The release Tuesday of the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger pic “End of Days” will be the first high-profile disc from the revived Geffen Records and will likely set the musical tone for the label under Jordan Schur, who has been named its prexy.
The nod to Schur had been expected (Daily Variety, June 18) and comes as Schur’s highly successful Flip Records spent the last two years at the forefront of the music industry’s rock resurgence with marquee act Limp Bizkit.
As part of the multi-year deal, the thirtysomething Schur will retain ownership of Flip while running the L.A.-based Geffen.
The indie label chief has deals in place at several competing congloms in addition to his Flip/Interscope Records pact: Flip’s joint-venture deals include rockers Staind on Flip/Elektra Entertainment and Dope on Flip/Epic Records.
Rockers Cold, which was a Flip/A&M Records act before the latter label was downsized, will shift to Geffen, as will Flip act Professional Murder Music.
Schur told Daily Variety he hopes to bring a street credibility to Geffen, and make it the rock genre’s leader.
The exec, who is widely credited with breaking Limp Bizkit through a combination of tactics including incessant touring and creative radtio station promotions. The band’s sophomore disc “Significant Other” has domestically topped 4 million units sold in 18 weeks of release.
The reactivation of Geffen comes less than a year after the label was, for all intents and purposes, shuttered and the majority of staffers and top execs axed.
Geffen’s Sunset Boulevard offices were quickly closed in the wake of Universal Music Group acquiring Polygram in a $10.4 billion deal in October 1998. Most of the labels in the two congloms, including Geffen, underwent massive restructuring.
Geffen’s closing came as the label — under prexy Bill Bennett, chairman/CEO Eddie Rosenblatt and A&R chief David Simone — was defrosting after a cold streak and had several albums riding high on the sales charts.
As part of the acquisition, some Geffen keeper acts were shuttled to Interscope, which became the primary label in the newly minted Interscope/Geffen/A&M music group.
Geffen’s successes came as it diversified into more mainstream music and soundtracks — and as it strayed slightly from its hard rock roots.
But Schur, who will work closely with Interscope co-chairmen/co-CEOs Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field, as well as Interscope prexy Tom Whalley, hopes to make Geffen synonymous with rock, as in its heyday of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Nirvana and Aerosmith.
“Jordan’s success at Flip Records has proven his keen sense of A&R and talent in developing young artists,” Whalley said. “We believe he’ll bring those same skills here to continue building Geffen’s roster for the future.”
Flip’s A&R execs Eric Hunter and Jenn Littleton have moved to Geffen in A&R roles, and Schur said he’d like to ink at least six new acts to Geffen next year.
The soundtrack to “End of Days” features “Oh My God,” a new song from Guns ‘N’ Roses, as well as tracks from Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rob Zombie, Creed and Powerman 5000.
Schur founded Flip in 1994 after stints in his family’s Gotham-based real estate business. He has grown the indie label into a multimillion-dollar endeavor.
“I never accepted the answer ‘we’ve never done it that way before,’ ” Schur said. “I’ve always tried (marketing a record) a little differently than it’s usually done. And I’ve been successful. Hopefully, I can do that at Geffen.”