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Rolling Stones "Shine a Light" on Universal, Tenure With EMI Likely Over

January 17, 2008 10:51 AM ET

The Rolling Stones have signed a one-album deal with Universal Music Group for the release of their next album, the live soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's concert film Shine a Light. The Universal deal likely spells the end of the Stones' sixteen-year partnership with EMI, as the band's record contract with that label expires next month. If they do sign a long-term deal with another label, the Stones would join Paul McCartney and Radiohead as the latest big-name artist to exit EMI in the wake of their tumultuous takeover by private equity firm Terra Firma. Earlier this week, EMI head Guy Hands announced that the label would allow for the corporating sponsoring of bands, as well as cut 1,500-2,000 jobs in order to free up $400 million. Still-contracted EMI artists like Robbie Williams, the Verve and Coldplay hinted at withholding new albums until EMI proved they were capable of appropriately promoting and distributing those releases.

Scorsese filmed Shine A Light during two Stones gigs at New York City's relatively intimate Beacon Theatre in 2006. Among the special guests who joined the band on stage were Jack White and Christina Aguilera. The film will debut at the Berlin Film Festival next month before hitting American cinemas on April 4th.

Related Stories:
EMI Chairman Confirms Cutbacks, Says Bands May Be Sponsored Like Football Teams
Rolling Stones Doc Set to Drop
Trailer for Scorsese’s Rolling Stones Documentary

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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