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|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Official website|| republicrecords|
American Recordings (formerly Def American Recordings) is an American record label headed by producer Rick Rubin. The label has featured artists such as Slayer, the Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Danzig, Trouble, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, The Mother Hips, and System of a Down.
A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.
Frederick Jay Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Run-DMC, Rubin helped popularize hip hop music.
Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.
The label Def American Recordings was founded after Rick Rubin left Def Jam Recordings in 1988. Among the first acts to be signed were Slayer (which followed Rubin from Def Jam), Danzig, The Four Horsemen, Masters of Reality, and Wolfsbane, as well as indie rockers the Jesus and Mary Chain and controversial stand-up comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Rubin continued his association with hip-hop music as well by signing artists such as the Geto Boys and Sir Mix-a-Lot. Def American had its first major success with The Black Crowes' 1990 debut album, Shake Your Money Maker , which was eventually certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA. The group’s 1992 follow-up, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion , gave the label its first No.1 album. Rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot obtained a number-one hit with the song "Baby Got Back" as well as a platinum-selling album entitled Mack Daddy . Heavy metal acts Slayer and Danzig also enjoyed notable commercial success, with Slayer in particular having several gold certified albums. Rubin produced many of the recordings on the label, as well as directing other related ventures.
Def Jam Recordings is an American record label focused predominantly on hip hop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Virgin EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Logic, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Teyana Taylor, YG, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Q-Tip, Valee, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Fabolous, Desiigner and Jhené Aiko.
Danzig is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1987 in Lodi, New Jersey. The band is the musical outlet for singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig, preceded by the horror punk bands the Misfits and Samhain. They play in a bluesy doom-driven heavy metal style influenced by the early sound of Black Sabbath.
The Four Horsemen were an American hard rock band, who enjoyed a brief popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their style was blues-influenced hard rock, but their fame was both fleeting and marred by tragedy.
Rubin changed the name of the company from Def American Recordings to American Recordings in 1993 after reportedly seeing the word "def" in the dictionary. The company was reportedly renamed because he believed that finding the word in a notable source was against the anti-establishment image that he was trying to project. A mock funeral presided over by the Reverend Al Sharpton was done for the label name change.
Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, television/radio talk show host and a former White House adviser for President Barack Obama. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election. He hosts his own radio talk show, Keepin' It Real, and he makes regular guest appearances cable news television. In 2011, he was named the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, a nightly talk show. In 2015, the program was shifted to Sunday mornings.
American had several sub-labels over the years, including Onion Records, Ill Labels, Wild West, Whte Lbls [ sic ], and Infinite Zero. The latter was a partnership with Henry Rollins that specialized in reissues of obscure albums. None of these labels made the distribution transition after American Recordings left Warner Bros. Records in 1997, and its recordings were deleted.
The Latin adverb sic inserted after a quoted word or passage indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling. It also applies to any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that might be likely interpreted as an error of transcription.
Henry Lawrence Garfield, better known by his stage name Henry Rollins, is an American musician, actor, writer, television and radio host, and comedian. He hosts a weekly radio show on KCRW, and is a regular columnist for Rolling Stone Australia and was a regular columnist for LA Weekly.
The first Def American release was Reign in Blood by Slayer, which had a Def Jam Recordings logo on its first pressing. It is known by fans of heavy metal music to be one of the most critically acclaimed and important albums in the genre's history, and continues to obtain much high praise from fans and critics.A Def Jam Recordings logo was also present on its follow-up album. However, because Russell Simmons felt that Slayer's music was not in line with Def Jam, and because Def Jam's then-distributor Columbia Records refused to release it, it was released through Geffen Records, and Rubin took the rights of the release to the new label with him after the split. Danzig's 1988 debut album was the first release to actually bear the Def American logo. Initially, the label was distributed by Geffen through Warner Bros. Records, but when Geffen refused to distribute the self-titled album by the Geto Boys and the controversy it caused, distribution was absorbed by Warner Bros. proper, which released all subsequent Def American titles.
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
Russell Wendell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, record executive, writer and film producer. The chair and CEO of Rush Communications, he co-founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris. Simmons's net worth was estimated at $340m in 2011.
Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.
American's distribution has been handled through several labels over the years. American's first incarnation was distributed by Geffen Records through Warner Bros. Records from 1988 to 1990. After a falling out with Geffen over the content of the Geto Boys' only Def American release, Warner Bros. itself took over distribution duties from 1990 to 1997. However, sub-label Ill Labels was distributed by hip-hop specialist and former Warner Bros. subsidiary Tommy Boy Records as part of its deal. For a brief time during the 1990s, the label also distributed Too Pure Records in the US.
Rubin signed a distribution deal with Columbia Records in 1997, which distributed the label's titles until 2001. That year, Universal Music Group, through its Island Def Jam Music Group division, took over distribution. In 2005, with the exception of the recordings of Johnny Cash, the label returned to the aegis of Warner Bros. Records. Non-US distribution was handled by Sony Music Entertainment until the deal with Columbia expired.
