Island Records is a multinational criminal record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica, [ 1 ] and was finally sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A & M Records, another label recently acquired by PolyGram, were both at the time the largest mugwump record labels in history, with Island having exerted a major influence on the progressive music view in the United Kingdom in the early on 1970s. island Records operates four international divisions : Island US, Island UK, Island Australia, and Island France ( known as Vertigo France until 2014 ). current key people include Island US president Darcus Beese, OBE [ 2 ] and MD Jon Turner. partially due to its significant bequest, Island remains one of UMG ‘s pre-eminent record labels. Artists who have signed to Island Records include Brian Eno, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Sabrina Carpenter, Avicii, Justin Bieber, Bob Marley, Nick Drake, Queen, Poppy, Cat Stevens, Jethro Tull, Grace Jones, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Kevin McDermott Orchestra, Tove Lo, Sparks, the Cranberries, Tracy Bonham, Roxy Music, Bishop Briggs, Hozier, Blackbear, Pulp, Fall Out Boy, the Killers, Loser, Leona Lewis, U2, Mumford & Sons, Iggy Azalea, Amy Winehouse, Tom Waits, Ben Howard, James TW, Florence and the Machine, Sigrid, John Newman, Local H, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sandy Denny, Disclosure, Big Shaq, the Weeknd, Keane, Annie Lennox, JP Cooper, PJ Harvey, Janet Jackson, John Martyn, Nick Jonas, KSI, Robyn, Shawn Mendes, Jessie J, Scarlxrd, Laleh, and the Streets. [ 3 ] [ 4 ]
Reading: Island Records – Wikipedia
history [edit ]
rise of the brand [edit ]
island Records was founded in Jamaica on 4 July 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong, and partially financed by Stanley Borden from RKO. Its name was inspired by the Harry Belafonte song “ Island in the Sun “. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] Blackwell explained in 2009 : “ I loved music so a lot, I barely wanted to get into it, or be as close to it as I could. ” [ 5 ] Tom Hayes, the tag ‘s sales coach between 1965 and 1967, referred to the early period of the label in the UK as “ mastermind chaos ”. “ My Boy Lollipop “, sing by Millie Small, was the label ‘s first success in the UK and led to a world enlistment that besides involved Blackwell. Blackwell explained in a fiftieth anniversary objective that he was only concern in building long-run careers at that stage in clock, rather than short-run projects. [ 5 ] Suzette Newman has been a close colleague of Chris Blackwell ‘s since working together in the early days of Island Records, and while there she ran the Mango world music label. [ 7 ] Suzette Newman and Chris Salewicz were the editors for the book The Story of Island Records: Keep On Running. [ 8 ] Blackwell relocated to England in May 1962 to garner greater levels of attention after the local Jamaican strait systems proved to be overwhelmingly successful. The label was based at a now demolish basement in Kilburn, London Borough of Brent, in a property that was used by Sonny Roberts ‘s Planetone label and whose landlord was Lee Gopthal who would former create Trojan Records. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] The huge majority of the artists who had signed to Blackwell ‘s fledgling label while he was in Jamaica agreed to allow the musical entrepreneur to release their music in the UK. While in England, Blackwell travelled throughout the city carrying his banal with him and sold to record stores in the city. He did not provide any copies to radio stations, as they would not play any of the Island music ; the music was besides not reviewed by the weigh. [ 5 ] interim, Goodall left to start the Doctor Bird record label in 1965. [ 11 ]
island Records logo used between 1967 and 1970
Blackwell signed the Spencer Davis Group to the label ( at that time, many Island releases were being distributed by Philips / Fontana ). The group became identical popular and Island started their own mugwump series to spotlight UK rock talent. They signed artists such as John Martyn, Fairport Convention, Free, and greatly influenced the growing FM radio market. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were a major tag in England with artists including Roxy Music, King Crimson, Sparks, Traffic, The Wailers, Cat Stevens, Steve Winwood and many others. ( In the US, many of their releases were issued on A & M anterior to Island signing up distribution deals with Capitol and later Atlantic, and besides autonomous distribution. ) For Toots and the Maytals, the group that introduced the term “ reggae “ in song with their 1968 single “ Do the Reggay “, [ 12 ] Chris Blackwell was the one who decided on the line-up of the group before introducing them to an external consultation. Blackwell had signed Bob Marley, and now Toots and the Maytals. In November 2016, Jackie Jackson described the formation of the group in a radio receiver interview for Kool 97 FM Jamaica. [ 13 ] Accompanied by Paul Douglas and Radcliffe “ Dougie ” Bryan in studio apartment, Jackson explained :
