Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sign BMG publishing deal

Duo's share of songs including Jumpin' Jack Flash to be handled by outside music publisher for first time in 40 years

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have struck a deal with music publisher BMG to represent their interests in the Rolling Stones catalogue, including 1960s classics such as I Can't Get No Satisfaction and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The deal is a coup for BMG as the songwriting duo, who are set to play at Glastonbury on Saturday, who have effectively managed their own interests for the past 30 years.

"We look forward to a fresh and fruitful long-term business relationship with all the team at BMG," said the duo, who last appointed an external company to handle their interests more than 40 years ago when EMI Music Publishing came on board in 1971.

BMG, which is the smallest of the major music publishers, having missed out to rivals on the publishing operations of EMI, will take direct responsibility for all Jagger and Richards's song publishing rights since 1983.

This will include albums such as Voodoo Lounge, Steel Wheels and Bridges to Babylon.

In addition BMG will look after Jagger and Richards's share of their publishing interests in their music before 1983, which includes songs from the 1960s such as Honky Tonk Women and Let's Spend the Night Together.

Work in the 1970s is mostly controlled by EMI Music Publishing, now owned by a consortium led by Sony, while ABKCO holds most of the rights for music from the 1960s.

"This deal is incredibly important for BMG," said BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch. "Keith and Mick have clearly created one of the most outstanding song collections in rock'n'roll history. They could sign to any company they wanted to. We will justify their trust in us."

BMG's responsibilities will range from marketing and licensing the songs for film, TV and advertising, to ensuring that the writers are paid promptly and accurately for their use on digital music services.

Some observers have questioned whether BMG as the smallest of the big four music publishers has the muscle to survive, but Masuch said that the deal marks a "significant vote of confidence" in its business model.

Since missing out on deals for the major parts of EMI such as Parlophone, home to artists including Coldplay and David Bowie, which went to Warner Music Group, BMG has been aggressively pursuing smaller-scale deals.

In October BMG signed Bryan Ferry and followed this late last year by acquiring Virgin Music and the Famous Music publishing catalogue, which includes artists such as Take That, Kurt Cobain and Tears For Fears.

The same month BMG snapped up the Mute Records recording catalogue, which includes Depeche Mode and Nick Cave, and in February bought the Sanctuary Records catalogue including Black Sabbath, Motörhead and the Kinks.

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Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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