Friday, July 25, 2008

EMI Stoned No More : The Rolling Stones Leave Label After Over 20 Years

After months of speculation, The Rolling Stones have left EMI for Universal Music Group. UMG said that the new deal with the Stones covers a portion of their back catalog and any future releases. The agreement gives the Polydor imprint any new records from the band, along with full digital and physical rights to releases. The deal also puts the distribution rights for the entire Stones catalog in one place for the first time. UMG already had distribution rights to the band's early catalog, up to 1970. The new agreement now includes everything from 1971's Sticky Fingers onward.

In a statement, the Stones said, "Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people. We really look forward to working with them." In March, UMG released the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese Stones documentary Shine A Light in a one-off deal.

UMG said in a statement that it "will begin planning an unprecedented, long-term campaign to reposition the Rolling Stones' entire catalogue for the digital age." UMG CEO Doug Morris added, "There is no question that the Rolling Stones are one of the most important bands in music history."

Reuters reports that Live Nation also tried to add the Stones to their growing roster of exclusive artists.

In related news, happy birthday to Mick Jagger, who turns 65 tomorrow (July 26).

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