You Gotta Move: Stones Roll to New Label
The Rolling Stones have ditched their longtime label, EMI to head for the greener pastures of Universal. I'm sure "greener" is the operative word here, as the move was made with an eye not only on consolidating the Stones' back catalogue, but also positioning them for a future of digital releases. EMI must be shattered, shattered.
Financial details were not disclosed but the move is a major blow to EMI as the rockers still sell about three million units a year from their extensive catalog, which will now be handled by Polydor and its sister Universal companies around the world, along with any new material.
Universal’s agreement covers such landmark albums as “Sticky Fingers,” “Exile On Main St.” and “Black and Blue,” and such global anthems as “Brown Sugar,” “Angie, It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll” and “Start Me Up.”
In a statement, The Stones commented: “Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people. We really look forward to working with them.”
“There is no question that the Rolling Stones are one of the most important bands in music history,” stated Doug Morris, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “Their musical style and off-stage swagger have been emulated by countless others. Having worked closely with them during my days at Atlantic Records, I am thrilled to be reunited with these seminal musicians who have set the bar for all rock bands.”
New recordings will be released via UMG's Polydor label worldwide, putting the distribution of the entire Stones catalog under one roof for the first time. The deal covers both digital and physical distribution, with UMG already working on a long-term strategy to digitize the catalog.