Parlophone

Last updated

Parlophone Records
Parlophone logo.svg
Parent company
Founded1896;125 years ago (1896) (as Parlophon Parlograph Company) (subsidiary of the Carl Lindström Company until 1926)
Founder Carl Lindström
Distributor(s)
GenreVarious
LocationUnited Kingdom
Official website parlophone.co.uk

Parlophone Records Limited (also known as Parlophone Records and Parlophone) is a German–British record label founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch of the label was founded on 8 August 1923 as the Parlophone Company Limited (the Parlophone Co. Ltd.), which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a jazz record label. On 5 October 1926, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired Parlophone's business, name, logo, and release library, and merged with the Gramophone Company on 31 March 1931 to become Electric & Musical Industries Limited (EMI). George Martin joined Parlophone in 1950 as assistant label manager, taking over as manager in 1955. Martin produced and released a mix of recordings, including by comedian Peter Sellers, pianist Mrs Mills, and teen idol Adam Faith.

Contents

In 1962, Martin signed the Beatles, a beat group from Liverpool who earlier that year had been rejected by Decca Records. During the 1960s, when Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer, the Fourmost, and the Hollies also signed, Parlophone became one of the world's most famous labels. For several years, Parlophone claimed the best-selling UK single, "She Loves You", and the best-selling UK album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , both by the Beatles. The label placed seven singles at number 1 during 1964, when it claimed top spot on the UK Albums Chart for 40 weeks. Parlophone continued as a division of EMI until it was merged into the Gramophone Co. on 1 July 1965. On 1 July 1973, the Gramophone Co. was renamed EMI Records Limited.

On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's (UMG) planned acquisition of EMI on condition that its EMI Records group would be divested from the combined group. EMI Records Ltd included Parlophone (except the Beatles' catalogue) and other labels to be divested and were for a short time operated in a single entity known as the Parlophone Label Group (PLG), while UMG pended their sale. Warner Music Group (WMG) acquired Parlophone and [PLG] on 7 February 2013, making Parlophone their third flagship label alongside Warner and Atlantic. PLG was renamed Parlophone Records Limited in May 2013. Parlophone is the oldest of WMG's "flagship" record labels.

History

Early years

Parlophone was founded "Parlophon" by Carl Lindström Company in 1896. [1] The name Parlophon was used for gramophones before the company began making records of their own. The label's trademark is a stylised blackletter L () that stands for Lindström. (Its resemblance to the British pound sign £ and the Italian lira sign is coincidental: both derive from the letter L used as an abbreviation for the Ancient Roman unit of measurement libra .) On 8 August 1923, the British branch of "Parlophone" (with the "e" added) was established, led by A&R manager Oscar Preuss. [1] In its early years, Parlophone established itself as a leading jazz label in Britain. [2]

EMI years and initial success

"Parlophon" ad from 1927, Berlin Carl Lindstrom Parlophone ad.jpg
"Parlophon" ad from 1927, Berlin

In 1927, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired a controlling interest in the Carl Lindström Company, including Parlophone. [1] Parlophone became a subsidiary of Electric & Musical Industries (EMI), after Columbia Graphophone merged with the Gramophone Company in 1931. [3]

In 1950, Oscar Preuss hired producer George Martin as his assistant. When Preuss retired in 1955, Martin succeeded him as Parlophone's manager. Parlophone specialized in mainly classical music, cast recordings, and regional British music, [4] but Martin also expanded the reach into novelty and comedy records. A notable example was The Best of Sellers, a collection of sketches and comic songs by Peter Sellers undertaken in the guise of a variety of comic characters. [5] It reached number three in the UK Albums Chart in 1958. Musicians signed to the label included Humphrey Lyttelton and the Vipers Skiffle Group. [6]

A consistently successful act for Parlophone was teen idol Adam Faith, who was signed to the label in 1959. [7] The label gained significant popularity in 1962 when Martin signed Liverpool band the Beatles. [3] Parlophone gained more attention after signing the Hollies, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 1960s. [8] Martin left EMI/Parlophone to form Associated Independent Recording (AIR) Studios in 1965. [9]

Parlophone became dormant (except for Beatles reissues) in 1973 when most of EMI's heritage labels were phased out in favor of EMI Records, [10] only to be revived in 1980. [11] During the next decades the label signed Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Roxette, Radiohead, Supergrass, Guy Berryman, the Chemical Brothers, Blur, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn, Conor Maynard, Gabrielle Aplin, and Gorillaz. [12] [ citation needed ]

On 23 April 2008, Miles Leonard was confirmed as the label's president. [13]

Acquisition by Warner Music Group

On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of Parlophone's parent group EMI for £1.2 billion, subject to conditions imposed by the European Commission requiring that UMG sell off a number of labels, including Parlophone itself (aside from the Beatles' catalogue, which was kept by UMG and moved to Universal's newly formed Calderstone Productions), Chrysalis (aside from Robbie Williams' catalogue), Ensign, Virgin Classics, EMI Classics, and EMI's operations in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. [14] These labels and catalogues were operated independently from Universal as Parlophone Label Group until a buyer was found. UMG received several offers for PLG, including those from Island founder Chris Blackwell, Simon Fuller, a Sony/BMG consortium, Warner Music Group, and MacAndrews & Forbes. [15] [16] [17]

