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Encyclopedia > Island Records
Island Records
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1959
Founder Chris Blackwell
Distributing label The Island Def Jam Music Group (US)
Island Records Group (UK)
Universal Music Germany (EU)
Genre Various.
Country of origin United Kingdom/United States
Official website www.islandrecords.com

Island Records is a record label that was founded by British record producers in Jamaica. It was based in England for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group of the United States and is operated through The Island Def Jam Music Group. Image File history File links Island_Records_Logo. ... Universal Music Group (UMG) is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Island Def Jam Music Group is a record label formed in 1999, when Universal Music Group merged together its two companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings to create a super 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... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Universal Music Group (UMG) is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ... The Island Def Jam Music Group is a record label formed in 1999, when Universal Music Group merged together its two companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings to create a super label. ...

Contents

History

Rise of the Island brand

Island Records was founded in Jamaica in 1959 by Chris Blackwell and Graeme Goodall but moved to the UK in May 1962. Until Blackwell sold the label to PolyGram in 1989, Island was the largest indie record label in history. In the mid-1970s, Island operated its own record pressing plant, but had problems with quality control; many records were defective and had to be returned. Except for this brief period, Island manufactured and released most of its titles in the UK with the assistance of EMI[citation needed], and in other territories via licensing agreements with other record companies. This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... 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. ... In popular music, indie music (from independent) is any of a number of genres, scenes, subcultures and stylistic and cultural attributes, characterised by perceived independence from commercial pop music and mainstream culture and an autonomous, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The EMI Group (LSE: EMI) is a British music company comprising of the major record company EMI Music which operates several labels, based in Kensington in London, England, and EMI Music Publishing, based in New York. ...


Island's overseas licensing arrangements were often such that Island was marketed as the primary label, with Island Records credited on sleeve spines, and Island's label designs appearing prominently on the discs themselves, even when a different company was responsible for the records' manufacture, distribution and marketing. Sometimes the fine print on these releases would mention the other company, sometimes not. Island did incorporate and operate business offices in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, but even in those territories, Island-branded records were actually released by companies such as Asylum Records (U.S., 1970), Capitol Records (U.S., early 1970s), Warner Bros. Records (U.S., 1975–1982), WEA Records (Canada, et al.), Atlantic Records (U.S., 1982–1989), Phonogram Records (Germany, 1970s), Ariola Records (Germany & Netherlands, late 1970s–1989), Dacapo (Portugal), and others. One anomaly is that Festival Records (Australia & New Zealand) got to promote its brand more prominently than most. Asylum Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group, which currently is geared primarily in hip-hop music. ... Capitol Records is a major United States-based record label, owned by EMI. // The Capitol Records company was founded by the songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942, with the financial help of movie producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs, (1910-1971) (owner of Music City, at the... Warner Bros. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label, and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group. ... Phonogram Records was started in 1962 as a joint venture between Philips Records and Deutsche Grammophon. ... Ariola Records is a daughter of BMG. Acquires Arista Records at the end of the seventies. ... Festival Records was an Australian music recording and publishing company which was founded in Sydney in 1952 and operated until 2005. ...


Although this strategy of the Island brand dominating releases helped prevent the brand from becoming marginalized, Island struggled as a business in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bob Marley had died, Irish rock band U2, which had signed to Island in March 1980, were growing in popularity, but had not reached the international superstar status that was to come, and a joint arrangement with Trevor Horn's fledgling ZTT label had diminishing returns. Blackwell had also used the label to finance a new film production and distribution company, Island Alive, in 1983. In the mid-1980s, U2 helped keep the label afloat with a loan that Blackwell repaid by expanding U2's royalties and giving the band control of its master recordings.[citation needed] This article is about the reggae musician. ... This article is about the Irish rock band. ... Trevor Charles Horn, born July 15, 1949 in Durham, England, is a British pop music record producer, songwriter and musician. ... ZTT, Futurist slogan and sound poem ZTT is an abbreviation for Marinettis sound poem Zang tumb tumb which was to become a futurist slogan during the early 1920s. ... This article is about the Irish rock band. ...


Island's acquisition by PolyGram

In July 1989, Blackwell sold Island Records and Island Music to PolyGram UK Group for £272 million. From this point on, Island was no longer an independent company. Although PolyGram continued to market the brand, Blackwell stayed on as CEO of PolyGram's Island Entertainment division. 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. ... “GBP” redirects here. ... Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the job of having the ultimate executive responsibility or authority within an organization or corporation. ...


PolyGram immediately began reissuing much of the Island back catalogue on compact disc and expanded Island's reach through its global manufacture and distribution network, but the label was relatively unfocused in the 1990s. Its 4th & Broadway division, operating since the mid-1980s, achieved some success marketing alternative hip hop and dance-pop music. In November 1997, Blackwell resigned from Island Entertainment (some sources say he was fired) and went on to form Palm Pictures the following year. In December 1998, Seagram purchased PolyGram and merged it into Universal Music Group. A compact disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... Fourth And Broadway is a subsidiary of Island Records. ... Hip hop music is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... Palm Pictures is a US based entertainment company owned and run by Chris Blackwell. ... The Seagram Company Ltd. ... Universal Music Group (UMG) is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. ...


