Roadrunner Records

Last updated
Roadrunner Records
Roadrunner Records Logo.svg
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded1980 (1980)
FounderCees Wessels
Distributor(s)
Genre
Country of originThe Netherlands
LocationNew York City, New York, United States
Official website

Roadrunner Records is an American record label that concentrates primarily on heavy metal and hard rock bands. It is a division of Warner Music Group and is based in New York City.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Contents

History

The label was launched in 1980 in the Netherlands. Roadrunner's initial business was importing North American metal-band recordings into Europe. In 1986, Roadrunner opened its US headquarters in New York City and later opened offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Denmark, Russia and the latest in Canada. Early successes included albums from King Diamond (the first Roadrunner artist to enter the Billboard Top 200 albums chart) and Annihilator. The label also handled early Metallica releases in the Scandinavian region. The end of the 1980s saw the release of two albums that are now considered classics of their respective genres: Obituary's Slowly We Rot and Sepultura's Beneath the Remains .

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

King Diamond (band) Danish heavy metal band

King Diamond are a Danish heavy metal band formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond, guitarists Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner, bassist Timi Hansen and drummer Mikkey Dee. Diamond, Denner and Hansen had recently departed the group Mercyful Fate, and decided to form a new band under the King Diamond moniker, as it was already known from the Mercyful Fate days. In 1986, King Diamond released their debut album Fatal Portrait. Since then the band have released a total of twelve studio albums, two live albums, two extended plays, five compilations and five singles.

Annihilator (band) Canadian metal band

Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by guitarist Jeff Waters and vocalist John Bates. They are the highest-selling thrash metal group from Canada in Canadian history, having sold more than three million albums worldwide, although most of their sales have been generated outside the band's home country. Along with Sacrifice, Voivod and Razor, Annihilator is credited as one of the "Big 4" of Canadian thrash metal. They are also considered to be part of the second wave of thrash metal bands from the late 1980s.

The 1990s saw the arrival of acts such as Life of Agony, Machine Head, Suffocation, Type O Negative, and underground grunge rockers Willard. As the 1990s wore on, several of Roadrunner's bands managed to make an impact on the mainstream, most notably Sepultura and Type O Negative. Sepultura's 1993 album, Chaos A.D. , became the first Roadrunner band to crack the Top 40 on the Billboard album chart. Type O Negative became the first Roadrunner band to receive a certification from the RIAA; this was a Gold award (and later Platinum award) for the 1993 album Bloody Kisses , which was certified in 1995. The band also became the first Roadrunner band to receive radio play. In 2000, Slipknot became the first Roadrunner band to go Platinum. Nickelback were also very successful on the label (except they were on another label at home in Canada). Derek Shulman ran the label in the late '90s.

Life of Agony American band

Life of Agony is an American alternative metal band from Brooklyn, New York that was formed in 1989 by singer Mina Caputo, bassist Alan Robert and guitarist Joey Z. To date the band has released five studio albums.

Machine Head (band) American metal band

Machine Head is an American heavy metal band from Oakland, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn and bassist Adam Duce. The band's aggressive musicianship made it one of the pioneering bands in the new wave of American heavy metal, and it is also considered to be part of the second wave of thrash metal bands from the 1990s. Machine Head's current lineup comprises Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern. Duce, guitarists Logan Mader, Ahrue Luster and Phil Demmel and drummers Tony Costanza, Chris Kontos and Dave McClain are former members of the band; Mader and Kontos are currently touring with the band as part of the 25th anniversary tour for its first album, Burn My Eyes (1994).

Suffocation (band) American death metal band

Suffocation is an American technical death metal band formed in 1988 in Centereach, New York. The band consists of lead guitarist Terrance Hobbs, bassist Derek Boyer, rhythm guitarist Charlie Errigo, drummer Eric Morotti, and vocalist Ricky Myers. Suffocation rose to prominence of death metal and created a blueprint for the genre for the 1990s with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten, and have released eight studio albums since formation. The band's raw death metal style uses growled vocals with a downtuned guitar sound, fast and complex guitar riffs and drumming, open chord notes, breakdowns, and a sophisticated sense of songwriting.

