MCA Records

Last updated

MCA Records, Inc.
MCA Records logo (SVG Type).svg
Final logo (1997–2003)
Parent company
Founded1934 (as Decca Records)
1972 (became MCA Records)
Founder Universal Pictures
DefunctJuly 2003 (absorbed into Geffen Records)
Country of originUnited States
Location70 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California (1972–2000)
2220 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California (2000–2003)

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc. established in 1972, though MCA had released recordings under that name in the UK from the 1960s. The label achieved success in the 1970s through the 1970s, often by acquiring other record labels, from ABC to Motown to Geffen. MCA Inc. became Universal Studios, Inc., in 1996, and the MCA record label was folded into Universal Music Group's Geffen Records in 2003, but Universal's MCA Nashville continues to use the moniker.




The U.S. arm of Britain's Decca Records was established in New York in 1934 [1] In 1937, the owner of Decca, Edward R. Lewis, chose to split off the UK Decca company from the U.S. company (keeping his U.S. Decca holdings), fearing the financial damage that would arise for UK Companies if the emerging hostilities of Nazi Germany should lead to war – correctly foreseeing World War II. Lewis sold the remainder of his American Decca holdings when war did break out. [2] U.S.-based Decca Records kept the rights to the Decca name in North and South America and parts of Asia including Japan. UK Decca owned the rights to the Decca name in the rest of the world. After the war, British Decca formed a new U.S. subsidiary, London Records. During this time, American Decca issued records outside North America on the Coral Records and Brunswick Records labels.

The early years

In 1962, MCA, a talent agency and television production company, entered the recorded music business with the acquisition of American Decca, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary. As American Decca owned Universal Pictures, MCA was forced to exit the talent agency business in order to complete the merger. MCA assumed full ownership of Universal and made it into a top film studio, producing several hits. [3]

In 1966, MCA formed Uni Records [4] and in 1967, purchased Kapp Records [5] which was placed under Uni Records management. [6]

In 1967, Brunswick and Coral were replaced by a new MCA label, which was used to release U.S. Decca and Kapp label material outside North America. [7] [8] Initial activity as MCA Records was based in London and MCA Records UK was formally launched on February 16, 1968. [9] Among the early artists on the MCA label, around 1971, were groups Wishbone Ash, Osibisa, Stackridge and Budgie, and solo artists Tony Christie, Mick Greenwood and Roy Young. [10]

Early MCA UK releases were distributed by Decca, but moved to EMI in 1974. As the U.S. division of MCA Records was not established until 1972, the earliest UK MCA Records material was released in the U.S. on either Kapp or Decca. MCA UK also issued American Brunswick material on the MCA label until 1972, two years after MCA lost control of Brunswick, after which American Brunswick material was issued in the UK on the revived Brunswick label. Uni label material was issued on the Uni label worldwide.

MCA Records formation in Canada and the United States

In 1970, MCA reorganized its Canadian record company Compo Company Ltd. into MCA Records (Canada). [11] In April 1970, former Warner Records president Mike Maitland joined MCA and initially served as Decca's general manager. Maitland was unsuccessful in his attempt to consolidate Warner Records with co-owned Atlantic Records which led to his departure from Warner.

In April 1971, Maitland supervised the consolidation of the New York–based Decca and Kapp labels plus the California-based Uni label into MCA Records based in Universal City, California, with Maitland serving as president. [12] The three labels maintained their identities for a short time, but were retired in favor of the MCA label in 1973. [4] [13] "Drift Away" by Dobie Gray became the final Decca pop label release in the U.S. in 1973. Beginning the same year, the catalogs of Decca, Uni and Kapp were reissued in the U.S. on the MCA label under the supervision of veteran Decca producer Milt Gabler. [14]

Early success

The first MCA Records release in the U.S. was former Uni artist Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" single in 1972, which appeared on a plain black and white label. [15] Immediately following this, the American MCA label used a black with curved rainbow design until the late 1970s. This design was directly inspired by the U.S. Decca label of the 1960s.

