Warner/Chappell pacts for John-Taupin rights

Warner/Chappell Music publishing yesterday announced that it has signed Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin to a long-term worldwide agreement, touting it as the biggest publishing deal ever.

The deal includes the Elton John catalog from 1974 through the present, as well as material from his next six albums.

Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, previous reports have pegged the total package as worth $ 35 million.

Les Bider, chairman/CEO of Warner/Chappell, said the contract was in negotiation since June.

The catalog includes such hits as “Philadelphia Freedom,””Someone Saved My Life Tonight,””Island Girl” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

John records for MCA Records and plans to switch to Polygram after his current deal expires. His latest album, “The One,” hit the Top 20, marking his biggest success in years.

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