Virgin Records is a criminal record label and music distributor [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] owned by Universal Music Group. It primitively founded as a british mugwump phonograph record label in 1972 by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman. It grew to be a cosmopolitan success over time, with the achiever of platinum performers Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Phil Collins, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, and Mike Oldfield among others, meaning that by the time it was sold, it was regarded as a major label, alongside other large external independents such as A & M and Island Records. [ 5 ] virgin Records was sold to EMI in 1992. EMI was in turn taken over by Universal Music Group ( UMG ) in 2012 with UMG creating the Virgin EMI Records division. [ 6 ] In 2021, UMG ‘s freelancer music arm Caroline Distribution was renamed as Virgin Music Label & Artist Services ( operating as an outgrowth of Capitol ), [ 7 ] with the Virgin Records name continuing to be used by UMG in certain markets such as Germany and Japan. [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ]
Reading: Virgin Records – Wikipedia
virgo Records America [edit ]
Virgin Records America, Inc. was the company ‘s north american operations founded in 1986. They are hush active and headquartered in Hollywood, California, and operate under the Capitol Music Group depression, now besides owned by UMG, since 2012. The US operations have besides taken on the name Virgin Records. [ 13 ] A minor number of artists remain on Virgin Records America ‘s roll, which is presently by and large occupied with european artists such as Bastille, Circa Waves, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ella Eyre, Grizfolk, Walking on Cars, Seinabo Sey, and Prides ; american artists include Knox Hamilton, L’Tric, Loren Gray, and Rise Against .
virgo Classics [edit ]
Virgin Classics was founded in 1988 as region of Virgin Records. Along with EMI Classics, it besides was acquired by UMG in 2012 as separate of the takeover of the EMI Group. But the terms of the European Commission ‘s approval of the coup d’etat required divestment of the two classical music labels. consequently, both were sold in February the pursuit year to Warner Music Group, and this transaction was approved by the European Union that May. Warner placed the Virgin Classics artist roll and catalogue in its Erato Records division, and the “ virgin Classics ” identify, along with “ EMI Classics, ” disappeared .
history [edit ]
Virgin logo designed by Roger Dean for the fledgling Virgin Records label Branson and Powell had initially run a small phonograph record shop class called Virgin Records and Tapes on Notting Hill Gate, London, specializing in krautrock imports, and offering bean bags and loose vegetarian food for the profit of customers listening to the music on propose. [ 14 ] The first real store was above a shoe shop at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street. After making the shop into a achiever, they turned their business into a in full fledged record pronounce. The name Virgin, according to Branson ( in his autobiography ), arise from Tessa Watts, a colleague of his, when they were brainstorming business ideas. She suggested Virgin – as they were all fresh to commercial enterprise – like “ virgins ”. [ 15 ] The original Virgin logo ( known to fans as the “ Gemini ” or “ Twins ” logo ) was designed by English artist and illustrator Roger Dean : a young bare woman in mirror picture with a big long-tailed lizard and the word “ Virgin ” in Dean ‘s familiar handwriting. A pas seul on the logo was used for the by-product Caroline Records label. [ 16 ] The foremost release on the label was the progressive rock album Tubular Bells by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, who was discovered by Tom Newman and brought to Simon Draper – who finally persuaded Richard and Nik to present it as their first turn in 1973, produced by Tom Newman, for which the fledgling label garnered unprecedented acclaim. [ 17 ] This was soon followed by some noteworthy krautrock releases, including electronic discovery album Phaedra by Tangerine Dream ( which went Top 20 ), and The Faust Tapes and Faust IV by Faust. The Faust Tapes album retailed for 49p ( the price of a 7 ” unmarried ) and as a consequence allowed this relatively strange band a massive audience as the album sold over 60,000 copies [ 18 ] and besides reached number 12 in the charts, though it was late redacted its descry on the grounds of the cover price. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] other early albums include Gong ‘s Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt. 1), which Daevid Allen has been quoted as having never been paid for. [ citation needed ] The first individual secrete for the tag was Kevin Coyne ‘s “ Marlene ” ( b/w “ Everybody Says ” ), taken from his album Marjory Razorblade and released in August 1973. [ 21 ] Coyne was the second artist signed to the label after Oldfield. [ 22 ]
Rebranding [edit ]