In December 1972, Neil Diamond, another Uni artist, reached superstar status with his first MCA release, the live multi-platinum Hot August Night . Elton John's double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was released in October 1973 and was number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart for eight straight weeks. The management of former Decca artists the Who had formed their own label Track Records in the UK, but were still under contract with MCA for American distribution. The Who's double album Quadrophenia was released by Track/MCA also in October 1973. Quadrophenia peaked at number 2 as it was held back from the number 1 slot by Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Other successful artists on MCA, after the consolidation, included former Kapp artist Cher, and Uni artist Olivia Newton-John. In 1973 MCA released the highly successful soundtrack album to the film The Sting . The movie used the Ragtime music of Scott Joplin, arranged and conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Score (MCA issued many other soundtracks to films from Universal, along with some non-Universal films).

One of the most successful MCA artists in this era was the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, who would become one of the most popular in the Southern rock genre. The group was discovered by Al Kooper and initially released on his Sounds of the South label imprint of MCA. The song "Free Bird" became one of the most popular songs of all time on album-oriented rock radio stations. On Second Helping , the group recorded a song about their relationship with the label called, "Workin' for MCA". Street Survivors was released in October 1977, just prior to a tragic plane crash in which members of the group were either killed or severely injured. The original Street Survivors cover had a picture of the band members surrounded by flames, but this was quickly substituted for a design without flames. Lynyrd Skynyrd's streak of hits ended after the crash. Eventually, three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums reached the double platinum sales level and at least two others reached platinum or gold levels.[ citation needed ]

During the 1970s and 1980s, MCA profited from reissuing classic early rock and roll recordings made by artists who recorded for the numerous labels absorbed by MCA. One notable example was the 1954 Decca recording "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, which was featured as the lead track of MCA's number one–charting American Graffiti soundtrack album, and as a single returned to the American top 40 that year, 20 years after it was recorded.

Expansion and struggles

In 1977, MCA president Sidney Sheinberg set up the Infinity Records division, based in New York City with Ron Alexenberg as CEO. Alexenberg had been with the Epic division of CBS Records, now Sony Music Entertainment. The intention was to give MCA a stronger presence on the East Coast. The only big hit the Infinity label had was "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes, a number one single at the end of 1979. Infinity also had some success with Hot Chocolate, Spyro Gyra, New England and TKO. But MCA pulled the plug on Infinity after it failed to sell most of the one million advance copies of an album featuring Pope John Paul II in October 1979. Infinity was fully absorbed by the parent company in 1980.

In 1979, Bob Siner replaced Maitland as MCA Records president. [16] Shortly afterwards, MCA acquired ABC Records along with its subsidiaries Paramount, Dunhill, Impulse!, Westminster, and Dot. [17] ABC had acquired the Paramount and Dot labels when they purchased Gulf+Western's record labels and Famous Music Corp. Thus, MCA now controlled material once owned by Paramount Pictures, the music released by Paramount's record labels, and the pre-1950 films by Paramount as well.

Also included in this deal were recordings controlled by ABC, including albums by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers which were originally released by Shelter Records. Petty was furious about the reassignment of his contract and refused to record for MCA. This led to a series of lawsuits, which resulted in his bankruptcy in 1980. Petty and other ABC/Shelter artists eventually had their contracts transferred to the Backstreet Records label, which was distributed by MCA. ABC Records' independent distributors sued ABC and MCA for $1.3 million in damages for being stuck with unsold ABC recordings they could not return to MCA. [18] [19] The better selling ABC Records catalog albums were reissued on the MCA label. [20]

MCA distribution in Europe and Asia moved to CBS in 1979, while releases in the 1980s were self-distributed, or through WEA. Distribution moved to BMG during the 1990s.[ citation needed ]

