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Friday, January 27, 1967

The Beatles sign a nine-year contract with EMI Records

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Last updated on April 28, 2024


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In October 1962, The Beatles signed their first management contract with Brian Epstein. This partnership would shape their career until the end of September 1967.

In the autumn of 1966, Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles, became worried that the band did not need him as much as they did in the past, especially as they had stopped touring in August 1966. This was a difficult time for him, as he was dealing with personal doubts, health issues, and drug problems. He eventually realized that managing NEMS Enterprises, his company, was too much for him, and he wanted to find someone trustworthy to take over the management except for The Beatles and Cilla Black, which he wanted to keep for himself. On January 13, 1967, a merger between NEMS Enterprises and the Robert Stigwood Organization was finalized, with rock manager Robert Stigwood becoming managing director of NEMS.

Around the same time, to secure his position with The Beatles, Epstein negotiated a new recording deal with EMI (and therefore Capitol Records, as EMI was a principal shareholder of the American label). This was the result of lengthy negotiations following the expiry of their first contract, which had been signed in 1962 when the Beatles were unknown. The 1967 contract increased both the band’s royalties and their artistic control – removing, for example, the ability of Capitol Records to change the artwork or track listing of their albums for American release – but bound the band to the record company until 1976. Considering the immense earning power of the Beatles, the level of royalties was still not generous and the contract was renegotiated by Allen Klein in 1969

The new contract also contained a clause stipulating that 25% of The Beatles’ royalties until 1976 would be paid to NEMS Enterprises, Epstein’s company, whether or not the band renewed their management contract with Epstein in September 1967.

By this day, January 27, 1967, Brian Epstein and the four Beatles had signed this new contract. Despite the clause regarding the royalties to NEMS, The Beatles did not object.

The death of Brian Epstein in August 1967 led The Beatles to become their own managers until 1969 when Allen Klein arrived.


[Brian Epstein feared] that by quitting live performance the group were slowly moving beyond his control. But Epstein did manage to negotiate a new recording deal in January 1967, whereby the Beatles promised to deliver 70 recordings in the next five years, and a guaranteed flow of albums until 1976 – either collectively or individually. (It is intriguing to note that the possibility of the Beatles splitting up was already built into this deal.) At the same time, he tightened his grasp on his 25 per cent, ensuring that his cut was now enshrined in the recording contract.

From “You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup” by Peter Doggett

Brian dreaded the imminent expiration of the five-year management contract that The Beatles had signed in the autumn of 1962. In 1966, while renegotiating their recording deals with Capitol and EMI, he had stuck in a clause stipulating that twenty-five per cent of The Beatles’ royalties through to 1976 were to be automatically siphoned off by his own company, NEMS. Unaware of the implications of this fine print, The Beatles, to their subsequent regret, duly affixed their signatures to the dotted line.

Pete Shotton – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

Without telling them, [Brian Epstein] renegotiated their recording contracts with EMI, which were up at the end of 1967.29 Brian had written into the contracts a clause wherein NEMS would collect all monies due to the Beatles, from which Brian would deduct his 25 percent. However, these EMI contracts ran for nine years — a full eight years past the duration of Brian’s management contracts. Now, even if they fired him, he would continue to collect record royalties. Brian never pointed this clause out to them. He asked me to get their signatures on the contracts for him while he was recuperating from glandular fever, and I brought the contracts to Spain, where Ringo and Maureen were visiting John and Cynthia while John was shooting How I Won the War. I got their signatures with no questions asked and had George and Paul sign the contracts later in London.

From “The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles” by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, 2002

BEATLES: SIGN NINE-YEAR DISC CONTRACT

BEATLES have renewed their recording contract with EMI Records — FOR A FURTHER NINE YEARS, Disc and Music Echo learned exclusively on Tuesday.

The deal was signed in London this week by Brian Epstein and Sir Joseph Lockwood, chairman of EMI. EMI released the first Beatles record “Love Me Do” on their Parlophone label in October 1962. It sold 100,000. Their fantastic success on disc throughout the world has led to total sales of over 180 million (in converted single units of an LP being equivalent to six singles and an EP to two).

Beatles’ first record of 1967, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” is out next Friday, February 17.

