Universal backs iTunes LP for Queen campaign


Universal’s catalogue department is throwing its weight behind the iTunes LP for its Queen re-issue campaign, with the band themselves giving the thumbs up to the digital format.

The major, which secured the rights to the Queen catalogue from this year, is re-issuing 15 of the band’s studio albums this year, in a number of physical formats, including standard CD version and a deluxe two-CD set with extra material such as demos and outtakes.

But there is also a strong digital element to the campaign: the first five re-issues came in the iTunes LP format, which Universal Strategic Marketing vice president Andrew Daw said was “almost a test to see how they would do”.

After their success, the major is now extending this initiative to all its Queen re-issues. The second batch of five is out this Monday and each will be released as an iTunes LP with additional videos, pictures and lyrics.

“I can’t remember a commitment with acts to do all their albums as iTunes LP variation,” Daw said. “Our commitment is to give the fans something different to what they were used to with EMI [which previously handled the Queen catalogue].”

Universal’s commitment to iTunes LP could prove a shot in the arm for the format, which has yet to really break through since launch in September 2009, despite acts like Gorillaz experimenting with the format and The Beatles’ albums being available as iTunes LPs.

Criticisms of iTunes LP have included the price – they can be as much as twice the price of a standard digital album – and the fact that they only work on the iTunes desktop, so consumers don't get the full experience on an iPad or iPhone

Universal Strategic Marketing international head of digital Emma Fulford said that iTunes LPs, which typically contain bonus material such as liner notes, artwork, memorabilia, lyrics and video footage for a higher price, are “perfect” for a band like Queen, where there is deep catalogue and lots of unseen content.

With Queen it has also helped that the band’s Brian May and Roger Taylor are very involved in the reissue campaign and have sourced rare pictures from their archive for the iTunes LP releases.

In a statement, the two Queen members said, "The LPs are just something a bit different and us trying to show off some extra visuals while you listen, much like the old gatefold LPs did. The only difference really is that they don't have that classic vinyl smell...but they’re better because you can't scratch them."

The two added, "In addition to the fabulous new sound on the remasters, for these iTunes LPs we have pulled out a number of rare images of us around the period of each album, plus all sorts of packshots, covers and sleeves of the albums and singles from across the World, some we have never seen before"

"The lyrics are also available to read as you listen, oh plus we have also selected three videos too, they range from favourite live versions, rare footage and alternative videos, all relating to tracks from each album."

The second wave of Queen albums, 'News Of The World', 'Jazz', 'The Game', 'Flash Gordon' and 'Hot Space' are re-issued across the globe (except N.America) in iTunes LP format from June 27th.




The second wave of Queen albums, 'News Of The World', 'Jazz', 'The Game', 'Flash Gordon' and 'Hot Space' are re-issued across the globe (except N.America) in iTunes LP format from June 27th.

News Of The World (2011 Remaster)

Digital - iTunes LP / Standard

Jazz (2011 Remaster)

Digital - iTunes LP / Standard

The Game (2011 Remaster)

Digital - iTunes LP / Standard

Flash Gordon (2011 Remaster)

Digital - iTunes LP / Standard

Hot Space (2011 Remaster)

Digital - iTunes LP / Standard

Deep Cuts Vol. 2

Digital - Standard

Platinum Collection

Digital - Standard


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