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Pink Floyd Re-Signs With EMI: Good News for the Band or the Label?

Jan 4, 2011 – 2:48 PM
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Steven Hoffer

Steven Hoffer Contributor

A little "Money" for Pink Floyd.

EMI Group Ltd. announced in a statement on Tuesday that the legendary psychedelic and progressive rock outfit Pink Floyd has agreed to a new five-year "global partnership" with the label.

It was just a few months ago that Pink Floyd, first signed to EMI in 1967, was suing the record label for unlawful distribution practices, including selling individual tracks separately from their complete album. Surviving band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason won the case, but now both sides seem to be on good terms.

"All legal disputes between the band and the company have been settled as a result of this new deal," according to the statement.

So after all the dust has settled, is it just a "Have a Cigar" moment -- the band's tune about greed in the music business -- for Pink Floyd?

Given the record label's recent struggles not only with the Floyd but also with its other marquee acts, the deal is undoubtedly great news for EMI.

"The development will come as a relief to the label, which has lost high-profile acts including Queen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Radiohead since EMI was taken over by private equity firm Terra Firma in 2007," wrote Reuter's Mike Collett-White.

And for the band, the new deal will maintain many of Pink Floyd's single song offerings on iTunes (something the band, known for its concept albums, argued adamantly against during the dispute) which is likely to the band's benefit, as All Things Digital's Peter Kafka points out.

"That argument never really rang true to me: Sure, it's great fun to space out to all of 'Dark Side of the Moon' in one sitting, but it's an awful lot to insist that people have to listen to or buy the whole thing," Kafka wrote. "Especially since no one else does that anymore. Not even Radiohead!"

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