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U2 cuts blockbuster ‘Best of’ album deal

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The U2 supergroup are to release their first "Best of" album in a deal with the giant record company Polygram that is said to be worth about $50 million.

The first compilation is provisionally entitled "The Best of U2 Volume One 1980-1990" and will be released on Nov. 2 in time for the lucrative Christmas market.

The band’s public relations firm would make no comment on reports about the value of the contract.

The deal was negotiated over several weeks of intensive talks involving the Polygram UK chairman/CEO and U2 manager Paul McGuinness and their lawyer Allen Grubman.

The first album is expected to contain 15 tracks and will be accompanied by a separate B sides set. Further compilations will follow.

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In 20 years U2 have brought out 10 albums and sold more than 87 million records throughout the world.

Polygram, a huge world record and film production company, is in the process of being sold by the Dutch electronics firm Phillips to Canada’s Seagram drinks and leisure group for $10.4 billion.

With their PopMart tour last year, the four members of the group, Paul Hewson (Bono), 37, Adam Clayton, 37, Dave Evans (The Edge), 36, and Larry Mullen, 36, are estimated to have earned more than the Rolling Stones or Michael Jackson.

With manager McGuinness, 46, they are estimated to have a combined fortune of over £450 million before this latest deal.

Part of their huge earnings would be covered by the tax exemption for artists introduced by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

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