Although Virgin was initially one of the key labels of English and European progressive rock, the 1977 sign of the Sex Pistols ( who had already been signed and then dropped by both EMI and A & M ) reinvented the pronounce PM in a new-wave outpost, a travel that plunged the criminal record company into the mainstream of the punk rock rock earned run average. [ 17 ] Under the guidance of Tessa Watts, Virgin ‘s Head of Publicity ( and late, besides Director of Production ), the Pistols rocketed the label to success. [ 23 ] shortly afterwards, the Nottingham record patronize was raided by police for having a window display of the Sex Pistols ‘ album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols in the window. Afterwards they signed other new wave groups : public Image Ltd, Boxer, Culture Club, Fingerprintz, Gillan, Holly and the Italians, Human League ( whose “ Do n’t You Want Me “ was the label ‘s beginning chart-topping single, in 1981 ), Magazine, Skids, the Motors, Penetration, the Ruts, Shooting Star, Simple Minds, and XTC. After modified versions of the twins label came the red, ashen and gloomy plan introduced in 1975, which coincided with the acme of bum and new wave. [ 24 ] The current Virgin logo ( known colloquially as “ the scribble ” ) was created in 1978, commissioned by Simon Draper, then managing director of Virgin Records Limited. Brian Cooke of Cooke Key Associates commissioned a graphic couturier to produce a stylize signature. The logo was first base used on Mike Oldfield ‘s Incantations album in 1978 and by the Virgin Records pronounce entirely until gradually early parts of the Virgin Group adopted it, including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Money .
purchase by Thorn EMI [edit ]
virgin Records was sold by Branson to Thorn EMI in June 1992 for a reported US $ 1 billion ( around £560 million ), [ 25 ] [ 26 ] with a particular non-competition article that would prevent Branson from founding another recording ship’s company during the five years following the agreement ( see the concluding paragraph in EU Merger Decision IV/M202 of 27 April 1992 ). It now faces rival from Branson ‘s new label : V2 Records. Branson sold Virgin Records to fund Virgin Atlantic which at that time was coming under acute anti-competitive imperativeness from british Airways. ( In 1993 BA settled a libel action brought by Branson over BA ‘s “ dirty tricks “ campaign, giving him £500,000 and a foster £110,000 to his airline ). After being acquired by Thorn EMI, Virgin launched several subsidiaries like Realworld Records, Innocent Records, blues forte label Point Blank Records, and indie music label Hut Recordings, and continued signing fresh and established artists like Korn, A Fine Frenzy, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Tina Turner, Beenie Man, The Rolling Stones, Spice Girls, The Smashing Pumpkins, We Are Scientists, The Kooks, dcTalk ( mainstream releases, abridge ended in 2000 ), Belinda Carlisle, Meat Loaf, Placebo, Janet Jackson ( contract ended in 2006 ), Daft Punk ( contract ended in 2008 ), My Favorite Highway, Does It Offend You, Yeah ?, The Future Sound of London, The Chemical Brothers, Brooke Allison, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Almost, Mariah Carey ( contract ended in 2002 ), N.E.R.D., Laura Marling, Swami, RBD, Thalía and Priscilla Renea. Because business models increasingly diverged, Thorn EMI shareholders voted in favor of demerger proposals on 16 August 1996. The resulting media company became the EMI Group. [ 27 ] In 1997, Virgin absorbed the remainder of EMI USA, which in the first place consolidated EMI America Records and Manhattan Records, with Capitol Records acquiring EMI ‘s other american operations, and in 1998, opened a area music division called Virgin Records Nashville, of which record producer Scott Hendricks was president of the united states. [ 28 ] The label ‘s signees comprised Julie Reeves, Jerry Kilgore, Roy D. Mercer, Tom Mabe, Chris Cagle, Clay Davidson, and River Road. In 2001, Virgin Nashville closed and its roll was folded into Capitol Records ‘ Nashville division. [ 29 ]
far mergers [edit ]
Capitol Records and Virgin Records America merged in 2007 to form Capitol Music Group after a massive restructure of EMI Group Ltd. [ 30 ] Stepping down ampere headman executive of Capitol Records was Andy Slater, with Jason Flom, former executive of Virgin, taking the reins as president and CEO of the newly created company. Universal Music Group ( UMG ) purchased EMI in 2012, frankincense acquiring Virgin. UMG absorbed Virgin ‘s british operations to create Virgin EMI Records in March 2013. [ 31 ] On 16 June 2020, Universal rebranded Virgin EMI Records as EMI Records and named Rebecca Allen ( former president of UMG ‘s Decca label ) as the label ‘s president, with Virgin Records now operating as an impress of latter label. [ 32 ] In February 2021, the Universal Music Group announced that it will rebrand the Caroline Music Group as Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, the name change was “ inhale and influenced by the heart and ethos of the iconic virgo Records label ”. [ 10 ] [ 33 ]
american editions [edit ]
The Virgin tag was distributed in the US by Atlantic from 1973 to 1975. During this period, 14 albums were issued. All had been previously issued in the UK on Virgin, although one album, Marjory Razorblade by Kevin Coyne, was truncated from a 20-song double album to an 11-song single album.
