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A&M RECORDS Trumpeter/producer Herb Alpert and producer/promoter Jerry Moss used the initials from their surnames to create A&M Records in 1962. The LA-based label's earliest releases featured Alpert, The Sandpipers and Sergio Mendes, but their first international hit was Alpert's 'This Guy's In Love With You' in 1968. A distribution deal with Ode Records linked A&M with Carole King, and success with the Carpenters and Supertramp established the label internationally in the 70s. The singing of such major acts as the Police, Janet Jackson, Bryan Adams, Dina Carroll, Sting and Sheryl Crow furthered their fortunes. In 1989, Alpert and Moss sold the company to Polygram for a reported $500 million, but remained involved with the label until 1994 when they formed a new company, Almo Sounds.
ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS Abbey Road houses the world's most famous recording studios, since The Beatles named their 1969 album after the place in north London where they recorded it. Owned by EMI Music and opened in 1931 by composer Sir Edward Elgar, it hosted many of the world's leading classical and popular recording artists- Yehudi Menuhin, Noel Coward, Johnnie Ray, Ruby Murray, Eddie Calvert, and Alma Cogan- over the next three decades. In the late 50s, with EMI striving to compete with emerging American performers, new Pop talent, such as Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Adam Faith and Helen Shapiro, recorded British No1s at Abbey Road, which then only recorded EMI artists. The arrival of The Beatles in 1962, followed by Cilla Black, Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Hollies, turned Abbey Road in to a shrine for fans and other artists. The wall surrounding the studio became the repository of fan graffiti. In the 70s and 80s, Pink Floyd led a new wave of artists, followed by Steve Harley, Kate Bush and Sky, while Paul McCartney continued to work there. Abbey Road remains at the forefront of recording technology. Recent visitors have included Michael Jackson, Oasis, Radiohead and Page & Plant. Former Abbey Road engineer and founder of the project group, Alan Parsons, was appointed Vice President of EMI Studios in 1997.
AIT RECORDS, INC The first and largest producer of Ethiopian music outside Ethiopia. AIT was founded to give Ethiopian musicians and singers an opporunity to showcase their talents and introduce their unique culture to the rest of the world. Their ARTISTES INCLUDE ABEGASU KIBREWORK SHIOTA, GIRMA WOLDE MICHAEL, DAWIT MELESSE, FASIL WUHIB
ALULA RECORDS, INC Alula Records was created in 1996 by a group of record industry professionals with experience in record production, promotion and marketing. Their main office is in Durham, North Carolina, in the United States of America. They investigate contemporary world music from all over the planet with the desire to share our excitement and discoveries. Their roster includes Celtic artists from Ireland and Scotland, world beat from the Middle East, world fusion from Japan, contemporary Gnawa music from Morocco, flamenco guitar from Spain, Gypsy rumba from Spain and southern France, Estonian folk music and multiple artist compilations. They are also venturing into contemporary American roots music and will feature American artists whose work represents the amazing musical roots and flowerings of our own cultural diversity. Alula Records pays special attention to detail, from first class CD packaging to state-of-the-art sound quality. We have already won several national and international awards for the quality of our music and cover artwork. In 1998, Alula Records was named a runnerup for World Label of the Year in the Crossroads Magazine Music Awards. Alula Records is a proud member of AFIM (Association For Independent Music), a trade association that groups most of the American independent record labels, retailers and distributors.
ANGEL RECORDS INC The Angel logo, now in its second century in the year 2000, is the oldest trademark in the recording industry. As a recording and repertoire company, Angel Records continues to develop the range and variety of the music that it offers. Angel Records is also a marketing company with the honorable responsibility of promoting all recordings on the EMI Classics and Virgin Classics labels in the United States. Occasionally, recordings by artists signed by Angel in the United States (such as The Eroica Trio, Ruth Ann Swenson, Christopher Parkening), are released under the EMI Classics logo in keeping with the established classical tradition of the EMI Classics label. Angel's imposing history does not overshadow the present, as the label's vitality is clearly continuing into the future. This is evidenced by recent signings of artists such as the young sitarist Anoushka Shankar, composer Anne Dudley, and the tin hat trio - all of whom push the boundaries of musical genres and help launch Angel into the label's second century of musical exploration.
APPLE Apple records of a part of apple corps, an organization intended to realize The Beatles more fanciful ideas; including a boutique, arts foundation and electronics division - Zapple - supervised by Loonball inventor magic Alex. Although the Fabs remained signed to EMI, 1968s 'Hey Jude' bore the apple imprint, followed by the records by hot chocolate, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Billy Prestos and Badfinger. Apples London office hosted The Beatles' legendary final roof top performance, but chaotic administration led to legal and financial problems, exacerbating the group's spilt in 1970. Apple corps, however, continues to represent The Beatles' interest.
ARTIFACT RECORDS INC ARTIFACT RECORDINGS is a project of Ubu, Incorporated, an artist-run, non-profit organization supporting experimental and electronic music and performance based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their compact disk series is dedicated to representing an independent experimental music tradition that continues to thrive in the cracks between the commercial, academic and classical music establishments. Their artistes include Brian Reinbolt,Larry Polanski, Mark Trayle and James Tenney.
ATLANTIC RECORDS Atlantic Records, the brainchild of Turkish diplomat's son Ahmet Ertegun and student Herb Abramson, was created in 1947 with a $10,000 loan from Ertegun dentist. Stick McGhee's 'Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee' was the label's first success, closely followed by fellow R&B artists the clovers, Ruth Brown and Ray Charles. Abramson's departure allowed Billboard magazine reviewer Jerry Wexler to join in 1953, and Soul Stars The Drifters, Ben E. King, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett soon followed. Alongside Wexler's production skills, Atlantic recruited the songwriting talents of the legendary Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Ahmet's brother Nesuhi joined in 1956 when the label created a Jazz roster featuring Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Ronald Kirk. When Atlantic's records were released in the UK through Decca in the mid 50s, Bobby Darin became the label's first white star, appearing on sister label Atco, Atco also released Acker Billy's 'Stranger On The Shore' in America- the first UK record to reach US No1. A distribution deal with Memphis based Stax records linked Atlantic with the hits of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Eddie Floyd. Rock and Pop success also came to Atlantic in the 60s with Sony & Cher, Buffalo Springfield, the Young Rascals and Corsby, Stills, Nash & Young, joined by British acts like Yes, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Rolling Stones and Bad Company. Following 70s Soul act successes The Detroit Spinners, Roberta Flack and Sister Sledge, Atlantic reflected the wide range of musical genres emerging throughout the 80s and 90s with the artists such as Bette Midler, Foreigner, AC/DC, Phil Collins, Tori Amos and Hootie & The Blowfish. The label celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1988 with a concert at New York's Madison Square Garden featuring, among others, Led Zeppelin. Its Rock heritage was renewed in the 90s by Stone Temple Pilots and Matchbox 20, while making room for contemporary acts like Jewel and Lil' kim.
