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Clive Black joins Primary Wave in the UK to focus on catalog acquisitions of ‘iconic and legendary song writers’

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Veteran British music executive Clive Black is joining Primary Wave Music in the UK.

His remit will be to focus on catalog acquisitions of what the company calls “iconic and legendary song writers” for the Primary Wave IP Fund 3 and its “vast” war chest.

Black has previously worked with Primary Wave, having headed up the company’s UK office back in 2012 when Primary wave expanded into the market.

His career in the music business started at the age of 16, when he started work as an office junior at Island Records.

Black soon moved into the world of A&R. He joined EMI Records as an A&R Manager but within a few years he was promoted to Director of A&R at the label.

He continued this role at Warner Music until 1995.

During both periods, Clive signed acts as diverse as Afrika Bambaataa, Mark Almond, Eternal, Mark Morrison, and Babylon Zoo.

Black then created the Postiva dance label within EMI.

He returned to EMI as Managing Director in 1995 where he worked closely with several superstar acts including Diana Ross. Sir Cliff Richard and Kate Bush.

By 1997 Black had personally signed and released seven No.1 singles in the UK by six different artists. Black left EMI and set up two companies, Blacklist Entertainment and Blacknight, with Sir Cliff Richard.

As Chairman of Blacklist, Black struck up a label deal with edel Records in the UK, signing several artists across the UK and Europe. He also created another dance label within edel called Free2Air Recordings.

In June 2004, Black completed a management buy-out of both edel UK and Free2Air Recordings, giving him ownership of both companies.

In 2008, Black was appointed Manager of record producer Trevor Horn and decided to base Blacklist within the legendary Sarm Studios, owned by Horn and HQ to the SPZ group of companies.

Black secured projects for Horn including Robbie Williams and it was not long before Horn appointed Black to the helm of his 13 companies as President of SPZ.

In 2011 Black left SPZ to re-start Blacklist Entertainment. He continues to do all his business under the Blacklist Entertainment umbrella, including several consultancy deals as either a business advisor or as an A&R executive.

“Larry and the Primary Wave team is something that I am extremely excited about and hope I will be able to add value to the wonderful organization Larry has built up since we worked together some twelve years ago.”

Clive Black

Clive Black said: “Larry and the Primary Wave team is something that I am extremely excited about and hope I will be able to add value to the wonderful organization Larry has built up since we worked together some twelve years ago.”

“It’s great to have him as part of our team, providing a platform where his vast experience can flourish.”

Larry Mestel, Primary Wave Music

Larry Mestel, Founder & CEO of Primary Wave Music, added: “Clive is a force in the music industry in the UK.

“It’s great to have him as part of our team, providing a platform where his vast experience can flourish.”


Yesterday (October 11), Primary Wave announced the acquisition of a stake in the assets owned by HLC Properties Ltd, the company owned by the estate of the legendary Bing Crosby.

Meanwhile, Primary Wave acquired a substantial stake in the Prince estate back in August.

In June, Primary Wave announced that it had finalized what it calls a “strategic relationship” with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Oaktree Capital has committed to invest up to $375 million into Primary Wave Music in exchange for a minority interest in the music company.

Primary Wave has raised over $800m in the past four years via two IP funds: a $300m fund in 2016, backed by Black Rock, and a further $500m-plus fund launched last year.

Primary Wave also owns substantial interests in the song catalogs of icons such as Ray CharlesBob MarleyWhitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Smokey Robinson and the Four Seasons.

The company bought a $80 million majority stake in the publishing catalog of Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks in December 2020.Music Business Worldwide

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