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Wolfgang's Vault secures Universal Music catalogue

Download rock classics or stream for free

Wolfgang's Vault - the online destination for any self-respecting fan of music from the 60s and 70s - has announced it is soon to start offering downloads from Universal Music's catalogue.

Wolfgang's Vault houses the world's most extensive archive of live music recordings and makes them available for free for anyone who cares to register with the site and stream live tracks and complete live concerts. It makes its money through the sale of music memorabilia.

It now looks as though the archive started by California-based music promoter Bill Graham is set for far wider exposure.

On Wednesday, it announced to subscribers: "Wolfgang’s Vault is pleased to announce a major agreement with Universal Music Group. Soon, we expect to make many more recordings by great UMG artists from the Bill Graham, King Biscuit and other catalogues available for download. We will continue to stream for free thousands of recordings from all types of artists."

Bill Graham began promoting music after putting together a benefit gig in 1965 featuring Jefferson Airplane, among other notable artists of the time. He also commissioned now-iconic psychedelic posters to publicise the concerts he put on - these eventually became part of Wolfgang's Vault's archives.

Graham was also responsible for promoting the likes of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and, in 1985, put on the US part of Live Aid. Wolfgang's Vault became available as an online music streaming service in 2003.

Wolfgang's Vaults streaming music archives include concerts by hundreds of major recording artists from this week's featured artist Van Morrison to Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Who and Cat Stevens.

In 2005 The Wall Street Journal noted called it "the most important collection of rock memorabilia and recordings ever assembled in one business".

This week' announcement of a tie-up with the live music site and Universal BMG means music fans will now be able to enjoy their favourite classic rock and blues songs as they were performed live, in contrast with the studio albums and tracks primarily offered by most music stores such as iTunes.

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