AEROSMITH BRING THEIR ENTIRE RECORDED MUSIC CATALOG OVER TO UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP JUST IN TIME FOR THE BAND’S HALF-A-CENTURY CELEBRATION
On Monday (Aug. 23rd) Universal Music announced it had signed a new global alliance with Aerosmith that will span recorded music, merchandise and assorted audio-video projects.
Under the deal, UMG will become the home of Aerosmith’s entire recorded music catalog ahead of their 50th anniversary next year. The company will also house Aerosmith’s future music projects and work with the band to develop, produce and distribute new film, TV and other audio-visual content projects celebrating their history and cultural impact, details of which will be announced soon.
The agreement also gives UMG access to the band’s Vindaloo Vaults and the personal archives of band members Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford, who will help curate their collections. Material from these archives will be utilized in future releases to provide fans access to never-before-seen-and-heard music, photos, video footage, artwork, journals, set lists and memorabilia.
Aerosmith released some of their most successful albums through Universal’s Geffen Records in the ’80s and ’90s, including 1987’s Permanent Vacation (five-times platinum), 1989’s Pump and 1993’s Get a Grip (both seven-times platinum). However, the majority of their albums were released by Sony’s Columbia Records, including such multi-platinum sellers as their 1973 self-titled debut, 1974’s Get Your Wings, 1975’s Toys in the Attic, 1976’s Rocks, 1977’s Draw the Line and 1997’s Nine Lives. Under this new deal, that lucrative catalog is now wholly controlled by UMG.
Notably, Aerosmith’s first album with UMG — 1985’s Done With Mirrors — already qualifies under a clause in the Copyright Act of 1976 that allows bands to reclaim the rights to their post-1978 recorded works after 35 years, while the remainder of their Geffen albums are all slated to hit the 35-year mark over the next decade. Now, those releases will stay under UMG’s control for the foreseeable future.
“Aerosmith’s global success places them in rarefied air among the all-time greatest rock icons,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO of UMG, in a statement. “On the band’s 50th anniversary, Aerosmith continues to influence the course of music not only through their iconic catalog but also through film, television and video games and their inimitable style. On a personal note, I couldn’t be prouder that they have chosen UMG as their global partner. We look forward to building upon their incredible legacy and ensuring their music continues to inspire fans around the world.”
“It’s been a long road but I’m extremely happy and proud to say on behalf of Aerosmith we have been able to bring our 50 years of music under one roof by partnering with UMG,” said Aerosmith co-founder and lead guitarist Joe Perry. “This will allow us to bring our music to our fans in ways we never were able to before. It’s something we’ve dreamed about happening for a long time. It’s a win for Aerosmith, UMG and ultimately our fans. Needless to say we are very excited. It’s an incredible way to celebrate 50 years and the many more years to come.”
Aerosmith manager Larry Rudolph added, “I couldn’t be happier for the band members and their families. Not only are we bringing together the band’s entire catalog in one place, but we’re entrusting these recordings to the very capable hands of Sir Lucian, Bruce Resnikoff and the incredible UMG system worldwide. I would like to thank Sir Lucian for tirelessly working together to craft perhaps the most unique and mutually beneficial catalog arrangement in history and providing a huge commitment to Aerosmith. The members of Aerosmith and I thank him and we all look forward to many years of successfully continuing to share the catalog of the greatest American rock band in history with the world.”
Formed in Boston in 1970, Aerosmith has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide. The band is tied for the most RIAA album certifications by an American group, with 25 gold, 18 platinum, 12 multi-platinum and one diamond.