Maxwell Enters Billboard Top 200 at #1 With Long-Awaited New Album BLACKsummers'night
Sony Columbia Records - 07/15/2009
Modern R&B and soul master Maxwell is entering the Billboard Top 200 at #1 this week with his long-awaited fourth studio album, BLACKsummers'night, one of the year's most heavily-anticipated event records.
With first week's sales of 316,499, according to SoundScan, BLACKsummers'night is enjoying the highest debut sales week, and best overall sales week of Maxwell's career. BLACKsummers'night is #1 on the SoundScan Album Retailer chart and is #1 on the Current R&B chart.
Released on Tuesday, July 7, on CD and in a Limited Edition Deluxe CD/DVD set, BLACKsummers'night is the first full-length Maxwell release since Now, his critically-acclaimed third studio album, also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 in August 2001.
Maxwell recently returned to the top of the nation's singles charts when "Pretty Wings," the first single from BLACKsummers'night, rocketed to the #1 slot on America's Urban Adult radio stations less than eight weeks after its release after completing an earlier run as the nation's #1 Greatest Gainer/Most-Added song at the Urban Mainstream format. "Pretty Wings" has spent four weeks in the #1 slot of Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart, where it's closely followed by "Cold," another single from BLACKsummers'night.
Each a chart-topper on iTunes, BLACKsummers'night reached #1 on the iTunes R&B Albums chart while "Pretty Wings" hit #1 on the iTunes R&B Singles chart.
"Bad Habits," the lead track and second single from BLACKsummers'night, is the nation's #1 Most Added song at Urban Adult radio according to Mediabase, the music industry's first mass-airplay monitoring service.
BLACKsummers'night is the sensuous opening installment of the artist's monumental BLACKSUMMERS'NIGHT trilogy. (The trilogy's subsequent chapters, blackSUMMERS'night and blacksummers'NIGHT, are slated for release in 2010 and 2011 respectively.)
BLACKsummers'night reunites Maxwell with long-time collaborator Hod David, who serves as co-producer and co-writer of the album. Striving for an emotional authenticity and real world sound for the album, Maxwell and Hod recorded the entire album live in the studio with an a-list ensemble of elegantly sympathetic musicians.
Advance word from the press on BLACKsummers'night has been ecstatic:
"Grittier, more grown-up, and more experimental with an album of soulfulness and substance." - Jon Pareles, The New York Times
"His mostly laid-back music remains potent, mixing introspection, melancholy, and desire."- Chris Farley, Wall Street Journal
"BLACKsummers'night finds Maxwell smoothly picking up where he left off, his moves familiar yet still irresistible. Silky vocals ... make this one exquisite listening experience. What the hell have people been making love to since Maxwell went away?" - Chuck Arnold, People
"A powerful dose of heartbroken soul" - Simon Vozick-Levinson, Entertainment Weekly
"BLACKsummers'night reminds you why Maxwell is the premiere R&B vocalist of his generation." - Ken Capobianco, Boston Globe
"BLACKsummers'night evokes the complex late '70s albums of Marvin Gaye, when the singer was making his most deeply personal music" - Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
"Few modern singers put so much soul and feeling into such righteous grooves"- Matt Pais, Metromix
Maxwell is currently on the road with a major North American tour in support of BLACKsummers'night.
"Wednesday ... was the right time (and) DeVos Performance Hall was the right place," wrote Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk in his review of Maxwell's tour opening concert The Grand Rapids Press:
"...The DeVos Hall audience was primed and ready to sing along, and at length, on songs such as '... Til the Cops Come Knockin' plus several more hits, including an a cappella version of 'Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)' ... the audience erupted for his opening song, 'Get to Know Ya'... The cheers were even bigger with the opening notes of 'Fortunate,' his biggest hit ... Grand Rapids, in short, showered the soul singer with love."
Maxwell - BLACKsummers'night North American Tour - Summer 2009 Wed-Jul-15 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre Thu-Jul-16 Cleveland, OH Allen Theatre Sat-Jul-18 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Sun-Jul-19 Buffalo, NY Sheas PAC Tue-Jul-21 Albany, NY The Palace Wed-Jul-22 New Jersey NJPAC Fri-Jul-24 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Sat-Jul-25 Foxwoods Foxwoods Mon-Jul-27 Norfolk, VA Chrysler Hall Tue-Jul-28 Savannah, GA Johnny Mercer Thu-Jul-30 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall Fri-Jul-31 Miami, FL Waterfront Theatre at the American Airlines Arena Additional tour dates & information TBA
Maxwell began redefining classic soul music for a new generation with the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, in April 1996. Fueled in part by the RIAA gold single, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)," the Grammy-nominated Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was certified platinum in March 1997, less than a year after its release, and achieved double platinum status, in recognition of sales of more than 2 million copies in the US alone, in 2002. Maxwell followed up with his MTV Unplugged EP, released in July 1997 and certified gold in September 1999. His second full-length album, Embrya, was released in June 1998 and certified platinum in May 1999. Another Maxwell single, the hit "Fortunate," was certified gold in June 1999. His third studio album, Now, entered the Billboard 200 at #1 in August 2001. To date, Maxwell has achieved 10 gold and platinum certifications from the RIAA for his albums and singles.
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First Call Analyst:
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