On 7 February 2013, it was confirmed that Warner Music Group would acquire Parlophone Label Group for US$765 million. The deal was approved in May 2013 by the European Union, which saw no concerns about the deal because of WMG's smaller reach compared to the merged UMG and Sony. Warner Music closed the deal on 1 July. Parlophone Label Group was the old EMI Records label that included both the Parlophone and the eponymous EMI labels. The EMI trademark was retained by Universal (as Virgin EMI Records) while the "old" EMI Records became defunct and was renamed "Parlophone Records Ltd."

Soon after acquiring Parlophone, WMG signed an agreement with IMPALA and the Merlin Network (two groups which opposed the EMI/Universal deal) to divest $200 million worth of catalogues to independent labels in order to help offset the consolidation triggered by the merger. [18] [19] In April 2016, the back catalogue of British rock band Radiohead, who had sued Parlophone and EMI over a dispute in music royalties, was transferred to XL Recordings. [20]

WMG treats Parlophone as its third "frontline" label group alongside Atlantic and Warner. [21] In the US, most of Parlophone's artists are now distributed under Warner Records except Dinosaur Pile-Up, distributed by Roadrunner Records, Coldplay and Tinie Tempah, both distributed by Atlantic Records, and David Guetta, distributed by Atlantic's electronic music imprint Big Beat Records. [22]

Roster

Parlophone's roster includes many popular music artists. Its contemporary HMV was more of a classical music label and ceased issuing popular music recordings in 1967; later known as EMI Classics, it was absorbed into Warner Classics in 2013; English Columbia was replaced by the EMI pop label. Parlophone also operates Regal, a contemporary revival of the historic Columbia Graphophone budget/reissue label founded in 1914. The list records those who achieved notability.

The Beatles

The Beatles' albums in the U.K. up to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band . were issued on the Parlophone label. Subsequent releases  The Beatles (also known as the "White Album"), Yellow Submarine , Abbey Road and Let It Be  – were issued on the Beatles' own Apple record label, manufactured and distributed by EMI and bearing Parlophone catalogue numbers.

On 6 June 1962, producer George Martin signed the Beatles to Parlophone, [23] in turn, making the Beatles' deal one of the cheapest by Parlophone. [24] Despite the separation of Parlophone from EMI as a condition of EMI's acquisition by UMG, Universal was allowed to keep the Beatles' recorded music catalogue, which is now managed by the subsidiary Calderstone Productions. [25]

Parlophone record labels

The labels shown here include those used for 78s and LPs. The label design for 7" singles had the same standard template as several other EMI labels, with the large "45" insignia to the right. In recent years, design uniformity has relaxed from release to release.

Related Research Articles

Virgin Records UK record company

Virgin Records Ltd was a British independent 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 Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Phil Collins, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz and Mike Oldfield among others, meaning that by the time it was sold, it was regarded as a major label, alongside other large international independents such as A&M and Island Records.

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the "Big Four" record companies. Its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Capitol Records American record label

Capitol Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first west coast–based record label of note in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG. The label's circular headquarters building is a recognized landmark of Hollywood, California. Capitol is well known as the U.S. record label of the Beatles, especially during the years of Beatlemania in America from 1964 to 1967.

Polydor Records German-British record label and company

Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label and company that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is a global music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's corporate headquarters are located in Hilversum, Netherlands and its operational headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. The biggest music company in the world, it is one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Tencent acquired ten percent of Universal Music Group in March 2020 for €3 billion and acquired an additional ten percent stake in January 2021.

Columbia Graphophone Company

Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd. was one of the earliest gramophone companies in the United Kingdom.

Chrysalis Records

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.

London Recordings is a British record label that marketed records in the United States, Canada, and Latin America for Decca Records from 1947 to 1980 before becoming semi-independent. The London name — as London American Recordings, often shortened to London American — was also used by British Decca in the UK market, for releases taken from American labels, which British Decca licensed.

Regal Zonophone Records

Regal Zonophone Records was a British record label formed in 1932, through a merger of the Regal and Zonophone labels. This followed the merger of those labels' respective parent companies – the Columbia Graphophone Company and the Gramophone Company – to form EMI. At the merger, those records from the Regal Records catalogue were prefixed 'MR' and those from the Zonophone Records catalogue were prefixed 'T'. Record releases after the merger continued using only the 'MR' prefix.

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third-largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, WMG was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange from 2005 until 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries. It later had its second IPO on Nasdaq in 2020, once again becoming a public company. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

EMI Classics

EMI Classics was a record label founded by EMI in 1990 in order to reduce the need to create country-specific packaging and catalogues for internationally distributed classical music releases. Following the European Commission's approval of the takeover of EMI Group by Universal Music in September 2012, EMI Classics was listed for divestment. The label was sold to Warner Music Group, which absorbed EMI Classics into Warner Classics in 2013.

