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Encyclopedia > Geffen Records
Geffen Records
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1980
Founder(s) David Geffen
Distributing label Interscope-Geffen-A&M (US)
Polydor Records (Non-US)
Genre(s) Various
Country of origin US
Location Santa Monica, California
Official Website Official website of Geffen Records

Geffen Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group. Image File history File links Geffenlogo. ... Universal Music Group (UMG), formerly MCA Music Entertainment Group, is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... David Lawrence Geffen (born February 21, 1943) is a record executive, film and theatrical producer, and philanthropist. ... Interscope-Geffen-A&M is an American record label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... 1920s vintage Polydor export label with its double-horn gramophone logo In 1954 Polydor Records introduced their distinctive orange label. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... For other uses, see Santa Monica (disambiguation). ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Universal Music Group (UMG), formerly MCA Music Entertainment Group, is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... Interscope-Geffen-A&M is an American record label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. ...

Contents

Company history

Beginnings

Geffen Records was founded in 1980 by music industry businessman David Geffen who, in the early 1970s, had formed Asylum Records. Geffen stepped down from Asylum after being diagnosed with a cancerous cyst but, following confirmation that the growth was benign, returned to work and struck a deal with Warner Bros. Records to create Geffen Records. Warner provided 100 percent of the funding for the label's operations, while Geffen retained 50 percent of the profits, and distributed its records. (International distribution outside the US and Canada, meanwhile, moved from WEA in 1982 to CBS until 1990.) Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... David Lawrence Geffen (born February 21, 1943) is a record executive, film and theatrical producer, and philanthropist. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ... original logo current logo Asylum Records is a record label which was started in 1971 by David Geffen. ... Warner Bros. ...


Geffen Records' first signee was disco superstar Donna Summer, whose gold-selling album The Wanderer became the label's first release in 1980. The label followed it up with Double Fantasy by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It was Lennon's first album of all-new material in several years. Two days after it entered the charts, Lennon was assassinated in New York City. Subsequently, the album went on to sell millions and gave Geffen its first number one album and single. Disco is a genre of dance-oriented pop music that blends elements of funk and soul music that was first popularized in dance clubs (discothèques) in the mid-1970s. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. ... The Wanderer is a 1980 album by Donna Summer. ... Double Fantasy is the comeback album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released in 1980 initially on the newly-formed Geffen Records, and now through EMI, the distributor of all of Lennons output (including his Beatles material). ... John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), (born John Winston Lennon, known as John Ono Lennon) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founding member of The Beatles. ... Yoko Ono Lennon (小野 洋子 Ono Yōko, born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese artist and musician. ...


Geffen Records also had early success with several "big 80s" acts including Quarterflash, Oxo, Asia, Wang Chung, and a pre-Van Halen Sammy Hagar. Quarterflash is a pop-rock group formed in Portland, Orgon in 1980. ... OXO (also known as Noughts and Crosses) is a tic-tac-toe computer game made for the EDSAC computer in 1952. ... Asia is an arena rock/progressive rock group. ... Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight. ... Samuel Roy Hagar (born October 13, 1947 in Monterey, California, USA), better known as Sammy Hagar, (aka The Red Rocker) is a U.S. rock guitarist, singer, composer and former member of Van Halen, and of the early 70s rock band Montrose. ...


As the 1980s progressed, Geffen Records continued to sign a handful of established music icons, including Elton John, Cher, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Peter Gabriel. Toward the end of the decade, the company also began making a name for itself as an emerging rock label, thanks to the success of Whitesnake, Guns N' Roses and the mainstream comeback of '70s era rockers Aerosmith. This prompted Geffen to create a subsidiary label, named DGC Records in 1990. DGC is an acronym for David Geffen Company. The label focused on more progressive sounds and would later embrace the emergence of alternative rock, with influential acts like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Beck, Weezer, Counting Crows, Hole, The Sundays, Teenage Fanclub, as well as early releases by hip hop heavyweights The Roots. DGC virtually ceased all of its operations in the late 90's, with most of their artists signing directly with Geffen or Interscope after Seagrams' buy-out of PolyGram and merging its collective labels with Universal Music Group in 1998. Today, DGC exists an exclusive imprint for all Nirvana material that has continued to be released in recent years, in addition to being the American home to English act The Klaxons. Sir Elton Hercules[1] John CBE [2] (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is a multiple Grammy and Academy Award-winning English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist. ... Cheryl Sarkisian LaPiere (better known as Cher) (born on May 20, 1946),[1] is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and entertainer. ... Donald Hugh Don Henley (born July 22, 1947 in Gilmer, Texas) is an American rock musician who is the drummer and one of the lead singers and songwriters of the band the Eagles. ... Joni Mitchell, CC (born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943) is a noted Canadian musician, songwriter, and painter. ... Neil Percival Young[1] OM (born November 12, 1945, Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and film director from Omemee, Ontario. ... Peter Brian Gabriel (born February 13, 1950, in Chobham, Surrey, England) is an English musician. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Aerosmith is a prominent American rock band, regarded by some as Americas Greatest Rock and Roll Band. [1][2] Although they are known as the bad boys from Boston[3], none of the bands members are actually from that city. ... DGC Records was a subsidiary of Geffen Records, founded by David Geffen on March 20, 1990. ... Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. ... Nirvana was an American Grunge band that formed in Aberdeen, Washington. ... Sonic Youth is a seminal American alternative rock group formed in New York City in 1981. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Weezer is an American Grammy-nominated rock band from Los Angeles, California. ... Counting Crows is an Academy Award nominated American alternative rock band originating from Berkeley, California. ... Hole was an alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1989 and disbanded in 2002. ... The Sundays were an English alternative rock group of the late 1980s and 1990s. ... Teenage Fanclub is a Scottish alternative rock band from Bellshill, near Glasgow, formed in 1989. ... Hip hop is a cultural movement that began amongst urban African American youth in New York and has since spread around the world. ... The Roots, also known as The Legendary Roots Crew, The Fifth Dynasty, The Square Roots and The Foundation, are an influential, Grammy winning hip hop group based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, famed for a heavily jazzy sound and live instrumentation. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s - 110s - 120s - 130s - 140s 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 Sometimes the 90s is used as shorthand for the 1990s, the 1890s, or other such decades in various centuries. ... Interscope Records is a record label currently owned by the Universal Music Group. ... The Seagram Company Ltd. ... PolyGram was the name from 1972 of the major label recording company started by Philips as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. ... Universal Music Group (UMG), formerly MCA Music Entertainment Group, is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... Klaxons are a new rave band from New Cross, London in England. ...


