UB40's Campbell Signs With Absolute

UB40 singer and guitarist Ali Campbell has inked a long-term management agreement with Absolute Marketing and Distribution for his new independent label Crumbs Music.

Under the deal, London-based Absolute will provide what it calls a "one-stop" label management service that will cover every aspect of the releases on Crumbs Music, including manufacturing and stock management, physical and digital distribution, marketing (including online and mobile marketing), in-house sales, e-commerce management, label administration, compilation licensing and third-party exploitation.

The first release will be Campbell's own solo album, "Running Free", set for release on Oct. 8. Distribution will go through Absolute via Universal Music Group and a £150,000 ($300,000) national TV advertising campaign will launch on Oct. 8.

Produced by Sly and Robbie, "Running Free" features guest appearances from Smokey Robinson, Mick Hucknall, Lemar, Katie Melua, Beverley Knight, and Ali Campbell's brother and fellow UB40 member Robin Campbell.

A cover of Johnny Nash's 1968 song "Hold Me Tight" will be released as a single on CD and as a digital download from Oct. 1.

UB40, who formed in Birmingham in the late 1970s, recently signed a £1 million ($2 million) deal with U.K. venture-capital firm Ingenious to finance their comeback album, due in November, and touring activity.

The chart-topping reggae crossover band have scored three U.K. No. 1 singles, with "Red Red Wine" and "(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You" going to No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic.

"We are thrilled that an artist of Ali's calibre has recognized the benefits of our DIY label model which ensures that creative control and ownership of the music copyright always remains in the hands of the label or the artist," said Henry Semmence, managing director of Absolute in a Statement.

Absolute has recently worked on album releases by Darren Hayes, Shirley Bassey, Melanie C and Ocean Colour Scene.

The company says its appeal to artists is that as well as being able to market and distribute an album, the ownership of the music copyright remains with the artist or the artist's label. Absolute's label clients include Kitchenware and All Around The World Records.