QUEEN JOIN UNIVERSAL MUSIC AS BAND’S HISTORIC MILESTONE NEARS
Island Records prepares 40th anniversary remasters of the quartet’s extraordinary catalogue
London, UK, November 8, 2010 – Queen and Universal Music Group have signed an exclusive, long-term agreement on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking group’s formation, in 1971.
With worldwide album sales of more than 170 million, No. 1 albums, singles and DVDs the world over, inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, over 700 concerts performed in every corner of the world including their historic appearance at Live Aid, and a Guinness Book of World Records award for the most successful UK album chart act in history, Queen represent one of the most remarkable, compelling stories in popular culture.
Their music milestones include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Are The Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” “Radio Ga Ga,” and “Another One Bites The Dust.”
The new agreement with Universal Music covers the world outside North America, and the music of Queen will appear through Island Records from January 1, 2011. Thus, the band joins some of the greatest names in popular music under the palm tree of the legendary label’s iconic logo.
Brian May of Queen said, “We are very excited, after all this time, to be embarking on a new phase of our career – with a new record company – with new ideas, and new dreams.”
Universal Music Group (UMG) co-CEO Lucian Grainge said: “Queen rewrote the rock & roll rule book 40 years ago, and you can count at least three generations of artists who are under their influence. So now we’re under their influence at Universal Music, and looking forward to writing chapters together for the new rule book.”
UMG International COO Max Hole commented, “A band of Queen’s stature, and a catalogue with such appeal, present an immense opportunity for a new creative approach. We aim to apply fresh thinking and innovation to the marketing and promotion of this great body of work. Ted Cockle, Darcus Beese and their team at Island Records are the perfect match, and everyone can’t wait to get started.”
During the course of the anniversary year, Island will remaster and repackage, with additional content, each of Queen’s 15 studio albums. The first five will be made available in March: “Queen,” “Queen II,” “Sheer Heart Attack,” “A Night At The Opera” and “A Day At The Races.”
After four decades, the collective work of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon continues to resonate around the globe, inspiring a host of diverse artists from Lady Gaga (who took her name from Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga”), Axl Rose and Katy Perry through to Dave Grohl. Two decades after the death of their phenomenal and flamboyant singer, Freddie Mercury remains an icon beyond measure.
The 40th anniversary celebrations begin with a major Queen exhibition in London, “Stormtroopers in Stilettos,” opening in late February. This will be followed by a BBC-TV documentary and the production of a major Hollywood film about the band, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury. Acclaimed script writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) is working on the project, which is being produced by GK Films, Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; and Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.