Rolling Stones sign deal with Universal
This deal is likely to trigger speculation that the Stones may leave their long-term label EMI, following on from other big names like Radiohead and Sir Paul McCartney.
The Rolling Stones have signed a one-album deal with Universal Music as they approach the end of their current contract with EMI, which is understood to expire this year.
The band's worldwide deal with Universal is just for the soundtrack album to "Shine a Light," the live performance movie directed by Martin Scorsese. The album is due for release in March in physical and digital formats; the U.K. label will be Polydor.
"We are really proud to be working with The Rolling Stones and so is everybody in Universal Music globally," said UMG International chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge.
The "Shine a Light" movie, due for international release in cinemas in April, was shot at New York's Beacon Theatre in the fall 2006, when the band performed with special guests Buddy Guy, White Stripes' Jack White and Christine Aguilera. The film also features rare archive footage.
EMI declined to comment on why they are not releasing the album, but a spokeswoman told Billboard that EMI/Virgin continues to have a relationship with the band. EMI declined to comment on when the deal expires.
However, it raises the question of whether EMI/Virgin will continue to release the band's post-1971 catalog and future releases once their current agreement ends, which Billboard understands will be in the spring.