The 1980s

The combined effects of the Infinity Records failure, the purchase of ABC, rising vinyl costs and a major slump in record sales produced tremendous losses for the company between 1979 and 1982. It was not until the mid-1980s that the record labels returned to significant profitability. In late 1980, MCA received negative publicity when it attempted to raise the list price of new releases by top selling artists from $8.98 to $9.98 ($33.21 and $36.91 in 2023 dollars respectively). This policy, known as "superstar pricing", ultimately failed. The Xanadu soundtrack album and Gaucho , by former ABC act Steely Dan, were the first releases with the higher list price. Backstreet artist Tom Petty succeeded in his campaign to force MCA to drop prices back to $8.98 for the release of his album Hard Promises , in May 1981. [21]

MCA had a distribution deal with the independent label Unicorn Records, which in turn signed an agreement with another rising independent label, SST Records to manufacture and distribute Black Flag's first album Damaged . Reportedly, MCA executive Al Bergman heard an advance copy of the album and refused to let MCA Distributing Inc. handle it, stating that it was "an anti-parent record". The members of Black Flag found themselves covering the MCA Distributing logo on the first 25,000 copies with a sticker reading "As a parent... I found it an anti-parent record."[ citation needed ]

SST Records partner Joe Carducci later said that Bergman's comments were actually a red herring for MCA to cut ties with Unicorn, which had not produced any successful releases; the fact that MCA would, not soon afterward, directly commission a new recording of "TV Party" from Black Flag and SST Records for the Repo Man soundtrack seemed to bear this out.[ according to whom? ] Unicorn would later go out of business after going bankrupt, partially the result of a lawsuit between themselves and Black Flag.[ citation needed ]

Recovery, further expansion and MCA Music Entertainment Group

Irving Azoff became the head of MCA Records in 1983. Azoff is known as an experienced music industry veteran who received credit amongst MCA management and staff for saving the company from bankruptcy.

In 1983, rock musician Frank Zappa negotiated a distribution agreement for his Barking Pumpkin label with MCA. As the records were being manufactured, a woman in the quality control department objected to the lyrics of Zappa's album Thing-Fish . After this MCA cancelled the Zappa contract. [22] At about the same time, Zappa publicly argued with members of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) over censorship and warning stickers for albums with potentially offensive content. The experience with MCA prompted Zappa to create a satirical "WARNING/GUARANTEE" sticker of his own. Thing-Fish was released with Zappa's sticker in December 1984 under a new agreement with Capitol/EMI. [22] Despite the conflict with Zappa, MCA later became the biggest label to oppose the PMRC and the use of warning stickers. In October 1985, Azoff said "Never will you find a sticker on one of our records." [23]

In the 1980s, MCA became commonly nicknamed "Music Cemetery of America" due to a huge surplus of unprofitable records sitting unsold in MCA warehouses. A number of MCA associates, including Azoff and Zappa, disparaged the company in this way. [22] [24]

Starting in 1984, William Knoedelseder wrote a series of articles for the Los Angeles Times about the connections between organized crime and MCA. Knoedelseder told the story of mobster Sal Pisello and the corrupt deals he arranged with MCA for the liquidation sales of unsold cut-out recordings that had been deleted from the MCA catalog. The story was later adapted into the book Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia, which was published in 1993.

The Chess Records catalog was acquired from the remnants of Sugar Hill Records in 1985. Motown Records was bought in 1988. In the late 1980s, MCA formed Mechanic Records as a sub-label for releasing heavy metal music. Bands signed to Mechanic included Voivod, Dream Theater, Bang Tango, and Trixter.[ citation needed ]

MCA created a new holding company in 1989 called MCA Music Entertainment Group, headed by Al Teller, former President of United Artists Records, and co-chairman of Turf Classics, a concert production company, run by Producer Richard Flanzer. [25] The same year the MCA Inc. parent company was purchased by the Matsushita group.

