London Recordings  

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London Records is a record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, originally marketing records in the United States, Canada and Latin America from 1947 to 1979, then becoming a semi-independent label.



London arose from the split in ownership between the British branch of Decca Records and that same company's USA branch; the American London label released British Decca records in the USA, since it could not use the "Decca" name there. They were noted for their classical albums made in then state-of-the-art stereophonic sound. Such artists as Georg Solti, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti made many, if not all, of their recordings for the company.

The London name was also used by British Decca in the UK market to release American labels which British Decca licensed, such as Imperial, Chess, Dot, Atlantic, Specialty and Sun, as well as the first two UK releases from Motown. In the sixties more licensing deals were made with Big Top, Monument, Parrot, Philles and Hi, and London Atlantic, London Monument and London Dot became subsidiaries. (An unusual feature was the letter code in the numbering system: see Catalog numbering systems for single records.) On Radio Luxembourg, the label was known as "London American".

In America, the label was best known as the American imprint of the pre-1971 recordings of The Rolling Stones (now owned by ABKCO). The label also originally issued some early LPs and singles by Texas-based band ZZ Top (whose catalog went to Warner Brothers in the 1980s).

In the late seventies London signed deals with the legendary Bomp! Records and with Big Sound in Connecticut. This changed the label in the eyes of many from a backwater into something a little more "edgy" compared to the pedestrian contemporary releases from parent company Decca.

After British Decca was acquired by PolyGram in 1979, London followed a more independent course with subsidiary labels as Slash, Pete Tong's Essential Records and FFRR.

Universal Music Group (the owner of American Decca) acquired PolyGram in 1998;[1] however, by this time, London Records had become a semi-independent label within the PolyGram group operated by Roger Ames. When Ames moved to the Warner Music Group, he "took" the label with him, and so London's recent back catalogue was acquired by Warner, which also acquired the London name and trademark from Decca[2] (which still owns pre-PolyGram back catalogue). The name is still used, mainly for UK-based artists, and for ex-Factory Records artists. Notable artists published by the current incarnation of London, London Records 90, include New Order, Happy Mondays, A and Shakespear's Sister.

After PolyGram took over British Decca, classical music albums recorded by British Decca continued to be released on the London label in the U.S., with a logo similar to the Decca classical label logo, until American Decca owner Universal Music bought British Decca owner PolyGram in 1998, after which they were all reissued on the original British Decca label in the U.S.

The London pop music catalogue owned by Universal Music is managed by Polydor Records.

Subsidiary or associated labels

Previous London Records artists

London 90 Artists

The Platinum Collection

The Platinum Collection is Warner Music Group's budget hits collection brand. Currently the range features recordings from the following London artists:

See also

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

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