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Diamond reups with Col, Sony

Neil Diamond has signed a new worldwide pact with Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment that will encompass recordings, music publishing and video, the company announced yesterday.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the company said the new pact includes future recordings (a minimum of six, according to Sony) as well as rights to distribute Diamond’s entire back catalog of 25 albums, including his early Bang Records releases and, starting in 1995, the original soundtrack to his film “The Jazz Singer.”

The deal is not believed to be a blockbuster on the order of Madonna or Michael or Janet Jacksons’ and is likely to have a total worth in the range of $ 25 million. Although Diamond remains a top concert attraction, his most recent recorded output has not matched the sales success of such ’60s hits as “Cherry, Cherry” and “Sweet Caroline,” among his many chart-toppers.

Sources said any increases in the pact would likely skew its advances toward catalogs and publishing rather than new releases, for which Diamond allegedly receives in the neighborhood of $ 2.5 million per album in advances.

A worldwide publishing agreement unites Diamond’s domestic and foreign pub rights for the first time. Sony Music Publishing will immediately begin to administer Diamond’s publishing domestically, taking over the rest of the world next January. Information on who currently administers Diamond internationally was not available yesterday.

Diamond’s television specials and long-form home videocassettes, including his recent HBO special, will be distributed by Columbia/Sony Music Video under the deal.

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