5 September 1986 From The Beatles to Wham! legal wrangles between artists and record companies have been part of the music business
Here are the two most important unwritten rules of the rock industry: one, where there’s a hit, there’s a writ; and two, almost all artists get done. Most find out about both of them too late.
This is nothing new, of course. The Beatles signed a rotten early recording contract that earned each member only one-fifth of a penny for every early single sold and a relative pittance for their first albums. The Who signed disastrous recording deals throughout the sixties – even their second, renegotiated, contract yielded each member a royalty of less than one per cent of retail sales.