Azoff resigned from MCA in 1989 to form his own record label, the now-defunct Giant Records. Richard Palmese was named president of MCA Records after Azoff in 1990. [26]

The 1990s

GRP Records and Geffen Records were acquired in 1990. Unlike most of MCA's previous acquisitions, GRP (which began managing MCA's jazz holdings) and Geffen (which became a second mainstream subsidiary) labels kept their identities. MCA sold Motown Records to PolyGram in 1993.

Singer and songrwriter Alanis Morissette became a noteworthy MCA artist in Canada with her debut album in 1991. After her second album in 1992 she was dropped following disagreements in artistic direction. [27] However, the company kept her on their song publishing roster, both being owned by Universal Music. Morissette's next album, Jagged Little Pill (written and produced independently, but released through Warner Music's Maverick Records label) eventually sold more than 30 million copies.

Universal Music Group

In 1995, drinks conglomerate Seagram Company Ltd. acquired 80% of MCA. [28] In November of that year, Teller was fired and replaced by former Warner Music Group head Doug Morris. [29] Palmese left MCA a week later. [30] Afterwards, Jay Boberg was named as the new president of MCA. [31] On December 9, 1996, the new owners dropped the MCA name; the company became Universal Studios, Inc. and its music division, MCA Music Entertainment Group, was renamed Universal Music Group (UMG), headed by Morris.

In 1997, MCA Records adopted a new logo that featured the parent company's former full name, Music Corporation of America. That many younger people had been unaware of what MCA had stood for in the past inspired the new logo. In conjunction with the new logo, the first MCA Records website was launched. In 1998, MCA released the sophomore album Feeling Strangely Fine by Semisonic, which had the number one hit single and video, "Closing Time", about the use of alcohol in local night clubs and taverns.

On May 21, 1998, Seagram acquired PolyGram (owner of British Decca) from Philips and merged it with Universal Music Group. Unlike several labels under PolyGram and UMG, who faced closure and job cuts of employees, MCA was the only label that was not affected by the merger. [32] When Seagram's drinks business was bought by France-based Pernod Ricard, its media holdings (including Universal) were sold to Vivendi which became Vivendi Universal which was later renamed back to Vivendi SA after selling most of the entertainment division (which included Universal Pictures) to General Electric. Morris continued to head the combined company, still called Universal Music Group.

MCA label phaseout

On January 16, 2003, Jay Boberg resigned from his position as president of MCA Records. [31] Boberg's resignation arrived in the wake of slumping sales at MCA, which had seen the label's overall album market share decline to just 2.61% in 2002, down from 9% the previous year. [33] His demise was hastened by the relative commercial failure of Shaggy's Lucky Day , released in October 2002, which MCA hoped would sell well enough to turn around their declining fortunes. [34] Richard Nichols, manager of The Roots, felt that MCA had been attempting to spend lots of money on different projects, and subsequently many acts on MCA were "underfinanced" by the label, leading to poor sales. [35] Rob Hitt of Midtown (who was signed to MCA through Drive-Thru Records) stated that MCA had lost a substantial amount of money that year from investing in several unsuccessful bands. [36]

Management of the label was subsequently handed over to the Interscope Geffen A&M umbrella label and Jimmy Iovine, although UMG chairman Doug Morris promised that MCA would continue to operate as a "full-service, free standing label". [31] Craig Lambert, previously the vice president of the label, was named as the interim head of MCA, with a successor expected to be chosen within a few months. [31] Following Boberg's resignation, it was rumoured that MCA could possibly be merged into Universal Records, something which would have given the latter, New York City–based label a stronger presence in the West Coast of the United States. [33]

On May 20, 2003, insider sources at Universal reporting to Billboard revealed that the MCA label was to be absorbed by sister UMG label Geffen Records by the end of the year. The reported reason behind the MCA brand phaseout was due to declining sales, as well as the MCA brand becoming "tarnished" by "a history of acquisitions and mergers". [34] [37] On June 9, 2003, MCA laid off 75 of their staff, equivalent to a third of their personnel, although no employees from Geffen were let go. [38] Geffen's president, Jordan Schur, was named president of the newly merged entity, which continued under the Geffen branding. In the subsequent months, the MCA name was phased out entirely. [35] [39] The last album to be released under the MCA Records branding was Twisted Method's Escape from Cape Coma , which was released on July 15, 2003. [40]

