Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Yes sell Atlantic Records catalog to Warner Music Group

Yes have sold the recorded music rights and income streams from their Atlantic Records-era catalog to Warner Music Group’s Global Catalog Division.

With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, the acquisition continues a longstanding relationship between the band and Warner Music that now spans over a half-century, beginning with Yes’ self-titled 1969 Atlantic debut album; the deal – which encompasses landmark works such as 1971’s “Fragile”, 1972’s “Close To The Edge”, and 1983’s “90125” – includes 12 studio albums, as well as live recordings and compilations.

“The entire Yes family came together and worked enthusiastically with Warner Music Group to secure this historic deal,” says the band, “ensuring that these iconic recordings will continue to be curated in the optimum manner to delight their fans across more than five decades, while also finding and developing new audiences for this timeless music.”

“My introduction to YES came while working at a record store in Ohio in 1983,”
explains Kevin Gore, Warner Music’s President of Global Catalog. “I loved the ‘90125’ album and went to see the band live, where I was introduced to their catalog of incredible songs. I’ve been a fan ever since and we’re absolutely thrilled and deeply honored that the strong relationship between Yes and Warner Music will continue forever.”

The original members of Yes – bassist Chris Squire, singer Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford, guitarist Peter Banks, and keyboardist Tony Kaye – came together in 1968. In early 1969, the band auditioned at London’s Speakeasy Club for Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, who immediately signed them up. Later that year, the group released its self-titled debut, mixing original material with totally reworked versions of songs by groups like the Byrds and The Beatles.

Yes became an international arena band after Steve Howe joined in 1970 for “The Yes Album” and Rick Wakeman in 1971 for “Fragile”; the band’s sound evolved and its songs became more ambitious as they adopted a symphonic approach to their music and explored more enigmatic themes with their lyrics, as drummer Alan White joined in 1972 after the recording of “Close To The Edge.”

A new incarnation of Yes was born in 1983 when Anderson, Squire, White, and original keyboardist Tony Kaye were joined for the first time by guitarist Trevor Rabin. The landmark album "90125" was certified triple platinum and produced the band’s first and only No. 1 hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, while an instrumental track on the album, “Cinema”, would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In 1987, Yes released its final album for Atlantic, “Big Generator”; it was certified platinum and featured the radio hits “Love Will Find a Way” and “Rhythm of Love.”

Yes were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 by Rush bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson.

Pick up your copy of “Classic Yes” here.

See also:

Yes announce Close To The Edge 50th anniversary US Tour
Jon Anderson to perform classic Yes album on US tour
Yes drummer Alan White dead at 72
Yes drummer Alan White to miss upcoming UK tour
Search Yes at hennemusic