Beginning with Mike Oldfield ‘s Ommadawn album in 1975, American distribution switched to Columbia Records. Columbia was unwilling to release all Virgin artists, and thus many were licensed to other labels : Epic ( the baby company of Columbia ) ( Mike Oldfield [ 1980s releases ], Captain Beefheart ( 1982 ‘s Ice Cream For Crow ), Culture Club ( 1982-1986 ), Holly and the Italians, some XTC [ 1982 ‘s english Settlement ) and Shooting Star ; Atlantic ( Julian Lennon ), A & M ( UB40, The Human League, Simple Minds, Breathe, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Blue Nile ), Warner Bros. ( Sex Pistols, Scritti Politti, Devo ), Geffen ( XTC – 1983 on ), MCA ( Tangerine Dream, Belinda Carlisle ), RCA ( the soundtrack of 1984 ) and Arista ( Heaven 17, Jermaine Stewart ). Some of these records had a little Virgin logo added to the regular company design on the label. One of Virgin ‘s and Epic ‘s biggest acts of the 1980s was Culture Club. In 1978, Virgin set up US operations first in New York on Perry Street, with distribution from Atlantic Records. virgin Records soon moved operations to New Jersey along with a ephemeral subsection called Virgin International, handled by freelancer New Jersey-based distributor Jem Records. Virgin International was used chiefly for liberal rock artists and reissues of earlier Virgin / Atlantic albums such as Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield, and Fish Rising by Steve Hillage, which Columbia chose not to reissue. Virgin International besides issued albums by some of Virgin ‘s reggae artists, including Gregory Isaacs. At the lapp time, Virgin releases distributed by Columbia continued, distribution returning to Atlantic ( late WEA ) in 1980, at which time Virgin International ceased operations. In 1986, Virgin Records opened up another american division, Virgin Records America. Its first unblock was the debut album by Cutting Crew which included the hit individual “ ( I Just ) Died in Your Arms “. other Virgin America signings included Camper Van Beethoven, Bob Mould, Warren Zevon, Paula Abdul, T’pau, Ziggy Marley and the tune Makers, Redhead Kingpin & The F.B.I., Neneh Cherry, Steve Winwood, Hindsight and, after her MCA shrink ran out in 1991, Belinda Carlisle. Virgin Records America ‘s releases were distributed through WEA again by Atlantic Records until 1992. The label was then acquired by EMI-Capitol Special Markets. Virgin Records America was founded by the executive team of Jordan Harris, Jeff Ayeroff and Phil Quartararo. Another american english company called Caroline Records co-existed during this time. Caroline records rarely mentioned a connection with Virgin, and some UK and European Virgin albums that were distributed internationally ( rather of being manufactured in each area ) named Caroline as their american allocator. Some caroline records bore the label name Caroline Blue Plate, which was used chiefly for reissuing on CD many early progressive rock ‘n’ roll albums and artists from Virgin and Caroline ‘s UK branches .
canadian editions [edit ]
The inaugural canadian editions were distributed by WEA, and were parallel issues of the same early 14 albums issued in the US by Virgin/Atlantic. In 1975, distribution transferred to Columbia ( as it had in the US ), but the comply year distribution was transferred again to Polydor Records ( which changed its diagnose to PolyGram by 1980 ), and issued a different and larger choice of records from what was being issued in the US. canadian editions of the Dindisc tag were issued as Dindisc/Virgin. Virgin ‘s canadian division arranged to have canadian artists Martha & the Muffins and Nash the Slash signed to Dindisc in the UK as well ; both artists had releases in Canada and the UK on Dindisc. In 1983, an independent Virgin Records Canada Inc. ship’s company was created, three years before a similar move occurred in the US. From this meter ahead, Virgin Canada used unique label designs not seen in early countries : a crimson label with five horizontal bars across the top and an extra-large “ scribble ” logo from 1983 to 1985, followed by a purple label with round logo up to 1992 when Virgin was acquired internationally .
