London Records
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

London Recordings (or London Records and London Music Stream) is a British
record label A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark of Sound recording and reproduction, music recordings and Music video, music videos, or the company that owns it. Sometimes, a record label is also a Music publisher (popular music), pub ...
that marketed records in the United States, Canada, and Latin America for
Decca Records Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis (Decca), Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, Jack Kapp, American Decca's first president, and Milton Rackmil, who later became American ...
from 1947 to 1980 before becoming semi-independent. The London name — as London American Recordings, often shortened to London American — was also used by British Decca in the UK market, for releases taken from American labels, which British Decca licensed. The label is owned by
Because Music Because Music is an independent record label An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label that operates without the funding or distribution of major record labels; they are a type of small and medium-sized enterprise, small ...
, which also owned most of the post-1980 and post-1998 catalogues.


History

London arose from the split in ownership between the British and American branches of
Decca Records Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis (Decca), Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, Jack Kapp, American Decca's first president, and Milton Rackmil, who later became American ...
. The American branch of London Records released British Decca records in the U.S., as British Decca could not use the "Decca" name there as well as vice-versa. The label was noted for classical albums made in then state-of-the-art
stereophonic sound Stereophonic sound, or more commonly stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that recreates a multi-directional, 3-dimensional audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two independent audio channels through a configuration ...
, and such artists as
Georg Solti Sir Georg Solti ( , ; born György Stern; 21 October 1912 – 5 September 1997) was a Hungarian-British orchestral and operatic Conducting, conductor, known for his appearances with opera companies in Munich, Frankfurt and London, and as a ...
, Joan Sutherland and
Luciano Pavarotti Luciano Pavarotti (, , ; 12 October 19356 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed tenors of all time. He made numerou ...
. In a reverse situation, the London name was also used in the UK market by British Decca for releases taken from American labels which were licensed by British Decca, such as Imperial,
Chess Chess is a board game between two Player (game), players. It is sometimes called international chess or Western chess to distinguish it from chess variant, related games, such as xiangqi (Chinese chess) and shogi (Japanese chess). The current ...
, Dot,
Atlantic The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the " Old World" of Africa, Europe ...
, Specialty,
Essex Essex () is a Ceremonial counties of England, county in the East of England. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, the North Sea to the east, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the Riv ...
and
Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object comprising a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other st ...
, and the first two UK releases from
Motown Motown Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark of Sound recording and reproduction, music recordings and Music video, music videos, or the company that owns it. Sometimes, a record label ...
. By the 1960s more licensing deals had been made with Big Top,
Monument A monument is a type of structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, hist ...
,
Parrot Parrots, also known as psittacines (), are birds of the roughly 398 species in 92 genus (biology), genera comprising the order (biology), order Psittaciformes (), found mostly in tropics, tropical and subtropics, subtropical regions. The order ...
, Philles, and Hi, and subsidiary labels were London Atlantic, London Dot and London Monument (the last featuring
Roy Orbison Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ballads. His music was described by critics as ...
, who remained with London in the UK even after he signed for
MGM Records MGM Records was a record label founded by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio in 1946 for the purpose of releasing soundtrack album, soundtrack recordings (later LP record, LP albums) of their musical films. It transitioned into a pop music lab ...
in the U.S.). The lead person in arranging the distribution deals at that time was Mimi Trepel. John Broven, ''Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers'', University of Illinois Press, 2009, pp.401-411
/ref> An unusual feature was the letter code in the numbering system. From the late 1950s until 1973, the label bore the logo "London American Recordings", and on
Radio Luxembourg Radio Luxembourg was a multilingual commercial broadcaster in Luxembourg. It is known in most non-English languages as RTL (for Radio Television Luxembourg). The English-language service of Radio Luxembourg began in 1933 as one of the earlies ...
it was known as "London American". In America, the label was best known as the American imprint of the pre–1971 recordings of
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the album era, rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the g ...
