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08 janvier 2008

Peter Gabriel Hands Real Word to Ryko

In some of the first big label news of 2008, Ryko will take over U.S. distribution for Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. As part of the agreement, Ryko will handle both digital and physical distribution of Real World’s catalog and will re-issue many of the label’s back catalog titles with new packaging and, in some cases, with exclusive bonus material. Gabriel launched the world music-centric Real World Records in 1989.

In a statement, Ryko Distribution President Jim Cuomo said, “Joining forces with Real World is a perfect complement to the artist-driven focus we have at Ryko and will enable us to reinforce Real World’s stature as the standard-bearer in World Music. We have shared and applauded Peter’s vision over many years and are both thrilled and excited to be able to contribute to Real World’s ongoing success.”

Gabriel adds, “The music on Real World is very precious to us, so we wanted to find a great home in America. We are delighted to have all our artists welcomed and look forward to building something special together.”

“Like so many, I have a profound admiration for Peter as a musician and artist, as well as a deep respect for the innovative and influential label he started nearly two decades ago,” says John Esposito, President and CEO of WEA Corp., who oversees Warner Music Group’s U.S distribution companies, including Ryko. “Real World’s impressive catalog is a true cultural gem and we will look forward to applying the resources of Ryko and WMG to assure it is treated with the care and dedication it deserves.”

The deal will include Real World’s entire catalog and future recordings. The label’s first project under the new agreement teams Gabriel and Karl Wallinger (The Waterboys, World Party) for a project that is said to be 16 years in the making. The Big Blue Ball project began back in 1992 when Gabriel opened his doors for the week to 75 international artists from over 20 countries. The first single from the Big Blue Ball project, “Whole Thing,” features Gabriel on lead vocal and keyboards, Tim Finn (Crowded House) and Andy White (ALT) on backing vocals, Karl Wallinger and Paul Allen Nord on guitar and Francis Bebey on flute. In a decidedly modern move, the single is now exclusively available via iTunes.

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