The Wolfe Tones toured the world and recorded 14 albums during the first 25 years of their illustrious career.
Unfortunately, they were stopped in their tracks when they signed a deal that turned out to be just too good to be true.
The band split in 1989 when Derek Warfield signed what appeared to be a lucrative contract with a distributor in the States. The contract gave the distributor significant rights over The Wolfe Tones’ material.
The rest of the band didn’t realise the ramifications of the contract when Derek signed it but effectively it meant that they could no longer record any new music. There was nothing they could do about the contract once it was signed so they continued to tour and perform their old material.
It was a major blow to their career and their progress.
The Wolfe Tones were allowed to release new material under other names so in 1995, Derek recorded his first solo album, Legacy.
It was recorded with other musicians but when he toured it was with The Wolfe Tones. Derek continued to record new material and has released several solo albums.
In 2001, Derek left the group and the remaining members continued to tour as Brian Warfield, Tommy Byrne and Noel Nagle formally of the Wolfe Tones. They recorded the song – You’ll Never Beat the Irish.
The three of them still tour as The Wolfe Tones. In 2008, they celebrated their 45th anniversary. They played a special concert at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. The concert was filmed and made into a documentary.
In 2012, they released an album, Child of Destiny, via the website, irishcountry.ie.
Despite the contractual difficulties, The Wolfe Tones remain one of the seminal Irish traditional bands of the last 50 years. They continue to tour and have a devoted following in several countries across the world.