Radiohead ‘wanted £10m record deal’

Band and old label dispute reasons behind download release

Radiohead left original record label EMI because the company would not pay agree to a deal worth £10 million.

According to The Times newspaper the band – who release all their previous albums through EMI imprint Parlophone – were offered £3m to resign with the label which they found unacceptable.

A spokesperson for the label told the paper “Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidise their gains.”


However the band’s management have responded saying that the label did not take their negotiations seriously and it could loose other high profile artists in future.

As part of an agreement, Radiohead asked for the copyright back on part of their back catalogue, which the label would not consider. It is also claimed the group wanted a global marketing budget of £3m, although their management dispute this figure.

One of Radiohead’s managers, Bryce Edge, told the paper: “We couldn’t move ahead with EMI because (label boss) Guy Hands irrevocably refused to discuss the catalogue in any meaningful way. We sold 25 million records and we have the moral rights over those six albums. We wanted a say in how they are exploited in the future. We were not seeking a big advance payment, or a guaranteed marketing spend as discussions never got that far.”

When discussions between and the label and the band stalled, the group decided to release latest album ’In Rainbows’ themselves, initially allowing fans to name their own price for the record, before agreeing a CD release with XL which is due out on Monday (December 31).

Edge added that Radiohead might not be the only big name who will leaving the label, hinting that acts were upset that record companies still deduct “packaging costs” from royalty payments on digital downloads, which require no packaging.

Additionally, Radiohead‘s original EMI contract also had no facility for digital sales, with Edge explaining, “It’s no surprise that artists are throwing their arms up in the air.”