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|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founded||4 July 1959|
|Founder|| Chris Blackwell |
EMI/Island UK (UK)
Universal Music Group (International)
Island Def Jam (France)
Island Philippines (Philippines)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Most of Island Pictures film library)
|Location||United Kingdom, United States|
|Official website|| islandrecords|
Island Records is a multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica,and was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A&M Records, another label recently acquired by PolyGram, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island having exerted a major influence on the progressive music scene in the United Kingdom in the early 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 and MD Jon Turner. Partially due to its significant legacy, Island remains one of UMG's pre-eminent record labels.
Artists who have signed to Island Records include Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Nick Drake, Free, Bad Company, Queen, Jethro Tull, Grace Jones, Steve Winwood, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Incredible String Band, Brian Eno, Claire Hamill, Spooky Tooth, Stomu Yamashta, Nico, John Cale, 801 (band), Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Keshi, Sabrina Carpenter, Avicii, Poppy, Cat Stevens, Kevin McDermott Orchestra, The Orb, Tove Lo, Sparks, the Cranberries, Tracy Bonham, Roxy Music, Mick Abrahams, Blodwyn Pig, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Renaissance, Illusion, Bishop Briggs, Hozier, Blackbear, Pulp, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, DYLAN, 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, Insane Clown Posse, The Streets, Hikaru Utada, and FLO.
Island Records was founded in Jamaica on 4 July 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong, and financed by Stanley Borden from RKO. Its name was inspired by the Harry Belafonte song "Island in the Sun".Blackwell explained in 2009: "I loved music so much, I just wanted to get into it, or be as close to it as I could."
Tom Hayes, the label's sales manager between 1965 and 1967, referred to the early period of the label in the UK as "organized chaos". The 1964 hit, "My Boy Lollipop", sung by Jamaican singer Millie Small (1947–2020), was the label's first success in the UK and led to a world tour that also involved Blackwell. Blackwell explained in a 50th anniversary documentary that he was only interested in building long-term careers at that stage in time, rather than short-term projects.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. Suzette Newman and Chris Salewicz were the editors for the book The Story of Island Records: Keep On Running .
Blackwell relocated to England in May 1962 to garner greater levels of attention after the local Jamaican sound systems proved to be overwhelmingly successful. The label was based at a now demolished 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 later create Trojan Records.The vast 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 stock 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 also not reviewed by the press. Meanwhile, Goodall left to start the Doctor Bird record label in 1965.
Blackwell signed the Spencer Davis Group to the label (at that time, many Island releases were being distributed by Philips/Fontana). The group became very popular and Island started their own independent 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 label 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 licensed to A&M prior to signing up distribution deals with Capitol and later Atlantic, and also independent distribution.)
For Toots and the Maytals, the group that introduced the term "reggae" in song with their 1968 single "Do the Reggay",Chris Blackwell was the one who decided on the line-up of the group before introducing them to an international audience. 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 interview for Kool 97 FM Jamaica. Accompanied by Paul Douglas and Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan in studio, 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 recording band. One day we were summoned to Chris' house. And he says, "Alright gentleman, I think it's time. This Toots and the Maytals looks like it's going to be a big thing". By this time he had already signed Bob (Marley). So 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 meeting and he (Blackwell) decided that the backing band that back all of the songs, the recording band, should be the Maytals band. So everything came under Toots and the Maytals. So we became Maytals also. And then we hit the road in 1975 ... we were the opening act for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. We were the opening act for The Who for about two weeks.
In 1969, Island Records acquired a deconsecrated 17th century church building at 8-10 Basing Street, in the Ladbroke Grove area of Notting Hill in West London. The building was refurbished to create the Island Studios recording studio, while also serving as the new location for Island Records' offices.
The first 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.Music critic Lester Bangs described the album in Stereo Review as "perfection, the most exciting and diversified set of reggae tunes by a single artist yet released." As Blackwell says, "The Maytals were unlike anything else ... sensational, raw and dynamic." Blackwell had a strong 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, pure almost to a fault."
Despite the initial establishment work that Blackwell completed almost single-handedly, Island struggled as a business in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bob Marley's 1981 death was detrimental to the label, especially after its having engineered Marley's international 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 yet reached the international superstar status that was to come. In 1981, Blackwell also used the label to finance a new film production and distribution company, producing the film Countryman .In 1982, Paul Morley and producer Trevor Horn started the ZTT label under the Island banner and Blackwell was known to approve excessive spending by the label. Morley recalls in a 2009 book about Island Records:
I eventually grew to appreciate how Chris Blackwell, and therefore Island Records, was not about one thing, or one style, or one system, or one way of doing things ... [I began] reflecting how the world 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 place in glorious conflict these various systems and beliefs.
