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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

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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