An East-West rap summit has just taken place in L.A., with Joseph Simmons (Run of New York-based Run-DMC) recording with young Angeleno hip-hop star Paperboy. The session is for a song scheduled to be on Paperboy's next album. . . .
Isaac Hayes, the shaved-headed musician best known for his '70s funk landmark "Theme From Shaft," is planning a comeback--and returning to his roots. Hayes, who first made his name as a writer and producer with Memphis' Stax/Volt hit factory (he co-wrote Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" among many others), has signed a deal with Virgin Records' PointBlank blues label and will record in Memphis with members of the old Stax house band.
The Spin Doctors will tour this summer to promote their new album, due in mid June. . ."Stairways to Heaven," due Aug. 16 from Atlantic Records, features 12 versions of the classic song recorded by a diverse selection of Australian acts, including the Sydney Philharmonic Choir. . . .
Dutch alternative band Bettie Serveert is finishing an album due in the fall, with recording taking place in New York, New Orleans and London as well as in Amsterdam. . . . Bruce McCollough, a member of the Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall, is recording a music album for Atlantic. His material is being described as a cross between Beck and monologuist Spalding Gray. . . .
"Exiled in the Land of the Free," a compilation album benefiting the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, will be released this fall by Relativity Records. It includes songs from Rage Against the Machine, Cry of Love, Helmet, Lucy's Fur Coat and Superchunk. . . .
Living Colour is doing a version of the old Cream tune "Sunshine of Your Love" for the soundtrack of "True Lies," the Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie due next month. . .RuPaul has been in the studio working on tracks for an album tentatively scheduled for late in the year. . . .
Motown has a five-disc Temptations box-set anthology, featuring several new songs and previously unreleased tracks, scheduled for August. . . . A three-CD Elmore James box set is due from Virgin on June 14, drawing from the late blues great's recordings for the Flair label.*