Named Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score, the label’s first releases are Till (Orion Pictures), composed by BAFTA-winning Abel Korzeniowski and co-written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, and Women Talking (Orion Pictures), a score by Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy Award-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, based on the novel by Miriam Toews, and written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Sarah Polley.
These releases will be followed in 2023 by the soundtrack to A Good Person (MGM), written and directed by Golden Globe-nominee Zach Braff and starring Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, with a score composed by Bryce Dessner.
In recent years, UMG has released or distributed several Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy Award-winning scores.
Among those, Decca was responsible for The Hateful Eight by Ennio Morricone and The Shape of Water by Alexandre Desplat, while VLG artist Jon Batiste was behind the jazz-infused score to Disney/Pixar movie Soul (composed alongside Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).
Elsewhere, Decca’s Ludovico Einaudi provided the music for Academy Award-winning films Nomadland and The Father.
Decca has worked with composers such as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Howard Shore, Dario Marianelli and John Williams through to Max Richter, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Jonny Greenwood and Nainita Desai.
In 2020, the label celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator score and a year later released Zimmer’s Bond soundtrack No Time To Die, featuring the Oscar-winning title track by Billie Eilish, co-written with her brother Finneas O’Connell.
Last year the label also released the soundtrack to Joe Wright’s drama Cyrano with music by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of Grammy Award-winning rock band The National and lyrics from the band’s Matt Berninger and composer Carin Besser.
This year has also seen the release of soundtracks including Clint Mansell’s She Will, and – released on the new Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score label – Howard Shore’s Crimes of the Future, Hannah Peel’s Rogue Agent and Mychael Danner’s Where The Crawdads Sing.
Meanwhile, Verve Label Group has also collaborated with composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans on the music to hit TV series Ozark (releasing four seasons over four years) and released the Transparent: Musicale Finale soundtrack.
“The launch of Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score reinforces Universal Music Group’s status as the world’s most soundtrack-friendly music company.”
Dickon Stainer, Universal / Verve Label Group
Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz and Verve Label Group, said: “The launch of Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score reinforces Universal Music Group’s status as the world’s most soundtrack-friendly music company.
“A succession of Academy Award-winners for original score have either been distributed by a UMG label or composed by a UMG artist – from Ennio Morricone’s The Hateful Eight to Hildur Guðnadóttir’s The Joker.
“This exciting new international label venture will enable us to reach ever-wider audiences, and deepen our support for today’s leading score composers and performers.”
“Decca has always been at the forefront of championing the composer artist, which is reflected in its remarkable record of success with world-class soundtracks.”
Laura Monks and Tom Lewis, Decca Records Group
Laura Monks and Tom Lewis, Co-Presidents of Decca Records Group, said: “Decca has always been at the forefront of championing the composer artist, which is reflected in its remarkable record of success with world-class soundtracks.
“Combined with our global colleagues and with this new label, our work across award-winning soundtracks will be rightly amplified. We feel the emotion and storytelling that comes from great soundtracks deserves its own dedicated focus and Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score will serve to do that.”
“As we continue to be at the growing intersection of music and film making, Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score is an exciting opportunity for film makers, composers, and musicians alike.”
Marc Robinson, Mercury Studios
Marc Robinson, President of Globe and Co-President, Mercury Studios, added: “As we continue to be at the growing intersection of music and film making, Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score is an exciting opportunity for film makers, composers, and musicians alike.
“We all know the powerful role music takes in the audio-visual space, and by working early on with creators we are now best placed to help bring their musical aspirations to life, with some of the best musical artists and collaborators.
“With the upcoming releases of Women Talking and A Good Person, Mercury Classics Soundtrack & Score will lead the charge as the home to the most exciting and diverse soundtracks & scores.”Music Business Worldwide