Radiohead’s Parlophone back catalogue acquired by XL Recordings


Radiohead‘s Parlophone back catalogue, including acclaimed albums such as The Bends and OK Computer, has been sold to Beggars Group’s XL Recordings as part of an ongoing “divestment process” that will see Warner Music sell off Parlophone Label Group assets.

The catalogue in question starts with1 1993’s Pablo Honey and ends with 2003’s Hail to the Thief. At the moment nothing too significant has happened, although the B-sides, live tracks and other non-LP songs – which featured on the 2009 special editions – have been pulled from streaming services such as Spotify.

In a statement XL said: “This is the first step in the transfer of Radiohead’s back catalogue from Parlophone to XL. The main albums are being made available in their original form as a start, before non-LP material is reconfigured”

It remains to be seen what ‘reconfigured’ means, but some future deluxe editions – this time around with Radiohead’s involvement – seems quite likely. The independent label issued Thom Yorke’s debut solo album, The Eraser in 2006 as well as Radiohead’s 2007 album In Rainbows and 2011’s The King Of Limbs (both outside North America).

Warner Music announced in early 2013 that it would ‘divest’ Parlophone Label Group assets to independent labels. This was as as result of a European Commission ruling, the same commission who made Universal offload Parlophone to Warners as part of the terms of the EMI buyout. The process has dragged on, but expect lots of similar deals to be announced with other ‘indies’ over the next six months or so.

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russell finch

The Radiohead albums could all use remastering – Pablo Honey is the only one that isn’t too loud !!


Wow – I hope this means something positive for Tina Turner’s catalog!


That would be amazing! Break Every Rule, especially, deserves a remastered deluxe edition–so many b-sides, and the remixes are available, but scattered across so many difficult-to-find various artists CDs that it’s prohibitive to find them (and even if you get them all, several mixes are missing). And I would love if the would include the extended mixes of One of the Living as part of it as well, since they were left off Private Dancer.

Derek Langsford

Since the advent of 5.1, I have always thought Kate Bush’s albums, especially Kick through Hounds would be wonderful in that format. The instrument separation 5.1 allows could make them even more breathtaking than they are in stereo. Perchance to dream.


Guessing Kate Bush would be interested in buying her first three albums from Parlophone, as she owns all the others. That might be the point where some remasters become more likely…

Jan Burnett

So, perhaps this is why PSB 30th anniversary releases are delayed, because they could do it themselves rather than via EMI.

Simon F

Does this mean that the part of the Deep Purple catalogue that Warners currently own will be up for grabs? maybe Universal could get that back and do a decent full anthology set…. Here’s hoping….


IMO I can’t see a repeat round of simple deluxe editions for Radiohead any time soon. The EMI ones are still readily available, and contain ALL of the related material released for each album. Anyone interested has either already bought it, or can still easily do so. They would have to significantly improve on the offerings with unreleased demos, tracks, etc. otherwise can’t see it being a wise decision business-wise. From a buyer’s perspective, it won’t really matter that Radiohead is “involved” if the material is largely the same. That said, I could see some sort of boxed set type release – either for the sum of their b-sides (plus unreleased material), or individually as the albums reach anniversaries (though again will be an issue of how much is left to add on).


Assume also Duran with Liberty to Thank You?


+1 for mentioning Liberty. I really liked that album. Especially Serious and Violence of Summer, which never leave the playlist!


Parlophone owns “Duran Duran”, “Rio” “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”, “Arena”, “Notorious”, “Big Thing”, “Liberty”, “The Wedding Album” and “Thank You”. “Medazzaland” was released on Capitol but it is controlled by the band through Duran Duran New Partnership, like “Pop Trash” and “Astronaut”. The band owns “Red Carpet Massacre” and “All You Need Is Now”, while “Paper Gods” is on Warner Bros. It is unlikely they’ll sell their catalogue, now that every record is under the same umbrella.


Any impact on EMI/Capitol control over the back catalog in the USA? I’d like to see future reissues available on this side of the ocean as well.


EMI Canada recently sold off at least part of their catalogue.


Does this inpact PSB? They were Parlophone upto Elysium were they not?


I was wondering the same thing – surely it would be in PSB’s self interest to try and buy their back catalog- assuming they do not already have some sort of control over it.

Makes me wonder about other bands like ABC for example – wonder how much is really for sale or will it only be a few chunks that other labels like XL will be able to afford.

Craig Hedges

I hadn’t realised that Warners had to sell off all the Parlophone assets, I find this quite worrying, especially with PSBs if their back catalogue gets sold to a minor indie label and that label collapses, what happens to all the master tapes?


Let’s hope X2 (the PSB’s own label) can afford to pick up their back catalogue so they can maintain control and archival privilege over it.


Parlophone owns “Please”, “Disco”, “Actually” and “Introspective”. The copyright for all the releases from “Behavior” to “Elysium” is (C) Pet Shop Boys Partnership Ltd., so they were licensed to Parlophone and PSB should already own/control them. Who knows?

Stephen mcauley

The previous Parlophone reissues were great. All the b-sides, video’s etc. Unlikely to buy them again.