AXIOM RECORDS In 1990 Bill Laswell formed Axiom Records, the ultimate vehicle and outlet for projects that consistently challenge beliefs in various networks and levels of the status quo, delighting and angering his fans and critics alike. His work is based first and foremost in daring and original ideas that consistently transcend existing boundaries of genre, geography, culture, and context. Though seemingly incongruous at the time, the use of small string "chamber" ensembles over funk and reggae grooves -- as introduced on Sly & Robbie's 1987 release Rhythm Killers and continued with Material's Third Power among others -- proved influential enough to be appropriated as a "trademark" sound for Soul II Soul years later. Bringing drum machines to well-known Jamaican artist Yellowman was just another "radical" idea in 1983, while today live drums are virtually nonexistent in Jamaican music dominated by the mechanical beats of "dancehall". The uniting of ex-Sex Pistol Johnny Lydon with early hip-hop and Zulu Nation leader Afrika Bambaataa on "World Destruction" was the first fusion of hard rock and rap musics, predating later "groundbreaking" collaborations that brought similar elements together, and which have ultimately been overused to the level of a cliche. Laswell's endless sonic explorations of the early 1980s -- such as the incorporations of DJ scratching with jazz on Herbie Hancock's Future Shock, and techno beats with the African and Afro-Cuban music of Aiyb Dieng, Foday Musa Suso, and Daniel Ponce on Hancock's Sound System,among others Axiom's unprecedented field recordings in Morocco and Gambia (including The Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar - Apocalypse Across The Sky, Mandinka & Fulani Music Of The Gambia - Ancient Heart, and Gnawa Music Of Marrakech - Night Spirit Masters) involve the live, digital multitrack recording of musicians outdoors as they have played for centuries, with a twist: the multitrack tapes, which capture the individual microphones on each member of the large ensembles, are then taken into premium recording studios, and mixed as any state-of-the-art album is, resulting in spatial ambience, depth, and separation that is a far cry from the "field recordings" made on two-track recorders.
BERMONT RECORDS It includes six labels respectively called Crisalide, ECS, ac-series, cw classical works, Soho with the sub-division, Soho-Tec and Oxalide. Each one represents a defined style, of which the boundaries of some can freely fluctuate. Crisalide heads the world in New Age music not very demanding and easily understood, a language that is characterised by various influences like for example that of the ethnic origin or also that of the pop culture.The productions of the ECS (the acronym of esoteric-contemporary style) reveals an outstanding variety of expression and are distinguished by an extremely demanding artistic level. There are pictures of sound, forceful contrasts, surreal visions and they include like composing techniques, a harmonious and melodic material, mostly tonal that surpasses the older traditional concepts of tonality and atonality, complex sound structures, miscellany of sounds (sound synthesis) three-dimensionality of events, sounds and noises from nature and environment (musique concréte). ECS productions combine different aspects of contemporary music which becomes integrated elements of the composition,like for example, the virtual reality, the spatiality of the sound event, the expressiveness of sound changing in time, and all this contributes to opening up to the attentive and active listener extraordinary scenes of surreal beauty. The ac-series (the acronym of avant-garde composers) instead takes a step ahead in respect of the ECS productions which move more often in tonal centres. AC's productions are less characterised by tonal centres and their language is still more abstractly experimental, mainly based, as far as the technique is concerned, on the most elaborative electro-acustic processing like for example the live electronics (not yet present in the ECS) plus all the techniques already adopted in the works of the ECS series.The serie cw (the acronym of classical works) includes works from classical music; also those works that, even though they have a great artistic value, have not found up until today a large diffusion amongst the public. Soho ( the acronym of the spirit of Hathor egyptian goddness of dance and music) is the dance label of a mainly techno-ambient style. The productions which are strongly impregnated with the typically Techno language (very fast, nervous and aggressive) are figured under the denomination Soho-tec.In Oxalide which even has some sequences in common with Crisalide, above all there is the presence of the ethnic world (World music). Their artistes include Michael Bert, Christina Tourin, Leana Demichelis, Elletrica Musika and Sampler.
