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|Distributor(s)||Proper Music Distribution|
|Genre||Punk rock, alternative rock|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Official website|| cherryred|
Cherry Red Records is a British independent record label founded by Iain McNay in 1978. The label has released recordings by Dead Kennedys, Everything But the Girl, The Monochrome Set, and Felt, among others, as well as the compilation album Pillows & Prayers. In addition to releasing new music, Cherry Red also acts as an umbrella for individual imprints and catalogue specialists.
Cherry Red was listed by Music Week [ full citation needed ] as one of the UK’s top ten record companies in Q1 2015 for sales of artist albums.
Cherry Red grew from the rock promotion company (similarly named after the song "Cherry Red" by The Groundhogs) founded in 1971 to promote rock concerts at the Malvern Winter Gardens. In the wake of the independent record boom that followed the advent of punk rock, founders Iain McNay (who remains company chairman) and Richard Jones released the label's first single, "Bad Hearts" by punk band The Tights in June 1978.
Cherry Red's early roster included releases by Morgan Fisher under various pseudonyms, using a small studio installed in his Notting Hill flat, as well as material licensed from The Hollywood Brats, Destroy All Monsters and The Runaways. The latter was the label's biggest seller until McNay invested $10,000 in the recording of the debut studio album by San Franciscan political punk band Dead Kennedys. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1979) and its attendant singles sold well worldwide. New A&R head Mike Alway had promoted the Snoopies venue in Richmond, London and been involved with the Scissor Fits, and signed groups including The Monochrome Set, Everything But The Girl, Eyeless in Gaza, Felt, and Five Or Six. McNay aspired for Cherry Red to be a label that offered a space for artists who would otherwise not fit the image of some of the more succinctly defined and stylised independents. "Cherry Red Records was always about musical individuality, diversity, character, commitment and passion," he stated in 2008.It also marketed other smaller independent record labels, like Bristol's Heartbeat Records, which recorded the Glaxo Babies.
Cherry Red's role as one of the keynote labels of the early 1980s independent scene was confirmed by the success of a budget compilation album compiled by Alway and released at Christmas 1982. Retailing for 99p, Pillows & Prayers topped the independent charts for several weeks.
Cherry Red continued to sign contemporary artists but increasingly moved into the reissue market from the late 1980s onwards. It has a number of subsidiary labels dealing in genre-specific releases, curating many "critically unloved" musical genres, in partial continuation of McNay's earlier advocacy of the unfashionable.
The company has also signed agreements with a number of specialist reissue labels, which operate with a degree of autonomy using Cherry Red's logistical and financial support. Mark Stratford's RPM Records label focuses on pop music from the 1960s to the advent of punk. Esoteric Recordings, headed by Mark Powell, specialises in progressive rock and folk catalogue. Mark Brennan heads 7T's Records, which reissues albums by that decade's glam/glitter generation. (Brennan originally helped Cherry Red form one of its first subsidiary labels, Anagram, covering punk, Psychobilly and Goth, which remains active). él Records continues under the auspices of Mike Alway (but purely as a re-release label), alongside other labels including Poker, Giant Steps, Mortarhate, Now Sounds, and Ork. The Cherry Red label group continues to house reissues, but is also active in the release of new studio material by established artists such as Suzi Quatro, Marc Almond, Red Box, Van Der Graaf Generator, Jah Wobble & Keith Levene, Squackett (a collaboration between Steve Hackett and Chris Squire), Hussey-Regan (a collaboration between Wayne Hussey and Julianne Regan), Hazel O'Connor, The Christians and Ken Hensley.
Still headed by McNay, a fan of AFC Wimbledon, alongside managing director Adam Velasco, Cherry Red also has interests in football-related releases, with the most complete catalogue of soccer-related songs extant.
In 2007, the company launched a streaming television service, cherry red TV. It also publishes an in-house magazine and an 'in-house' publishing division, 'Cherry Red Songs'.
In early 2015, Cherry Red Records and PWL reissued the first four Kylie Minogue albums, Kylie, Enjoy Yourself, Rhythm Of Love and Let's Get To It, as deluxe CD/DVD and LP boxsets.
Cherry Red also released a plethora of prestigious frontline albums by established artists that year, including Marc Almond's The Velvet Trail, The Zombies' Still Got That Hunger, Sarah Cracknell's Red Kite, Andy Bell of Erasure's Torsten The Bareback Saint, Jimmy Somerville's Homage, The Fall's Sub-Lingual Tablet and Wolfgang Flür's (ex-Kraftwerk) Eloquence to name a few.
In 2016 Cherry Red had its highest Top 40 chart position, with the new studio album from Hawkwind 'The Machine Stops' reaching No.29 in the Official UK Charts in April 2016.It also announced the release the brand new studio album from Van Der Graaf Generator in September.
