• Spirit Partners with Legendary Record Producer James William Guercio
    Spirit Partners with Legendary Record Producer James William Guercio
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NEW YORK, NY (September 29, 2009) – Spirit Music, along with parent company Spirit Catalogue Holdings, has acquired a majority interest in the publishing rights and a significant stake in the producer royalties of legendary record producer James William Guercio.

The landmark deal includes a decade’s worth of music recorded by Chicago through the 1970s, a prolific period during which the famed rock band released 11 albums and charted 24 Top 40 hits, including "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," "Colour My World," "Saturday In The Park," "Just You ‘N’ Me," "(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long," and "If You Leave Me Now."

Also included in the deal is the breakthrough mid-'60s work of another Guercio discovery, rock quintet The Buckinghams, who topped the charts with "Kind of A Drag," "Don’t You Care," "Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)," and "Susan," as well as several mid-'70s hits by seminal funk band Rufus, including "Close The Door," "Everlasting Love," and the much sampled "Hollywood."

Additionally, Spirit will participate via producer royalties in Blood Sweat & Tears’ eponymous 1969 breakthrough album, which featured the standards "You’ve Made Me So Very Happy," "And When I Die," and "Spinning Wheel."

The company’s creative staff have worked with Guercio to build an extensive plan to revitalize both songs and original recordings via proactive synchronization licensing into film, television, advertising, video games, and a wide range of new media, along with the reinvention of classic tracks through remixes, samples, and covers. The Chicago catalog has already proven fertile ground for samples, most recently the global Pitbull smash "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)," which samples "Street Player," an album cut from 1979’s 'Chicago XIII.'

In addition to aggressively promoting the song catalogs of the various bands Guercio helped found, shape, and produce, SMG plans to work with the still-active producer in telling the story of the Caribou Ranch recording studio, a sonically- and environmentally-unique facility he built on more than 4,000 acres in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains that attracted a who’s-who of rock, country, and jazz music royalty through the 1970s and '80s. In addition to five multi-platinum albums by Chicago, the studio gave birth to such acclaimed projects as Stephen Stills’s 'Manassas,' Earth Wind & Fire’s 'That’s The Way Of The World,' Supertramp’s 'Even In The Quietest Moments,' Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 'Stars & Stripes Forever,' Return To Forever’s 'Romantic Warrior,' and Elton John classics 'Caribou' (named for the ranch and studio), 'Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy,' and 'Rock Of The Westies.'

Said Spirit Music Group President/CEO Mark Fried, “We consider Jim Guercio a renaissance man in rock and roll. While he is clearly one of the pre-eminent record producers of the last half century, his uncanny ability to put musicians together, to build complex yet beautiful arrangements, and to consistently create an environment where creativity and artistry thrived is unparalleled in the modern business. We are thrilled to be partnering with him to shine a light on the legacy of his work and the story of the historic Caribou studio.”

Jim Guercio added, “We are deeply impressed with the team that Mark Fried has put together at Spirit and the long-term game plan they’ve laid out. We look forward to a long and fruitful creative relationship.”

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