Could this new UK-based business follow in the footsteps of Chrysalis Music?
Music industry veteran Jeremy Lascelles is launching an independent publisher, backed by Chris Wright CBE.
Blue Raincoat Songs will be a new division of Blue Raincoat Music, Lascelles’ existing artist management company.
The publishing business has been co-founded by Lascelles (pictured) and his business partner Robin Millar – the renowned British producer who has worked with the likes of Sade, Paul Weller and Everything But The Girl.
It is being backed by Wright and former Virgin Entertainment Chairman Robert Devereux, and its first signing is today announced as Mike Chapman.
Chapman was part of the Chinn/Chapman songwriting team behind hits for artists such as Suzi Quatro, Smokie, Mud and the Sweet in the ’70’s. He went on to produce four huge albums for Blondie including the classic ‘Parallel Lines’, whilst as a writer the hits kept coming with songs like ‘Mickey’ for Toni Basil.
The deal with Blue Raincoat Songs covers the territories of the UK, France, Australia, Japan, S.Africa, and includes songs from Chapman’s catalogue such as ‘Love Is A Battlefield’ recorded by Pat Benatar and the huge worldwide smash ’The Best’, most famously recorded by Tina Turner.
Blue Raincoat says it’s aiming to “bring back the true spirit of independent music to the industry”.
Lascelles and Wright certainly achieved that at Chrysalis before the publishing business was sold to BMG in 2010.
“We come from a background where the artist always came first. I’m not sure those values hold true across the music industry so much any more.”
Jeremy Lascelles, Blue Raincoat
Lascelles has over 40 years’ experience having worked at Virgin Records during the ‘glory years’ period in the 1980s and then as CEO of Chrysalis under Wright, who first hired him in 1994.
Artists he has worked with range from Phil Collins to Portishead, David Gray to Bon Iver, and Laura Marling to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
In addition to his production work, Robin Millar has also held senior management positions at both Polydor and EMI Records.
Chris Wright CBE co-founded Chrysalis Records and Chrysalis Music has helped guide the careers of many acts including Blondie, Jethro Tull, Billy Idol, Spandau Ballet, Sinead O’Connor, the Specials and many more.
Robert Devereux was Richard Branson’s partner in the formation of the Virgin Entertainment group of companies and has a proven record of establishing and building business interests in media, publishing and the entertainment sectors. He was also Chairman of Soho House plc.
Lascelles said “We all four come from a background where the artist always came first and we are there primarily to further their careers. I’m not sure that those values hold true across the industry so much any more, but I think it’s time to reverse the trend.
“Since the sale of Chrysalis five years ago, I do think there’s a gap in the market for a company that can provide a very hands on approach to all of its artists, whether it’s the long-term development of a brand new unproven act or the re-positioning and maximising of opportunities for a more established one.
“We are very fortunate that we can also add Robin’s creative skills into the equation, who is equally at home working with artists at the beginning of their career or many years into it. On that note, it is incredibly exciting for us to make Mike our first signing.
“His track record as a writer of era defining seminal hit songs is quite extraordinary. It’s wonderful that we are able to represent a part of his amazing catalogue, but Mike is still a very active writer and producer and I’m thrilled that together we will be looking to find new opportunities and new artists for him to work with. On top of that, he is a great bloke.”
Mike Chapman commented, ““There should never be a formula for writing hit songs and Blue Raincoat with all of their experience in the music business understand this better than most.
“It’s good to be working with Jeremy and Chris again who get that when you write to a formula your songs don’t have a real lasting value.
“My musical history with Chris goes back to the 70’s and what was true then is true now, no hit hook, no hit song. I look forward to getting stuck in with them”.Music Business Worldwide