Atlantic Records

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Atlantic Records_table_infobox_0

Atlantic RecordsAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_0_0
Parent companyAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_1_0 Warner Music GroupAtlantic Records_cell_0_1_1
FoundedAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_2_0 October 1947 (1947-10)Atlantic Records_cell_0_2_1
FounderAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_3_0 Ahmet Ertegun

Herb AbramsonAtlantic Records_cell_0_3_1

Distributor(s)Atlantic Records_header_cell_0_4_0 Atlantic Records_cell_0_4_1
GenreAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_5_0 VariousAtlantic Records_cell_0_5_1
Country of originAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_6_0 United StatesAtlantic Records_cell_0_6_1
Official websiteAtlantic Records_header_cell_0_7_0 Atlantic Records_cell_0_7_1

Atlantic Recording Corporation (simply known as Atlantic Records) is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson. Atlantic Records_sentence_0

Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Atlantic Records_sentence_1

Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. Atlantic Records_sentence_2

In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Led Zeppelin and Yes. Atlantic Records_sentence_3

In 2004, Atlantic and its sister label Elektra were merged into Atlantic Records Group. Atlantic Records_sentence_4

Craig Kallman is the chairman of Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_5

Ahmet Ertegun served as founding chairman until his death on December 14, 2006, at age 83. Atlantic Records_sentence_6

History Atlantic Records_section_0

Founding and early history Atlantic Records_section_1

In 1944, brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun remained in the United States when their mother and sister returned to Turkey after the death of their father Munir Ertegun, Turkey's first ambassador to the U.S. Atlantic Records_sentence_7

The brothers were fans of jazz and rhythm & blues, amassing a collection of over 15,000 78 RPM records. Atlantic Records_sentence_8

Ahmet ostensibly stayed in Washington to undertake post-graduate music studies at Georgetown University but immersed himself in the Washington music scene and entered the record business, which was enjoying a resurgence after wartime restrictions on the shellac used in manufacture. Atlantic Records_sentence_9

He convinced the family dentist, Dr. Vahdi Sabit, to invest $10,000 and hired Herb Abramson, a dentistry student. Atlantic Records_sentence_10

Abramson had worked as a part-time A&R manager/producer for Al Green at the jazz label National Records, signing Big Joe Turner and Billy Eckstine. Atlantic Records_sentence_11

He founded Jubilee in 1946 but had no interest in its most successful musicians. Atlantic Records_sentence_12

In September 1947, he sold his share in Jubilee to his partner, Jerry Blaine, and invested $2,500 in Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_13

Atlantic was incorporated in October 1947 and was run by Abramson (president) and Ertegun (vice-president in charge of A&R, production, and promotion). Atlantic Records_sentence_14

Abramson's wife Miriam ran the label's publishing company, Progressive Music, and did most office duties until 1949 when Atlantic hired its first employee, bookkeeper Francine Wakschal, who remained with the label for the next 49 years. Atlantic Records_sentence_15

Miriam gained a reputation for toughness. Atlantic Records_sentence_16

Staff engineer Tom Dowd recalled, "Tokyo Rose was the kindest name some people had for her" and Doc Pomus described her as "an extraordinarily vitriolic woman". Atlantic Records_sentence_17

When interviewed in 2009, she attributed her reputation to the company's chronic cash-flow shortage: "... most of the problems we had with artists were that they wanted advances, and that was very difficult for us ... we were undercapitalized for a long time." Atlantic Records_sentence_18

The label's office in the Ritz Hotel in Manhattan proved too expensive, so they moved to a room in the Hotel Jefferson. Atlantic Records_sentence_19

In the early fifties, Atlantic moved from the Hotel Jefferson to offices at 301 West 54th St and then to 356 West 56th St. Atlantic Records_sentence_20

Atlantic's first recordings were issued in late January 1948 and included "That Old Black Magic" by Tiny Grimes and "The Spider" by Joe Morris. Atlantic Records_sentence_21

In its early years, Atlantic concentrated on modern jazz although it released some country and western and spoken word recordings. Atlantic Records_sentence_22

Abramson also produced "Magic Records", children's records with four grooves on each side, each groove containing a different story, so the story played would be determined by the groove in which the stylus happened to land. Atlantic Records_sentence_23

In late 1947, James Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians, announced an indefinite ban on all recording activities by union musicians, and this came into effect on January 1, 1948. Atlantic Records_sentence_24

The union action forced Atlantic to use almost all its capital to cut and stockpile enough recordings to last through the ban, which was expected to continue for at least a year. Atlantic Records_sentence_25

