R.E.M. Signs Global Catalog Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc
R.E.M. photographed circa 1993. 

Universal Music Publishing Group has struck an exclusive worldwide deal to represent the catalog of R.E.M. 

The legendary Athens, Georgia-originated alternative rock outfit is “one of a small number of benchmark artists who have changed the course of popular music during their renowned career and, over the past 30 years they have been the model for every artist that wants to organically develop their career with the ambition of someday reaching ‘best band in the world’ status,” notes Jody Gerson, UMPG chairman and CEO, in a statement issued this morning to announce the deal.

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The arrangement covers songs from across R.E.M.’s Hall of Fame career, which yielded 15 studio albums and sales of more than 85 million albums.

“We are honored that R.E.M. has chosen us to take care of their generation-defining catalog,” adds Gerson.

The group, established in 1980 by Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry, won three Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011.

“As a band and an organization, we are excited to join forces with Universal Music Publishing for the next phase of R.E.M.’s legacy career,” comments the band’s longtime manager, Bertis Downs. Its body of work “stands alongside any artist and the Universal machine is unparalleled in terms of what we look for in a global publisher,” he adds.

R.E.M. Taps Concord Bicycle to Handle Group's Warner Bros. Catalog: Exclusive

The latest pact follows a multi-year, worldwide licensing agreement between R.E.M. and Concord Bicycle Music for the group’s catalog recorded from 1988 to 2011. That deal, announced last December, covers the years R.E.M. recorded for Warner Bros. and includes such albums as Green, Out of Time, Automatic For the People, Monster, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, and Up. The Concord agreement does not include R.E.M.'s earlier albums recorded on I.R.S., which now go through Universal Music Group.