BMG to Rep Jagger-Richards Songs

Mick Jagger Keith Richards
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Stones catalog one of the most heavily licensed in the biz

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have pacted with BMG for representation of their interests in the Rolling Stones’ publishing catalog.

As of July 1, the music unit of German media giant Bertelsmann will publish all Jagger-Richards songs since 1983, marking the first time in 40 years that the Stones have appointed an outside music publisher.

Additionally, BMG will track income for Richards and Jagger’s shares of their pre-1983 copyrights, which are held by ABKCO (1963-1971) and EMI Music Publishing (1971-1983). ABKCO also controls the masters for the Stones’ ’63-’71 work.

BMG’s responsibilities will include marketing and licensing the post-’83 Jagger-Richards tunes for film, TV and advertising and handling collections in the digital realm.

Currently in the midst of a 50th-anniversary tour, the Stones have penned some of the timeless songs in the rock canon, including “Satisfaction,” “As Tears Go By,” “Sympathy For the Devil,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Wild Horses,” “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Start Me Up.”

Post-’83 numbers to be published by BMG include “Mixed Emotions,” “Almost Hear You Sigh,” “Slipping Away,” “You Got Me Rocking,” “Love is Strong” and last year’s “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot.” The company will rep songs from the albums “Dirty Work” (1986), “Steel Wheels” (1989), “Voodoo Lounge” (1994), “Bridges to Babylon” (1997) and “A Bigger Bang” (2005).

The Stones song catalog remains one of the most heavily licensed in the biz. The band’s original tunes have been used in such recent pics as “White House Down,” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” “Argo,” “Flight” and “Not Fade Away” and TV series including “Divorce,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Criminal Minds” and “Californication.”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch – who began his music career in the Ramblers, a German band that covered early Stones songs – heralded the new relationship in a statement.

“This deal is incredibly important for BMG,” he said. “Keith and Mick have clearly created one of the most outstanding song collections in rock ‘n’ roll history. They have not only created the soundtrack of all of our lives, they have been a dynamic and constant force for cultural change. They could sign to any company they wanted to. The fact that they have chosen to sign with BMG is a significant vote of confidence in our team and in our creative and administration services.”

Agreement was announced on the eve of the Stones’ June 29 appearance at the U.K.’s giant Glastonbury Festival and July 6 and 13 dates in London’s Hyde Park.

In other news from BMG, the company said Tuesday that INGrooves would handle digital and physical marketing, sales, manufacturing and distribution for the recently acquired Mute and Sanctuary label catalogs in the U.S. and Canada, while PIAS will provide the same services for the rest of the world.

Universal Music Group will continue to exploit the 19 Black Sabbath albums acquired with Sanctuary until the end of March 2014, while Sony Music Entertainment will handle the Depeche Mode catalog BMG bought with Mute.

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    1. Joe Smart says:

      I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of demand for those post 1983 numbers. The writer of this piece couldn’t even come up with any memorable ones to use as examples.

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