BIOGRAPH Biograph was founded in 1967. Its founder Arnold S. Caplin, a jazz percussionist, writer, artist, music researcher and social activist, created the company to preserve music that has its roots in America - Jazz, Ragtime, and Blues. With the goal of preserving historical jazz and blues recordings, that would otherwise be lost, the new company began an ambitious re-issue program. The heart of Biograph's initial strategy was to acquire companies and make available catalogs that contained jazz and blues artists that have made seminal contributions to American music. Later, the company produced new recordings by traditional artists who continue to keep jazz and blues alive today. In 1970, Biograph acquired the exclusive rights from the QRS Music Roll Company to produce music from piano rolls. Recordings of Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and most notably, Scott Joplin,The King of Ragtime, were released to critical acclaim. In 1974, Scott Joplin's music was used to score the Oscar winning movie "The Sting." At the same time Biograph gained notoriety as the premiere company preserving authentic ragtime. Ragtime had arrived "again" in America, and Biograph made it available to the general public. In addittion to the artists mentioned above, they have continued to release some of the hottest pianists ever to make a piano roll. Among these legendary composers and pianists are Eubie Blake, George Gershwin, Jimmy Blythe, Cow Cow Davenport, as well as accomplished women pianists like Edythe Baker and Mandy Randolph. What makes these recordings all the more enjoyable, are that they are direct-to-digital recordings (DDD), so the sound is as crystal clear now as when it was originally made, some of it 80 years ago. Many of the rolls heard on Biograph's compact discs were actually cut by the artists themselves, including Scott Joplin. In fact, Biograph is the only company to ever have Scott Joplin playing his own music available on compact disc. In search of legendary performers, Biograph has bought many companies including Melodeon Records, Center Records, Regal, and Dawn Records. Master tapes from these catalogs are rigorously researched to provide accurate information about the artist, personnel, and dates. Our recording engineers then carefully preserve these tapes, always striving to maintain the spirit in which the music was originally recorded, with the best fidelity possible. In addition, informative liner notes are always provided in each compact disc, adding a historical perspective to the music and production. Biograph has reissued a wealth of music in its history. From the Melodeon catalog comes the great bluesman Skip James. From the Center catalog the classic New Orleans musicians George Lewis and Jim Robinson. The Regal catalog contains the amazing 1950 sessions of bluesman Blind Willie McTell with Curley Weaver. Also, from the Regal catalog comes sessions recorded in 1949 of early rhythm and blues featuring Memphis Minnie with Jimmy Rogers, Little Brother Montgomery and others. The rich Dawn catalog contains music by renowned jazz musicians Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Milt Hinton, Al Cohn, Oscar Pettiford and many others. Much more from our archives is yet to be released. Aside from archival material, they have made many new recordings over the years. Among them is Reverend Gary Davis' last sessions, as well as what critics have called bluesman Johnny Shines' best album ever recorded. Working in close cooperation with the Library of Congress, Biograph was given the unique opportunity of restoring andreleasing the original field recordings of Son House. Recent releases include a reissue of Atlanta bluesman Buddy Moss, and our 1971 recording session of country bluesman Larry Johnson, a protege of Reverend Gary Davis. Another recent release is the Boilermaker Jazz Band who are currently touring the U.S. The Boilermaker's play New Orleans Style jazz, and are being well-received by the jazz community. Biograph is recognized nationally and internationally for its commitment to music. Our offices are in Somerville, MA and is distributed throughout North America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. Biograph is a registered trademark and a member of ASCAP, BMI, NAIRD and many other jazz and blues federations. A member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, we have been nominated for many Grammy Awards.
BIS RECORDS The world's great orchestras stick largely to a pretty limited diet. And the major record labels tend to reflect this interest in a narrow spectrum of widely known scores. At BIS they feel that the CD represents an ideal medium for widening musical orizons. And they are fortunate in that Scandinavian orchestras are largely funded from the public purse and can, therefore, pursue an artistic policy independent of the need to attract the nth concert visitor with yet another performance of '1812' cannons and all. This willingness to programme lesser-known works with adequate rehearsal time and a generous recording schedule has enabled BIS to record a large number of Nordic scores in well-rehearsed and deeply committed performances. First recordings of symphonies by Sallinen, Pettersson, Kokkonen, Marttinen, Holmboe, Nystroem, Svendsen, Gade, Jón Leifs and Aho come to mind. Recent projects have included the first recording of Des Jona Sendung, a grandly-conceived cantata by the 'father' of Estonian music, Rudolf Tobias. Des Jona Sendung has a very special place in Estonian music, representing a profound treatment of profound themes. Jón Leifs Saga Symphony holds a similarly honoured place in Icelandic music. Both Tobias and Jón Leifs grew up in countries with no tradition of composition and both were well aware that if they were to develop their full musical potential they were obliged to move to the European heart of music, Germany. In spite of absorbing much of the European tradition in their studies abroad, both were deeply concerned to develop the music of their own countries.Jón Leifs sought to do this by incorporating instruments in his music that were special to his own culture; in his Saga Symphony one can hear both ancient bronze horns and local percussion such as anvils and large stones struck with a hammer. The Saga Symphony is full of sounds that have never previously been part of the symphonic repertoire. Both Jón Leifs and Rudolf Tobias also wrote string quartets of significant interest and these have also been recorded by BIS. Iceland is famous for having more authors per head of population than any other country, but despite such distinguished contemporary names as ţorkell Sigúrbjörnsson, whose entrancing flute concertos we have recently recorded, it would probably have to yield second place to Estonia in the field of musical composition. Tubin, Pärt, Tüür and Sumera have widened musical horizons far beyond the confines of their native country and we shall continue to champion the cause of Estonian music. Finland has always had a special place in BIS's affections. Their very first symphonic release was devoted to symphonies by Aulis Sallinen and has continued to record his work. Kokkonen and Marttinen are other 'heirs' of Sibelius that BIS has helped to make available to more adventurous music-lovers and they have also begun to explore the 'forgotten' late-romantic Finnish composer Uuno Klami.
BOMP RECORDS Bomp is the oldest surviving independent alternative rock label, having recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary. They specialize in original '60s and '70s garage/punk, neo-garage-psych, power pop, etc., and modern bands rooted in these styles. Their back catalog includes Iggy & the Stooges, The Dead Boys, and scores of cool, obscure bands. But they are not just an archive label. Bomp has always been a contemporary label, and they continue introducing what they believe are some of the most thrilling new bands on the scene. Currently active bands include The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beachwood Sparks, Smallstone, The Embrooks, The Warlocks, and (thru our affiliated Alive/Total Energy labels) the MC5, Davie Allan, the US Bombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, and much more. They have released some 400 albums till date.
CHRYSALIS Chrysalis was formed in 1969 by Rock managers Chris Wright and Terry Ellis, and debuted with their clients Jethro Tull and Ten Years After. The success of Leo Sayer prompted the establishment of a US operation in the late 70s when Nick Gilder and Blondie brought further stateside success. Chrysalis forged through the 80s with Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Billy Idol, Huey Lewis and Sinead O' Connor, adding The Proclaimers, Arrested Development, Babybird, Simple Minds and Robbie Williams in the 90s, Wright and Ellis quit, but the former, who sold the label to EMI music, remains head of Chrysalis Group.