(now owned by ABKCO). The label also originally issued some early LPs and singles by Texas-based band
ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Houston, Texas. For 51 years, they comprised vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard (musician), Frank Beard and vocalist-bassist Dusty Hill, until Hill's death in 2021. ZZ ...
(whose catalog went to Warner Bros. Records when the band signed with that label). In the 1960s and 1970s London Records got involved in then innovative quadraphonic sound techniques and launched vinyl LPs. Beginning with their "Phase 4" series of immersive, spatialized STEREO sound (which was NOT quadraphonic despite claims to the contrary) which, along with their "FFRR - Full Frequency Range Recording" series and appellation, gained them a well earned reputation on their sound quality. Phase 4 recordings were originally made on then-novel 4-track tape, but the innovation was in the special scoring used to maximize the technology. Normally in recording techniques of the mid-60s, in order to get the kind of layered sound realized in Phase 4 recordings, required multiple overdubs over multiple reels of tape, bouncing down and bouncing across to different recorders. This increased the level of tape hiss on the final master, something which Phase 4 engineers could not tolerate. So they achieved in their scoring techniques what could be recorded in one pass what everybody else was achieving with multiple overdubs. Similar scoring techniques were used with sound pioneer Enoch Light and his Project 3 Records label around the same period. In the late 1970s, London signed deals with Bomp! Records and with Big Sound in Connecticut, U.S. This changed the label in the eyes of many from a backwater into something a little more "edgy" compared to the pedestrian contemporary releases from parent company Decca. The label was staffed by Graham Baker, Keith Gooden, Mike Horsham and Liz Roff at that time. Decca's Geoff Milne was in overall control. The president of London Records in the 1970s was D. H. Tollerbond. After British Decca was acquired by
PolyGram PolyGram N.V. was a multinational entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , ...
in 1980, London followed a more independent course with subsidiary labels such as Slash, Pete Tong's Essential Records and FFRR (London's dance music label, named after part of London's logo design). In the 1990s, London signed Madchester indie band The High and ended up being fined £50,000 by the BPI in 1991, for suspected chart hyping in the UK Singles chart in regards to this band, with the suspicion that their chart position may have been bought by the record company and not due to fans purchasing their record, "More". MCA, the owner of American Decca, merged with PolyGram in 1999, which formed
Universal Music Universal Music Group N.V. (often abbreviated as UMG and referred to as just Universal Music) is a Dutch– American multinational music corporation under Dutch law. UMG's corporate headquarters are located in Hilversum, Netherlands and i ...
; however, by this time, London Records had become a semi-independent label within the
PolyGram PolyGram N.V. was a multinational entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , ...
group operated by Roger Ames. In the 1990s, Tracy Bennet became President and Colin Bell, Managing Director. When Ames moved to the
Warner Music Group Warner Music Group Corp. (trade name, d.b.a. Warner Music Group, commonly abbreviated as WMG) is an American Multinational corporation, multinational entertainment and record label Conglomerate (company), conglomerate headquartered in New York C ...
, he took the label with him, and so almost all of London's recent back catalogue was acquired by Warner, which also acquired the London name and trademark from Decca (which still owns most of the pre-1980 back catalogue). The name is still used, mainly for UK-based artists, and for ex-
Factory Records Factory Records was a Manchester-based British independent record label founded in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus. The label featured several important acts on its roster, including Joy Division, New Order (band), New Order, A Certain Ra ...
artists. Notable artists released by that incarnation of London, called London Records 90, include New Order (initially on their own CentreDate Co. Ltd label),
Happy Mondays Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford Salford () is a city and the largest settlement in the City of Salford metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886. It is als ...
, A, and Shakespears Sister. After PolyGram took over British Decca, classical-music albums recorded by British Decca continued to be released on the London label in the U.S., with a logo similar to the Decca classical label logo, until American Decca owner MCA merged with British Decca owner PolyGram in 1999 and formed Universal Music, after which they were all reissued on the original British Decca label in the US. The London pop music catalogue owned by Universal Music is now managed by
Polydor Records Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. ...
, with United States distribution handled by
Island Records Island Records is a multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica, and was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A&M Records, another ...
after absorbing former distributor
Mercury Records Mercury Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. It had significant success as an independent operation in the 1940s and 1950s. Smash Records and Fontana Records were sub labels of Mercury. In the United States, it is o ...