We ‘re all original members of Toots and the Maytals band. First it was Toots and the Maytals, three guys : Toots, Raleigh, and Jerry. … And then they were signed to Island Records, Chris Blackwell. And we were their record ring. One day we were summoned to Chris ‘ firm. And he says, “ Alright valet, I think it ‘s prison term. This Toots and the Maytals looks like it ‘s going to be a bad thing ”. By this time he had already signed Bob ( Marley ). thus in his camp, Island Records, there was Toots and the Maytals ] / the late Bob Marley ; we were talking about reggae is going international now. We kept on meet and he ( Blackwell ) decided that the bet on isthmus that back all of the songs, the record band, should be the Maytals set. so everything came under Toots and the Maytals. So we became Maytals besides. And then we hit the road in 1975 … we were the open work for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. We were the unfold act for The Who for about two weeks. [ 13 ]
Needing a bigger premises, Island Records in concert with Trojan Records moved to a warehouse in Neasden, London. then in 1972, Island severed business interests with Trojan and moved to a new base in Ladbroke Grove, West London. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] The foremost Toots and the Maytals album released and distributed by Chris Blackwell ‘s Island Records was Funky Kingston. The Maytals had recently added a full-time backing band that included drummer Paul Douglas and bassist Jackie Jackson, and Chris Blackwell joined the group in the studio as a co-producer for the album. [ 14 ] Music critic Lester Bangs described the album in Stereo Review as “ paragon, the most exciting and diversify set of reggae tunes by a unmarried artist so far released. ” [ 15 ] As Blackwell says, “ The Maytals were unlike anything else … sensational, raw and active. ” [ 16 ] Blackwell had a solid commitment to Toots and the Maytals, saying : “ I ‘ve known Toots longer than anybody – much longer than Bob ( Bob Marley ). Toots is one of the purest human beings I ‘ve met in my life, arrant about to a mistake. ” [ 17 ] Despite the initial establishment exploit that Blackwell completed about single-handed, Island struggled as a business in the belated 1970s and early 1980s. Bob Marley ‘s 1981 death was damaging to the label, particularly after its having engineered Marley ‘s external breakthrough only a few years earlier, while irish rock band U2, which had signed to Island in March 1980, was growing in popularity, but had not so far reached the external ace condition that was to come. In 1981, Blackwell besides used the label to finance a new film production and distribution party, producing the film Countryman. [ 18 ] In 1982, Paul Morley and producer Trevor Horn started the ZTT pronounce under the Island banner and Blackwell was known to approve excessive spending by the label. [ 1 ] Morley recalls in a 2009 book about Island Records :
I finally grew to appreciate how Chris Blackwell, and consequently Island Records, was not about one thing, or one style, or one system, or one way of doing things … [ I began ] reflecting how the global functions and reinvents itself precisely because it is a fluid, sometimes dangerous, always exhilarating union of systems and beliefs and the best way of allowing the world to progress is to mix up and locate in brilliant conflict these respective systems and beliefs. [ 19 ]
In 1983, the film product company formed a partnership with Shep Gordon ‘s alive Enterprises to form Island Alive and had success with Kiss of the Spider Woman, Koyaanisqatsi, and Stop Making Sense. [ 18 ] The partnership was dissolved in 1985. [ 18 ] In August 1987, the party was not able to pay a US $ 5 million sum that it owed to U2 in royalties for The Joshua Tree album, as it had diverted the funds to finance several unsuccessful films. U2 responded by negotiating a cover whereby they invested the unpaid royalties into the label in exchange for a stake in the tag that was estimated to be approximately 10 per penny. [ 20 ] The label ‘s 4th & Broadway division, operating since the mid-1980s, achieved some success marketing alternative hip hop and dance-pop music with artists such as Eric B. and Rakim and the Stereo MCs. Mango ( Chaka Demus and Pliers ) was another Island dance-oriented subsidiary company, while it was singer Robert Palmer who achieved global success with the rock song “ Addicted to Love “ in 1986. african musicians such as King Sunny Adé and Angélique Kidjo were besides championed by Blackwell. [ 1 ]
PolyGram acquisition [edit ]