Today Interscope Capitol Labels Group and Universal Music Enterprises manage MCA's rock, pop, and urban back catalogues (including those from ABC Records and Famous Music Group) in conjunction with Geffen – UME and Geffen have re-released various albums from MCA in the years since, as well as several compilations. Its country music label MCA Nashville Records is still in operation, and is one of the only businesses using the MCA trademark as of 2016 along with MCA Records France (imprint of Universal Music France). MCA's jazz catalogue is managed by Verve Records (through the Impulse! and GRP imprints, depending on whether the recording was acquired from ABC or not), while its classical music catalogue is managed by Deutsche Grammophon. MCA's musical theatre catalogue is managed by Decca Records on its Decca Broadway imprint.



MCA Records recording artists

Related Research Articles

Geffen Records is an American record label, founded in 1980 by David Geffen. Originally a music subsidiary of the now-defunct Geffen Pictures, it is owned by the Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) faction of Universal Music Group (UMG).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Decca Records</span> British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its US label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, Jack Kapp and Milton Rackmil, who later became American Decca's president too. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca, and the link between the UK and US Decca label was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Universal Studios, Inc.</span> American media and entertainment conglomerate

Universal Studios, Inc. is an American media and entertainment conglomerate and is owned by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coral Records</span> American record company

Coral Records was a subsidiary of Decca Records that was formed in 1949. Coral released music by Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, the McGuire Sisters and Teresa Brewer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Verve Records</span> American record label

Verve Records is an active American record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). Founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, the label is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue, which includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Jon Batiste, and Diana Krall among others as well as a diverse mix of other recordings that fall outside of jazz including albums from disparate artists like the Velvet Underground, Kurt Vile, Arooj Aftab, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and many more. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier label, Clef Records, founded in 1946; Norgran Records, founded in 1953; and material which was previously licensed to Mercury Records.

ABC Records was an American record label founded in New York City in 1955. It originated as the main popular music label operated by the Am-Par Record Corporation. Am-Par also created the Impulse! jazz label in 1960. It acquired many labels before ABC was sold to MCA Records in 1979. ABC produced music in a variety of genres: pop, rock, jazz, country, rhythm and blues, soundtrack, gospel, and polka. In addition to producing records, ABC licensed masters from independent record producers, and purchased regionally released records for national distribution.

A cast recording is a recording of a stage musical that is intended to document the songs as they were performed in the show and experienced by the audience. An original cast recording or OCR, as the name implies, features the voices of the show's original cast. A cast recording featuring the first cast to perform a musical in a particular venue is known, for example, as an "original Broadway cast recording" (OBCR) or an "original London cast recording" (OLCR).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DGC Records</span> American record label

DGC Records was an American record label that operated as a division of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, which is owned by Universal Music Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Uni Records</span> Defunct American record label

Uni Records was a record label owned by MCA Inc. The brand, which long featured a distinctive UNi logo, was established in 1966 by MCA executive Ned Tanen and developed by music industry veteran Russ Regan. Notable artists on Uni included Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Foundations, Hugh Masekela, Brian Hyland, Desmond Dekker, Bill Cosby, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Dave and Ansil Collins, Fever Tree, Olivia Newton-John, Betty Everett, and the Factory. In 1967, Uni took over management of MCA's newly acquired Kapp Records. Uni also operated Revue Records, a soul music subsidiary, from about 1967 to 1970. In 1971 Uni was merged with Kapp and the co-owned American Decca Records, to form MCA Records. The Decca, Kapp, and Uni labels continued to be used for new releases for a short time, but in late 1972, new releases by their former artists began appearing on the MCA Records label; before long, their back catalogs were transferred to MCA as well. That year, Regan left MCA to revive 20th Century Records for 20th Century Fox.

