Group's market share of current albums was over 20%. This represents a growth from last place in the first week of January 1996 (8.42%) to the number one position.

Driving MCA Music Entertainment Group's success are a series of top- selling hit albums including New Edition's "Home Again" (MCA Records); No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" (Trauma/Interscope); Counting Crows' "Recovering the Satellites" (DGC); Nirvana's "From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah" (DGC); Makaveli's (2 Pac) "The Don Killumati-7 Day Theory" (Death Row); BLACKstreet's "Another Level" (Interscope); and Reba McEntire's "What If It's You" (MCA Records Nashville).

Additional releases which are expected to bolster sales in coming weeks include Snoop Doggy Dogg (Death Row), Bush (Trauma/Interscope), and Dr. Dre's compilation album (Aftermath/Interscope). Other important releases coming in the first quarter of 1997 are Mary J. Blige (MCA Records), Live (Radioactive/MCA Records), and Veruca Salt (Outpost).

"When I joined MCA last year, we dedicated ourselves to building the music company of the future," said Mr. Morris. "I feel that we have made significant strides forward in achieving that goal and we now have some of the most talented executives and artists within the MCA family. We are extremely proud and excited about reaching the No. 1 position."

These results come after a full year of rapid change and movement within the MCA Music Entertainment Group under the auspices of Mr. Morris, who assumed his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MCA Music Entertainment Group in November 1995 along with Mel Lewinter as Vice Chairman. Mr. Morris quickly restructured the company with a series of important appointments of leading music executives including Zach Horowitz, President, MCA Music Entertainment Group; Jay Boberg, President, MCA Records; Ken Wilson, President, Black Music, MCA Records; Daniel Glass, President, Universal Records; Jean Riggins, President, Black Music, Universal Records; Jocelyn Cooper-Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Special Assistant to the Chairman, MCA Music Entertainment Group; Henry Droz, President, Uni Distribution; Jim Urie, Executive Vice President/General Manager, Uni Distribution; and David Renzer, President, MCA Music Publishing.

Under Mr. Morris, MCA Music Entertainment Group also acquired 50% of Interscope Records, one of the most successful labels in the record business. Run by Ted Field and Jimmy Iovine, Interscope and its distributed labels have achieved success with No Doubt, BLACKstreet, Marilyn Manson, The Wallflowers, and 2 Pac.

Mr. Morris additionally established Universal Records as a new full- service label representing a significant East Coast presence for MCA. In its first year, Universal has already achieved success with two gold albums (Lost

Boyz' "Legal Drug Money" and Crucial Conflict's "The Final Tic") and two gold singles (Uptown artist Monifah's "You" and "Hay" by Crucial Conflict). Merrill Bainbridge's single "Mouth" has also been a major chart hit.

Rising Tide Nashville was also established this year under the direction of President Ken Levitan. This label augments MCA's dominance within the country music field, led by MCA Records Nashville under Chairman Bruce Hinton and President Tony Brown. MCA Nashville maintains its position as the number one country label with a roster that includes superstars such as Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Wynonna (Curb/MCA), and Trisha Yearwood. Current country album chart successes include George Strait's "Blue Clear Sky" which is approaching double Platinum and his boxed set "Strait Out Of The Box," nearing quadruple Platinum (the largest selling Country boxed set ever). Reba's much anticipated release, "What If It's You," entered the Country Album chart at No. 2 and the Pop Album chart at No. 15. Within the past year, MCA Nashville has been the leader with the most No. 1 singles. Currently, two of the Top 5 Country singles are George Strait's "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" and Reba McEntire's "The Fear Of Being Alone." Decca Records has emerged as an important and separate A&R source with artists such as Mark Chesnutt, Rhett Akins, and the fast-rising Gary Allan, adding meaningfully to MCA Record Nashville's overall market share.

A revitalized MCA Records under President Jay Boberg has resulted in enormous success with New Edition's "Home Again" which debuted at No. 1 and included the hit singles, "Hit Me Off" (No. 1 R&B; Top 5 Pop) and "I'm Still In Love With You" (No. 7 R&B; Top 20 Pop). MCA Records has also garnered Gold status with Sublime's "Sublime" and Elton John's "Love Songs." Additionally, MCA Records has achieved success with releases by Patti LaBelle, Al Green, The Heads (Radioactive), K-Ci & JoJo of Jodeci (featured on the "Bulletproof" soundtrack), Lyle Lovett (Curb), and The Funky Green Dogs (Twisted).

Geffen and DGC Records, under Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Rosenblatt, significantly contributed to the string of hit albums with two recent No. 1 albums: the Counting Crows' "Recovering the Satellites" and Nirvana's much-awaited "From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah." Additionally, Geffen has achieved success with such releases as Beck (DGC), Garbage (Almo Sounds), the original Broadway cast recording of "Rent" (DreamWorks), White Zombie (Geffen), George Michael (DreamWorks), Weezer (DGC), and the Beavis & Butthead soundtrack (Geffen).

The GRP Recording Company, led by Tommy LiPuma, remained consistent with its reputation as the industry's leading Contemporary Jazz label with George Benson's hit album "That's Right" (No. 1 Contemporary Jazz). GRP has enjoyed chart success with Acoustic Alchemy's "Arcanum," Larry Carlton's "The Gift," and Michael Brecker's "Tales From The Hudson." Critically-acclaimed Diana Krall's "All For You" has remained on the Jazz charts for over 30 consecutive weeks.

The MCA Music Entertainment Group encompasses MCA Records, MCA Records Nashville, GRP Recording Company, Geffen Records, Universal Records, Rising Tide/Nashville, Interscope Records, Hip-O Records, Uni Distribution, MCA Music Entertainment International, MCA Music Publishing, and MCA Entertainment Services.

MCA INC. is a unit of The Seagram Company Ltd., a global beverage and entertainment company.

SOURCE MCA Music Entertainment
 -0- 11/19/96

/CONTACT: Bob Bernstein of MCA Music Entertainment Group, 818-777-0589; or Ken Sunshine or Peter LoFrumento of Sunshine Consultants, 212-621-6027/

CO: MCA Music Entertainment ST: California IN: ENT SU:

SK-DP -- LATU053 -- 4069 11/19/96 14:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1996
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