MBW has learned that Mike Chadwick, a respected veteran of the British independent music market, is retiring after more than 40 years in the business – leaving behind his latest role as Chief Business Analyst of Sony‘s The Orchard in the UK.
London-based Chadwick, 66, began his industry career working for Bristol indie retailer Revolver in 1976. He then became joint owner of that firm’s distribution arm, Revolver Distribution, in 1981, before buying the company outright in 1989.
The following year, Chadwick co-founded Heavenly Records with Jeff Barrett (who runs the indie label to this day), while still running Revolver Distribution – which Chadwick merged with rival UK distie APT in 1992.
The newly-merged company, Vital Distribution, went on to enjoy huge success during the UK Britpop boom in the nineties, selling over four million Oasis albums in partnership with Creation Records.
In 2003, alongside Cooking Vinyl founder Martin Goldschmidt, Chadwick co-founded Essential Music & Marketing, which provided distribution and services to labels such as Napalm, Cherry Red, Thirty Tigers and Cooking Vinyl itself.
“In The Orchard I’m leaving behind the best artist services company in the UK. Ian [Dutt] is a great Managing Director, perfect for the company – he has real vision, he loves music and he’s put together a great team.”
Essential was acquired by Sony Music in March 2016 and was subsequently merged with the major’s global distribution and services company, The Orchard.
Chadwick will continue at The Orchard – working closely with UK MD Ian Dutt – ahead of his retirement at the end of July.
Speaking in an interview with MBW this week, Chadwick revealed: “It’s the right time for me to make this decision. In The Orchard I’m leaving behind the best artist services company in the UK. Ian [Dutt] is a great Managing Director, perfect for the company – he has real vision, he loves music and he’s put together a great team.
“The technology at The Orchard is unsurpassed – it’s a truly global player, and in today’s connected world, that’s exactly what artists need.”
Added Chadwick: “I’m retiring from my full-time job, but I expect to still be around in the industry helping out here and there. I’m very grateful for everything that’s happened in my career. From working in a record shop to, 42 years later, having had such a varied and enjoyable life in independent music – who could ask for more?”Music Business Worldwide