COLUMBIA/CBS The world's oldest record label, founded in 1887 as the Phonography Company, launched the long-playing record in 1947. Its early stars included Blues singers Bessie Smith and Robert Johnson, who were succeeded by the lighter likes of Doris Day, Paul Ahka, Frankie Lymon, Johnnie Ray, Andy Willams and Johnny Mathis in the 50s - by which time the label had evolved in to CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). In the 60s it was a Rock and Folk market leader with The Byrds, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel; a mega-selling roster bolstered by subsequent acquisitions Bruce Springspteen, Michael Jackson, Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, Shakin' Stevens and George Michael. Although the latter quit in a furious flurry, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Jamiroquai, Kula Shaker and Manic Street Preachers kept sales buoyant in to the 90s. In 1987, the label was bought by Japanese giant Sony, who bought the Columbia label from EMI- to whom it had been sold in the 30s. Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Helen Shapiro, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, The Yardbirds and Hermans Hermits were all released on EMI's Columbia, but confusion with the American Columbia label contributed to EMI's dropping of the name for Pop purposes even before Sony's acquisition of the rights.
CREATION Formed in 1983 by Alan McGee, creation became a titan of the Indie scene of the 80s and 90s. McGee moved to London in 1982 to start a venue and a label, Creation, named after an obscure English 60s group. Limited Edition, low budget singles established a cult following, but McGee's first major signings were fellow Scots The Jesus & Mary Chain, whose feedback - drenched assault merged his twin loves, Psychedelia and Punk. With fellow creation artists The Pastels, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and The House Of Love, they established a sometimes nostalgic house style which shaped mid- to late- 80s Indie. In the 90s, the label's domination grew with the success of Teenage Fanclub, Sugar, Ride, The Boo Radleys and The EverGreen Primal Scream. Nothing, however, matched the seismic impact of Oasis- not even a reissue of William 'Captain Kirk' Shatner's' classic The Transformed Man on creation offshoot Rev-Ola.
DEATH ROW Once Rap's mightiest mover, Death Row was founded by Dr Dre and Marion 'Suge' Knight, who forcibly persuaded NWA leader Easy E to relinquish Dre from his Ruthless Records. The Doctor's The Chronic (1992) unleashed Snoop Doggy Dogg and associated releases- including Tha Dogg Pound's Dogg Food (1995) and the superb soundtrack Above The Rim (1994) - became guaranteed US smashes. But commercial domination was no protection against corporate wrath. Under heat from anti-Rap campaigners, industry giant Time Warner Jettisoned Death Row distributor Interscope. Entertaining rivalry with Ruthless was replaced by bitter war with Puff Daddy's Bad Boy label, a dispute implicated in the murders of Death Row's Tupac Shakur and Bad Boy's Notorious Big. Alarmed that his proteges were spending mora time in court than in the studio, Dre jumped ship to his Aftermath label and Knight - on parole for violence- was jailed in 1995, rendering the company's renaming as 'The New And "Untouchable" Death Row Records' somewhat ironic. Amidst lawsuits, Snoop's departure and fragile distribution deals, the label was buoyed by posthumous Shakur releases, but Death Row's Greatest Hits (1996) looked suspiciously like an Epitaph.
DECCA Launched by British stockbroker Sir Edward Lewis in 1929, Decca's first successes included Bing Crosby and Al Jolson. An American division triumphed with Crosby's 30- million-selling 'White Christmas' and Louis Armstrong. After MCA purchased US Decca, Lewis founded London Records in 1947 as his US outlet; hits by Lonnie Donegan, Tommy Steele and Billy Fury, The Rolling Stones, The Moody Blues, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck ensued. Among the most successful was The Tornados' classic 'Telstar' (1962). London also leased small US labels' catalogues for release by Decca in the UK, including Little Richard, The Everly Brothers, Del Shannon, The Crystals and The Ronettes. Decca faded during the 70s and, following Lewis' death in 1980, was purchased by Polygram, renamed London Recordings, and carried on strong with New Order, The Communards, Shakespear's Sister, Run DMC, East 17, and All Saints.
DEF JAM In the mid-80s, Def Jam transformed from the biggest underground in the world to a mainstream monolith. The bizarre pairing of white college Kid Rick Rubin and Black Promotor Russell Simmons took the sound of the streets-a soundclash of Rock and Rap- to the top of the charts. Their Rap credentials were secured with their first release, LL Cool J's 'I Need A Beat', in 1984. Platinum sales ensued, CBS took over their distribution and Rubin had the bright idea of adding Metal guitars to his proteges snarling beats and rhymes. The results - including The Beastie Boys' Licensed to III - were eclipsed for sheer power only by the Cataclysmic Public Enemy, their banner carriers in the late 80s. By the 90s, the empire had crumbled just a little: Rubin- now more enamoured of the likes of Slayer- formed the Def American label which, transformed in to American Recordings, made millions from the most eclectic signings. Meanwhile, Simmons ploughed on with Def Jam, coasting mainly on the platinum consistency of LL Cool J, before hitting a mid-90s renaissance with Foxy Brown, Method Man and Redman. "You Create Your Own Musical Identity", said Simmons in 1990, "and do something special".
ECM Records Chrysalis was formed in 1969 by Rock managers Chris Wright and Terry Ellis, and debuted with their clients Jethro Tull and Ten Years After. The success of Leo Sayer prompted the establishment of a US operation in the late 70s when Nick Gilder and Blondie brought further stateside success. Chrysalis forged through the 80s with Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Billy Idol, Huey Lewis and Sinead O' Connor, adding The Proclaimers, Arrested Development, Babybird, Simple Minds and Robbie Williams in the 90s, Wright and Ellis quit, but the former, who sold the label to EMI music, remains head of Chrysalis Group.