Beginning in 2001, Roadrunner was distributed by the Universal Music Group through a share of the label owned by The Island Def Jam Music Group.[ citation needed ] This deal has now expired.

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. In 2019, Fast Company named Universal Music Group the most innovative music company and listed UMG among the Top 50 most innovative companies in the world and "amid the music industry's digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like." UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.

The Island Def Jam Music Group American record label group formed in 1998

The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) was an American record label group formed in 1998 by combining the operations of 14+ record labels including Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Mercury Records. In 2011, Motown Records was split from The Universal/Motown Records Group and subsequently became a division of The Island Def Jam Music Group. On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced that Island Def Jam's operations would be split between three entities: Island Records, Motown Records, and Def Jam Recordings.

On December 18, 2006, Warner Music Group signed an agreement to purchase a majority in shares (73.5%) of Roadrunner Records' parent company, Roadrunner Music Group B.V. [1] This deal became finalized on January 29, 2007 after receiving regulatory approval in Germany. [2]

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music, 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, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

On June 11, 2008, Roadrunner Records was voted as the "Best Metal Label" by Metal Hammer at their Golden Gods Awards, [3] an award that it has won the past four years in a row. The award was accepted by Sharon Den Adel and Ruud Jolie of Within Temptation, one of Roadrunner's biggest acts.

The following is a list of the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards winners.

Within Temptation symphonic metal band from the Netherlands

Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. They have always been classified by critics as gothic metal, although the "gothic" influence varies with each album. Their most prominent and well-known sound is described as symphonic metal, although their earlier material, such as debut album Enter, was mostly gothic metal, with Enter also having a hint of doom metal. In an interview, den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre with various influences. In a later interview with Dutch music platform 3VOOR12, den Adel stated that "we consider ourselves more a symphonic rock band ... in my opinion, we are no gothic band".

Roadrunner Records was significantly affected by Warner Music Group's legal dispute against YouTube, including having their account's YouTube partnership canceled. Most of the videos on their channel, however, are still viewable. There is even a disclaimer talking about Warner's dispute right on the channel.[ citation needed ]

On November 11, 2010, Warner Music Group announced they had acquired the remaining of Roadrunner's stock. Roadrunner will continue to operate as a distinct brand within WMG, according to sources. Cees Wessels, the label's founder, remains CEO. [4]

On April 26, 2012, it was announced that Warner Music Group were to make substantial cutbacks throughout Roadrunner Records worldwide operations. [5] According to staff working at the company, The UK offices and the Canadian offices of Roadrunner Records are to be closed completely, with severe levels of cutbacks occurring across the rest of the label worldwide. It has also been announced that the Roadrunner office in The Netherlands is to close, and that the label's founder Cees Wessels is stepping down from his role of CEO. [6] The following years saw several major Roadrunner acts leave the label, including DevilDriver and Alter Bridge (who both moved to Napalm Records, with Devildriver's catalogue being sold to The Echo Label), Opeth, Machine Head, and Soulfly (all of whom followed former A&R of SVP Monte Conner to Nuclear Blast) and Dream Theater (who signed with InsideOut Music in 2017) In July 2017, British rock bands, Milk Teeth signed with Roadrunner Records. [7]

In June 2018, Roadrunner became a sub-label of Warner's Elektra Music Group division.

Criticism

Roadrunner has been accused of being a label only interested in current or trendy alternative music, reflected by their roster of mainly popular and metalcore acts. The most notable example of this is the treatment of the main death and thrash metal bands on Roadrunner's roster throughout the 90s including Obituary, [3] [8] Deicide, [9] Death, [10] Gorguts, Fear Factory [11] and Pestilence [12] who were either dropped or left the label after ill treatment. One of the earliest names on the label, King Diamond (who was originally signed to then-Roadracer with Mercyful Fate before embarking his solo act), left the label due to alleged lack of promotional support for the 1990 King Diamond release, The Eye . Type O Negative left Roadrunner in 2006 following a dispute over the label releasing a "hits" compilation, The Best of Type O Negative , without prior notification to the band, which led them to accept a more appealing offer from SPV Records. In 2008, punk cabaret chanteuse Amanda Palmer was told by the label that they wanted to re-edit her video for "Leeds United" to make her look slimmer, causing a firestorm on the Internet from fans. On April 6, 2010, Palmer announced on her Twitter account that Roadrunner had dropped her. [13] The most recent complaints about Roadrunner have come from one of the label's biggest bands Megadeth. [14]

