Wow. Talk about misleading stories. Even the New York Post got this kinda wrong this morning. Many eons ago, the Rolling Stones parked their music publishing with the late Allen Klein and his ABKCO Records. And all these years later, ABKCO– which also administers Sam Cooke’s catalog–still owns all the primary hits of the Stones from “Satisfaction” to “Honky Tonk Women” and even “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses.” They have everything from 1963 to 1971.
Yesterday upstart BMG Music Publishing announced that it had grabbed the Stones’ catalog, and the lemmings just headlined it that. But BMG got the lesser Stones songs, from 1971 on. In ’71 the Stones moved to Atlantic Records, where their biggest hits were “Miss You,” “Shattered,” and “Start Me Up.” Their next era, which BMG also got, includes the “Steel Wheels” and “Bridges to Babylon” albums and a lot of songs you can’t readily name. The Stones play only a smattering of those songs in concert.
Here’s a statement from ABKCO:
In light of today’s announcement by BMG concerning its involvement in music publishing interests in songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, ABKCO Music, Inc. wishes to reiterate that ABKCO, and ABKCO alone, owns and controls 100% of the worldwide copyright to the original 1963-1971 publishing catalog of Jagger/Richards Rolling Stones compositions.
ABKCO CEO Jody Klein stated that the BMG announcement “has no relevance whatsoever to ABKCO’s ongoing role in its ownership or control of all existing copyrights, including such seminal titles as ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and others from that period as has been the case for more than 40 years.”
“We wish BMG all the best with their new endeavor but it must be noted that ABKCO, a wholly owned independent entertainment company, remains the sole source of rights and licensing for these compositions along with the corresponding master recordings by The Rolling Stones. It is unfortunate that BMG’s statement may have led some to conclude otherwise.”