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SMALL FACES

April 25, 1993

Citing exhaustion, Alice in Chains canceled the last five shows of its U.S. tour last week, plus a scheduled Farm Aid appearance this weekend. Sources close to the band say that this will not jeopardize the band's plans to be on the "Lollapalooza '93" tour starting in June. . . .

Debbie Harry has been working on a song with R.E.M., possibly for use on her upcoming album, "Communion." The title track apparently raised an eyebrow or two for its use of lines from the Catholic communion ceremony in a love context, but one Warner Bros. Records employee reportedly ran the lyrics by his monsignor, who gave it his OK. . . .

Madonna makes a guest background vocal appearance on "Queen's English," a dance song by the duo of Jose & Luis, who were dancers on her "Truth or Dare" tour. The song will be featured on "New Faces," an album compiling songs by the duo and three other dance-oriented new signings to Sire Records. . . . "Queen's English" will also be on "Boys United," a Sire compilation of singles and remixes available only as a premium for new subscribers to the gay-oriented magazine Genre. Other tracks on the package include a Spanish version of Erasure's "Love to Hate You," Belly's recording of the old Tom Jones hit "It's Not Unusual" and the band the Waterlillies doing the Helen Reddy anthem "I Am Woman." . . .

The soundtrack to "Last Action Hero," the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger adventure, is shaping up into a hard-rock feast. Def Leppard, AC/DC, Anthrax, Megadeth and Tesla all contributed new songs, as did grunge band Alice in Chains and rap's Cypress Hill. The album is due June 1, about three weeks before the movie hits the screens. . . .

An alternative supergroup has formed to do the music for "Back Beat," a film about early Beatles member Stuart Sutcliffe. Playing on the tracks will be Gumball's Don Fleming, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner is lined up to do the Paul McCartney vocals. . . .

Chuck D. and Public Enemy are in the studio now cutting tracks, but they're not expected to complete an album before early '94. . . . MC Lyte, arguably the most respected female rapper next to Queen Latifah, is scheduled to have an album out June 15. . . .

Mariah Carey's album will be out in August, a few months earlier than originally planned. Carey and Tommy Mottola (her steady companion and, incidentally, the head of her record company, Columbia) have just announced their engagement.

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