Radiohead’s back catalog purchased by XL Recordings: Report

UK alt rock heroes released their first six albums through EMI/Parlophone


As Radiohead gear up to release their new studio album, it appears the band’s back catalog has come under new ownership.

Before going fully independent with 2007’s In Rainbows, Radiohead released their first six studio albums — 1993’s Pablo Honey to 2003’s Hail to the Thief  — through EMI subsidiary Parlophone. Warner Music acquired EMI in 2013, and soon began fielding offers for more than 11,000 artist catalogs under its umbrella. It appears XL Recording was the winning bidder of Radiohead’s discography.

As of today, Spotify and other streaming music services list XL Recordings, and not Parlophone/Warner Music, as the record label for Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief. What’s more, the band’s 2008 greatest hits album, as well as the deluxe editions of these six albums, are no longer available for streaming. If you recall, EMI put out these deluxe releases in 2008 and 2009 against the wishes of Radiohead.

In a statement issued to Music Ally (confirmed by Pitchfork), a spokesperson for Spotify confirmed the transfer of ownership in explaining why the deluxe releases are no long available to stream. “As a result of the transfer of Radiohead’s catalogue from Warner Music to Beggars Group (the owner of XL), the band’s catalogue on Spotify has been streamlined, meaning that a small number of products are no longer available,” the spokesperson explained.

Radiohead released both In Rainbows and its follow-up The King of Limbs with assistance from XL Recordings, so it’s likely Radiohead are thrilled by these recent events.

A spokesperson for Radiohead declined comment. Representatives for XL and Beggars did not respond to our emails.

Update – Tuesday, April 5th at 8:15 a.m. CT: In a statement to Consequence of Sound, a spokesperson for XL Recordings 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.”

“In 2006, XL Recordings released Thom Yorke’s debut album, The Eraser. In 2007 the label released Radiohead’s In Rainbows album worldwide excluding North America, and in 2011 Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs album worldwide excluding North America. In 2013, XL released Atoms For Peace’s Amok album worldwide.”