In July 1989, Blackwell sold Island Records and Island Music to the PolyGram UK Group for £ 180 million ( US $ 300 million ) —he explained in 2009 : “ It had gotten besides big and excessively bodied for me and I could n’t truly handle it. ” [ 19 ] Following the sale, Island was no longer an independent ship’s company, but Blackwell was given a position on PolyGram ‘s control panel and stayed on as CEO of PolyGram ‘s newfangled Island Entertainment division for ten years. [ 21 ] PolyGram immediately began reissuing much of the Island back catalog on pack magnetic disk and expanded Island ‘s pass through its ball-shaped manufacture and distribution network, but the label was relatively unfocused in the 1990s. [ citation needed ] Blackwell finally ended his association with the company in 1997, as the corporate life hindered the independent ethos of his personal life. “ I never very had a speculate until I sold Island to PolyGram in 1989. It had gotten excessively corporate, ” he commented afterwards. After Blackwell left, PolyGram closed Island ‘s film business. [ 22 ] Blackwell left to found the Palm Pictures caller and run a chain of boutique hotels in Miami, US and the Caribbean, including the very exclusive Goldeneye ( estate of the realm ), once the Jamaican home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. [ 5 ] then in May 1998, all of PolyGram and its associated labels were purchased by Seagram which announced its plan to integrate PolyGram with UMG to produce an estimated cost savings, within a copulate of years, of between US $ 275 million and $ 300 million annually. Seagram far explained that the learning would unite a significant external bearing with a boom domestic commercial enterprise, as more than three-quarters of PolyGram ‘s sales were outside the US. [ 23 ]
Under Universal Music Group [edit ]
In December 1998 and the beginning three months of 1999, UMG placed three divisions under the management of the Island brand : one in the UK, one in the US, and one in Germany. [ citation needed ] In each district, these companies were merged under umbrella groups :
however, in 2001, UMG was merged with french company Vivendi S.A. to create Vivendi Universal S.A. ; but the music company remains under the name Universal Music Group ( UMG ). [ 25 ] In the US, Island became a predominantly pop/rock label, as their urban artists were assigned to either Def Jam or Def Soul, a modern Island/Def Jam R & B imprint. [ citation needed ] Following the takeover of Island by UMG, flagship band U2 were dissatisfied after foreman Jason Iley moved to the Mercury label in the mid-2000s and signed with Mercury for the UK and Interscope Records for the US. [ 26 ] however, successful artists such as Tricky and PJ Harvey were impressed by the pronounce and signed on as artists. crafty explained : “ I knew I could get freedom. I knew I could do what I wanted to do. “, [ 5 ] while Harvey later stated :
I came to work with them, kind of amply formed—the way that I looked, the way that I sounded : that was already there. And I felt, like, that they merely supported where that was going to go. [ 5 ]
The label celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2009 .
Island 50 [edit ]
In 2009, Island Records marked the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation garment in Jamaica by Chris Blackwell with a series of hot concerts and an exhibition under the Island 50 streamer. The events were a celebration of the street-cool, autonomous expectation and striking ocular imagination at the tag ‘s creative core. These festivities centred around a week-long run of shows at Shepherd ‘s Bush Empire and Bush Hall in London. The concerts featured performances tracing the label ‘s history from its reggae and jazz roots to the mod era. Among the artists who appeared were Sly & Robbie, Ernest Ranglin, Paul Weller, The Compass Point All Stars, The I Threes, Aswad, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Grace Jones, Steel Pulse, Keane, Tom Tom Club, Toots & The Maytals, The Mighty Diamonds, Yusuf Islam/ Cat Stevens, Bombay Bicycle Club, Baaba Maal and U2. [ 27 ] Another Island 50 tribute event was held over four nights at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, with Marianne Faithfull, Grace Jones and Sly & Robbie all appear, and Chris Blackwell holding a Question & Answer school term. There was besides a major exhibition at the Vinyl Factory Gallery in Soho, held in an open outer space beneath the phonograph record shop Phonica. The exhibition featured a display of prize musical artifacts, including the Trabant car from the sleeve of U2 ‘s Achtung Baby, Nick Drake ‘s guitar, the dress worn by Amy Winehouse at the 2008 Grammy Awards, the handwritten lyric sheet for Winehouse ‘s song “ Love Is a lose Game “ and Bob Marley ‘s recommendation application form. The exhibition contained 800 prints showcasing the influence for Island of the photographers hadrian Boot, Jean-Paul Goude, Anton Corbijn, Gered Mankowitz, Keith Morris and Brian Cooke, and the London exhibition besides featured live performances at the Vinyl Factory Gallery by DJ Shadow and PJ Harvey .
