Fontana Records  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Fontana Records is a record label which was started in the 1950s as a subsidiary of the Dutch Philips Records; when Philips restructured its music operations it dropped Fontana in favor of Vertigo Records. In the seventies PolyGram acquired the dormant label.

The name has also been revived as independent label distibutor Fontana Distribution.

Fontana's U.S. counterpart label was started in 1964 and distributed by Philips US subisidaiary Mercury Records. Among the hitmakers were: Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, The Mindbenders, The Troggs, The New Vaudeville Band and Steam, all of whom had #1 hits on the label. Other successful Fontana artists included The Silkie, Nana Mouskouri and the duo of Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg. Mercury discontinued this label (and one other subsidiary, Smash Records) in 1970.

Fontana's British division was the UK licensee for Motown Records (in 1961), Vanguard Records (until 1967), Mainstream Records and ESP-Disk. As with Philips, labels were blue for singles, black for EPs and LPs.

In the UK and Europe, the Fontana label was largely dormant after 1974, although in 1980-81 it was used for releases by Sector 27 and Dennis Bovell. Fontana was revived in the late 1980s as an outlet for acts such as Tears for Fears, The Teardrop Explodes, Cocteau Twins and Swing Out Sister, and was active in the 1990s, releasing music for acts such as Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Ocean Colour Scene and James. It is currently an active division of Universal Music Group as Fontana Distribution, using the same logo.

The label's only artist as of August 2009 is Brooke Hogan.

US Label variations

  • 1964—Pink label
  • 1965-1970—Light blue or slightly darker-toned blue label (some of these labels were stamped with an "S")
  • 1980s—Black and silver label

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fontana Records" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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