UMG announced the news today (August 23rd), offering details on the massive licensing deal. Universal is now the home of the band’s complete catalog. The label will also spearhead all future audio-visual projects and merchandising.
Perhaps most importantly for fans, the deal gives UMG access to the band’s “Vindaloo Vaults” — the personal archives of Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford. They will each help curate their own collections, and the archival material will be used in future releases to offer up previously unreleased music, rare photos, video footage, artwork, journals, setlists, and other memorabilia.
“It’s been a long road but I’m extremely happy and proud to say on behalf of Aerosmith we have been able to bring our 50 years of music under one roof by partnering with UMG,” said Aerosmith co-founder and lead guitarist Joe Perry (via Billboard). “This will allow us to bring our music to our fans in ways we never were able to before. It’s something we’ve dreamed about happening for a long time. It’s a win for Aerosmith, UMG and ultimately our fans. Needless to say we are very excited. It’s an incredible way to celebrate 50 years and the many more years to come.”
According to Billboard, UMG has plans for numerous projects to mark Aerosmith’s 50th anniversary next year (technically, the band’s 50th anniversary was last year, but the pandemic has put a halt to any major celebrations thus far). Various mediums would include film, TV, and other audio-visual projects (i.e. remastered music videos), with details to be announced soon.
Aerosmith were signed to UMG’s Geffen Records for a string of albums through the 1980s and ’90s — notably 1989’s Pump and 1993’s Get a Grip (each went seven-times platinum). While the band was on Columbia Records for much of its early career, including the 1970s, all those albums will now be controlled by UMG.