ELEKTRA/ASYLUM Jac Holzman was a student at St John's college in Maryland in 1950 when he launched Elektra Records with a $600 budget as a Folk label, later adding 60s artists such as Judy Collins, Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs. The move in to Rock brought Paul Butterfield, Love And The Doors, alongside Carly Simon and Bread. In 1973 Holzman Handee over the reins to David Geffen who merged Elektra with his Asylum Record label, founded in 1970 with such Country Rock and Folk Talent as Jackson Browne, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell. Geffen had sold the Asylum label to Warner in 1972 for $5 million and the Elektra/Asylum operation - having signed The Cars, Simply Red, Anita Baker, Motley Crue, Tracy Chapman and En Vogue- became the 'E' in WEA.
EMI (Electric and Musical Industries Ltd.) EMI was founded in 1931 when competitors The Graphophone Company and The Columbia Gramophone Company settled their differences with a merger - an agreement traced to 1897. However, an EMI label was not established until 1972, when Marc Bolan's 'Metal Guru' became the new imprint's first hit. EMI used HMV, Columbia, Parlophone and, from 1969, Harvest as its main labels until HMV was re-established as a Classical label and problems encountered with the lack of worldwide rights for Columbia. EMI launched Pilot, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and The Shadows, who transferred from the Columbia label. Kate Bush, The Sex Pistols, Olivia Newton-John, Sheena Easton, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, The Rolling Stones, Duran Duran and Diana Ross were subsequent signings. In the 90s, Eternal, Shampoo, Chumbawamba, Terrorvision and Louise, plus former Harvest stalwarts Pink Floyd, head the EMI Roster. The company's interest in Chrysalis, Capitol, Virgin and Apple mean that Smashing Pumpkins and Garth Brooks joined perennial money-spinners The Beatles in EMI's 100th Birthday shenanigans in 1997.
FACTORY Factory did things differently: no contracts, no advances, no money. British TV presenter Tony Wilson founded Factory with Alan Erasmus in 1978, primarily to release there charges The Durutti Column. The label scored first with Joy Division, whose manager Rob Gretton and producer Martin Hannett became directors. With no contractual ties, factory successes Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark and James were lured by more lucrative offers. Miraculously, Happy Mondays and New Order stayed, subsidizing poorer sellers including A Certain Ratio, Section 25, Stockholm Monsters and Miaow. Factory's lavish corporate image and obsessive 'FAC' catalogue numbering - including Gretton's dental work- masked wayward business pursuits, notably the profit swallowing Hacienda Club. An attempted sellout to London Records flopped when it transpired that Factory had nothing to sell. Instead, London bought New Order's and Happy Mondays' catalogues direct from the groups themselves. Wilson dissolved the label in 1993; his next venture, Factory Too, was founded with London's help, but a lawsuit loomed in 1997 when the label reverted to its independent status and its former name. The best of Factory can be found on the box set Palatine (1992).
HALOGEN RECORDS Halogen Records is a Vermont-owned and operated independent record company corporation. We're proud to feature an eclectic range of recording artists and labels on our record label roster. In addition to distribution, Halogen Records represents a number of artists as a record label. Primarily, Halogen Records is a record label, but since there is such a need for inexpensive, sensible distribution, we decided to extend our services to musicians who already have representation and product. Halogen Records has had a tremendous response from our audience and our artists. We have helped a number of bands start from scratch helping them to create demo's, promo-packs and an expanded audience. We don't have major label budgets as of yet, but What we do have is a great team of creative music industry savvy people who are dedicated to representing good music, regardless of musical style or genre. Our creative musical community includes performing musicians, major retail distribution connections, major and college radio distribution and servicing, compact disc manufacture through Summint Sound (Canada), and a whole lot of promotion and industry experience. Our mandate here at Halogen Records is to help musical artists build sustainable careers. Our profits go directly back into developing new musical acts and sustaining radio promotion and viable industry connections.
ISLAND RECORDS Chris Blackwell began operating an Island company in Jamaica in 1957. He moved to London in 1962 When Island began distributing Jamaican music and produced the 1964 hit 'My Boy Lollipop' by Millie. Significant signings in the late 60s and early 70s resulted in a major roster of British talent featuring Fairport convention, Cat Stevenes, King Crimson, Free, Jethro Tull and Roxy Music, alongside the label's Jamaican superstar Bob Marley. In 1975 Blackwell launched Island Records in America with Joe South and War, and scored further success with Sparks, Stevie Winwood, Frankie goes to Hollywood, U2, Pulp and The Cranberries. Blackwell sold Island to Polygram for $275 million in 1989, but remained Chairman until 1997.
J_BIRD MUSIC GROUP INC The first complete World Wide Web recording label, is a completely integrated independent music company founded in 1996 by former EMI record executive Jay Barbieri. J-Bird operates its business utilizing a business model new to the recording industry that was developed to generate sustained profitability in the Internet era. J-Bird is comprised of two distinct but integrated operating subsidiaries. J-Bird Records is an aggressive, independent record label that attracts artists through Internet awareness and by offering them creative control of their product. compliments J-Bird Records through its complete interactive promotional Internet portal that is committed to developing a strong catalog of already established recording artists and using its Internet based promotional tools and sales model to drive their careers. With over 350 recording artists and a growing catalog that currently numbers in excess of 3000 titles, J-Bird is building a long term stream of revenue to generate on-going profits from its low cost based business model. J-Bird's strategy is based on giving music lovers worthwhile access to an unlimited number of artists, musical styles and musical genres. By using the powerful and low cost medium of the Internet, J-Bird has created a stimulating and entertaining community to promote consumer driven sales. Underlying this Internet approach, J-Bird is building a stable of established artists and emerging talent by allowing them artistic freedom while enabling those artists to maintain control over their careers. In addition to recording and promoting the works of established and emerging artists, J-Bird is also building its base of assets by acquiring existing libraries of recordings and rights in order to generate a long term stream of revenues from royalties. Unlike the major recording labels whose focus is to maximize revenue from the intensive promotion of a few major artists, J-Bird's objective is to create a non-hit driven record label based on many entities selling 2,000 to 50,000 units each. J-Bird executes its strategy by signing artists that either may not get a traditional recording contract or who desire to exercise a greater degree of artistic freedom than those contracts provide. By employing a strategy of not paying advances and having the artists cover minimal up front costs, J-Bird is then able to employ its web site to promote and distribute product at a very low breakeven sales level.
