Rolling Stones Sign Album Deal With Universal

By Rich King on January 16, 2008

Keith Richards Rolling Stones picture

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The Rolling Stones announced a one-album deal with Universal Music on Thursday, creating much speculation as the band's current contract with EMI is about to expire this year.

The agreement with Universal is just for the soundtrack album to "Shine a Light," the live performance documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. The album is due for release in March.

"The band are looking forward to working with Universal Music and are excited about this new venture," said a Stones spokesman in a statement.

Many are already speculating that the deal may signal an end to the legendary band's relationship with EMI, which has fallen on hard times of late. Paul McCartney and Radiohead, two of its biggest acts, have left in the past year, while others, including Coldplay, have expressed concerns with the label.

There has been some speculation that the Stones may be interested in signing with Live Nation's new Artist Nation entity, which would extend their longtime relationship with promoter Michael Cohl, who serves as the head of Artist Nation.

"Shine A Light" is a compilation of two live Rolling Stones concerts at New York's Beacon Theatre in 2006, including special guest performances from Christina Aguilera, White Stripes frontman Jack White and blues legend Buddy Guy.

The documentary also features rare archival scenes and more recent behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

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