Rolling Stones Leave EMI And Sign With Universal

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Universal, the world’s largest music company, now has bragging rites as the Rolling Stones’ new partners in the music business.  After a 20-year relationship with EMI, the Stones have signed an “exclusive, long-term, worldwide recording agreement,” according to a Universal spokesperson.

image No details were provided regarding the finances of the deal, but I don’t think either the executives at Universal or any of the Stones will have to worry much about a comfortable retirement.

Last year, EMI was acquired by a private equity firm headed by Guy Hands by way of a $6 billion leveraged buyout, and there may be speculation that changes at EMI might have influenced the Stones to move to Universal. Last year EMI also lost their deal with Radiohead and artists Robbie Williams and Coldplay have voiced concern over changes they see at EMI being engineered by Hands.

The Stones had already forged a relationship with Universal which would up being the distributor for the soundtrack from Martin Scorsese’s film Shine A Light.

The Rolling Stones were the top-earning music act for 2007, according to a list compiled by Forbes.com. The group earned a total of $88 million between June of 2006 and June of 2007, most of it from their Bigger Bang Tour.

Universal’s Chief Executive Officer, Doug Morris, had this to say regarding the new deal with the Rolling Stones: “There is no question that the Rolling Stones are one of the most important bands in music history.”

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