|Genre||Musical reissues and repertoire|
|Founder||Terry Shand, Cliff Dane, Jon Beecher|
|Parent|| Alliance Entertainment (from 1994)|
Sanctuary Records Group (from 2000)
Castle Communications, also known as Castle Music,was a British independent record label and British home video distributor founded in 1983 by Terry Shand, Cliff Dane, and Jon Beecher. Its video imprint was called Castle Vision. The label's production ceased in 2007, and its remaining rights are now chiefly vested in BMG Rights Management. Castle also operated a subsidiary label, Essential Records.
Castle Communications was acquired by American music distributor Alliance Entertainment (which at the time owned Concord Records and NCircle Entertainment) in 1994and then by Sanctuary Records Group in 2000. The label was dissolved when Sanctuary became a Universal Music Group subsidiary in 2007. Since 2013 Sanctuary has been owned by BMG Rights Management, with global distribution handled by Warner Music Group.
Starting out as a mid-price catalogue reissue specialist, with labels including The Collector Series and Dojo, it grew into the largest European owner of repertoire outside the major record companies. It purchased catalogues including Pye, Piccadilly, Bradley's, Bronze, Black Sabbath, Sugar Hill,Transatlantic, Beserkley, All Platinum and Solar. They possessed most of the Transatlantic and Trailer catalogue.
Starting in the early 1980s, they released compilations and reissued work by Fairport Convention, John Renbourn, Barbara Dickson, Steeleye Span, the Watersons, Richard Thompson, Geoff Turton and many others. They also diversified to reissue several early albums by the Fall as well as "Pink Years" and "Blue Years" albums by Tangerine Dream, and compilations by Nurse with Wound and Current 93. They have also released a comprehensive compilation featuring songs by Canadian rock band, Triumph.
In the 1980s they were notable for releasing many heavy metal compilations albums under the series name Metal Killers. Interest in these licensed releases led them to form their own heavy metal imprint Raw Power, to sign and promote new rock acts, rather than to just license older product from other more established labels. The first signing to the Raw Power label was the NWOBHM act Hell's Belles, releasing their debut album and single in 1985. After several years, the Raw Power imprint was retired with the decline of heavy metal in the UK.
Castle Vision was Castle Communications' home video distributor arm. It released many videotapes, including TUGS , The Raggy Dolls , Tumbledown Farm, Alvin and the Chipmunks , You've Been Framed! , the Men of our Time series (documentaries about Hitler, Lenin, Gandhi and Kennedy), a documentary called Falklands War: The Untold Story, The Fugitive , Harry's Game as well as movies Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Phantom of the Opera which were distributed via CBS/Fox Video
Virgin Records Ltd is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide success over time, with the success of platinum performers such as Aaliyah, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Charlie Brown Jr., Gorillaz, and Spice Girls, among others.
MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger Universal Music Group.
Chrysalis Records is a British record label that was created in 1968. The name was both a reference to the pupal stage of a butterfly and a combination of its founders' names, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis. It started as the Ellis-Wright Agency.
Sanctuary Records Group Limited was a record label based in the United Kingdom and a subsidiary of BMG Rights Management. Until June 2007, it was the largest independent record label in the UK and the largest music management company in the world. It was also the world's largest independent owner of music intellectual property rights, with over 160,000 songs.
ASV Records was a London-based record label set up by Harley Usill, founder of Argo Records, Decca producer and former Argo general manager, Kevin Daly, and producer Jack Boyce, after Argo's parent company Decca was bought by PolyGram in 1980. ASV stood for "Academy Sound and Vision". The label was bought by the Sanctuary Records Group in May 1999.
Pye Records was a British record label. Its best known artists were Lonnie Donegan (1956–1969), Petula Clark (1957–1971), The Searchers (1963–1967), The Kinks (1964–1971), Sandie Shaw (1964–1971), Status Quo (1968–1971) and Brotherhood of Man (1975–1979). The label changed its name to PRT Records in 1980, before being briefly reactivated as Pye Records in 2006.
