Geffen Records is an american record label established by David Geffen and owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A & M Records impress. Founded in 1980, Geffen Records has been a part of Interscope Geffen A & M since 1999 and has been used by Universal Music as a syndicate division, serving its purpose to operate as a premier tag for many new releases since 2003 and its 2017 boot and at the lapp time to reissue many releases from recording labels such as Decca Records ( entirely the american pop/rock catalogue ), Kapp Records, DreamWorks Records, MCA Records, Uni Records, Chess Records, Almo Sounds ( recently, Interscope has managed reissues of the label in 2015 ), Dot Records, and ABC Records ( chiefly its crop up, rock candy, and R & B recordings ). Over the years since its conception, the tag has signed and released recordings from many major artists such as Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Enya, Cher, Guns N ‘ Roses, Tesla, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Donna Summer, and more recently Nirvana, Weezer, Mary J. Blige, Blink-182, Avicii, DJ Snake, Keyshia Cole, Lifehouse, Beck, Nelly Furtado, Lil Durk, Marshmello, Rise Against, Olivia Rodrigo, Snoop Dogg, Rob Zombie, and Gryffin.
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history [edit ]
Geffen Records began operations in 1980, having been started by music industry businessman David Geffen [ 1 ] who, in the early 1970s, had founded Asylum Records. Geffen stepped down from Asylum in 1975, when he crossed over to film and was named a frailty president of Warner Bros. Pictures. He was fired from Warner circa 1978, but still remained locked in a five-year contract, which prevented him from working elsewhere. When that deal expired, he returned to work in 1980 and struck a deal with, ironically, Warner Records, the sister company to Warner Bros. Pictures, to create Geffen Records. Warner Bros. Records provided 100 percentage of the fund for the label ‘s start-up and operations and Warner distributed its releases in North America, while Epic Records handled distribution in the perch of the worldly concern until 1985. In that year, Warner Bros. took over distribution for the rest of the universe. Profits were split 50/50 between Geffen Records and its respective distributors. Geffen Records ‘ first artist sign language was ace Donna Summer, whose gold-selling album The Wanderer became the label ‘s beginning passing in 1980. The pronounce then released Double Fantasy by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Two weeks after it entered the charts, Lennon was murdered in New York City. Subsequently, the album went on to sell millions and gave Geffen its first number-one album and single ; the rights to the album would late be taken over by EMI, which finally was absorbed by Geffen ‘s parent Universal Music. As the 1980s progressed, Geffen would go on to have achiever with such acts as Berlin, Enya, Kylie Minogue, Quarterflash, Wang Chung, and Sammy Hagar. The label besides signed several established acts such as Elton John, Irene Cara, Cher, Debbie Harry, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, and Jennifer Holliday. Toward the end of the ten, the company besides began making a name for itself as an emerging rock label, thanks to the success of Whitesnake ( U.S. and Canada merely ), The Stone Roses, Guns N ‘ Roses, Tesla, Sonic Youth and the rejoinder of 1970s-era rockers Aerosmith. This prompted Geffen to create a subordinate label, DGC Records in 1990 ; which focused on more progressive rock ‘n’ roll and would belated embrace the emergence of alternative rock ‘n’ roll — Nirvana being an exemplar. Geffen besides concisely distributed the first incarnation of Def American Recordings through Warner Music Group from 1988 to 1990 .
Acquisition by MCA [edit ]
After a ten of engage through WMG, when its abridge with the party expired, the label was sold to MCA Music Entertainment ( late renamed Universal Music Group ) in 1990. The deal ultimately earned David Geffen an estimated US $ 800 million in stock ( until the japanese conglomerate, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. ‘s cash skill of MCA in 1991, made Geffen a billionaire ) and an employment contract that ran until 1995. Following the sale, Geffen Records operated as one of MCA ‘s leading independently managed labels. Geffen stepped down as head of the label in 1995 to collaborate 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 fresh operation ‘s DreamWorks Records auxiliary. In January 1996, Geffen Records funded and distributed a ephemeral boutique tag Outpost Recordings featuring the likes of Whiskeytown, Ry Cooder, Veruca Salt, and Hayden. [ 2 ]
Universal Music Group acquired PolyGram in 1999, resulting in a corporate reorganization of labels. Geffen Records, along with A & M Records, was subsequently merged into Interscope Records. Although Geffen would continue to exist as a stigmatize, it was downsized to fit into the greater expansion of Interscope. At the same time, external distribution of Interscope and Geffen releases switched to ex-PolyGram label Polydor Records, which had already been distributing A & M releases overseas ( in tax return for A & M handling Polydor releases in the U.S. ). By 2000, despite Geffen Records nobelium longer being independently operated within UMG and taking a more slavish status behind Interscope, it continued to do steady business—so much so that in 2003, UMG folded MCA Records into Geffen. Though Geffen had been well a pop-rock label, its assimilation of MCA ( and its back catalog ) led to a more diverse roll ; with former MCA artists such as Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Blink-182, Rise Against and Common immediately featured on the tag. meanwhile, DreamWorks Records besides folded, with artists such as Nelly Furtado, Lifehouse and Rufus Wainwright being absorbed by Geffen vitamin a well. During this time, DGC Records was besides folded into Geffen, with retain artists nowadays recording for Geffen immediately ( DGC was reactivated in 2007, however it would now operate through Interscope Records alternatively ).
As the 2000s progressed, Geffen ‘s assimilation of the MCA and DreamWorks labels, along with continuing to sign new acts such as Ashlee Simpson, Angels & Airwaves, Snoop Dogg and The Game, had boosted the company to the extent that it began gaining adequate foot with the independent Interscope label, leading some diligence insiders to speculate that it could revert to operating as an independently managed imprint at UMG again. At the end of 2007, however, Geffen was absorbed far into Interscope. [ 3 ] The restructure resulted in Geffen laying off sixty employees. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] In 2009, it was announced that Geffen Records had signed an agreement with the Holy See to produce an album of marian songs and prayers from Pope Benedict XVI. [ 6 ] Jimmy Iovine relaunched the Geffen depression in 2011, moving its headquarters from California to New York City. Gee Roberson was appointed president. [ 7 ] In March 2017, Neil Jacobson was appointed President of Geffen Records to oversee the relaunch of the label via new signings adenine well as reinvigoration of the label ‘s legendary catalog. [ 8 ] In December 2019, Jacobson left Geffen to start Crescent Drive Productions. [ 9 ] In January 2020, Lee L’Heureux was appointed General Manager of Geffen Records. [ 10 ]