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The Rolling Stones Sign Deal with Universal Music Group

July 25, 2008 12:08 PM ET

The Rolling Stones made the move from their longtime label EMI to Universal official today, signing a long-term deal that not only encompasses future albums but also includes the band's post-Sticky Fingers catalog. The Stones released their concert film soundtrack Shine A Light through UMG earlier this year. EMI lobbied hard to bring the band back after their contract expired, but the tumultuous year the label has had since being acquired by equity firm Terra Firma perhaps ushered the Stones' exile from EMI. Live Nation were also rumored to be in the bidding for the band's services. The Stones will release their UMG albums through the company's Polydor label, marking the first time the entire Stones catalog shared the same label. The UMG deal also includes the digital rights to the Stones discography. The Rolling Stones mark the third major artist to leave EMI in the past year, joining Paul McCartney and Radiohead.

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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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