Mercury Records
in 2014. Decca Records had a recording studio in Blomfield Road, West London; there may have been another in London's West End. In 2010, Universal Music reclaimed ownership of the London Records trademark. Even Universal Music again owned this trademark, Warner Music Group licensed it to be used on its reissues of London's catalogue controlled by Warner Records 90 company. On 1 July 2011 Universal Music reclaimed the London Records name and relaunched it under the executive team of Nick Raphael (president) and later Jo Charrington (senior vice president of A&R) who together previously ran Epic Records for
Sony Music Entertainment Sony Music Entertainment (SME), also known as simply Sony Music, is an American multinational Music industry, music company. Being owned by the parent conglomerate (company), conglomerate Sony, Sony Group Corporation, it is part of the Sony Musi ...
since 2001. Both had started their careers at London Records in the Ames era in the 1990s. When Nick Raphael became president of
Capitol Records Capitol Records, LLC (known legally as Capitol Records, Inc. until 2007) is an American record label distributed by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label of no ...

Capitol Records
's UK division in 2013, London Records moved there, and operated as a sublabel until Because Music acquired the trademark license in 2017. In July 2017,
Because Music Because Music is an independent record label An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label that operates without the funding or distribution of major record labels; they are a type of small and medium-sized enterprise, small ...
announced that it would acquire ''Warner Records 90'', a subsidiary of Warner Music UK that reissued most London Records artists from the post-1980 era, plus very few titles from the post-1998 era, when Warner Music owned the label. Because completed the deal in August 2017, which includes the rights to over fifty London artists (including
Bananarama Bananarama are an English pop duo from London, formed as a trio in 1980 by friends Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward. Fahey left the group in 1988 and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan until 1991, when the trio became a duo. Their ...

Bananarama
and
Happy Mondays Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford Salford () is a city and the largest settlement in the City of Salford metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886. It is als ...
), but excluding Slash Records, All Saints, New Order, and the FFRR (Full Frequency Range Recordings) brand (which became part of WMG's
Parlophone Parlophone Records Limited (also known as Parlophone Records and Parlophone) is a German–British record label founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch of the label was founded on 8 August 192 ...
label). Because is distributed by another UMG division Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, formerly Caroline Distribution. Warner Records 90 was renamed London Music Stream, and later London Recordings.


Subsidiary or associated labels

London Records had dozens of subsidiary and distributed labels throughout its existence. Among the labels are:


Artists


Pre-1990

* Ernest Ansermet * *
Bananarama Bananarama are an English pop duo from London, formed as a trio in 1980 by friends Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward. Fahey left the group in 1988 and was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan until 1991, when the trio became a duo. Their ...

Bananarama
("Aie a Mwana" released under Deram, whilst Siobhan Fahey was signed solo as Shakespears Sister in the late 1980s) *
Blancmange Blancmange (, from french: blanc-manger ) is a sweet dessert popular throughout Europe commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with rice flour, gelatin, corn starch, or Chondrus crispus, Irish moss (a source of carrageenan), and oft ...

Blancmange
* Bloodstone *
Teresa Brewer Teresa Brewer (born Theresa Veronica Breuer; May 7, 1931 – October 17, 2007) was an American singer whose style incorporated pop, country, jazz, R&B, musicals, and novelty songs. She was one of the most prolific and popular female singers of th ...
* Bronski Beat * Caravan * *
Dollar Dollar is the name of more than 20 Currency, currencies. They include the Australian dollar, Brunei dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Jamaican dollar, Liberian dollar, Namibian dollar, New Taiwan dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore d ...
*
Marianne Faithfull Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull (born 29 December 1946) is an English singer and actress. She achieved popularity in the 1960s with the release of her hit single "As Tears Go By (song), As Tears Go By" and became one of the lead female artist ...
* Fine Young Cannibals * Funkapolitan * Garolou * Genesis * Buddy Greco * Grotus * Adelaide Hall *
The Kinks The Kinks were an English rock music, rock band formed in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1963 by brothers Ray Davies, Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The band emerged during the h ...
*
Lisp A lisp is a speech impairment in which a person misarticulates sibilants (, , , , , , , ). These misarticulations often result in unclear speech. Types * A frontal lisp occurs when the tongue is placed anterior to the target. Interdental lisping ...
* * Los Bravos *
Vera Lynn Dame Vera Margaret Lynn (; 20 March 191718 June 2020) was an English singer and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were very popular during World War II. She is Honorific nicknames in popular music, honorifically known as ...
* Mantovani *
Marmalade Marmalade is a fruit preserves, fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. The well-known version is made from bitter orange. It is also made from lemons, lime (fruit), limes, grapefruits, mandar ...
* John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers *
Meat Puppets Meat Puppets are an American Rock music, rock band formed in January 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona. The group's original lineup was Curt Kirkwood (guitar/vocals), his brother Cris Kirkwood (bass guitar/vocals), and Derrick Bostrom (drums). The Kirkwo ...
* Mirjam & Stephen *
The Moody Blues The Moody Blues were an English rock music, rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge and bassist Clint Warwick. The g ...
* The Nashville Teens * No Sweat * Onslaught * Perfect Day * The Poppy Family * Queen B *
The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the album era, rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the g ...
* Salt N Pepa * Savoy Brown * Seona Dancing * The 6ths *
Sleep Sleep is a sedentary state of mind and body. It is characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited Perception, sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefuln ...
*
Small Faces Small Faces were an English Rock music, rock band from London, founded in 1965. The group originally consisted of Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston, with Ian McLagan replacing Winston as the band's keyboardist in 1966 ...
* Sparks * Specimen * T2 * Then Jerico * The Tornados *
Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including blues, soul music, psychedelic rock and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or some ...
* Total Contrast * Unit 4 + 2 * Universal * Voice of the Beehive * The Yes/No People * Win * Y&T * Zulema *
ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Houston, Texas. For 51 years, they comprised vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard (musician), Frank Beard and vocalist-bassist Dusty Hill, until Hill's death in 2021. ZZ ...