In 2017 Cherry Red confirmed it will be representing several label catalogues and artist discographies, including Procol Harum, The Residents, Arthur Brown, Captain Oi, Glenn Hughes and Tim Blake.It also acquired thirteen artist catalogues from Warner Music Group as part of the major's divestments to independent labels, including Howard Jones, Kim Wilde, Marc Almond, Third Ear Band, Dinosaur Jr., Mel & Kim, Fourplay (shared with Evolution Media Group), Renaissance (except their debut album, which remained with Elektra Records), Be-Bop Deluxe and Curved Air. These catalogues will be distributed worldwide through Absolute Label Services.
The 2017 BPI yearbook 'All About The Music' included Cherry Red in the 20 Market Share By Corporate Group at number 15, which explains the chart-eligible album sales of all record labels.
In 2018 Cherry Red acquired the extensive catalogue of Witchwood Media, home to the music of the Strawbs and a roster of other related artists.
In late 2019 and early 2020 Cherry Red acquired more label and album catalogue, including Safari Records (Toyah, Jayne County), Emerald Music, Genesis' debut album From Genesis To Revelation and Chapter One. Cherry Red have also acquired the catalogue from numerous independent labels including Inevitable Records (Dead Or Alive), Attrix Records (Peter & The Test Tube Babies) and Native Records (Screaming Trees). Artist catalogues acquired in 2020 include Glenn Hughes & Trapeze, rock band The Stairs & Edgar Jones, psychedelic rock band July, heavy metal band Sir Lord Baltimore, psychedelic rock band Outskirts Of Infinity, NWOBHM band Spider, guitarist Paul Brett, record producer and musician Tom Newman and Canadian pub rocker Philip Rambow.
In June 2008 the Pillows & Prayers box set won the 'Best Catalogue Release category at that year's Mojo Honours.
At the 2013 Association of Independent Music Awards, Cherry Red won the Special Catalogue Release award for Scared To Get Happy - a box set that explored indie pop from 1980-1989..
In 2014, Cherry Red artist Dave Brock of Hawkwind won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Prog (magazine) Progressive Music Awards 2014. They also picked up nominations for Matt Stevens (Breakthrough Artist) and Panic Room (Best Anthem).
The 2015 Progressive Music Awards saw Genesis founder Tony Banks receive the Prog God award after his solo material catalogue reissue campaign with Cherry Red that year. The label also picked up nominationsfor John Lodge and Tin Spirits in the Best Anthem category, and Bill Nelson and Anthony Phillips in the Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award category.
2016 has seen Cherry Red's biggest release of the first quarter of the year, the new studio album from Hawkwind 'The Machine Stops', receive a nomination for Album Of The Year in the Progressive Music Awards 2016,after it enjoyed Cherry Red's highest ever Top 40 chart position at No.29 in the Official UK Charts in April 2016.
Cherry Red have had two albums in the UK Album Charts Top 40 in 2017. Hawkwind's studio album Into The Woods charted at No. 34 in Mayand the Fall's New Facts Emerge charted at No. 35 in July.
On 4 September 2018 at the AIM Independent Music Awards, Cherry Red Records Chairman Iain McNay won the Special Recognition Award for his service to independent music for over 40 years, as the label celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Hawkwind's studio album Road To Utopia charted at No 44 in the UK Albums Chart in September 2018.
Hawkwind's studio album 'All Aboard The Skylark' charted at No 34 in the UK Albums Chart in July 2019.
The full repertoire of Cherry Red associated imprint labels as of 2016:
Notable compilations released by Cherry Red Records include:
Since July 2018, Cherry Red has been the main shirt sponsor for English Championship club Wycombe Wanderers.
Stock Aitken Waterman are an English songwriting and record producing trio consisting of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman. The trio had great success from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. SAW is considered to be one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time, scoring more than 100 UK top 40 hits, selling 40 million records and earning an estimated £60 million.
Kylie Minogue is the fifth studio album by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, first released on 19 September 1994, by Deconstruction, Mushroom, and Arista Records. It was her first studio album released after leaving PWL. Through her new deal, Minogue worked with new producers including Brothers in Rhythm, M People, Farley And Heller, Jimmy Harry and Ronin, among others.
Hawkwind is the self-titled debut album by Hawkwind, released in 1970, originally on Liberty Records, later reissued on Sunset Records. This album is historic since it is one of the first space rock LPs.
Kylie is the debut studio album by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, released on 4 July 1988 by Mushroom Records. Minogue had established herself as a child actress before signing to the record label in early 1987. The success of her debut single, "Locomotion", resulted in her working with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who produced the album and wrote nine of its ten tracks. Their recording sessions, which started in September 1987 and took place in London and Melbourne, coincided with Minogue filming for the soap opera Neighbours.
Enjoy Yourself is the second studio album by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, released on 9 October 1989 by Pete Waterman Entertainment (PWE) and Mushroom Records. In the United States, it was released in 1990 by Geffen Records. Following the success of her self-titled debut album, Minogue reunited with the producers Stock Aitken Waterman, who produced and wrote nine of the album's ten tracks, in London in February 1989. The recording sessions took place there from February until July, coinciding with Minogue filming her first feature film The Delinquents.