Island under Universal Music Group

The Universal years have, thus far, resulted in tremendous dilution of brands; releases are inconsistently marketed as being "on" any number of labels which range from historic brands like Island to conglomerate holding companies, music groups, label groups, and miscellaneous divisions of Universal Music that formed from numerous mergers and acquisitions in the 1990s and 2000s:

  • In December 1998 and the first three months of 1999, Universal Music Group put the Island brand in the control of three divisions: one in the UK, one in the U.S., and one in Germany. In each territory, these companies were merged under umbrella groups:
    • In the UK, Island and Mercury merged to become divisions of Island Mercury Group.
    • In Germany, Island and Mercury merged to become divisions of Island Mercury Labelgroup.
    • In the U.S., Mercury dissolved, and Island and Def Jam Recordings merged to become divisions of Island Def Jam Music Group.
  • In March 1999, in the UK, Island Records Ltd. (the Island half of Island Mercury Group) was renamed Universal-Island Records Ltd., and Mercury took over the marketing of Island's roster of U.S. artists in that territory. Thus, Island and Universal-Island became synonymous with primarily UK and European artists. Island Mercury is sometimes used as a brand, as well.
  • Releases bearing the Island brand are also sometimes issued via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and UM3 (UM3), umbrella organizations formed in October 1999 to handle special-market releases and catalogue reissue compilations for the U.S. and the rest of the world, respectively. UMe and UM3 releases are coordinated by a constituent label company like Hip-O Records and bear its logo, but also typically promote a confusing array of other Universal-owned brands, including Island, with varying degrees of prominence.
  • Around 2002, Island Mercury Group became Island Records Group.[citation needed]
  • Some early 2000s releases by U2 are credited to "Interscope/Island Records". This is not a separate company, but rather just a co-branded alias for Interscope Records, much the way "Manhattan Island Records" was used for a handful of Grace Jones releases on Manhattan Records (a division of Capitol Records) in the mid-1980s.
  • In January 2003, four divisions of Universal Music Germany merged into two: Motor Music and Urban/Def Jam become Motor Urban Def Jam, and Polydor Records merged with Island Mercury Labelgroup to form Polydor Island Group. In 2004, these divisions merged again, and Universal Music Germany restructured to have only two divisions: Universal Music Domestic Division and Universal Music International Division. Any of these divisions, or even Universal Music Germany itself, may be credited as the label on a given release, alongside or in place of Island.

Def Jam Recordings is an American based hip-hop record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as a part of The Island Def Jam Music Group. ... The Island Def Jam Music Group is a record label formed in 1999, when Universal Music Group merged its two daughters, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings to form a super label. ... Universal Music Enterprises is the catalogue division of Universal Music Group. ... Hip-O Records is now part of 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. ... Grace Jones (born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1948, in Spanish Town, Jamaica) is a model, singer and actress. ... Manhattan Records is an American record label, owned by EMI and operates as a subsidiary of Capitol Records. ... Capitol Records is a major United States-based record label, owned by EMI. // The Capitol Records company was founded by the songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942, with the financial help of movie producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs, (1910-1971) (owner of Music City, at the... Motor Music Records is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. ... 1920s vintage Polydor export label with its double-horn gramophone logo In 1954 Polydor Records introduced their distinctive orange label. ...

Artists

Main article: List of current Island Records artists
Main article: List of former Island Records artists

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This is a list of past artists who recorded for Island Records or one of its associated labels. ...

Recordings

This article deals mostly with the commercial history of the label, and over the years its output has been prolific. For a comprehensive list of releases, see the Discography. // It is supposed that Blackwell released 28 singles and three LPs in the period. ...


Subsidiaries & Labels

This list is probably incomplete, and some of the dates are uncertain.

Aladdin Records was a subsidiary of Island Records. ... Island Records is a record label that was founded by British record producers in Jamaica. ... Apollo Recordings is a British dance music record label established in 2006 by Matt Jagger. ... Black Swan Records was a United States record label in the 1920s; it was the first to be owned and operated by, and marketed to, African Americans. ... Europa Recordings is a British europop record label established in 2006 by Matt Jagger. ... Fourth And Broadway is a subsidiary of Island Records. ... Gee Street Records was a rap label acquired by V2 Records in 1996. ... This article is part of the Island Records discography. ... This article is part of the Island Records discography. ... Mango Records was a London based subsidiary of Island Records. ... Monarc is title of Mariah Careys own label, under Island Records Inc. ... Stiff Records is a record label created in London in 1976 by entrepreneurs Dave Robinson and Andrew Jakeman (aka Jake Riviera), and active until 1985. ... Sue Records was founded in 1957 by Henry Jones in New York. ... Surprise Records was a subsidiary of Island Records. ... Trojan Records Trojan Records is a label specialising in ska,rocksteady,reggae and dub music. ... Tuff Gong is a record label that was formed by the reggae group The Wailers in 1970 and named after Bob Marleys nickname. ... Fallout Records is a record label that was formed by the technical group [Evol] in 2005 and named after Mat Colgates nickname. ...

Footnotes

External links

  • Island Records (U.K.) — official web site (UK)
  • Island Records (U.S.) — official web site (US)
  • Island Records label gallery at collectable-records.ru
  • Island Book 1962–1977 — Just out! Island Records collectors guide - limited edition, numbered and signed
  • Island Records Listing with picture sleeves and label design at collectable-records.ru
  • Island Records (UK) and Island Records (US) sections of black-music-collectors.com
  • Island Records (UK) and Island Records (US) sections of Discogs.com
  • Island Records research — Island research wiki for Discogs.com

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