1990s/2000s

* A * Ace of Base * Armand Van Helden * All Saints ** Shaznay Lewis ** Melanie Blatt * Back to the Planet * Banderas * Chumbawamba (over One Little Indian Records from 1993 to 1995 and signed to EMI Germany in 1997) * Marcella Detroit (also part of Shakespears Sister in the early 1990s) * East 17 *
Shane Filan Shane Steven Filan (born 5 July 1979) is an Irish Pop music, pop singer. He is one of the two lead singers of pop vocal group Westlife, which was formed in 1998, disbanded in 2012, and regrouped in 2018. Westlife have released thirteen albums, ...
* Gay Dad * The High * Junior * Kaliphz *
Marion Marion may refer to: People *Marion (given name) *Marion (surname) *Marion Silva Fernandes, Brazilian footballer known simply as "Marion" *Marion (singer), Filipino singer-songwriter and pianist Marion Aunor (born 1992) Places Antarctica * Mario ...
* Glenn Medeiros * Menswear * Dannii Minogue * New Order * No Sweat * Onslaught *
Michelle Shocked Michelle Shocked (born Karen Michelle Johnston; February 24, 1962) is an American singer-songwriter. Her music has entered the Billboard Hot 100, ''Billboard'' Hot 100, been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and r ...
* Showbiz & A.G. * Jimmy Somerville *
Michaela Strachan Michaela Evelyn Ann Strachan (born 7 April 1966) is an English television presenter and singer. Early life Born in Ewell, Surrey, Strachan grew up in Hinchley Wood and attended Chadsworth Stage School, then Claremont Fan Court School, both in ...
*
Sugababes Sugababes are a British girl group composed of Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhán Donaghy. The lineup changed three times before returning to the original lineup in 2011. Formed in 1998 by All Saints (group), All Saints manager Ron Tom, ...
** Siobhán Donaghy * Then Jerico *
Tin Machine Tin Machine were a British–American Rock music, rock band formed in 1988, and fronted by English singer-songwriter David Bowie. The band consisted of Bowie on lead vocals, saxophone and guitar; Reeves Gabrels on guitar and vocals; Tony Fox Sa ...
(through Victory Music) *
Utah Saints Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...
* Holly Valance * Whigfield (signed to Systematic) * Zucchero


2010s (reopened label)

* All Saints * Arlissa * Dear Prudence * The Gypsy Queens * Shakespears Sister


See also

*
List of record labels File:Alvinoreyguitarboogie.jpg File:AmMusicBunk78.jpg File:Bingola1011b.jpg Lists of record labels cover record labels, brands or trademarks associated with marketing of music recordings and music videos. The lists are organized alphabetically, ...


References


External links


The London Records Story from BSN Pubs



London Records A&R team contact list
{{Authority control Record labels established in 1947 British record labels Pop record labels Jazz record labels Classical music record labels 1947 establishments in the United Kingdom American country music record labels