Rhythm of Love is the third studio album by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, released on 12 November 1990 by Pete Waterman Entertainment (PWE) in the UK, and on 3 December 1990 by Mushroom Records in Australia. In contrast to her previous studio albums, Stock Aitken Waterman were the primary producers of the album, along with new producers and collaborations including Keith Cohen, Stephen Bray and Michael Jay. At the age of 22 at the time, Minogue started to become independently more involved in the process of creating and arranging the project compared to her two previous efforts, resulting in the album directing her to a new path in her career, with a more sexual image and a more dance-influenced sound. Rhythm of Love deals with many subjects including her real-time adulthood, cheating, having fun, bad boys, crushes and relationships.
Everything but the Girl were an English musical duo, formed in Kingston upon Hull, England in 1982, consisting of lead singer and occasional guitarist Tracey Thorn and guitarist, keyboardist, producer and singer Ben Watt. Everything but the Girl have received eight gold and two platinum album BPI Certifications in the UK, and one gold album RIAA Certification in the US. They had four top ten singles and twelve top forty singles in the UK. Their biggest hit song "Missing" charted high in several countries and reached number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1995 and spent over seven months on the UK Singles Chart thanks to an extremely popular remix by Todd Terry which later led to a Brit Award nomination for Best British Single.
Warrior on the Edge of Time is Hawkwind's fifth studio album. It reached number 13 on the U.K. album charts and was their third and last album to make the U.S. Billboard chart, where it peaked at number 150. Many of the lyrics are by Michael Moorcock, and the album is loosely based on the concept of Moorcock's novel The Eternal Champion. Reviews have been mixed, with Melody Maker panning the album and particularly criticizing the vocal work while the All Music Guide has praised the album for features such as the songwriting. This would also be the last album to feature the band's classic bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was fired from the band one day before the album's release.
Sad Lovers & Giants are an English rock band from Watford, England, which formed in 1980. Their sound blends post-punk, atmospheric keyboards and psychedelia.
"Step Back in Time" is a song recorded by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, taken from her third studio album Rhythm of Love (1990). It was released as the album's second single on 22 October 1990, and distributed by PWL and Mushroom as a CD single, cassette tape and 12" and 7" vinyls. The track was written, arranged, and produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Pete Waterman, who are collectively known as Stock Aitken and Waterman, and was recorded in London, United Kingdom. Musically, it is a disco song that lyrically pays tribute to the 1970s culture.
Cleopatra Records is a Los Angeles-based independent record label founded in 1992 by entrepreneur and music fan Brian Perera. It has since grown into a family of labels, including Hypnotic Records, Purple Pyramid Records, Deadline Music Records; and X-Ray Records, encompassing a variety of genres with emphasis on unique and experimental artists.
Phil Harding is an English audio engineer, producer and remixer.
Pillows & Prayers is a compilation album released Christmas 1982, featuring artists on the Cherry Red record label. The record was originally sold at 99 pence, which helped ensure that the album peaked and remained at number 1 on the UK Indie Chart for 19 weeks and sold over 120,000 copies.
Roadhawks, is a 1976 compilation album by Hawkwind covering the years 1970-1975. The band referred to their live shows with the term "Roadhawks" for many years.. However, there is only one live song on the album. The inside cover includes a shimmering photograph of the band in concert that appears to feature frozen strobe lights.
The discography of the British space rock group Hawkwind spans from their formation in 1969 through to the present day, with consistent output of live and studio albums, EPs and singles. The group have used aliases to release some albums in an attempt to either redefine themselves, as with the 1978 album 25 Years On released under the name Hawklords, or simply to distinguish the piece of work from their usual output, as with White Zone released under the name Psychedelic Warriors.
The UK Independent Singles Chart and UK Independent Albums Chart are charts of the best-selling independent singles and albums, respectively, in the United Kingdom. Originally published in January 1980, and widely known as the "indie chart", the relevance of the chart dwindled in the 1990s as major-label ownership blurred the boundary between independent and major labels.
Esoteric Recordings is a UK independent record label specialising in 1970s progressive rock, folk, psychedelic, and jazz-rock reissues as part of Cherry Red Records. Its releases include both catalogue reissues and new works from artists who share a similar musical heritage.
Heartbeat Productions is the parent company of a number of record labels originating from Bristol, England. Heartbeat Records was formed in 1978, and other labels have been added over the years to cater for specific niche markets or bands: Riot City Records in 1980, Disorder Records in 1981, FSA Records in 1992 and Trash City Records in 1994.
The UK Independent Singles Breakers Chart and the UK Independent Album Breakers Chart are music charts based on UK sales of singles and albums released on independent record labels by musical artists who have never made the UK top 20. It is compiled weekly by the Official Charts Company (OCC), and is first published on their official website on Friday evenings. The chart was first launched on 29 June 2009, and, according to Martin Talbot, managing director of the OCC, would have benefited acts such as Friendly Fires and Grizzly Bear.
The Machine Stops is a concept album by space rock band Hawkwind, released on 15 April 2016. It is inspired by the E.M. Forster short story of the same name. It is Hawkwind's twenty-ninth studio album, Hawkwind's first album recorded without the involvement of Tim Blake since 2010's Blood of the Earth and the first to feature bassist Haz Wheaton.