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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Starbucks jumps on music trend
The Rolling Stones
Each Rolling Stone chose four tracks for their CD

The Rolling Stones and Sheryl Crow have compiled CDs with their favourite tracks on for Starbucks-backed company Hear Music.

The CDs will go on sale to the public at the popular coffee chain before being made available to other retail outfits a few days later.

Other musicians taking part in the Artist's Choice series include Ray Charles, Tony Bennett and Lucinda Williams with future compilations from BB King and Johnny Cash.

The idea came from Hear Music's founder Don MacKinnon, who sold his retail chain to Starbucks in 1999.

"It needs to feel like when you're sitting in the living room and a friend says, 'I know you like Billie Holiday but have a listen to this,'" says MacKinnon.

The musicians involved in the project have to explain their choices on the inside of the CD cover.

The Rolling Stones had some disagreement over what to include, with each member picking four tracks each.

Starbucks coffee shop
The Starbucks chain is a global success
"Charlie Watts said, 'I can't believe there's no Chuck Berry track on it. Where would Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards) be without Chuck Berry?'", recalls MacKinnon.

Jagger, who's choices included Sade's By Your Side, told MacKinnon: "I did notice that I was the only one who picked anything remotely new."

Crow chose popular artists such as Elton John, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Squeeze and Crowded House for her CD.

"I always listen to music and enjoy it for what it is, but I also listen to it for what I can learn, to better my game," said the pop singer.

MacKinnon has to get permission to use the songs from the chosen artists which can be difficult but some are flattered to be asked.

Bob Dylan was persuaded to allow the use of Don't Think Twice, It's Alright when he heard that Sheryl Crow had selected it.

Ray Charles and Tony Bennett chose mostly classic tracks.

Bennett said it was a good opportunity to put music from Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George and Ira Gershwin back in the spotlight.

Compilation albums are increasingly popular with music-buyers.

Pop icon Morrissey recently released a CD with his favourite tracks on called Under the Influence.

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