In 1983, the film production 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 . 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 deal whereby they invested the unpaid royalties into the label in exchange for a stake in the label that was estimated to be around 10 per cent.The partnership was dissolved in 1985. In August 1987, the company was not able to pay a US$5
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, while it was singer Robert Palmer who achieved worldwide success with the rock song "Addicted to Love" in 1986. African musicians such as King Sunny Adé and Angélique Kidjo were also championed by Blackwell.
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 too big and too corporate for me and I couldn't really handle it." [ citation needed ] Between 1992 and 1995, Island had a sub-label called the Island Red Label, which focused on independent artists.Following the sale, Island was no longer an independent company, but Blackwell was given a position on PolyGram's board and stayed on as CEO of PolyGram's new Island Entertainment division for ten years. PolyGram immediately began reissuing much of the Island back catalogue on compact disc and expanded Island's reach through its global manufacturing and distribution network, but the label was relatively unfocused in the 1990s.
Blackwell eventually ended his association with the company in 1997, as the corporate life hindered the independent ethos of his personal life. "I never really had a job until I sold Island to PolyGram in 1989. It had gotten too corporate," he commented afterwards. After Blackwell left, PolyGram closed Island's film business. million and $300 million annually. Seagram further explained that the acquisition would unite a significant international presence with a thriving domestic business, as more than three-quarters of PolyGram's sales were outside the US.Blackwell left to found the Palm Pictures company and run a chain of boutique hotels in Miami, US and the Caribbean, including the very exclusive Goldeneye, once the Jamaican home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. 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 couple of years, of between US$275
In December 1998 and the first 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 territory, 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).
In the US, Island became a predominantly pop/rock label, as their urban artists were assigned to either Def Jam or Def Soul, a new Island/Def Jam R&B imprint.[ citation needed ] Following the takeover of Island by UMG, flagship band U2 were dissatisfied after chief Jason Iley moved to the Mercury label in the mid-2000s and signed with Mercury for the UK and Interscope Records for the US. However, successful artists such as Tricky and PJ Harvey were impressed by the label and signed on as artists. Tricky explained: "I knew I could get freedom. I knew I could do what I wanted to do.", while Harvey later stated:
I came to work with them, sort of fully formed—the way that I looked, the way that I sounded: that was already there. And I felt, like, that they just supported where that was going to go.
The label celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
In 2009, Island Records marked the 50th anniversary of its foundation in Jamaica by Chris Blackwell with a series of live concerts and an exhibition under the Island 50 banner. The events were a celebration of the street-cool, independent outlook and striking visual imagery at the label'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 modern 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.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 appearing, and Chris Blackwell holding a Question & Answer session.
There was also a major exhibition at the Vinyl Factory Gallery in Soho, held in an open space beneath the record shop Phonica. The exhibition featured a display of treasured 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 Losing Game" and Bob Marley's passport application form. The exhibition contained 800 prints showcasing the work for Island of the photographers Adrian Boot, Jean-Paul Goude, Anton Corbijn, Gered Mankowitz, Keith Morris and Brian Cooke, and the London exhibition also featured live performances at the Vinyl Factory Gallery by DJ Shadow and PJ Harvey.
Following its 50th anniversary in 2009, Island Records entered its sixth decade 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 wave of new signings. In its largest live production since its 2009 anniversary, the label also staged a concert by The Weeknd and Jack Garratt on Osea Island, a small island in Essex, as part of a bespoke one-day festival for 400 guests, including label staff, media and 200 fans who obtained tickets via a ballot.
2016 proved a particularly successful year for the label in the UK: over a seven-week period 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 .
PJ Harvey's eighth studio album, 2011's Let England Shake , was one of the key records of Island's sixth decade. Made in a cliff-top church in Dorset, it won the 2011 Mercury Music Prize, making Harvey the only artist to land the prestigious award twice (she had prevailed ten years previously with Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea ). Mumford & Sons, who grew out of a series of jam sessions in London in 2007, signed a licensing deal with Island in 2009. Heralded as standard bearers for a vibrant new wave of folkish, countrified rock, their debut album, Sigh No More , sold two million, reaching number two in Britain and America. It also 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 year at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Island also secured the signing of English indie rock band Florence and the Machine whose debut studio 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 consecutive 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 work 22 Dreams (2008), the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Wake Up The Nation (2010) and Sonik Kicks (2012).
