BMG to represent Rolling Stones’ publishing post-1983

The Rolling Stones -- from left, Ron Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards -- perform during the final U.S. stop on the group's 50 and Counting Tour in Washington.
(Kevin Mazur / Getty Images )

Berlin music publisher BMG says it has made a publishing and services agreement with the Rolling Stones, marking the first time in 40 years the rock band has appointed an outside music publisher.

This agreement comes as the Stones are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of their first single. On Monday, the band’s 50 and Counting tour wrapped up its U.S. leg, which kicked off in Los Angeles early last month and ended in Washington.

The band this month remastered its catalog for Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

Beginning July 1, BMG will take on publishing for all songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards since 1983, the company said Wednesday.


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Songs from the albums “Dirty Work,” “Steel Wheels,” “Voodoo Lounge,” “Bridges To Babylon” and “A Bigger Bang” will be directly published by BMG. The agreement also covers future compositions.

With the post-1983 work, BMG will handle publishing and services, including revenue collection, marketing and licensing the songs to the film, TV and advertising industries.

BMG will also handle services for Jagger’s and Richards’ shares of their pre-1983 copyrights represented by ABKCO and EMI Music Publishing, which date back to the early ‘60s. That means BMG will deal with the publishers of the pre-1983 work to collect revenue for Jagger and Richards.


“This deal is incredibly important for BMG,” Hartwig Masuch, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Keith and Mick have clearly created one of the most outstanding song collections in rock ‘n’ roll history.”

Universal Music Group recently sold the catalogs of Sanctuary Records and Mute Records to BMG as part of divestitures mandated by the European Commission as a condition of approving Universal’s acquisition of EMI Group.


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