Ertegun and Abramson spent much of the late 1940s and early 1950s scouring nightclubs in search of talent. Atlantic Records_sentence_26

Ertegun composed songs under the alias "A. Nugetre", including Big Joe Turner's hit "Chains of Love", recording them in booths in Times Square, then giving them to an arranger or session musician. Atlantic Records_sentence_27

Early releases included music by Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, The Cardinals, The Clovers, Frank Culley, The Delta Rhythm Boys, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Tiny Grimes, Al Hibbler, Earl Hines, Johnny Hodges, Jackie & Roy, Lead Belly, Meade Lux Lewis, Professor Longhair, Shelly Manne, Howard McGhee, Mabel Mercer, James Moody, Joe Morris, Art Pepper, Django Reinhardt, Pete Rugolo, Pee Wee Russell, Bobby Short, Sylvia Syms, Billy Taylor, Sonny Terry, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Yancey, Sarah Vaughan, Mal Waldron, and Mary Lou Williams. Atlantic Records_sentence_28

The hits begin Atlantic Records_section_2

In early 1949, a New Orleans distributor phoned Ertegun to obtain Stick McGhee's "Drinking Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee", which was unavailable due to the closing of McGhee's previous label. Atlantic Records_sentence_29

Ertegun knew Stick's younger brother Brownie McGhee, with whom Stick happened to be staying, so he contacted the McGhee brothers and re-recorded the song. Atlantic Records_sentence_30

When released in February 1949, it became Atlantic's first hit, selling 400,000 copies, and reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_31

2 after spending almost six months on the Billboard R&B chart – although McGhee himself earned just $10 for the session. Atlantic Records_sentence_32

Atlantic's fortunes rose rapidly: 187 songs were recorded in 1949, more than three times the amount from the previous two years, and received overtures for a manufacturing and distribution deal with Columbia, which would pay Atlantic a 3% royalty on every copy sold. Atlantic Records_sentence_33

Ertegun asked about artists' royalties, which he paid, and this surprised Columbia executives, who did not, and the deal was scuttled. Atlantic Records_sentence_34

On the recommendation of broadcaster Willis Conover, Ertegun and Abramson visited Ruth Brown at the Crystal Caverns club in Washington and invited her to audition for Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_35

She was injured in a car accident en route to New York City, but Atlantic supported her for nine months and then signed her. Atlantic Records_sentence_36

"So Long", her first record for the label, was recorded with Eddie Condon's band on May 25, 1949. Atlantic Records_sentence_37

The song reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_38

6 on the R&B chart. Atlantic Records_sentence_39

Brown recorded more than eighty songs for Atlantic, becoming its bestselling, most prolific musician of the period. Atlantic Records_sentence_40

So significant was Brown's success to Atlantic that the label became known colloquially as "The House That Ruth Built". Atlantic Records_sentence_41

Joe Morris, one of the label's earliest signings, scored a hit with his October 1950 song "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere", the first Atlantic record issued in 45rpm format, which the company began pressing in January 1951. Atlantic Records_sentence_42

The Clovers' "Don't You Know I Love You" (composed by Ertegun) became the label's first R&B No. Atlantic Records_sentence_43

1 in September 1951. Atlantic Records_sentence_44

A few weeks later Brown's "Teardrops from My Eyes" became its first million-selling record. Atlantic Records_sentence_45

She hit No. Atlantic Records_sentence_46

1 again in March–April 1952 with "5-10-15 Hours". Atlantic Records_sentence_47

"Daddy Daddy" reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_48

3 in September 1952, and "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" with Connie Kay on drums reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_49

1 in February and March 1953. Atlantic Records_sentence_50

After Brown left the label in 1961, her career declined, and she worked as a cleaner and bus driver to support her children. Atlantic Records_sentence_51

In the 1980s she sued Atlantic for unpaid royalties; although Atlantic, which prided itself on treating artists fairly, had stopped paying royalties to some musicians. Atlantic Records_sentence_52

Ertegun denied this was intentional. Atlantic Records_sentence_53

Brown received a voluntary payment of $20,000 and founded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1988 with a donation of $1.5 million from Ertegun. Atlantic Records_sentence_54

In 1952 Atlantic signed Ray Charles, whose hits included "I Got a Woman", "What'd I Say", and "Hallelujah I Love Her So". Atlantic Records_sentence_55

Later that year The Clovers' "One Mint Julep" reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_56