North London quartet Bombay Bicycle Club also released four albums on Island, with each one signalling a change of direction: 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 loyal live following, Catfish & The Bottlemen signed to Island in 2014. After reaching platinum sales status in the UK with their Top Ten debut album, The Balcony , the Welsh rock band 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 also responsible for securing major British breakthroughs for two of the 21st century's biggest international superstars in Drake and The Weeknd. The success of Toronto hip-hop artist Drake came after the label had worked patiently to build his profile over a number of years, culminating in the success of his fourth album Views and its attendant singles in 2016. "One Dance", Drake's first number one single in the UK, had 1.95 million sales to become Britain's biggest-selling single of 2016. The single's 15-week run at number one equalled the mark for the second longest in UK chart history. With the Island-signed Mike Posner having held the number one spot with "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" for four consecutive weeks before being replaced by "One Dance", Island held the top spot 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 organisation IFPI in February 2017.
Canadian singer and songwriter The Weeknd also cemented his position as one of the world's leading recording artists, with the 2016 success of his third album Starboy . Its success was the culmination of a strategy that had seen Island build his UK profile 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 signing of Sean Paul. The Jamaican singer, rapper and songwriter released "No Lie" (featuring the Youngest English-Albanian Dua Lipa), his first single for Island, in November 2016.
Signed to Island via a licensing deal with independent label PMR, Disclosure were formed by two brothers from Reigate in Surrey, Guy and Howard Lawrence. The duo discovered the joys of nineties house, techno and two-step garage while studying music production at college, and went on to enjoy success with their two Island albums Settle (2013) and Caracal (2015), making extensive 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 duo from London (singer Aluna Francis and musician and producer George Reid), who released their debut album, Body Music, on Island in 2013. Like Disclosure, Jessie Ware signed to Island through a link with independent 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 significant breakthrough was Yorkshire singer John Newman, who topped the UK charts with his first solo single, "Love Me Again", and his debut album Tribute.
In May 2018, incumbent president David Massey left Island to join Sony Music Entertainment's relaunch of Arista Records. Darcus Beese, OBE took on the role of president upon Massey's departure. To make the transition, Beese relocated from the United Kingdom to Island's offices at Universal Music Group's New York City building.
On July 23, 2020, Universal Music Group and its local subsidiary MCA Music launched Island Records Philippines, the first Southeast Asian branch of the 61-year old label.The Philippines branch is led by former Sony Music Philippines and Sindikato Management executive Enzo Valdez.
Island World Communications, under the leadership of Blackwell and Andy Frain, created Manga Entertainment Ltd, the anime and live action 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, [ citation needed ]and the distribution of what was the label's first release is considered a crucial milestone in the establishment of anime in the UK. 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 solely an acquisitions company.
The recording roster of Island Records, both past and present, has been and continues to be diverse. The label continues to champion new music, a practice that was highlighted at the Island Records 50th anniversary event, at which new artists provided the entertainment.
This list is probably incomplete, and some of the dates are uncertain.
Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay", was the first popular song to use the word reggae, effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.
"Punky Reggae Party" is a song by Bob Marley, recorded and released in 1977. Not appearing on any studio album, it was released in 1977 as a 12-inch single in Jamaica only on the Tuff Gong and Lee Perry's Black Art labels, as a B-side to the "Jamming" single on Chris Blackwell's Island Records label in some countries and was later released as a live single on Babylon by Bus. Subsequently, it appeared on a number of compilations and "Best of" albums as well as the Deluxe Edition of Exodus and the 2002 CD reissue of Legend. The two versions of the song on the Jamaican 12-inch single were both featured on disc 2 of the Deluxe Edition of Exodus. The version featured on the 2002 CD reissue of Legend is the B-side version from the "Jamming" 12-inch single. There is also a version of the song released as a B-side on the "Jamming" 7-inch single which is much shorter.
Mercury Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. It had significant success as an independent operation in the 1940s and 1950s. Smash Records and Fontana Records were sub labels of Mercury. Mercury Records released rock, funk, R&B, doo wop, soul music, blues, pop, rock and roll, and jazz records. In the United States, it is operated through Republic Records; in the United Kingdom and Japan, it is distributed by EMI Records.
PolyGram N.V. was a multinational entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disc gramophone, Emil Berliner.
The Maytals, known from 1972 to 2020 as Toots and the Maytals, are a Jamaican musical group, one of the best known ska and rocksteady vocal groups. The Maytals were formed in the early 1960s and were key figures in popularizing reggae music.
Leslie Kong was an influential Chinese-Jamaican reggae producer.
The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) was an American recording music unit, formed on New Year's Eve 1998 by Universal Music Group. It consists of labels created under the basic operations of Island Records and Def Jam Recordings. On April 1, 2014, Universal Music Group publicly announced the disbandment of the Island Def Jam Music Group, leaving IDJMG and its affiliated subsidiaries as separate sister labels.
Lowell Fillmore "Sly" Dunbar is a drummer, best known as one half of the prolific Jamaican rhythm section and reggae production duo Sly and Robbie.
Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell is a Jamaican-British former record producer and the founder of Island Records, which has been called "one of Britain's great independent labels". According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which Blackwell was inducted in 2001, he is "the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music." Variety describes him as "indisputably one of the greatest record executives in history".
Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert,, better known as Toots Hibbert, was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who was the lead vocalist for the reggae and ska band Toots and the Maytals. A reggae pioneer, he performed for six decades and helped establish some of the fundamentals of reggae music. Hibbert's 1968 song "Do the Reggay" is widely credited as the genesis of the genre name reggae. His band's album True Love won a Grammy Award in 2005.
Trojan Records is a British record label founded in 1968. It specialises in ska, rocksteady, reggae and dub music. The label currently operates under the Sanctuary Records Group. The name Trojan comes from the Croydon-built Trojan truck that was used as Duke Reid's sound system in Jamaica. The truck had "Duke Reid - The Trojan King of Sounds" painted on the sides, and the music played by Reid became known as the Trojan Sound.
4th & B'way Records is a US-based subsidiary of Island Records that specialised in street-oriented music such as hip hop. Established in 1984, it was the flagship label of the Island Trading Company, the independent-distribution parent company of Island's other record labels that operated in the US. However, 4th & B'way was not distributed through major-label channels—the flagship Island label was distributed by Atlantic Records at that time—until the label and distribution company were acquired by PolyGram Records in 1989, when Island Trading became a unit of PolyGram Group Distribution and was renamed Independent Label Sales (ILS). It was also one of several US-based Island labels that were named after nearby New York City streets when Island's US headquarters were located at 14 East 4th Street in Manhattan, the same building that held the legendary East Village branch of Tower Records, and also nearby at 400 Lafayette Street. When Island moved its headquarters to the Worldwide Plaza Building at 825 8th Avenue in 1995, where PolyGram's US headquarters were also located, the empty 4th Street offices became the headquarters of V2 Records.
Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary was officially opened on New Year's Day 1945 as MCA Nashville and Mercury Nashville which on New Year's Day 1950 as Capitol Nashville. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records, Mercury Nashville Records, Lost Highway Records, Capitol Records Nashville and EMI Records Nashville. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records.
Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare was a Jamaican bass guitarist and record producer, best known as half of the reggae rhythm section and production duo Sly and Robbie, with drummer Sly Dunbar. Regarded as one of the most influential reggae bassists, Shakespeare was also known for his creative use of electronics and production effects units. He was sometimes nicknamed "Basspeare".
Marcia Llyneth Griffiths is a Jamaican singer. One reviewer described her by noting "she is known primarily for her strong, smooth-as-mousse love songs and captivating live performances".
Beverley's was a Jamaican record label (1961–1971) owned by the Chinese Jamaican record producer Leslie Kong. Beverley's was essential to the development of ska and rocksteady into reggae. The label launched the careers of Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, having released Cliff's first recording "Dearest Beverley" in 1961 and Marley's early singles "Judge Not" and "One Cup of Coffee" in 1962.
Funky Kingston is the name of two albums by Jamaican reggae group Toots and the Maytals. The first was issued in Jamaica and the United Kingdom in 1973 on Dragon Records, a subsidiary label of Island Records, owned by Chris Blackwell. A different album, with the same cover and title, was issued in the United States in 1975 on Mango Records. That album was compiled from three previous Maytals albums by Island Records employee Danny Holloway and peaked at #164 on the Billboard 200. It was also voted the eleventh best album of 1975 in the annual Jazz & Pop poll. In 2003, the American version was placed at number 378 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, 380 in a 2012 revised list and 344 in a 2020 revised list.
Wayne Jobson, also known as Native Wayne, is a Jamaican record producer of European ancestry. He has worked with such artists as No Doubt, Gregory Isaacs and Toots & the Maytals. He hosts the weekly radio show "Alter Native" every Sunday afternoon on Indie 103.1. He previously hosted a similar radio show, "Reggae Revolution", at Indie's main competitor KROQ-FM. Jobson is also known as a musician. He recorded an album in 1977 produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry at the Black Ark.
Earl “Paul” Douglas is a Jamaican Grammy Award-winning drummer and percussionist, best known for his work as the drummer, percussionist and bandleader of Toots and the Maytals. His career spans more than five decades as one of reggae's most recorded drummers. Music journalist and reggae historian David Katz wrote, “dependable drummer Paul Douglas played on countless reggae hits."
Darcus Beese OBE is a British music executive and the former president and Chief Executive Officer of Island Records from his appointment in 2018 till his departure on 3 February 2021. During his time at the label, he signed several top musicians including Amy Winehouse and Jessie J. Beese, who has been described by Music Week as "one of the great A&R people of his or any other generation", subsequently joined Warner Music UK as executive vice-president.