Heavy metal goliath Iron Maiden has struck an integrated international recording pact with long-time label-home EMI, which branches out into other aspects of the band's business, including touring, merchandise and sponsorship.

The recording deal covers the world except the United States, where Sanctuary handles the band's works. Financial details were not disclosed.

Iron Maiden and EMI have a 28-year recording relationship which dates back to November 1979. Since then, the band has since gone on to sell roughly 70 million albums, says EMI, including three No. 1 albums in the United Kingdom.

And as the group prepares to embark on an extensive world tour, its
management team says the timing was perfect to renew ties with EMI and bring the music major into other aspects of its empire.

"For a band with a global following like Maiden, who rely on fan word of mouth, touring and marketing/sales expertise as they receive little or no radio or TV support, it is key that the 100% support and implementation of our visual marketing campaigns internationally is both effective and enthusiastic and EMI and their worldwide affiliates have always fulfilled this," comments Rod Smallwood, who has managed the band since 1979. "So with this new type of deal in place, it makes absolute sense for us to continue and extend our relationship in what is effectively a new period for the music industry."

In a joint statement, Tony Wadsworth, chairman and CEO, EMI Music U.K. added, "Now that we can work with and support them in their broader music activities, our goal is to help build on the foundations already in place for an even more successful future. "

The band's 14th and most recent album, "A Matter of Life and Death" opened at No. 1 on Billboard's European Top 100 Albums charts, following its release in August 2006.

The group's upcoming "Somewhere Back In Time" world tour has proved a box office smash, with stadium dates in Scandinavia, South America and Australia selling-out in rapid fashion.

Iron Maiden recently confirmed their first-ever U.K. stadium show, at the 50,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium in south-west London on July 5.

The tour is due to kick off Feb. 1, 2008 at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, India.

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