Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, and Petrol Records, an innovative record label that is home to the recordings of INXS outside of North America, announced today an expansive joint venture.
The partnership builds on UMG’s recent announcement regarding the production of a feature-length documentary on the extraordinary life of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence and will lead the way for new audio releases, as well as projects including additional films, theatrical productions, live events and fan conventions. As part of the agreement, UMG will become an investor in Petrol Records, a ground breaking Australian independent label founded 15 years ago by Chris Murphy.
Murphy, who serves as Chairman of Petrol Records, signed INXS to his label in 2009 and created his “Band to a Brand” strategy, creating projects including a film, television and live events that re-engaged fans and expanded the band’s audience.
Petrol, founded in 2001, is the world’s most successful first all-digital record company and the first independent label to sign a worldwide distribution agreement with Apple Inc.’s iTunes. Petrol’s numerous chart and sales successes over the years in various musical genres, together with Murphy’s other multimedia endeavors, resulted in Murphy receiving the New South Wales Premier’s Expo Award for Arts & Entertainment and being named Australian Entrepreneur of the Year in 1987 by Business Review Weekly for his achievements with INXS. In 2008 Murphy received a Grammy nomination for his documentary on the street music of Cuba. INXS rejoined forces with Murphy, who managed INXS from 1980 to 1995, when the band signed to Petrol in 2009.
In 2014, Murphy was the Executive Producer of the INXS television mini-series, Never Tear Us Apart, which set viewing records in Australia.
Over the last 30 years, INXS has consistently been the biggest selling Australian artist, winning multiple international awards. Last night, at a reception in Sydney, UMG announced the band’s Very Best album has eclipsed their previous sales record by achieving 6 X Platinum status on the eve of the 39th anniversary of the group’s first-ever performance. The band was also presented with a Triple Platinum award for the DVD of their LIVE BABY LIVE show at Wembley Stadium from July 1991.
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said, “I’m thrilled to be building on our special and long term relationship with Chris Murphy and INXS. We look forward to developing exciting projects that will create new immersive experiences for fans around the globe to engage with the music from one of the world’s most enduring bands.”
“Once a upon time the music business was a very simple place (industry) to be involved in, find an artist, record and release, then do a tour,” Murphy said. “These days we operate within a very complex entertainment industry where many are at odds with this new paradigm. Sir Lucian and his team are on the money and focused for the future so it is my complete delight to be working with him and his vision. From Musicals to Movies we have the future of music covered together.”