Geffen's acquisition by MCA

After a decade of operating through Warner, when its contract with the company expired, David Geffen sold the label to MCA Music Entertainment. (later renamed Universal Music Group) in 1990. The deal ultimately earned him an estimated $1 billion in cash and stock, and an employment contract that ran until 1995. Following the sale, Geffen Records operated as one of Universal's leading independently managed labels. Geffen stepped down as head of the label in 1995 and collaborated with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg to form DreamWorks SKG, an ambitious multimedia empire dealing in film, television, books, and music. Geffen Records would distribute releases on the new operation's DreamWorks Records subsidiary. The Music Corporation of America, commonly known as MCA, is a United States based corporation in the music business. ... Universal Music Group (UMG), formerly MCA Music Entertainment Group, is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... Jeffrey Katzenberg (born December 21, 1950 in New York City) is an American film producer and Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG. He is perhaps most famous for his period as studio chairman at The Walt Disney Company, and for producing the movie Shrek (2001). ... Steven Allan Spielberg KBE (born December 18, 1946)[1] is an American film director and producer. ... This article is about the film studio. ... When David Geffen sold his Geffen Records to MCA Records he joined Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg to form Dreamworks SKG, with subsidiary DreamWorks Records. ...


Interscope-Geffen-A&M

Universal Music Group acquired PolyGram in 1998, resulting in a corporate reorganization of labels. Geffen Records, along with A&M Records, was subsequently merged into Interscope Records. Although Geffen continued to exist as its own imprint, it was now reduced in size and stature to fit into the greater expansion of Interscope. Geffen's DGC division, meanwhile, ceased operations and was absorbed into Interscope and Geffen. Interscope-Geffen-A&M is an American record label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. ... PolyGram was the name from 1972 of the major label recording company started by Philips as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. ... A&M Records is an American record label, owned and operated by Universal Music Group. ... Interscope Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as one third of UMGs Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group. ...


By 2000, despite Geffen Records no longer being independently operated within UMG and taking a more submissive position behind Interscope, it continued to do steady business—so much so that in 2003, UMG folded MCA Records into Geffen. Though Geffen had been substantially a pop-rock label, its absorbtion of MCA (which also included the ABC Records and Famous Music Group back catalogues) led to a more diverse roster; with former MCA artists like: Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Avant, and Common now featured on the label. Meanwhile, DreamWorks Records also folded, with much of that company being absorbed by Geffen as well. 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ABC Records started in 1955 as ABC-Paramount Records, the recording arm of American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres. ... Famous Music is a music publisher in the United States. ... Mary Jane Blige (born January 11, 1971 in The Bronx, New York), is a six-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B, soul, and hip-hop soul singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, and actress who has sold over forty million albums around the world since her career began in 1991. ... The Roots, also known as The Legendary Roots Crew, The Fifth Dynasty, The Square Roots and The Foundation, are an influential, Grammy winning hip hop group based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, famed for a heavily jazzy sound and live instrumentation. ... For other uses, see Avant (disambiguation). ... Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. ...


Geffen's absorption of the MCA and DreamWorks labels, along with its continuing to sign new acts like Nelly Furtado, Angels and Airwaves, Ashlee Simpson and Snoop Dogg, as well as the recently signed hip-hop artist The Game, have boosted the company to the extent that it is now gaining equal footing with the main Interscope label, leading some industry insiders to predict that it might revert to operating as a dominant imprint at UMG again soon. Nelly Kim Furtado (born December 2, 1978) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist of Portuguese descent. ... Λngels & Λirwaves (AVA) is an alternative rock band that was formed by former blink-182 and Box Car Racer guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge after he left blink-182. ... Ashlee Nicole Simpson (born October 3, 1300) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and actress, and younger sister of pop singer Jessica Simpson. ... Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. ... Jayceon Terell Taylor (born November 27, 1979 in Los Angeles,[1] California), better known by his stage name The Game, is a multi-platinum American rapper signed to Interscope Records. ...


Labels under Geffen

Main article: Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG), formerly MCA Music Entertainment Group, is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... Formed by Limp Bizkit Frontman Fred Durst. ... Mosley Music Group is a recording label created by producer Timbaland. ... Doggystyle Records (originally Dogghouse Records) is a record label founded by Snoop Dogg at the end of his self-described servitude at Master Ps No Limit Records. ...

See also

This is a list of artists who are, or have, recorded for Geffen Records. ... This is a list of record labels. ...

External links

  • Geffen Records

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