SOURCE: Universal Music Enterprises

August 02, 2006 09:02 ET

Universal Music Enterprises Acquires Early Elvis Costello Catalog; Plans Include Reissues, Deluxe Editions, Compilations, Box Sets and More

SANTA MONICA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 2, 2006 -- Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), the U.S. catalog and special markets entity for Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company and market share leader, has reached an agreement to acquire the first 11 original albums (1977-1986) in the catalog of Elvis Costello, one of the most influential, acclaimed and enduring artists of modern rock. With this acquisition added to his musical output of the last 15 years (Decca/Deutsche Grammophon, Lost Highway, Mercury, Island, Verve Forecast), UMe now brings the bulk of Elvis Costello's career under one roof. The deal announced today by Bruce Resnikoff, President, UMe, marks another major coup for the company that has won a reputation for its aggressive, innovative, artist-friendly and highly successful marketing of catalog repertoire. UMe has earned unprecedented sales for core merchandising and marketing brands that it has established over the past several years. Consumers have come to trust and anticipate these brands which have resulted in UMe's multiple platinum and gold single-artist compilations and as well as winning Grammy Awards for new recording projects such as "BB King & Friends -- 80" and "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown."

Said Resnikoff: "Bringing artists of the caliber of Elvis Costello on board is the kind of strategic marketing initiative that is crucial to maintaining and even elevating our high standards. Besides reaching his core fans, we expect to be able to bring his music to a new generation, to a new consumer audience."

Said Costello: "There have been so many great new artists and bands in the last few years that have been inspired by the sound and attitude we had back then, I thought this was a good time to re-introduce these albums. On top of that, it's great to be able to do this through a company that has not only enjoyed major success with reissues but has done them with a genuine emphasis on quality."

The Costello albums acquired begin with 1977's landmark "My Aim Is True" and continue through "This Year's Model" (1978), "Armed Forces" (1979), "Get Happy!!" (1980), "Almost Blue" (1981), "Trust" (1981), "Imperial Bedroom" (1982), "Punch The Clock" (1983), "Goodbye Cruel World" (1984), "King Of America" (1986) and "Blood And Chocolate" (1986). From the punk/new wave classics "Alison" and "Watching The Detectives," the soul-inspired "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?" and rockers "Pump It Up" and "Accidents Will Happen" to one of Costello's biggest charters, "Everyday I Write The Book," the albums bring together Costello's most popular work, originally issued on Columbia Records.

The comprehensive UMe marketing program for the catalog is intended to drive awareness of Costello's music and maximize physical and digital sales. Album plans include definitive reissues, box sets, live albums, multiple CD sets, compilations for the company's highly successful branded series and rarities discs as well as limited editions via the award-winning Hip-O Select imprint. DVD collections of music videos and concert/TV performances are also anticipated. Leading the industry in online marketing with a dedicated department that manages its digital and mobile business, UMe also expects to mine Costello's catalog for ringtones, digital box sets, and more.

"Because of our size and position in the marketplace, and our reach at retail and with various media platforms, UMe has a capability no other company can match," said Resnikoff. "Artists come to UMe because we can deliver their music to more consumers than anyone else. But we also have a passion for the music and that is what truly attracts artists of the quality of Elvis Costello."

Elvis Costello recently completed a tour with Allen Toussaint on which they performed material from their new critically acclaimed release "The River in Reverse" (Verve Forecast).

Contact Information

    Sujata Murthy
    (310) 865-7812

    Todd Nakamine
    (310) 865-7797

    Elliot Kendall
    (310) 865-9852