In news that will surely hit EMI hard just after the label finally got some good news, one of EMI’s crown jewels, the Rolling Stones, have signed with Vivendi at Universal. The world’s largest music company not only gets the rights to future Stones releases, but their entire back catalog as well. Universal aims to reintroduce the Stones to the digital age.
This is a particularly noteworthy decision, both as bad news for EMI, and for the proposition of digitializing the Stones. Many believe that the Stones suffered partciularly hard by moving from vinyl to CDs, and now there’s an entire generation of youths who have barely heard a Stones song. The A.V. Club even needed to write a primer for a band that, other than the Beatles, is probably the most accomplished rock band of all time. We’ll see if the move to Universal will impact a band who, at least on its live tour, is still one of the biggest bands in the world.