Pair agrees to five-year deal

The BBC will open its vaults for EMI, which will release recordings of EMI artists from the broadcaster’s television and radio archives.

Financial details were not disclosed, but the five-year deal will allow the two companies to partner on television productions, as well as CD and DVD releases and downloads. All EMI artists with the exception of the Beatles are included in the agreement.

One of the first projects on which EMI intends to work involves “Cracked Actor” — a BBC behind-the-scenes documentary of David Bowie’s 1974 Diamond Dogs tour.

EMI and BBC Worldwide are identifying material relating to artists in the EMI family that can be used to create products for global release across multiple platforms. EMI released on Tuesday an expanded version of Jethro Tull’s “This Was” featuring recordings from the BBC vaults.

BBC content has been previously licensed to EMI by artists such as Coldplay, Roxy Music and Depeche Mode. Both companies will receive reciprocal royalties for each other’s sales.

The BBC’s recordings have long had a reputation for being the best recorded and best preserved of any radio broadcasts. Over the years, BBC recordings by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Who, Jimi Hendrix Experience and Queen have been released by various labels.

Deal follows the pact inked last week between Universal Music Group and Wolfgang’s Vault, which owns the tape archives of Bill Graham, the King Biscuit Flower Hour and the Record Plant. UMG will be able to release live albums and tracks from its artists in the archive.

One exception is Hendrix, whose archive is controlled by the Experience Hendrix company. Universal Music is still sorting through the available tapes and determining if the company has or can acquire rights.

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