Wise Music Australia Acquires Louis Tillett’s Publishing Catalogue

Louis Tillett’s extensive catalogue and future works will be represented by Wise Music Australia on a global basis.

Through a new, exclusive music publishing arrangement, Wise Music will pursue opportunities for the influential singer and songwriter’s deep well of songs which spans 11 albums, dating back to his debut solo album from 1987, Ego Tripping At The Gates of Hell, a set that inspired The Flaming Lips’ 2004 EP of the same name.

Other gems include A Caste of Aspersions (1989); Letters To A Dream (1992); the acoustic album The Ugly Truth (1993) and Midnight Rain (1996), both with Charlie Owen; Cry Against The Faith (1998); Live at The Basement (2000); and Learning To Die (2001); and The Hanged Man (2004).

“A truly underground, independent artist and musician’s musician, Louis’ music is ultimately timeless,” notes Wise Music in a statement, pointing out Tillett’s reputation and following across Europe, where he’s celebrated in some markets as a cult hero, an underground legend, and a master of the dark arts.

The late BBC broadcaster John Peel was among his many admirers.

Louis Tillett (Photo by Tony Mott)

Tillett’s life, career and battles with his personal demons were the subject of a 2000 ABC documentary, A Night At Sea.

The last few years have also seen him struggle with a serious complex illness, though he is now on the road to recovery, his reps say.

“If an artist’s success is reflected through the impact they’ve had on the artistic ecosystem, then Louis Tillett is an artist second to none. His collaborators and those heavily influenced by him are a who’s who of the most respected and non-compromising artists of the past half century,” comments Ben Pierpoint, A&R manager of Wise Music Australia.

Louis Tillett (Photo by Tony Mott)

True to his “auteur punk form,” adds Pierpoint, “when we were chatting to Louis, he stated that he was planning to destroy his entire catalogue and life’s work as he thought it had served its purpose. To now be a part of introducing this incredibly important artist, his stories and his music to a new generation will hopefully result in Louis properly taking his place as one of our giants in music and art.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It is an absolute honour to represent Louis’ extraordinary body of work,” comments Jane English, managing director of Wise Music Australia.

His “unique and commanding vocal style and wonderful catalogue of distinctly classic tracks showcase his exceptional song writing skills – a great fit for Wise Music. We are all delighted to represent a songwriter of such calibre.”

Wise Music will also rep the Sydney artist’s 11th and most recent LP, To Ride A Dead Pony, from 2017, a retrospective featuring rarities and pivotal efforts, from the first song he wrote and recorded “Swimming In The Mirror” and the first version of his song “Sailor’s Dream,” first released by the Wet Taxis.

“It is a great pleasure and an honour to be welcomed into the Wise Music family,” says Tillett.

“Finding a home for my music amongst such a prestigious and respected group is indeed a full circle moment for me. The team at Wise are a group of music creatives that have an insightful, nuanced and sophisticated view of songwriting and musical composition.

He continues, “It is their combination of both business acumen and genuine artistry that has inspired me to continue with the next chapter in my musical odyssey.”

Wise Music Australia is the local affiliate of Wise Music Group, the London-based music publisher which, in February 2020, changed its name from The Music Sales Group.

The global company boasts numerous pop catalogues and several leading classical music publishing houses including Novello & Co, Chester Music, J Curwen and Sons, G. Schirmer, Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Union Musical Ediciones and Bosworth which, together, form one of the world’s largest independent holdings of classical music.

The Australian company represents a range of writers and composers, including Donny Benet, Evan Dando, Ngaiire, Philip Glass and more.

Wise Music Australia will present its new signing with a special, invite-only show in Sydney on Feb. 1, and dozens of his recordings are currently being ingested and updated into his YouTube channel.

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