(Reuters) – Paul McCartney said on Tuesday he would reissue his extensive post-Beatles catalog through independent label Concord Music Group, dealing a blow to his former distributor, the struggling EMI Group.
Los Angeles-based Concord previously released McCartney’s 2007 album “Memory Almost Full” as well as his 2009 CD/DVD hybrid “Good Evening New York City.” Both those albums were distributed under the Hear Music brand, a partnership between coffee chain Starbucks Corp and Concord, a jazz and R&B specialist co-owned by veteran TV producer Norman Lear. EMI Group PLC handled his older material — as a solo artist and frontman of Wings — under an exclusive license. With that arrangement ended, McCartney has turned over his catalog of about two dozen albums to Concord. Concord said the first reissue, the chart-topping 1973 Wings album “Band on the Run,” would come out in August with bonus material. “Since the release of ‘Memory Almost Full’ in 2007 I’ve had a good working relationship with Concord and enjoyed our mutual love of music,” McCartney said in a statement. The announcement coincides with the 40th anniversary of the release of McCartney’s first solo album, “McCartney,” which featured the classic-rock staple “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
The deal does not affect EMI’s business relationship with the Beatles. The British label reissued remastered versions of the Fab Four’s albums to great fanfare last September. By January, those reissues had sold 13 million copies. EMI, which is owned by Terra Firma, has until mid-June to raise enough cash to get the business back within the terms of its debt. A representative for EMI declined to comment. Concord said last week it would buy the roots label Rounder Records, home to bluegrass musician Alison Krauss.