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Queen's new label

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Would you pay $10 million to a rock band that hasn’t had a major hit in six years? Hollywood Records would — and did when it recently signed British rockers Queen (including lead singer Freddie Mercury, right) to a four-album contract. Peter Paterno, president of Hollywood, a fledgling label started earlier this year by the Walt Disney Co., believes the band will rule the charts again when it releases a new album early in ’91. ”I look at them as a great undervalued asset,” Paterno says. The deal was sweetened by including the rights to the quartet’s previous albums. Very few of these releases, including such No. 1 hits as ”Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and ”Another One Bites the Dust,” have been available on compact disc. ”I think it’s a great catalog,” Paterno says. ”I paid a lot of money for it.” A Queen’s ransom, to be precise.

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