The Court in Nashville has ruled in favor of Curb Records in a chapter of its lawsuit against Tim McGraw -- in which, among other things, Curb Records contends that Tim is still under contract because he has not provided his Fifth Option Period Album. The Court granted Curb Records’ request to postpone the trial until it has the opportunity to take additional evidence surrounding Big Machine Records’ signing of McGraw and when the 20 recordings Big Machine says it will release were made. In addition, the Court of Appeals will soon hear the appeal of the Nashville trial judge’s earlier ruling in which he found that, while it appeared McGraw may have breached his Recording Agreement and had failed to deliver the Fifth Option Period Album, he would not issue an injunction pending the trial to prevent McGraw from signing with a new record company until he had fulfilled his commitments to Curb Records. The Court found that even though he did not enjoin Mcgraw from signing with another company, McGraw may be liable for his failure to perform. The Court of Appeals will determine whether an injunction should have been issued.
While Big Machine Records has announced that it had signed Tim McGraw and would be releasing an album apparently from those “20 new recordings,” Curb Records believes, and has asked the Court to find, that McGraw remains under contract and the “20 recordings” belong to Curb, as they were recorded during the term of Curb’s Recording Agreement.
Until now, Curb Records has not publicly commented on the lawsuit and the misinformation that has been reported regarding the lawsuit.
McGraw has signed three different contracts with Curb Records, electing to re-sign with Curb Records two additional times. In his third and current contract, he agreed to record six option albums. As a gesture, Curb agreed to reduce his option albums in exchange for him honoring the contract regarding the remaining five albums. In his contract, McGraw agreed to record the albums during specified periods of time. These provisions, standard in the record industry, are designed for obvious reasons. They give record labels adequate time to market and promote an album and its singles and they prevent an artist from recording multiple albums at once, ensuring that the music is always fresh. McGraw also agreed that he and Curb Records, together, would agree on the songs which appear on those albums.
Ignoring these contract provisions, McGraw commenced recording virtually all the songs which are embodied on the Emotional Traffic project even before the 2009 release of his previous album, Southern Voice, and without consulting Curb Records as to the contents of this record.
When asked to provide an album which met the terms of the contract, McGraw refused. Then Curb Records asked the Court to resolve this matter, as it believes that McGraw has not fulfilled his contract.
Curb Records believes that:
- Tim McGraw is still an artist on Curb Records’ label
- That Big Machine had no right to sign Tim McGraw until his contract with Curb Records is over
- That the “new music” advertised by Tim McGraw and Big Machine, or that Big Machine may choose to release before the Court ruling, is still owned by Curb Records
- When the Court does rule, it will agree that Tim McGraw has breached his Recording Agreement with Curb Records
Finally, McGraw has stated publicly and to the Court that Emotional Traffic is the best album he has ever recorded. His latest single from that album, “Right Back Atcha Babe,” has recently been released by Curb Records.