EMI Records Record label founded by the EMI company

EMI Records Limited 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.

Odeon Records

Odeon Records is a record label founded in 1903 by Max Straus and Heinrich Zuntz of the International Talking Machine Company in Berlin, Germany. The label's name and logo come from the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris.

Carl Lindström Company German record company founded by Swedish industrialist Carl Lindström

Carl Lindström A.G. was a global record company founded in 1893 and based in Berlin, Germany. Founded by Carl Lindström (1869–1932), a Swedish inventor living in Berlin, it originally produced phonographs or gramophones with the brand names "Parlograph" and "Parlophon" and eventually began producing records as well. It became the holding company for Odeon Records, Parlophone Records, Beka Records, Okeh Records, Fonotipia Records, Lyrophon, Homophon, and other labels. Lindström sold the company to Max Straus, but Lindström remained with the company as an engineer and inventor.

Capitol Music Group

Capitol Music Group is an American front line umbrella label owned by the Universal Music Group (UMG). The company is run by Chairman & CEO Jeff Vaughn. It oversees handling of record labels assigned to UMG's Capitol Records division and was inherited from its acquisition of EMI's catalog [with the exception of Parlophone, which was sold to Warner Music Group (WMG) in 2013]. It is one of seven umbrella labels owned by UMG, the other six being Interscope Geffen A&M, Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, Republic Records, Verve Records, and Decca Records.

Regal Recordings

Regal Recordings is a British record label functioning as an imprint of Parlophone Records.

Independent record label Type of record label

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding or distribution of major record labels; they are a type of small to medium-sized enterprise, or SME. The labels and artists are often represented by trade associations in their country or region, which in turn are represented by the international trade body, the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).

Calderstone Productions is the London-based subsidiary of the Universal Music Group that administers the Beatles' recorded music output which was originally owned by EMI and released on EMI's Parlophone Records /Capitol Records (1962–1968) and the Beatles' own EMI-distributed Apple Records label (1968–1970).

References

  1. 1 2 3 Womack, Kenneth (30 June 2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. ABC-CLIO. pp. 711–. ISBN   978-0-313-39172-9 . Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. Garside, Juliette (7 February 2013). "Warner Music buys Parlophone label". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  3. 1 2 "BBC News | BUSINESS | EMI: A brief history". news.bbc.co.uk. 24 January 2000. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  4. Owsinski, Bobby (14 March 2016). "How George Martin Changed The Finances Of The Record Business". Forbes. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  5. Hall, Julian (2006). The Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy. London: Rough Guides. ISBN   978-1-84353-618-5.
  6. Frame, Pete (4 November 2011). The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain. Omnibus Press. pp. 616–. ISBN   978-0-85712-713-6 . Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  7. Thompson, Gordon (10 September 2008). Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out. Oxford University Press. pp. 291–. ISBN   978-0-19-971555-8 . Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  8. "Ron Richards: Record producer who worked with the Beatles". The Independent. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  9. Farquhar, Peter (14 March 2016). "A photographer was in George Martin's abandoned AIR studio the week he died". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  10. "EMI Label Launch Spurs Logo Plan". Google Books. Billboard/Nielsen Business Media. 3 February 1973. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  11. "ATV Northern Developing Production Ties to EMI". Google Books. Billboard/Nielsen Business Media. 13 September 1980. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  12. "Warner Music Group Integrates Parlophone Roster, Including Coldplay, David Guetta and Pink Floyd". The Hollywood Reporter. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  13. "EMI Rings Changes". Music Week . 23 April 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  14. Ingham, Tim (26 November 2012). "Universal's Capitol takes shape: Barnett in, Beatles on roster". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  15. Sweney, Mark (21 September 2012). "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  16. Pakinkis, Tom (15 November 2012). "Nine groups in Parlophone race, 12 eyeing other UMG/EMI assets". Music Week. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  17. Negishi, Mayumi (7 January 2013). "Sony, BMG in joint bid for Parlophone, EMI labels". Reuters. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  18. Sisario, Ben (15 May 2013). "Warner Music Gains Approval to Buy Parlophone, a Last Piece of EMI". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  19. Sisario, Ben (19 February 2013). "Warner Music Makes a Deal With Small Labels". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  20. "Radiohead's Early Catalog Moves From Warner Bros. to XL". Billboard.com. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  21. "Warner Music Group Outlines Parlophone Integration Process, Expects $70 Million in Annual Cost Savings". Billboard.com. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  22. "Coldplay, David Guetta Go To Atlantic Records; Radiohead & Pink Floyd Catalogs, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn To Warner Bros: WMG's US Plans for Parlophone". Billboard.com. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  23. Lewisohn, Mark (2010). The Complete Beatles Chronicle:The Definitive Day-By-Day Guide To the Beatles' Entire Career. Chicago Review Press. pp. 56–. ISBN   978-1-56976-534-0 . Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  24. "The Beatles Biography". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  25. "The Beatles, Universal, and Calderstone Productions". thoughtco.com. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.