Universal Records was a record label owned by Universal Music Group and operated as part of the Universal Motown Republic Group. The label has been dormant since 2006, due to Universal Motown and Universal Republic Records being formed and taking all of the artists from it. Those labels were eventually combined to form the latest iteration of Republic Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hip-O Records</span> American record label

Hip-O Records is a record label that specializes in reissues and compilations. It is part of Universal Music Group. Established in 1996, the label has distributed releases from 'out of style' genres such as disco and early hip-hop music as well as publishing film soundtracks. The label's name is a pun on the name 'hippo'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DreamWorks Records</span> American record label

DreamWorks Records was an American record label founded in 1996 by David Geffen, Mo Ostin, his son Michael Ostin and Lenny Waronker as a subsidiary of DreamWorks Pictures. The label operated until 2003 when it was sold to Universal Music Group. The label itself also featured a Nashville, Tennessee-based subsidiary, DreamWorks Nashville, which specialized in country music and was shut down in 2006 then moved to MCA Nashville. The company's logo was designed by Roy Lichtenstein and was his last commission before his death in 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kapp Records</span> American record label

Kapp Records was an independent record label started in 1954 by David Kapp, brother of Jack Kapp. David Kapp founded his own label after stints with Decca and RCA Victor. Kapp licensed its records to London Records for release in the UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Universal Music Group Nashville</span> US record company; Universal Music Groups country music subsidiary

Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary. It 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Irving Azoff</span> American entertainment executive

Irving Azoff is an American businessman, who is chairman of Full Stop Management, a company that represents recording artists. During the course of his career, he has worked as an agent, personal manager, concert promoter, movie producer, independent record label owner, merchandiser, music publisher, and CEO of a record label.

<i>Greatest Hits 1976–1986</i> 1992 greatest hits album by Elton John

Greatest Hits 1976–1986 is a collection of hits by Elton John released in the United States only by MCA Records in 1992. It replaced an earlier compilation, Geffen's 1987 release Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol. 3. This was necessitated because of a shift in the control of copyrights and a resulting reshuffling of compilation albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interscope Geffen A&M Records</span> American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group

Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA) is an American umbrella label operating as a unit of Interscope Capitol Labels Group, owned by Universal Music Group. It currently consists of record labels Interscope Records and Geffen Records.

<i>Merry Christmas</i> (Bing Crosby album) 1945 compilation album by Bing Crosby

Merry Christmas is a Christmas-themed compilation album by Bing Crosby that was released in 1945 on Decca Records. It has remained in print through the vinyl, CD, and downloadable file eras, currently as the disc and digital album White Christmas on MCA Records, a part of the Universal Music Group, and currently on vinyl as Merry Christmas on Geffen Records. It includes Crosby's signature song "White Christmas", the best-selling single of all time with estimated sales of over 50 million copies worldwide. The album was certified 4× Platinum by RIAA for selling over 4 million copies in United States. The original 1945 release and subsequent re-releases and re-packages spent a total of 39 weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard pop albums chart.

Jay Robert Boberg is an American music, entertainment and viticulture executive. He co-founded the independent record label I.R.S. Records in 1979, and later served as the president of Universal/MCA Music Publishing and the president of MCA Records. He is the founder of the entertainment company Liberation Entertainment and is chairman of the Isolation Entertainment board of directors. In 2013, he co-founded the winery Domaine Nicolas-Jay in Oregon with Méo Camuzet owner and winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Méo.

MCA Inc. (originally an initialism for Music Corporation of America) was an American media conglomerate founded in 1924. Originally a talent agency with artists in the music business as clients, the company became a major force in the film industry, and later expanded into television production. MCA published music, booked acts, ran the MCA Records music label, represented film, television and radio stars, and eventually produced and sold television programs to the three major television networks, especially NBC.


