Live Nation In Running For Rolling Stones Archives
March 12, 2008 at 5:35 AM (PT)
LIVE NATION has emerged as a surprise bidder for THE ROLLING STONES back catalogue of hits as the band considers ending its relationship with EMI, reports TIMESONLINE. Classic albums including "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street" generate about £3million a year for EMI, but control over post-1971 recordings will revert to the band in MAY.
Sir MICK JAGGER has already taken the new live album, "Shine A Light," to UNIVERSAL MUSIC, which owns earlier STONES recordings and was believed to be in pole position to secure further rights. But LIVE NATION, which poached MADONNA from WARNER MUSIC in a £60 million deal and produced ROLLING STONES global tours that grossed $1.5 billion (£748 million), is understood to have made a counteroffer.
THE STONES have a long-term relationship with LIVE NATION Chairman MICHAEL COHL, who produced their past five tours, including "A Bigger Bang," the highest-grossing concert series with $437 million in ticket sales. WARNER MUSIC and SONY BMG have also entered discussions over the STONES catalogue. The band has not ruled out a future arrangement with EMI, but is seeking to re-establish its recorded music legacy with a new generation of fans.
GUY HANDS, the EMI boss, has identified exploitation of the label's back catalogue as a major driver of future growth. EMI is expected to make a significant offer to retain the catalogue, which offers opportunities for advertising and film soundtracks. None of the parties involved would comment.