MOTOWN Berry Gordy won success as a composer and performer- charting with 'Money (That's What I Want)' - before launching Motown, the world's greatest black record company in 1960. Named in honour of Detroit -or 'Motortown' - Motown first scored with Smokey Robinson's 'Shop Around' on the Tamla label. In addition to signing The Marvelettes, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5, Gordy convened in-house producers including Smokey, Holland Dozier Holland, Whitfield & Strong and Ashford & Simpson. UK hits on a specially created Tamla Motown label were endorsed by The Beatles, contributing to massive international success for two more decades. The company's fortunes waned in 80s, despite hits by Rick James, Lionel Richie and Teena Marie. Gordy sold it to MCA in 1988. The 90s saw a rebirth courtesy of Boyz II Men and Motown was acquired by Polygram in 1993.
MY PAL GOD RECORDS My Pal God records started in 1993. The first band to be signed was Oswald 5-0 from Portland. After Oswald 5-o, several records followed [Galaxy, Drag King, Chumley, Vix Krater...] that were paid for by the bands but released and distributed by My Pal God. In 1995, on the heels of marginally well received singles from Totfinder and Hurl, My Pal God attempted to transform itself from "hobby" to something a bit more legitimate. Additional records from Dis-, Hurl and Silkworm certainly helped matters. The ailing address and "warehouse" were moved [officially] to Chicago, Illinois in January of 1997. With a minimal amount of fanfare and some logistical confusion, My Pal God started off again.In September 2000, after many debates and a great deal of uncertainty, My Pal God moved back to its original home of central New Jersey.
NOTHING RECORDS Nothing Records was founded by musician Trent Reznor and his manager John A. Malm, Jr. in 1992. Nothing's roster features Reznor's Nine inch nails, Marilyn Manson, Autechre, The Bowling Green, Plaid, Plug, Pop will eat itself, Prick, Squarepusher, 12 rounds, and The The.
PARLOPHONE The label most famously associated with The Beatles and the 60s Merseybeat boom began life in Germany before the First World War as a Classical label. Launched by Carl Lindstorm, his use of the German letter 'L' as a logo reputedly led to the label's famous trademark. Parlophone was part of the Columbia Graphophone company before the formation of EMI in 1931, when it took its place alongside the HMV and Columbia labels. American Jazz recordings, British dance bands and a selection of comedy and novelty records featuring the likes of Charlie Drake and Peter Sellers were the major Parlophone releases until the late 50s, when they were joined by new British talent like Adam Faith, The Temperance Seven and Matt Monro. The signing of The Beatles by label chief and producer George Martin in 1962 led to a roster featuring Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer and The Hollies. After a dispute with EMI over royalty payments on his Beatles recordings, Martin, who produced over 20 UK No.1s for Parlophone, left in 1966. The label continued under producer/artist Norman 'Hurricane' Smith and issued late 70s/early 80s albums by Lennon and McCartney. In the 80s, chart-toppers Duran Duran, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Pet Shop Boys appeared on Parlophone, then EMI stalwarts Queen joined Morrissey and Paul McCartney on the label, alongside new, successful 90s acts Blur, Radiohead, Supergrass and Mansun.
RCA The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) entered the record business in 1929 by purchasing the Victor Talking Machine company, established in 1901 by Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone. Using the name RCA Victor, they incorporated the Dog & Trumpet logo, acquired from the British HMV company, before reverting to simply RCA. The 30s saw RCA at the forefront of Jazz with Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, followed by Pop singers Perry Como, Dinah Shore and Eddie Fisher alongside the famous tenor Mario Lanza. Fortunes floundered in the 50s until the arrival of Elvis Presley, who dominated the label for years, Dolly Parton, Harry Nilsson, Jefferson Airplane, Lou Reed, Hall & Oates and John Denver were added to the roster, followed by British signings The Sweet, David Bowie, Eurythmics and Bucks Fizz before the company's acquisition by the German media company Bertelsmann in 1986. The 90s saw RCA boasting US signings The Dave Matthews Band, ZZ Top, The Verve Pipe and, via the label's venture with Loud Records, Wu-Tang Clan, alongside the UK's Take That, M People and Gary Barlow.
ROOM 3 RECORDS Room 3 Records was established in 1996 as the management and production vehicle for Nervous Passenger, a new contemporary Christian band from Edinburgh. R3R handles all the affairs of NP including bookings & promotion, as well as the recording and marketing of the band's material. In 1997, R3R invested in its own recording studio, primarily to record NP's second release [Taller Trees]. Since then, additional investment has enhanced the studio's specification to a 26 track fully digital facility. The entire studio can be moved, making it ideally suited for live or location recording. R3R has recently undertaken work for Ian White and Kingsway Music. Although still very much associated with Nervous Passenger, R3R is able to offer its services to others. Their belief is that Christian music deserves at least the same attention to quality as is found elsewhere. The aim, therefore, is to provide high quality service and equipment on attractive terms in various areas of activity. Room 3 Records is a part-time, non profit making company registered in Scotland.
ROUGH TRADE More than any other Indie label, Rough Trade embodied DIY Punk Ethics. Founded by Geoff Travis in 1976 as a London record shop-it became the place for hip US and Raggae imports, independent releases and fanzines. Travis founded Rough Trade Records in 1978. Launched with industrialists Metal Urbain, its diverse roster boasted Reggae artist Augustus Pablo alongside Stiff Little Fingers and prickly electronic types Cabaret Voltaire. Rough Trade's best - The Pop Group, Aztec Camera, The Go-Betweens, The Fall, Scritti Politti, Jonathan Richman, Pere Ubu - bravely bent Pop's rules. The success of The Smiths bankrolled such indulgences and led to Travis' joint label with Warner Music UK, Blanco Y Negro - home to Dinosaur Jr. Catatonia, Everything But The Girl and The Jesus & Mary Chain. However, when The Smith's defected to EMI and bright hopes The Sundays failed to conquer the universe, Rough Trade hit a rough patch. Its distribution network collapsed in 1991, but the label - and an international chain of shops - thrives to this day.
