R.E.M. Signs Performing Rights Deal With SESAC

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

R.E.M. photographed in 1993.

Legendary alt-rock band R.E.M. has signed with SESAC for performing rights representation of its entire catalog in the United States, the society announced on Tuesday. In addition, band members Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry have all signed with SESAC to handle their individual performing rights.

The SESAC arrangement covers songs from across R.E.M.'s career, which yielded 15 studio albums and sales of more than 85 million worldwide. Previously, the R.E.M. catalog had been represented by BMI.

Established in 1980, the band's hit songs include "Stand," "Losing My Religion," "Man on the Moon," "Everybody Hurts" and Stipe's all-time favorite, "Shiny Happy People." They recorded five albums with I.R.S., ending with 1987's Document, the band's first top ten on the Billboard 200, before decamping to Warner Bros. With major label backing, the group spent the first half of the 1990s releasing a string of commercially huge LPs: Out of Time, Automatic for the People and Monster. Later releases including New Adventures in Hi-Fi, Up and Accelerate.

R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, its first year of eligibility. They announced their breakup in 2011.

"We are proud to represent the songs of a band that, without question, changed rock music forever," said John Josephson, chairman and CEO, SESAC Holdings, Inc. "Along with representing the rich, timeless R.E.M. catalog, we also welcome Michael, Peter, Mike and Bill to the SESAC family."

The latest pact comes almost exactly a year after the band signed a worldwide deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. A few months before that, in late 2015, the group inked a multi-year licensing agreement with Concord Bicycle Music, covering their Warner Bros. catalog from 1988 until their breakup.

R.E.M. joins other recent SESAC signees including Axl Rose, Kings of Leon, Green Day and Zac Brown.