International labels

Roadrunner Records operates in 9 different territories around the world; US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Japan. [15] There are some roster differences in the different territories.

Roadrunner Records UK

Roadrunner Records UK operates out of the Warner Music London office. Their roster includes the addition of Alter Bridge, Down, Satyricon and Slash. [16]

Signed bands and previous artists

Currently Signed

Past Roadrunner Records artists

See also

Related Research Articles

Deicide (band) American death metal band

Deicide is an American death metal band formed in 1987 by drummer Steve Asheim and guitarist brothers Eric and Brian Hoffman as "Carnage", then hiring bassist/vocalist Glen Benton and becoming "Amon". They would later change the band name to Deicide in 1989. The band rose to mainstream success in 1992 with their second album Legion, and is credited as the second best-selling death metal band of the Soundscan Era, after Cannibal Corpse. Since their debut album in 1990, Deicide has released twelve studio albums, one live album, two compilation albums and two live DVDs. In November 2003, their first two albums, Deicide and Legion, were ranked second and third place respectively in best-selling death metal albums of the SoundScan era. Deicide is known for their lyrics, which cover topics such as Satanism, anti-Christianity and blasphemy. Their lyrics have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticism from religious groups and the public.

Sepultura Brazilian metal band

Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, the band was a major force in the groove metal, thrash metal, and death metal genres during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments drawing influence from alternative metal, world music, nu metal, hardcore punk, and industrial metal. Sepultura has also been credited as one of the second wave of thrash metal acts from the late 1980s and early-to-mid-1990s.

Elektra Records American record label

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Harvest Records is a British record label belonging to Capitol Music Group, originally created by EMI, active from 1969 to present.

<i>Chaos A.D.</i> 1993 studio album by Sepultura

Chaos A.D. is the fifth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released on October 19, 1993, by Roadrunner Records. Although the album is considered thrash metal, it saw a stylistic departure from the band's earlier style, by incorporating a new groove metal sound.

<i>Beneath the Remains</i> 1989 studio album by Sepultura

Beneath the Remains is the third studio album by Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura, released on April 7, 1989. It was their first release by Roadrunner Records.

<i>Roots</i> (Sepultura album) album by Sepultura

Roots is the sixth studio album by Brazilian metal band Sepultura. It was released in Europe on February 20, 1996 and in the U.S. three weeks later on March 12 by Roadrunner Records. It is the band's last studio album to feature founding member and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Max Cavalera.

Derrick Green American musician

Derrick Leon Green is an American musician, best known as the singer of Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura. He joined the band in 1997 after the departure of group founder Max Cavalera.

Asylum Records American record label

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Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

<i>Slow, Deep and Hard</i> 1991 studio album by Type O Negative

Slow, Deep and Hard is the debut studio album of Type O Negative, released in 1991 on Roadrunner Records.

Cerebral Fix are an English thrash metal band formed in Birmingham in 1986. They became members of the UK thrash metal and death metal scenes through four albums, three of which were on major labels before finally disbanding in 1993. In 2006, the band announced its reformation.

Biohazard (band) American band

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Sepultura discography

The following is the discography of Sepultura, a Brazilian heavy metal band. Sepultura was formed in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera. After several lineup changes, Paulo Jr. and Jairo Guedz became permanent members for the band's first studio album Morbid Visions, released in 1986 through Cogumelo Records. Guitarist Jairo Guedz left Sepultura following the band's first tour and was replaced by Andreas Kisser. With the new lineup, Sepultura recorded Schizophrenia in 1987. Beneath the Remains, the first album from the band's contract with Roadrunner Records, was released in 1989, followed by Arise in 1991 and Chaos A.D. in 1993. Sepultura's best-selling album Roots, was released in 1996 and debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200.

