Is U2 Going To Leave Universal Music Group Behind?

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Maybe, according to Fox rumormonger Roger Friedman. Word is that U2 is one of two outfits currently in negotiations for a deal with Live Nation that would be similar tothe 360-degree payday that Madonna scored last fall. The Bono-led band, which started out its career on Island Records and has put out records in the U.S. on Interscope, went triple-platinum in the States with its 2004 album How To Build An Atomic Bomb; Friedman’s tipster is claiming that the band’s contract with its label was either fulfilled by Bomb or the recently released remaster of The Joshua Tree.

If the Live Nation deal does come to pass, it’ll be interesting to see how U2’s recording career is handled by the company; they’re one of the few bands out there that can rake in the big bucks on tour and still sell a lot of records, although who knows how their album sales will fare in this year’s ever-decimated retail landscape. (Madonna still sells records, but I think her recorded-music profile is nowhere near as high as U2’s.) This year, according to manager Paul McGunness, U2 will release two albums: the music for the Julie Taymor-directed Spider-Man musical and a traditional rock album. If the deal does come to pass and the rumors of U2 being free from Universal Music Group’s clutches are true, questions of who will be responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of Live Nation-distributed albums will have to be answered a lot more quickly than when Madonna signed on, as she still has one album to put out with her soon-to-be-former label Warner Bros.

U2 May Be Next to Leave Record Biz [Fox News]

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