STAX Jim Stewert, a graduate from Memphis State University, launched the hugely influential black record label Stax in 1961 when he renamed his original satellite records following a claim on the name by a rival record company. Stewart combined the first two letters of his surname with the first two letters of his sister Estelle Axton's surname to create Stax, whose first successes were Rufus Thomas and his daughter Carla. A distribution deal with Atlantic Records put Stax on the map and led to hits for The Markeys, William Bell, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave and international best-seller Otis Redding. After Redding's death in 1967, Stax ended its association with Atlantic, who retained ownership of all past recordings, and soul the company to Gulf & Western. In 1970, Stewart and partner Al Bell bought the company back but, amid accusations of financial irregularities and departure of its major artists, Stax ceased operating in 1976. Its assets were bought at auction by Fantasy Records, who continue to distribute the Stax catalogue.
STIFF Founded in 1976 by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, Stiff the beer- soaked home of Pub Rock legends like Dr Feelgood, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Ian Dury and New Wave prophets The Damned, Wreckless Eric and Elvis Costello. As the UK's leading Indie label, few argued with their T-shirt slogan "If It Ain't Stiff It Ain't Worth A Fuck"- especially as the Stiff gang were a renowned gang of hell - raising fruitcakes as their chaotic 1977 Stiffs Greatest Hits- Live! Package tour proved. The label's biggest 70s successes were Ian Dury's New Boots And Panties! ! (1979) and Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True (1978), but after Riviera's departure to form Radar, Robinson added hitmakers like Lene Lovich, Jona Lewie, Madness and Graham Parker. Stiff's sad demise came when it was incorporated in to Island in 1984, but its legend lives on as a much- loved loony bin of a label.
STUD!O K 7 The story of STUD!O K7 begins in Berlin in 1985. Horst Weidenmüller started producing videos about the punk and independent scenes of the time in his office on Kaiserdamm 7, featuring among others artists like Nick Cave, Einstürzende Neubauten. Of course the thundering arrival of house and techno also exerted its influence on STUD!O K7's life, whose premises in the meantime had settled into Leipziger Straße in central East Berlin. The next natural progression was an endeavour to invent a visual language for this new dance music - STUD!O K7 came up with '3 LUX' - the world's first computer-animated long form video. The whirling, exhilarating feeling of being part of something new was intensified by the great and somewhat unexpected success of 3 LUX. The decision to launch digitally generated video clips at the same time, with some special DJ-mixed sets on CD soon followed, and the idea of the 'X-MIX' was born. In the following years the cream of international house and techno DJs was won over from the idea of the X-MIX issues to its realisation. Brilliantly mixed sets by Laurent Garnier, Richie Hawtin, DJ Hell, Ken Ishii, Hardfloor, Mr C, John Acquaviva, Paul van Dyk, Dave Angel, Kevin Saunderson and Dave Clarke all made X-MIX one of the best respected compilation series within the dance community. With numerous features on music stations such as MTV and VIVA the name 'X-MIX' became a trademark, and enjoys a worldwide fan base. The way in which STUD!O K7 has constantly proved itself to be open to new trends and critical of its own traditions is a testament to the increasingly significant role of X-MIX music as opposed to video clips, After German crew Hardfloor rounded off the X-MIX series last year with their "10 years of acid house" set, its successor "ELECTRO BOOGIE" took its place. This series was developed in collaboration with Dave Clarke, and after only two issues was already dubbed as a milestone of Electro. The beginning of a second compilation series in 1995, entitled "DJ KICKS", saw the fruits of these labours. A lot more experimental in style with much more focus on the artists' own forms of expression, DJ KICKS offered producers a forum for epic mix albums, with positive encouragement to go crashing through musical boundaries. After the 'Detroit Years' with Carl Craig, Claude Young and Stacey Pullen, some of the most interesting turntable artists of the Leftfield circuit followed, making the series even more popular than its predecessor X-MIX. Kruder & Dorfmeister, Smith & Mighty,Rockers Hi-Fi, Nicolette, DJ Cam, Kemistry & Storm and Andrea Parker all willingly took advantage of their artistic freedom and to date all of the DJ KICKS have been forays into unknown territory - individual, daring and blessed by the DJs own golden touch - exciting works in a crossover zone between clubland and art. In 1996 the name !K7 RECORDS became an artists' label, under which innovative producers like Terrence Parker,Nicolette, K-Hand, Impulse, Gez Varley, Khao and Nick Holder have brought out their own releasesAfter the first two indeed very house - influenced years, STUD!O K7 has significantly widened its roster by signing artists like Shantel, Funkstörung, Smith & Mighty and Terranova.
SUB POP The only label brave enough to sign the Elephantine Tad, Sub Pop developed Grunge from a quiet side street to a super highway. Formed in 1986 by Bruce Pavitt and promotor Jonathon Poneman, Sub Pop took its identity from Motown, its acumen from Malcolm Mclaren and its raw material from the rain-soaked city of Seattle. For years, Seattle had cultivated a bizarre and ignored scene: Grunge. Sub Pop signed its brightest - Green River, Tad, Dwarves, Soundgarden, L7 and, of course, Nirvana- and started a major - label goldrush. With their much- loved singles club, they released limited edition gems like Nirvana's ultra rare 'Love Buzz'. But Grunge's explosion in 1991 nearly killed the label: Nirvana had already decamped to DGC for the platinum- plated Nevermind, while L7, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and even perennial under - achievers Tad also swelled the coffers of other labels. However, the excellence of Sebadoh, Sunny Day Real Estate, Combustible Edison and Mark Lanegan kept Sub Pop afloat through the 90s.
