U2 Signs Pricey Deal For Best Of Albums

U2 has signed a mega-million dollar agreement with Polygram for a series of 'best of' albums, according to reports in the "Financial Times" and the British industry trade publication, "Dot Music."

The "Financial Times" reveals that the deal will generate advances of roughly $50 million for three compilation albums, which they say is among the most lucrative of its kind for previously released material.

"Dot Music" reports that the agreement, solidified last Thursday and to be signed this week, followed "intense" high-level negotiations between PolyGram U.K. chairman/ceo John Kennedy, U2 manager Paul McGuinness and their lawyer Allen Grubman. They add that U2's contract contained no provisions for such compilations, thus Polygram were not in the best position to bargain. McGuinness, who told "Dot" they were all happy with the agreement, admitted that the initial request for the albums came as a surprise.

According to "Dot," the first two albums will be released

November 2 on the Island label. The first is tentatively titled "The Best Of U2: Volume One 1980-1990" and will contain around 15 tracks. It will be accompanied by a separate B-sides set, which "Dot" says may appear as part of a limited edition double package or as a separate release. The publication quotes an Island spokesperson as saying that "Volume Two" will probably arrive either the next Christmas or some time in the year 2000.