Primary Wave Music has struck a deal with Fish, aka Derek Dick, to acquire the singer and lyricist’s master royalties and writer’s share for songs he wrote and performed with UK rock band Marillion.
Among the songs included in the deal are Marillion’s biggest hits, Kayleigh, Lavender and Incommunicado.
The value of the acquisition wasn’t disclosed, but Primary Wave said that, as part of the deal, Fish will gain access to the company’s marketing team and infrastructure, including digital strategy, licensing and sync opportunities.
“Every songwriter has a spiritual and emotional connection with their creations and is very protective about their legacy,” Fish said in a statement.
“When [head of Primary Wave UK Clive Black] approached me about my shares in the Marillion catalog, I soon realized that Primary Wave was a good home for them to go to and be cherished and to leave that part of my history as I move forward in my solo career.”
Fish added: “I’m pleased that these songs will be heard by further generations and introduce my continued songwriting to new audiences worldwide.”
Black commented: “I am thrilled to have been able to bring this wonderful catalogue to Larry and the great team at Primary Wave.”
Marillion has been described as the most commercially successful British progressive rock band of the 1980s – an era when prog-rock was otherwise considered to be in decline.
A native of Edinburgh, Fish joined the band in 1981, and was immediately made its frontman. The band signed to EMI in 1982, releasing an EP and their first full-length album, Script for a Jester’s Tear, soon thereafter.
The album debuted on the UK charts at No.7, and charted for 31 weeks. Their second album, Fugazi, reached the Top 5 on the UK charts. But it was their third album, 1985’s Misplaced Childhood, that gave Marillion true mainstream popularity.
The first single off the album, Kayleigh, reached No.2 on the UK Singles chart, and hit the Top 20 in numerous countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The second single, Lavender, reached number 5 on the UK Singles chart.
The band’s fourth album, Clutching at Straws, was released in 1987 and produced another hit, Incommunicado, which hit No.6 on the UK Singles charts. Fish left the band in 1998 and has since built a solo career, while Marillion has continued to release albums with Steve Hogarth as frontman.
“I’m pleased that these songs will be heard by further generations and introduce my continued songwriting to new audiences worldwide.”
Derek Dick, aka Fish
The deal is just the latest in a series of deals for Primary Wave. It has acquired stakes in the rights of such legendary talents as Bob Marley, Prince, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, Burt Bacharach, Bing Crosby, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Culture Club, among many others.
Among its more recent deals was an acquisition of songs performed by Whitney Houston (via a deal with songwriters Shannon Rubicam and George Merrill), The Doors (through a deal with band members Robby Krieger and the late Ray Manzarek) and The Final Countdown singer-songwriter Joey Tempest.
The company has funded these blockbuster deals with the help of investments from such major players as BlackRock and Oaktree Capital. In 2022, Primary Wave struck a deal that would see Brookfield Asset Management put $1.7 billion into a fund to buy music rights.Music Business Worldwide