Yes have sold the rights to their recorded music catalogue under Atlantic Records – comprising their first 12 studio albums, as well as various live recordings and compilation albums – to Warner Music Group (WMG).
As reported by Variety, the legendary prog-rockers’ deal comprised a total of 29 albums. It spans all of their studio efforts from 1969’s self-titled debut through to 1987’s ‘Big Generator’, as well as live albums like ‘Yesterdays’ (1975) and ‘Yesstory’ (1992), and a handful of compilations like ‘Highlights: The Very Best of Yes’ (1993) and ‘Yes Remixes’ (2003).
In a statement, the band said of the occasion: “The entire Yes family came together and worked enthusiastically with Warner Music Group to secure this historic deal, 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.”
The excitement was echoed by WMG’s president of global catalogue, Kevin Gore, who said: “My introduction to Yes came while working at a record store in Ohio in 1983. 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.”
WMG’s acquisition of Yes’ Atlantic catalogue follows similar deals with the estate of David Bowie and 300 Entertainment (the label home to names like Young Thug, Megan Thee Stallion and Waterparks). The company’s other recent headlines include their move to scrap unrecouped debts for heritage artists, and the historic launch of a fan-powered royalties system.
Last May, longstanding Yes drummer Alan White died at the age of 72, following his battle with a “brief illness”. White joined the band in 1972 and performed with them regularly until his passing.