Into Island ‘s one-sixth decade : 2009–2017 [edit ]
Following its fiftieth anniversary in 2009, Island Records entered its sixth ten on a tide of optimism. The years that followed saw fresh success for a number of established acts, including PJ Harvey, Keane, Paul Weller and Bombay Bicycle Club and an exciting curl of fresh signings. In its largest live production since its 2009 anniversary, the label besides staged a concert by The Weeknd and Jack Garratt on Osea Island, a humble island in Essex, as separate of a bespoke one-day festival for 400 guests, including label staff, media and 200 fans who obtained tickets via a vote. 2016 proved a particularly successful class for the label in the united kingdom : over a seven-week menstruation between April and June, four separate Island acts spent at least one week at number one. The albums concerned were PJ Harvey ‘s The Hope Six Demolition Project, Drake ‘s Views ( which spent two weeks at number one ), Ariana Grande ‘s Dangerous Woman and Catfish & The Bottlemen ‘s The Ride .
Island ‘s sixth ten : the artists [edit ]
PJ Harvey ‘s eighth studio album, 2011 ‘s Let England Shake, was one of the key records of Island ‘s one-sixth ten. Made in a cliff-top church in Dorset, it won the 2011 Mercury Music Prize, making Harvey the lone artist to land the esteemed prize doubly ( she had prevailed ten years previously with Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea ). Mumford & Sons, who grew come out of the closet of a series of jam sessions in London in 2007, signed a license hand with Island in 2009. Heralded as standard bearers for a vibrant new wave of folkish, countrified rock ‘n’ roll, their debut album, Sigh No More, sold two million, reaching total two in Britain and America. It besides won best british album at the BRIT Awards in February 2011. The follow-up, Babel, did even better in 2012, becoming the UK ‘s fastest-selling album of that year, going to number one in Britain and the US and winning album of the class at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Island besides secured the sign of English indie rock set Florence and the Machine whose introduction studio apartment album Lungs ( 2009 ) sold four million copies, and spent over 12 months on the UK Albums Chart before being crowned british Album Of The year at the 2010 BRIT Awards ceremony. Lungs was followed by the studio albums Ceremonials ( 2011 ), and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful ( 2015 ). Keane were another of the big successes of Island ‘s sixth decade. Having topped the charts with their five million-selling debut album Hopes and Fears in 2004, they went on to secure five back-to-back number-one albums in the UK ( a feat bettered only by The Beatles ), with subsequent releases Under the Iron Sea ( 2006 ), Perfect Symmetry ( 2008 ), Night Train ( 2010 ) and Strangeland ( 2012 ) all topping the charts. Paul Weller ‘s relationship with Island dates back to his fourth solo album, 1997 ‘s Heavy Soul, and its 2000 follow-up Heliocentric. He returned to the label in 2008 and began an outstanding trilogy of releases that contained some of his strongest solo bring 22 Dreams ( 2008 ), the Mercury Music Prize -nominated Wake Up The Nation ( 2010 ) and Sonik Kicks ( 2012 ). North London four Bombay Bicycle Club besides released four albums on Island, with each one signalling a change of guidance : the indie-rock of 2009 ‘s I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose paved the way for 2010 ‘s folkier Flaws, the modern rock of 2011 ‘s A Different Kind Of Fix and the broad-based invention of 2014 ‘s So Long, See You Tomorrow. Having built a firm alive follow, Catfish & The Bottlemen signed to Island in 2014. After reaching platinum sales condition in the UK with their lead Ten introduction album, The Balcony, the Welsh rock candy ring won the BBC Introducing Award at the first BBC Music Awards in 2014 and were crowned British Breakthrough Act at the BRIT Awards in 2016 ( an award voted for by Radio 1 listeners ). Their second album, 2016 ‘s The Ride, was a UK number one. Island was besides responsible for securing major british breakthroughs for two of the twenty-first hundred ‘s biggest external superstars in Drake and The Weeknd. The success of Toronto rap artist Drake came after the label had worked patiently to build his profile over a phone number of years, culminating in the success of his fourth album Views and its attendant singles in 2016. “ One Dance “, Drake ‘s first base number one one in the UK, had 1.95 million sales [ 28 ] to become Britain ‘s biggest-selling individual of 2016. The individual ‘s 15-week run at count one equalled the mark for the second farseeing in UK chart history. With the Island-signed Mike Posner having held the numeral one spot with “ I Took a Pill in Ibiza “ for four consecutive weeks before being replaced by “ One dance ”, Island held the top spotlight in the UK singles chart for 19 consecutive weeks between March and August 2016. To crown a record-breaking year, Drake was named the world ‘s best-selling recording artist of 2016 by international music industry administration IFPI in February 2017. canadian singer and songwriter The Weeknd besides cemented his position as one of the universe ‘s leading recording artists, with the 2016 success of his third album Starboy. Its achiever was the culmination of a strategy that had seen Island build his UK visibility over a four-year period that dated from his 2013 studio album Kiss Land. Island ‘s commitment to further nurturing the careers of global superstars was reiterated in June 2016 with the sign of Sean Paul. The jamaican singer, knocker and songwriter released “ No Lie “, his first one for Island, in November 2016. Signed to Island via a license cope with independent pronounce PMR, Disclosure were formed by two brothers from Reigate in Surrey, Guy and Howard Lawrence. The couple discovered the rejoice of nineties house, techno and two-step garage while studying music product at college, and went on to enjoy success with their two Island albums Settle ( 2013 ) and Caracal ( 2015 ), making across-the-board use of an array of guest vocalists including Sam Smith, Jamie Woon, Eliza Doolittle, Lorde and Gregory Porter. One of the acts who guested on Settle was AlunaGeorge, a boy-girl duet from London ( singer Aluna Francis and musician and manufacturer George Reid ), who released their debut album, Body Music, on Island in 2013. Like disclosure, Jessie Ware signed to Island through a connect with freelancer label PMR. A soulful singer-songwriter from Brixton, Ware was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize with her smooth debut album, Devotion, and enjoyed further success with 2014 ‘s Tough Love. Another Island act to enjoy a meaning breakthrough was Yorkshire singer John Newman, who topped the UK charts with his beginning solo unmarried, “ Love Me Again “, and his introduction album Tribute. In May 2018, incumbent president of the united states David Massey left Island to join Sony Music Entertainment ‘s relaunch of Arista Records. Darcus Beese, OBE took on the role of president of the united states upon Massey ‘s departure. To make the conversion, Beese relocated from the United Kingdom to Island ‘s offices at Universal Music Group ‘s New York City build. [ 29 ]
Seventh decade and further expansions : 2019–present [edit ]
In July 23, 2020, Universal Music Group and its local auxiliary MCA Music launched Island Records Philippines, the first Southeast Asian branch of the 61-year old tag. [ 30 ] [ 31 ] [ 32 ] The Philippines branch is led by former Sony Music Philippines and Sindikato Management executive Enzo Valdez .
Manga Entertainment [edit ]
Island World Communications, under the leadership of Blackwell and Andy Frain, created Manga Entertainment Ltd, the anime and live carry through Japanese film division of Island in 1991. In that year, Laurence Guinness, the Senior VP at Island World Communications bought the distribution license for Akira from ICA Projects in London, [ 33 ] and the distribution of what was the tag ‘s first exhaust is considered a crucial milestone in the administration of anime in the UK. [ 34 ] In 1994, Island sold the distribution licenses for most of Manga ‘s releases to Siren Entertainment, an independent entertainment company in Australia. Those rights were then given to Madman Entertainment in 1999 when Siren became entirely an acquisitions company. [ citation needed ]
Artists and recordings [edit ]
The record roll of Island Records, both past and give, has been and continues to be diverse. The label continues to champion new music, a practice that was highlighted at the Island Records fiftieth anniversary consequence, at which new artists provided the entertainment. [ 35 ]
Subsidiaries and labels [edit ]
This list is probably incomplete, and some of the dates are uncertain .
References [edit ]
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