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Sunday, September 28, 2003

what’s the back catalog worth?

in my work with the music industry, i generally ignore the back catalog. perhaps the main reason is that the laws and contracts are etched in stone already, and it’s impractical to “free them up” before demonstrating a viable alternative.

but, i do want to go on the record and say that the back catalog has value, and in the long term, it’s truly a goldmine. it’s just a goldmine i can’t touch for some time to come.

anyway, today i found an interesting article [some registration may be required] in the washington post.

The Rolling Stones cast a satanic glow over the U.S. music industry on Wednesday as a reissue of their 1968 opus “Sympathy for the Devil” opened at No. 1 on the singles sales charts

that a 1968 reissue opens at #1 on any chart is interesting enough, but it gets better.

It replaces a song that is almost as old, a remixed version of Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin’,” which was originally released in 1969

two 60’s-vintage reissues scoring #1 back-to-back on the singles charts? amazing.

and then there’s this thought. i recently talked about the stones and the business of being the stones. astute readers will note that in that previous post, i mentioned that the stones were their own record label since about 1970 (i don’t have an exact date), and will realize that a 1968 track isn’t on that label.

New York-based ABKCO is owned by Allen Klein, an accountant who managed the Stones at the end of the 1960s and owns the copyrights to their 1960s recordings.

i am not privy to the specific contract language, but i imagine the stones won’t see any royalties from the single. it’s not all bad for mick and the boys, though – the stones are on tour. having a #1 single can’t hurt. on the other hand, it would’ve been nice to have the single released toward the beginning of the tour, as opposed to right at the end. ah well. i guess that’s the music business.

posted by roj at 2:19 am