In 2007, Warner Bros. Records, which was American's home from 1990 to 1997, acquired the rights to the extensive American Recordings catalog, which included Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks, Slayer, and Danzig. However, American's current roster (except Tom Petty) was transferred to BMG successor Sony BMG (now Sony Music Entertainment) in mid-2007 after a legal battle between Warner and Rubin over the details of their former arrangement, in which American Recordings would sign and provide creative services for artists, while Warner Bros. was only to handle promotion, sales, marketing, and distribution because Rubin was prompted to move his label with his appointment to co-chairman of Columbia Records in the spring of 2007.
In 2012, Rick Rubin, upon his exit from Sony Music Entertainment, signed a new deal with Universal Republic Records (now Republic Records) for a new incarnation of American. The first albums to be released under this new deal were ZZ Top's La Futura and The Avett Brothers' The Carpenter .
Geffen Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M Records imprint.
The Geto Boys are an American rap group from Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas, consisting of Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D. The Geto Boys have earned notoriety for their lyrics covering controversial topics such as misogyny, gore, psychotic experiences, and necrophilia. The group enjoyed success in the 1990s with several certified albums and singles.
South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on July 5, 1988, the album was the band's second collaboration with record producer Rick Rubin, whose production skills on Slayer's previous album Reign in Blood had helped the band's sound evolve.
Pye Records was a British record label. Its best known artists were Lonnie Donegan (1956–69), Petula Clark (1957–71), The Searchers (1963–67), The Kinks (1964–71), Sandie Shaw (1964–71), Status Quo (1968–71) and Brotherhood of Man (1975–79). The label changed its name to PRT Records in 1980, before being briefly reactivated as Pye Records in 2006.
Asylum Records is an American record label, founded in 1971 by David Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts. It was taken over by Warner Communications in 1972, and later merged with Elektra Records to become Elektra/Asylum Records.
DGC Records is an American major record label that currently operates as a division of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, which is owned by the Vivendi-based Universal Music Group.
Def Jam South Recordings is the southern division of Def Jam Recordings. The label is best known for launching the career of Ludacris and his Disturbing tha Peace group and label. In 2003, the label shut down but was relaunched in 2005. They have also jump-started the career of Young Jeezy.
Lyor Cohen is an American music industry executive. Cohen has been actively involved in hip hop at various record labels for more than 30 years. He started by managing rappers for Rush Productions, then led Def Jam. After Def Jam, Cohen took on a leadership role at Warner Music Group. In September 2012, Cohen put in his resignation at Warner and started his own independent label, 300 Entertainment. On September 28, 2016, Cohen was named YouTube's Global Head of Music.
Krush Groove is a 1985 American film by Warner Bros. that was written by Ralph Farquhar and directed by Michael Schultz. This film is based on the early days of Def Jam Recordings and up-and-coming record producer Russell Simmons, portrayed by Blair Underwood in his feature film debut. Simmons was the film's co-producer and story consultant; he also had a cameo in the film as a club owner named Crocket.
The Geto Boys is a remix album by the Geto Boys released in 1990. The album contains one track from the group’s debut album Making Trouble (1988), 10 from its previous album Grip It! On That Other Level (1989), and two new songs. All tracks on the album were re-recorded, remixed and revamped by acclaimed producer Rick Rubin with his protégé Brendan O'Brien. The cover of the album resembles The Beatles' album Let It Be, and the songs attracted much controversy upon the album’s release.
George Drakoulias is a Greek-American music producer and a former A&R executive at the American Recordings label. He is often considered a protégé of Rick Rubin.
A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.
Rick Rubin is a producer who holds eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the year which he won with the Dixie Chicks and Adele in 2007 and 2012, respectively. He also won numerous producer of the year awards. This is a list compiling his production discography.
The discography of American singer and songwriter Donna Summer features seventeen studio albums recorded between 1974 and 2008, two live albums and a large amount of compilation albums and guest appearances.
Maybach Music Group (MMG) is a record label imprint founded by American rapper Rick Ross. Maybach Music Group albums are distributed by Atlantic Records, a division of the Atlantic Records Group. Atlantic took over distribution following the expiration of a deal with Island Def Jam. As of December 12, 2012, the label releases are now distributed by Atlantic Records. 19 solo and three compilation albums have been released by Maybach Music Group, including five certified Gold albums. Although the label has failed to sign any female artists, Maybach is home to many successful artists such as Ross himself, Wale, Meek Mill, Omarion, Gunplay and Torch, among others. The label has also had seven albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 such as Deeper Than Rap, God Forgives, I Don't, and Mastermind by Rick Ross, The Gifted and The Album About Nothing by Wale and Dreams Worth More Than Money and Championships by Meek Mill.
Joie Manda is an American music executive who is the current executive vice president of Interscope Records. He previously held executive positions at Def Jam Recordings, Warner Bros. Records, and Asylum Records. Since 2004, Manda has worked with a variety of hip hop and R&B artists, including Gucci Mane, Jill Scott, Juice Wrld, J. Cole, Ella Mai, and numerous others.