Rolling Stones

George Chin/

You can't always get what you want...unless you're "the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band."

The Rolling Stones have left longtime label EMI, signing a deal with Vivendi's Universal Music that not only covers future albums but also includes the band's catalog stretching back to 1971's Sticky Fingers.

The pact is a coup for Universal Music, which will gain control of such seminal tracks as "Brown Sugar" (off Sticky Fingers), "Tumbling Dice" (from 1972's Exile on Main St.), "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)" (off 1974's It's Only Rock 'n' Roll), "Beast of Burden" (from 1978's Some Girls) and "Start Me Up" (off 1981's Tattoo You).

Universal had reportedly been wooing the band for months, having released the Stones' soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese-helmed concert document Shine a Light in April.

All new music recorded by the Hall of Fame British rockers will now be issued through Universal Music's Polydor imprint, including both digital and physical distribution.

"Universal Music Group will begin planning an unprecedented, long-term campaign to reposition the Rolling Stones' entire catalog for the digital age," the label said.

Translation: Fans will be asked to shell out once again for albums they already own, along with the requisite bonus tracks and a new digital sheen.

The Stones seemed tickled by the deal, whose financial terms have not been disclosed.

"Universal are forward-thinking, creative and hands-on music people," the quartet said in a statement. "We really look forward to working with them."

Losing the Rolling Stones to rival Universal couldn't come at a worse for EMI, which, after last year's takeover by private equity group Terra Firma, has been bleeding some of the biggest moneymaking acts on its roster, among them Radiohead and Paul McCartney.

The Rolling Stones have sold over 200 million albums, and the group earned a whopping $88 million on their recent Bigger Bang tour.

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