  1. "Decca Records Profile". Discogs. Archived from the original on September 7, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  2. "Billboard". August 28, 1954.
  3. "After the Octopus". Time . July 20, 1962. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  4. 1 2 Edwards, Dave; Patrice Eyries; Mike Callahan (April 24, 2007). "Universal City Records [UNI] Album Discography". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  5. "Kapp Records Profile". Discogs . Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  6. "Billboard". December 9, 1967.
  7. "MCA Records Profile". Discogs . Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  8. "Billboard". December 9, 1967.
  9. "Billboard". February 3, 1968.
  10. Billboard Magazine, November 13, 1971 – MCA Records advertisement, p. L28 (Spotlight on London)
  11. "MCA Records (Canada) Profile". Discogs . Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  12. "Billboard". April 10, 1971.
  13. Hall, Claude (February 10, 1973). "MCA Drops Vocalion, Decca, Kapp and Uni". Billboard .
  14. "Billboard". March 3, 1973.
  15. "Billboard". December 2, 1972.
  16. "Billboard". January 20, 1979.
  17. "Billboard". February 10, 1979.
  18. Eng, Steve (October 15, 1997). Jimmy Buffett. Macmillan. ISBN   9780312168759.
  19. "Billboard". March 17, 1979.
  20. Edwards, Dave; Patrice Eyries; Mike Callahan (July 30, 2007). "ABC-Paramount Records Story" . Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  21. Knopper, Steve (January 6, 2009). Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry ... – Steve Knopper – Google Books. Simon and Schuster. ISBN   9781416594550 . Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  22. 1 2 3 Frank Zappa, with Peter Occhiogrosso. "The Porn Wars". Penthouse - May 1989. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  23. "Warning Stickers Won't Appear on Mca Albums". Chicago Tribune . October 10, 1985.
  24. "Azoff Quits as Chairman of MCA's Music Unit". AP News. September 6, 1989. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  25. Fabrikant, Geraldine (September 6, 1989). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; MCA Music Group Names New Chairman". The New York Times . Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  26. "Richard Palmese has been named president of MCA Records. He previously was executive vice president and general manager of MCA Records". Los Angeles Times . August 7, 1990. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  27. "The moment Alanis Morissette got dropped from her label, and what she did next". April 9, 2016.
  28. Arango, Tim (May 22, 2003). "MCA IS HISTORY – LONG-LIVED RECORD LABEL TO BE MERGED INTO GEFFEN". New York Post. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  29. Philips, Chuck (November 17, 1995). "Company Town : SHAKE-UP AT TIME WARNER : A Very Bizarre Year at Time Warner : Chronology: Industry waits to see if established and new artists defect to rivals in wake of executive turnover at music giant". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  30. Weinraub, Bernard (November 21, 1995). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS;MCA Fills a Powerful Position, Head of Motion Picture Group". The New York Times . Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  31. 1 2 3 4 Billboard Staff (January 16, 2003). "Jay Boberg Resigns As MCA President". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  32. "Hundreds of Jobs Lost in Universal Mega-Merger". Rolling Stone. January 22, 1999. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  33. 1 2 Oppelaar, Justin (January 16, 2003). "MCA's Jay walking". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  34. 1 2 Billboard Staff (May 20, 2003). "Plan Could Signal End Of MCA Brand". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  35. 1 2 Newman, Melinda (June 21, 2003). "MCA Braces for Merger with Geffen". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 3, 68.
  36. Friedman, David (December 13, 2004). "Fresh start". The News-Times . Shawn Palmer. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  37. Billboard (May 20, 2003). "MCA & Geffen Merger". ISM Sound Network. Archived from the original on December 26, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  38. Billboard Staff (June 10, 2003). "MCA Cuts Precede Expected Geffen Merger". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  39. "Year In Music | Year In Business". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 27, 2003. pp. YE-10.
  40. CMJ New Music Report. CMJ Network, Inc. July 21, 2003.