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Email bulletin to prepare Epic/Sony Music employees for the release of Scarlet's Walk
From: D. Curtis at Sony Music Distribution
To: all Epic/Sony Music employees
Date: September 6, 2002
Subject: Scarlet Fever
Sometimes the groundbreaking albums don't just sound great, they feel right. I don't know about you, but to me, "Scarlet's Walk," the Epic debut from Tori Amos just feels right.
From my dark past in the bowels of retail, I remember seeing her perform in a hotel suite with just an electric keyboard for about 20 people in Boston in advance of her first album -- and being blown away by the strength of her songs, the depth and insight of her lyrics, her riveting live performance and the incredible emotional force of just who she is. Those of you had a chance to spend some time with her on the recent showcase shows around the country know what I'm referring to -- her personal style and artistic vision are undeniably powerful.
"Scarlet's Walk" is not just another Tori album -- although that alone would be noteworthy. This is the album that has the potential to be one of those career breakthrough albums, artistically and commercially: think U2's "Joshua Tree," Sarah McLachlan's "Surfacing," Billy Joel's "The Stranger," etc. And this is building on a massive and established base -- the millions of albums that Tori has already sold and the hundreds of thousands of Tori fans waiting for this new music.
The buzz on this album at retail and radio is enormous and her fan sites are already going crazy. In 3 days, over a quarter million people have sampled "fairytale" on AOL's "First Listen" feature beating out Coldplay and a number of other high profile artists.
Tori's last album -- an album of cover songs -- got no support from Atlantic and was released one week after September 11 last year: it scanned over 110,000 copies the first week. Her double live album sold 112,000 units the first week out in September of 1999. Her last album of original studio material -- "Choirgirl Hotel" -- scanned over 150,000 units the first week of 1998 and went on to sell 750,000 units with virtually no radio play or video support.
Epic's setup on "Scarlet's Walk" is sensational -- and the album doesn't even street for another 7 weeks (on October 29). Retail, press and radio geeks -- and fans -- who have heard some of the advance music are elated. Alternative and rock stations that haven't played a Tori Amos album in years are on board. Music and lifestyle press are calling looking for interviews, features and covers. The whole rollout that's set for the coming weeks will make sure that all the bases will be covered... and then some.
I'm not going to detail all of the major events that will be set for the release of this album -- you'll hear about them soon enough from your Epic folk -- but just know that Epic is treating this release as an A1 top priority. The potential for multi-platinum sales is definitely there -- as I said, you can just feel it with this project. Let's make sure that our accounts are aware and excited about what is building here... and the sales potential ahead.
Based on her history, the strength of this album and Epic's pre-release setup, Tori has the potential to easily scan 200,000 units the first week out. One element that is going to push that number is the special edition package that's coming for "Scarlet's Walk." This 2498 series release has a bonus DVD with special audio and video goodies, lots of "Polaroid" type photos of Tori, collectable stickers and a fold-out map of the US with "Scarlet's Walk" details (lyrics on the flip) -- and a ConnecteD element unique to this package that will unlock even more special web features. We've seen the response to these special edition packages before -- trust me, this one sets the standard for excellence.
As you get ready to solicit, promote and market "Scarlet's Walk," you will hear more from your Epic regionals about the plan for this album -- the tour, the virtual in-store, the TV performances, etc. As a fan, the quality of this music makes me realize that Tori is at the top of her fame in songwriting and performance. As a Sony Music company weasel, I also see the enormous sales potential ahead for Tori, Epic and Sony Music. This is one of those special ones, folks -- and we need to make sure that everything that we can do to maximize sales is done.
Bill and Steve will be telling many of you more on Tuesday's conference call...
Have a great weekend...
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