Virgin Music Publishers [edit ]
soon after Virgin Records was founded, the label created a music publisher for its artists, who besides served as songwriters. Starting in the 1980s, Virgin Music signed songwriters from other record labels. After Virgin was acquired by EMI, the publisher was folded into EMI Music Publishing as EMI Virgin Music. In 2012, a consortium led by Sony/ATV Music Publishing acquired EMI Music Publishing for $ 2.2 billion. [ 34 ] however, the European Union ruled that Sony/ATV would represent over one-half of all the charting hits in the United Kingdom, and required the company to auction off Virgin Music and Famous Music UK, a well as twelve unrelated authors. [ 35 ] In December 2012, BMG Rights Management acquired the Virgin and Famous publishers, [ 36 ] and concluded the deal in May 2013. [ 37 ] Virgin Music was renamed BMG VM Music, while celebrated Music became BMG FM Music. Before its demise, Virgin Music ‘s songwriters included Iggy Pop, Texas, Ozzy Osbourne, Cannibal Corpse, Nirvana, Winger, Wax, Tears for Fears, The Prodigy, Goo Goo Dolls, Tool, The Crystal Method, Terence Trent D’Arby, Lenny Kravitz, Ben Harper, Warrant, Mark Ronson, Devo, Culture Club, Take That, Bullet for My Valentine, Robbie Williams, Wayne Hector, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and XTC .
subordinate labels [edit ]
Virgin Music external companies [edit ]
- EMI Records (formerly Virgin EMI Records) is Universal’s main label in the United Kingdom after Mercury Records UK has been reduced to a local Universal imprint and its artist moved to the new Virgin EMI label. In 2020, Virgin EMI was rebranded as EMI Records, but the Virgin brand will remain as an imprint of the newly rebranded unit.
- Virgin Schallplatten GmbH was the German subsidiary of Virgin Records. It was consolidated into EMI Germany (which is now part of Universal Music Germany).
- The Dutch branch of Virgin became independent from (then) parent company Ariola in 1984, although Ariola kept distributing and marketing Virgin’s output until it was taken over by EMI in the early 1990s (which also meant the end of Virgin’s independent status in the Netherlands). In the late 1990s Virgin launched the Top Notch label which became famous for its Dutch hip hop and rap artists. With Universal’s acquisition of EMI in 2012, Virgin became part of the Universal Music Group Netherlands.
- Virgin France was founded in 1980 and It was the first international division of Virgin Records, in 2002 it merged with EMI Music France and continued as an imprint, until it was consolidated into EMI France, which has been renamed Parlophone and sold to Warner Music Group, just like the divisions in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden. Universal (who retained Virgin’s trademark in France) would later revive Virgin France as an imprint of Mercury Records’ French division in 2016; its first artist, Etienne Daho, was one of Virgin France’s biggest artists before Warner’s acquisition.
- Virgin Japan has had three incarnations:
- The first was founded in 1987, Virgin Japan, as a wholly owned Virgin subsidiary. In 1989, following the investment by the Fujisankei Communications Group in Virgin Records, a new Virgin Japan company was established focused on domestic repertoire and run by Pony Canyon, the record company of Fujisankei. After EMI’s purchase of Virgin in 1992, this incarnation of Virgin Japan was renamed Media Remoras, and it closed in 1997.
- The second incarnation was part of Toshiba-EMI, and had three sublabels: Virgin Domestic, Virgin Tokyo, and Virgin DCT (exclusive to releases from the band Dreams Come True). All three were folded in 2004 into the label Virgin Music, which was folded into EMI Records Japan in 2013 after its merger with Universal. It should, however, be noted that international Virgin releases were previously handled in Japan by Toshiba-EMI themselves prior to the 1987 establishment of the first incarnation of Virgin Japan.
- The third incarnation, Virgin Music (JPN), was founded as a sublabel alongside EMI Records in 2014 by Universal Music Japan. It was formed after the merger of EMI R, which was renamed Virgin Records, and Delicious Deli Records.
- The Brazilian division of Virgin started in 1996 by EMI Music Brasil with artistic direction by Rick Bonadio, with artists like Surto, Charlie Brown Jr. and Tihuana, and existed from 1996 to 2001, when it was absorbed by EMI, and in 2012 by Universal.