LAUGH LINE: The new recording deal means that by the time it expires – in 1976 – Paul and George will be 33, and John and Ringo 35.

From Disc And Music Echo – February 11, 1967
From Disc And Music Echo – February 11, 1967

Nine-year Beatles disc deal TV film progress

THE Beatles this week signed a new nine-year recording deal with EMI. The contract — negotiated on the group’s behalf by Brian Epstein — ensures that their discs will continue to be released on the Parlophone label until 1976.

According to EMI, the Beatles’ world-wide record sales have now topped 180 million. This is calculated on the basis of single units, with each LP calculated as six singles, and an EP as two singles.

A film of the Beatles on horseback, riding through the streets of East London, was completed by Swedish TV director Peter Goldmann on Tuesday.

It is a promotional clip for their new “Penny Lane” single, to be shown in conjunction with the “Strawberry Fields Forever” sequence.

BBC-1 hopes to include one of the film clips in its “Juke Box Jury” tomorrow (Saturday). But it is not definite, as Epstein is hoping for the film to be screened in full, which is contrary to the programme’s policy of playing extracts from new releases.

Both film sequences will be screened by U.S. TV’s “Hollywood Palace” and “Dick Clark Show.” They will also be shown in Germany, France, Canada and Mexico, as well as by several ITV regional stations.

Preparatory work on the Beatles’ TV spectacular, based on the group’s forthcoming LP, is already in progress. Epstein told the NME: “They are recording practically every night, and an outside film crew is working on location.”

One track announced for the new album is “When I’m 64” — a Lennon-McCartney composition, recorded in 1920’s-style.

From New Musical Express – February 11, 1967
From New Musical Express – February 11, 1967

Beatles sign new contract

The Beatles have renewed their recording contract with EMI. Manager Brian Epstein signed a new contract for nine years at EMl’s London headquarters this week.

The group’s first record “Love Me Do” was released on the Parlophone label in October, 1962, and sold 100,000 copies. Worldwide sales of Beatles records have now reached a total of 180 million.

From Melody Maker – February 11, 1967
From Melody Maker – February 11, 1967

EMI, Beatles Extend Disk Pact 9 Years

NEW YORK — The Beatles have signed a new, nine year contract with EMI Ltd. The stars, who have shattered numerous LP and singles sales records, will continue to be heard on Capitol Records, since EMI is a principal shareholder in the American label.

The deal was completed last week at London House, where Sir Joseph Lockwood, chairman of EMI, and Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, put their signatures on the contract.

Simultaneous with the new deal was word that the group was on their way to their 12th gold single on pre- release orders of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” set for official release this week (13). RIAA-certification will continue the team’s unique string of 22 gold disks (10 LP’s, 12 singles) that have been certified by the RIAA based on pre-release orders.

Since their first EMI release in 1962 of “Love Me Do,” which sold 100,000 copies, EMI estimates the sales of Beatles disks at 180,000,000 in converted single units, an LP being equivalent to six singles and an EP to two.

In the U.S., Alan Livingston, president of Capitol, noted that 25% of all gold records for singles audited by the RIAA went to the Beatles, and, in 1966, one out of every four gold LP’s went to the quartet. Their total of 22 gold record awards, needless to say, is the largest in the history of the business. Livingston termed the Beatles the “most creative and talented foursome the recording industry has ever known.”

Capitol’s first Beatles disk, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” was released in Dec., 1963. Capitol puts sales on this disk at more than 4.5 million.

The new contract should put to rest rumors, which started circulating last year, that the group was about to split. However, spokesmen for the group clarified the matter with statements that the group would end their personal appearances, but continue to record. Since that time, no concert engagements have been announced.

From Cashbox – February 18, 1967
From Cashbox – February 18, 1967

From The Beatles | A cache of papers relating to the finances of the Beatles, Nems, and associated companies, c.1965-70 | The Beatles | 2021 | Sotheby’s (sothebys.com) – Copy of the Beatles’ recording contract, Agreement between EMI (“The Gramophone Company Limited”), Nems Enterprises, and the four Beatles, photocopy with typescript corrections completed in blue ballpoint with copy signatures and initials, 12 pages, dated 26 January 1967 
From New Contract with EMI Records – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)


Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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