Warner Music buys Rykodisc
March 26, 2006 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Warner Music set to buy Rykodisc. Although Rykodisc has already lost its independence, its apparent corporate resting place is bad news to fans of Ryko's many remarkable but commercially underperforming artists, and particularly to the legion and devoted fans of Frank Zappa [flash, audio], whose conflicts with and hatred for WB are well documented. Prove me wrong, Warner Bros. For the love of that which is best (music), prove me wrong.

CAVEAT It would be dishonest of me to post at WB's expense without publicly giving them credit for letting Mr Bungle do whatever they wanted.
posted by Eothele (10 comments total)
They've also let The Flaming Lips have total creative freedom, with great success I might add.
posted by Burton at 4:16 PM on March 26, 2006

If you've been following Warner for the past little while, you'll realize that they're very much taking an interest in catalog labels and distribution.

We've covered this pretty extensively on my website (Punknews.org) but so people don't think I'm soliciting hits, here's the jist:

* The company established an incubator label called East/West which has taken on a lot of smaller artists and labels.

* The acquisition of Rykodisc (which happened on friday) is mainly being sold to shareholders as about distribution.

* Finally, Warner took a step into digital distribution with Cordless Recordings; their "incubator" e-label.

I wouldn't worry too much about this acquisition, because Warner seems to be allowing East/West to grow pretty independently.

I think their goal is not to apply major label practices to indie, but to figure out why indie labels have been cutting into the majors so heavily over the past few years.
posted by aubin at 4:46 PM on March 26, 2006

Mr. Bungle was great, for the first album, but their second is garbage.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 5:51 PM on March 26, 2006

Rykodisc has their catalogue available for DRM-free download on Emusic.com.
I bet WB puts a stop to that.
posted by squalor at 5:52 PM on March 26, 2006

but no link to the feud between Zappa and WB when he was on their label?
posted by destro at 6:38 PM on March 26, 2006

Bungle, Buttholes and Beck. The three Bs of nihilist pop, and crowns rightly worn.
posted by squirrel at 7:02 PM on March 26, 2006

Actually Ryko and the Zappa family have been on the outs for awhile (for reasons that are not too clear). I don't sense too much disappointment from Zappa fan regarding this. We are too busy wondering WTF Gail is doing with the rest of his stuff.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:40 PM on March 26, 2006

Man, I guess I'd better go ahead and buy the rest of the albums from Rykodisc on emusic that I was thinking about getting. Squalor's probably right, I'd be surprised if those will be available there much longer.
posted by shinji_ikari at 8:30 PM on March 26, 2006

posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:51 PM on March 26, 2006

Word, Kevin.
posted by papakwanz at 9:33 PM on March 26, 2006

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