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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

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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