The Orchard has acquired metal label Shrapnel Records’ historic catalog, which includes music by Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Racer X, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Greg Howe and Richie Kotzen. It also includes releases by Chris Duarte, Paul Gilbert and Indigenous.
As part of the deal, the Orchard will oversee digital and physical distribution for the 322 album catalog, including about a third of them which will be made available for the first time. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Shrapnel, founded by Mike Varney 35 years ago, was a pioneering metal label that eventually included the blues/rock label Blues Bureau International and the jazz/fusion label Tone Center as part of its label group.
“The distribution landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, requiring greater staffing with expertise in digital distribution,” Varney said in a statement. “Although the Shrapnel Label Group will continue making new records, the expanded distribution and accompanying administration of the back catalog was something we felt could be best served by a larger company. As a pioneer in digital distribution with a tremendous track record of more than 15 years, The Orchard was in a stronger position to effectively realize this for our catalog.”
The Orchard has been acquiring indie labels in the last year, having bought Blind Pig Records and the Frenchkiss Label Group among other deals. The Orchard, itself, became wholly-owned by Sony Music Entertainment earlier this year.
“The Shrapnel Label Group was the first American label dedicated to metal and has pioneered the development of guitar-centric records,” said The Orchard VP of catalog development and associate general counsel Jason Pascal in a statement. “To get to work with a catalog of this size and scope is humbling and inspiring, and I couldn’t be happier that The Orchard will now serve as the steward for Shrapnel’s legacy.”