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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 15:24 GMT
Couple win Blur royalties battle
Blur were Food's biggest signing
The husband and wife team who discovered rock band Blur have won 250,000 in a royalties claim against EMI Records.

David and Helen Balfe sold their record label Food to EMI for 475,000 in 1994 in a deal which included future royalties.

They wanted EMI Records to pay out an extra 250,000 in royalties for a subsequent Blur album release.

Damon Albarn and Dave Rowntree from Blur
Lead singer Damon Albarn and drummer Dave Rowntree from Blur
Judge Boggis QC, giving his ruling at the High Court in London said the Balfes should receive royalties on the third Blur album released by EMI.

'Considerable success'

He added it would have made "no commercial sense" for the Balfes to agree to such a limited royalties deal.

Representing the Balfes at the High Court in London, Robert Englehart QC said his clients had signed a number of bands "which had achieved considerable success".

Blur were the most significant of these and have achieved the greatest commercial success.

During the takeover EMI agreed to pay royalties for the first two albums released by Food artists.

Japanese market

Blur's first release on EMI was The Great Escape, which sold 2.15 million copies worldwide.

EMI then released Blur Live At Budokan, aimed solely at the Japanese market, which sold 80,000 copies.

The third album, Blur, went on to sell 2.4 million copies for which no royalties were owned.

Mr Englehart said the same method had been used on another of the Balfes' discoveries, duo Shampoo.

The couple had claimed Live At Budokan should not be included as part of the deal and that royalty fees should be calculated on the third release.

Gordon Williams, the Balfes' solicitor, said after the hearing that his clients would be claiming the 250,000 royalties from EMI along with their legal costs of 50,000.

David Balfe, a former keyboard player for The Teardrop Explodes, said after the hearing: "I am obviously delighted at the outcome but at the same time I am very disappointed that EMI should have put me through the stress and financial risk of having to take the matter to court."

He added: "But in the end justice has been done and I am very pleased."

See also:

06 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Couple fight for Blur royalties
02 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Blur's future is out of this world
01 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Blur's award hat-trick
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