Now Warner sells records by Athlete, Steve Harley and more to Chrysalis

The Warner divestment process just took an interesting turn.

Having sold Chrysalis Records to Blue Raincoat founders Jeremy Lascelles and Robin Millar last month, now Chrysalis itself appears to have raided the Warner/Parlophone vault for some significant catalogue.

The masters of four artists have been acquired by the newly-independent label:

  • Suzi Quatro: The RAK recordings across seven albums;
  • Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel: The EMI recordings including album The Psychomodo;
  • Fun Lovin’ Criminals: Their first four albums including their debut Come Find Yourself;
  • Athlete: Their first 3 albums including Tourist.

Songs in the deal include Can The Can and Devil Gate Drive (Suzi Quatro); Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) and Judy Teen (Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel); Scooby Snacks and The Fun Lovin’ Criminal (Fun Lovin’ Criminals); Wires and You Got The Style (Athlete).

All material from the four artists will now be re-issued and re-packaged under the Chrysalis banner.

The acquisitions represent another chunk of an agreed $200m+ divestment package of Warner-owned recorded music assets going to the independents – a result of the major’s 2013 purchase of Parlophone Label Group (PLG).

Warner is believed to have agreed to sell on around a third of the value of Warner’s £487m ($765m) buyout of PLG in recordings.

However, things have gotten busy: more than 140 indies are believed to have bid on assets since the divestment process began three years ago.

You wonder what these companies are going to make of Chrysalis, itself a Warner sell-off, now going back and picking up more catalogue from the process.

There will also be plenty of questions around where the money is coming from to strike such deals.

Blue Raincoat recently signed a publishing administration agreement with Kobalt.

Could a Kobalt Label Services deal for Chrysalis soon follow?

Discussing the new acquisitions, Jeremy Lascelles, CEO Chrysalis Records (pictured with Suzi Quatro) said “We have been talking to all four of these artists for some time and it’s a real thrill to be able to welcome them all, with their wonderful bodies of work, on to the Chrysalis Records label.

“Each one of them, in their different ways, captured the spirit of their respective times and wrote absolute classic songs. It’s fantastic to have what are arguably their most important recordings on Chrysalis and we look forward to doing justice to this great music.”

Blue Raincoat Chairman, Sade record producer Robin Millar added: “We want brilliant people and their brilliant music to find a proper home that befits their status and their art. Jeremy and I intend to re-imagine great heritage artists for the modern music market place.”

The deal to buy the label last month also saw Chrysalis’s co-founder Chris Wright reunited with the label he started in 1968.Music Business Worldwide

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