SUN RECORDS In 1952, two years after opening his Memphis Recording Service, former DJ Sam Phillips launched Sun Records as a home for local black artists, including Rufus Thomas, Little Milton and The Prisonaires, a vocal group made up of ex-prisoners. Sun's most famous artist, Elvis Presley, first visited the studios in 1954 to make a private recording and released his debut, 'That's Alright Right Mama', the same year. Presley made four more singles for Sun before Phillips sold his contract to RCA in late 1956. Phillips added Rock 'n' Roll artists Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis to the roster and made early recordings with Charlie Rich and Roy Orbison, but the departure of these performers to other companies brought Sun's golden years to an end. Mickey Gilley, Sonny Burgees and Bill Justis were signed in the 60s, but Sun was unable to compete with the emerging major record companies and Phillips sold the label to music publisher and producer Shelby Singleton in 1969. Original Sun recordings are still reissued in America by the SSS label and through Charly Records in the UK. Although the Sun studio is now principally a museum, U2 made a pilgrimage there to record 'Angel Of Harlem', 'Love Rescue Me' and 'When Love Comes To Town' for the 1988 album Rattle And Hum.
VAN RICHTER RECORDS Van Richter Records was formed November 1993 in San Diego California by long time loyal fans of Industrial Music . Their mission is to develop the careers of the leading Artists in the Industrial music genre. Every album including the packaging is of the highest quality in the music industry. Since their formation Van Richter Records has been very selective in Artist signings. They now have a dynamic and diversified roster of six of the leading Industrial bands - Testify, The Fair Sex, Plastic Noise Experience, Sielwolf, Death and Horror Inc., and Girls Under Glass. Their Artists cover the entire spectrum of the Industrial sub genres including Aggro, Electro, Darkwave, Noise, and Ambient.
VELVET BLUE MUSIC Velvet Blue Music officially began in June, 1996 at the Cornerstone Music Festival when our first five releases were made available to the public. The label is based in Huntington Beach, California. Their artistes include Starflyer 59,LN, Pony Express, Burning Ears.
VIRGIN Richard Branson and Nik Powell formed Virgin in 1972 when Branson acquired a 17th -century manor house in Oxfordshire and installed a recording studio. In 1973, Tubular Bells, recorded at The Manor by Mike Oldfield, became Virgin's first smash. In 1977, they signed The Sex Pistols after the band had been dropped by EMI and A&M, furthering an adventurous reputation which began with weird types Faust and Henry Cow. The Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, UB40 and Phil Collins followed and Virgin's 1983 acquisition of Charisma added Genesis and Peter Gabriel. That year, they linked with EMI to launch the super-selling Now That's What I Call Music compilations. By the late 80s, with artists like Belinda Carlisle, Paula Abdul, Byran Ferry and Madness, Virgin was one of the world's leading independent record companies, but EMI acquired the label in 1992. While Virgin continued with Janet Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Meat Loaf, Smashing Pumpkins, The Verve and The Spice Girls, Branson and Gang launched their own V2.
VOICE PRINT RECORDS The Voiceprint Group of Companies are a group of record labels established in 1990 who have achieved success by having a keen ear for neglected classics and a great selection of new music. Altogether the Voiceprint Group catalogue comprises more than 700 albums. A diversity of genres are covered: Rock, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Dance, Progressive Rock and Psychedelia. Featured artists include Gordon Giltrap, Talk Talk, John Wetton, Wishbone Ash, Jansen, Barbieri and Karn, Fairport Convention, John Martyn, John Foxx, Kim Fowley, The Fall and Mick Taylor. The Voiceprint label is widely recognized as one of the fastest-growing independent record labels in the UK, combining a full range of musical services and label management with creative international marketing and distribution of its catalogue.
WARNER Asked why REM signed to Warner Bros in 1988, Michael Stipe replied "Bugs Bunny". The US Film company entered the music biz disastrously in 1930 with the purchase of Brunswick Records, but bounced back in 1958 with the launch of Warner Bros Records. The label's first major success was The Everly Bros (who reached US and UK No.1 with Cathy's Clown), followed by comedian Bob Newhart and Folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. In 1963, Warner expanded with the acquisition of Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. Artist at the forefront of a new wave of 70s American music such as The Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, Randy Newman, James Taylor, Ry Cooder, The Doobie Brothers and Van Morrison signed to Warner Bros while Joni Mitchell and Neil Young joined Reprise. In 1970, Warner joined forces with Elektra/Asylum and Atlantic as WEA, adding Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Yes, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Bad Company, Aretha Franklin and Robert Flack. Further success came from Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, and a-ha. WB subsidiary Sire signed Talking Heads and Madonna (a decade later her Maverick label, a Warner Bros affiliate, signed Alanis Morissette, Prodigy and Cleopatra). In the 90s, Kd Lang, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Reprise's Green Day were added, alongside million-selling soundtrack albums from the Batman movies, Evita and Space Jam.
WARP "We Are Reasonable People", argue Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett, masterminds behind Warp. Considering the demonic noise of their protégé Aphex Twin's 'Come To Daddy' (1997), their sincerity seems doubtful. Founded in 1989, the Warp label eschewed fey Indie jangling and became synonymous with cold, experimental Techno. Mitchell and Beckett started with Sheffield's FON record store, which - hijacked by House and Techno DJs -became the censer of a local Dance explosion. They issued Forgemaster's 'Track With No Name' with little expectation. When it sold 10,000, they became Warp and hit the UK top 40 in 1990 with wondrous UK Techno pioneers Nightmares On Wax, Tricky Disco and LFO. But Warp's speciality was not the wide-eyed silliness of Hardcore, nor the dullness of Handbag House. With their excellent Artificial Intelligence compilations, they showcased a growing wave of DIY Techno terrorists- Aphex Twin, Autechre, The Black Dog, B12, Richie Hawtin and Mike Paradinas' -Ziq-who bled Dance's experimental potential dry with mind- bogglingly weird collages of electronics and noise. Other classics came courtesy of DJ Andrew Weatherall's Sabres Of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen, Plaid, Broadcast, Jimi Tenor, Squarepusher and US legends Drexciya. Even an old-timer like Cabaret Voltaire's Richard H. Kirk found comfort in Warp's bosom. And anyone can join in: Warp releases carry the message "If You Think On The Same Wavelength, contact/send tapes to…" Warp: the greatest record label in the world ever.