CMC International was an American independent record label founded by Tom Lipsky in 1991, focused mainly on classic rock, and classic heavy metal. The label was the haven of many hard rock, arena rock, glam metal and AOR artists in the period when all the majors were investing all their financial efforts on grunge and alternative rock acts. In 1995 CMC started a partnership with BMG Entertainment, which in 1999 owned the majority of the company, with founder Tom Lipsky holding a minority stake.

<i>In Torment in Hell</i> 2001 studio album by Deicide

In Torment in Hell is the sixth studio album by American death metal band Deicide. It was released on September 25, 2001, on Roadrunner Records. The album received strong criticism from the metal underground for what many critics view as rushed production and lackluster songwriting. The label pressured the band for a quick follow-up to Insineratehymn, but Deicide failed to meet the deadline of its original release date of July 31. The band rarely plays any songs from this album live.

SPV GmbH German music label

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<i>The Best of Sepultura</i> 2006 greatest hits album by Sepultura

The Best of Sepultura is a compilation album from Roadrunner Records, featuring a best of collection of Sepultura's music with the label. Although the track-listing from "Inner Self" onwards is essentially a collection of all of the band's singles, in its representation of the album Arise the compilation substitutes the single "Under Siege " for the album track "Desperate Cry".

Monte Conner is a former Senior Vice President of A&R for Roadrunner Records. He started at Roadrunner in December 1987. He has worked with numerous bands including, Slipknot, Trivium and King Diamond.

<i>Arise</i> (Sepultura album) 1991 studio album by Sepultura

Arise is the fourth studio album by Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, released in 1991 by Roadrunner Records. Upon its release, the album received top reviews from heavy metal magazines such as Rock Hard, Kerrang! and Metal Forces. Arise is considered Sepultura's finest hour among longtime fans. While the music on Arise was mostly in the same death/thrash style as their previous album, Beneath the Remains, it was clear that the Sepultura sound was acquiring an experimental edge.

References

  1. Warner Music Group (2006-12-18). "Warner Music Group to Acquire Majority Stake in Roadrunner Music Group". Warner Music Group . Retrieved 2007-02-12.
  2. Warner Music Group (2007-01-29). "Warner Music Group Completes Acquisition of Roadrunner Music Group". Warner Music Group . Retrieved 2007-02-12.
  3. 1 2 "Roadrunner Records Page Not Found". Roadrunner Records Official Website.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2011-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  6. "Layoffs at Roadrunner Records; Founder/CEO Cees Wessels Stepping Down". Billboard.biz. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  7. "Milk Teeth Sign to Roadrunner Records". Music Connection. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Deicide Interview by Shan Siva". Battlehelm.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  10. "Altars Of Metal Interviews: Death". Aom.dead-inside.org. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  11. "FEAR FACTORY Frontman Burton C. Bell Calls ROADRUNNER RECORDS Founder "Danish Devil" Over Initial Contract Offering". Metal Injection. 20 March 2014.
  12. "Voices From the Dark Side". Voicesfromthedarkside.de.
  13. "FREEEE AT LAAAST!!! after 2 long years of legal battle, i've been released from the label". Twitpic.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  14. "Megadeth Frontman Slams Roadrunner Records". Metalunderground.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  15. "Roadrunner Records Official Website". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  16. "Roadrunner Records UK // ARTISTSDIRECT TALK TO CAVALERA CONSPIRACY". RoadrunnerRecords.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  17. Morton, Luke. "Higher Power Announce New Album 27 Miles Underwater". Kerrang!. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  18. Allegrezza, Kim (October 22, 2017). "Interview: Theory Of A Deadman's Dean Back on their new sound for 'Wake Up Call'". AXS . Retrieved November 23, 2017.