EMI Records Ltd. is a British record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). The original EMI Records was founded by the music company of the same name in 1972 as its flagship label, and launched in January 1973 as the successor to its Columbia and Parlophone record labels. The label was later launched worldwide. It has a branch in India called "EMI Records India", run by director Mohit Suri. UMG revived the label in June 2020, as the successor to Virgin EMI, with Virgin Records now operating as an imprint of EMI Records.
Jet Records was a British record label set up by Don Arden, with musicians such as Lynsey de Paul, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Roy Wood, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Alan Price, Adrian Gurvitz, Riot and Magnum.
Live at Last is a 1980 live album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Despite its wide distribution and success, the album was released without the permission or knowledge of the band, and is thus regarded in some quarters as an unofficial bootleg live album. The album was, however, released legally by the band's former manager Patrick Meehan who owned the rights to the recording. The album was re-released with the approval of the band on 27 September 2010.
Combat Records was an American independent record label from New York City. The label was home to predominantly heavy metal and punk rock acts, including Megadeth, Circle Jerks, Nuclear Assault, OZ, Death, Dead Brain Cells, Possessed, Crumbsuckers, Agnostic Front, Agent Steel, Dark Angel, Heathen, Zoetrope and Exodus. In 2017, it was announced that Combat was being relaunched by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and Thom Hazaert as a new label imprint under their EMP Label Group.
Music For Nations is a British independent record label focusing mainly on rock and metal. It was a subsidiary of the larger label distributor Zomba Records, which was a division of BMG and later Sony Music Entertainment.
Noise Records is a German heavy metal record label founded in 1983 by German music industry personality Karl-Ulrich Walterbach as an expansion of his company Modern Music Records. It was sold to the Sanctuary Records Group in 2001 and ceased any activity in 2007 due to the bankruptcy of Sanctuary. The Noise catalogue was consequently acquired by Universal Music Group later on. In April 2016, BMG Rights Management, which had acquired Sanctuary Records in 2013, announced that it would revive the Noise Records label.
Sugar Hill Records was a record label specializing in hip hop music that was founded in 1979 by husband and wife Joe and Sylvia Robinson with Milton Malden and funding from Tony Riviera and Morris Levy, the owner of Roulette Records.
CMC International was an American independent record label founded by Bill Cain and Tom Lipsky in 1991, focused mainly on classic rock, and classic heavy metal. The label was the haven of many hard rock, arena rock, glam metal and AOR artists in the period when all the majors were investing all their financial efforts on grunge and alternative rock acts. In 1995 CMC started a partnership with BMG Entertainment, which in 1999 owned the majority of the company, with founder Tom Lipsky holding a minority stake.
Revolver Music, or Revolver Records, was created by Paul Birch in 1979 as a guitar music label. Its sister labels are FM Records and Heavy Metal Records.
Razor & Tie is an American entertainment company that consists of a record label and a music publishing company. It was established in 1990 by Craig Balsam and Cliff Chenfeld. Based in New York City, Razor & Tie releases are distributed by Universal Music Group.
Minos EMI is a record company based in Athens, Greece. The company serves as the Greek record label and offices of the multinational Universal Music Group.
BMG Rights Management GmbH is an international music company based in Berlin, Germany. It combines the activities of a music publisher and a record label.
The Collection is a double CD compilation album of the all-female British heavy metal band Girlschool. The album was released in 1998 by Renaissance Records, under licence from Castle Communications, and reissued in 2000 by Sanctuary Records, of which Castle had become a subsidiary. Castle was the owner of Girlschool back catalogue, acquired from Bronze and GWR.
The discography of Girlschool, a British all-female heavy metal band, spans over 30 years of a career and consists of thirteen studio albums, six EPs and a large number of compilations. The band was formed in 1978 by Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort. Their first release was the single "Take It All Away" for the small British rock/punk label City Records. The song did not chart, but came to the ear of Lemmy Kilmister and of Motörhead manager Doug Smith, who made Girlschool the supporting band on the Overkill tour and managed to get them a contract with the wealthy label Bronze Records.