2. Atlantic Records_sentence_57

In 1953, after learning that singer Clyde McPhatter had been fired from Billy Ward and His Dominoes and was forming The Drifters, Ertegun signed the group. Atlantic Records_sentence_58

Their single "Money Honey" became the biggest R&B hit of the year. Atlantic Records_sentence_59

Their records created some controversy: the suggestive "Such A Night" was banned by radio station WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan and "Honey Love" was banned in Memphis, Tennessee but both reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_60

1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Atlantic Records_sentence_61

Tom Dowd Atlantic Records_section_3

Recording engineer and producer Tom Dowd played a crucial role in Atlantic's success. Atlantic Records_sentence_62

He initially worked for Atlantic on a freelance basis, but within a few years he had been hired as the label's full-time staff engineer. Atlantic Records_sentence_63

His recordings for Atlantic and Stax influenced pop music. Atlantic Records_sentence_64

He had more hits than George Martin and Phil Spector combined. Atlantic Records_sentence_65

Atlantic was one of the first independent labels to make recordings in stereo: Dowd used a portable stereo recorder which ran simultaneously with the studio's existing mono recorder. Atlantic Records_sentence_66

In 1953 (according to Billboard) Atlantic was the first label to issue commercial LPs recorded in the experimental stereo system called binaural recording. Atlantic Records_sentence_67

In this system, recordings were made using two microphones, spaced at approximately the distance between the human ears, and the left and right channels were recorded as two separate, parallel grooves. Atlantic Records_sentence_68

Playing them back required a turntable with a special tone-arm fitted with dual needles; it was not until around 1958 that the single stylus microgroove system (in which the two stereo channels were cut into either side of a single groove) became the industry standard. Atlantic Records_sentence_69

By the late 1950s stereo LPs and turntables were being introduced. Atlantic Records_sentence_70

Atlantic's early stereo recordings included "Lover's Question" by Clyde McPhatter, "What Am I Living For" by Chuck Willis, "I Cried a Tear" by LaVern Baker, "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin, "Yakety Yak" by the Coasters and "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles. Atlantic Records_sentence_71

Although these were primarily 45rpm mono singles for much of the 1950s Dowd stockpiled his "parallel" stereo takes for future release. Atlantic Records_sentence_72

In 1968 the label issued History of Rhythm and Blues, Volume 4 in stereo. Atlantic Records_sentence_73

Stereo versions of Ray Charles "What'd I Say" and "Night Time is the Right Time" were included on the Atlantic anthology The Birth of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Rhythm & Blues Recordings, 1952–1959. Atlantic Records_sentence_74

Atlantic's New York studio was the first in America to install multitrack recording machines, developed by the Ampex company. Atlantic Records_sentence_75

Bobby Darin's "Splish, Splash" was the first song to be recorded on 8-track recorder. Atlantic Records_sentence_76

It was not until the mid-1960s that multitrack recorders became the norm in English studios and EMI's Abbey Road Studios did not install 8-track facilities until 1968. Atlantic Records_sentence_77

Atlantic entered the LP market early: its first was This Is My Beloved (March 1949), a 10" album of poetry by Walter Benton that was narrated by John Dall with music by Vernon Duke. Atlantic Records_sentence_78

In 1951, Atlantic was one of the first independent labels to press records in the 45rpm single format. Atlantic Records_sentence_79

By 1956 the 45 had surpassed the 78 in sales for singles. Atlantic Records_sentence_80

In April of that year, Miriam (Abramson) Bienstock reported to Billboard that Atlantic was selling 75% of its singles as 45s. Atlantic Records_sentence_81

During the previous year, 78s had outsold 45s by a ratio of two to one. Atlantic Records_sentence_82

Jerry Wexler Atlantic Records_section_4

In February 1953, Herb Abramson was drafted into the U.S. Army. Atlantic Records_sentence_83

He moved to Germany, where he served in the Army Dental Corps, although he retained his post as president of Atlantic on full pay. Atlantic Records_sentence_84

Ertegun hired Billboard reporter Jerry Wexler in June 1953. Atlantic Records_sentence_85

Wexler is credited with coining the term "rhythm & blues" to replace "race music". Atlantic Records_sentence_86

He was appointed vice-president and purchased 13% of the company's stock. Atlantic Records_sentence_87

Wexler and Ertegun formed a close partnership which, in collaboration with Tom Dowd, produced thirty R&B hits. Atlantic Records_sentence_88

Wexler's success for Atlantic was the result of going outside jazz to sign acts who combined jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues, such as Ray Charles, Joe Turner, and Aretha Franklin. Atlantic Records_sentence_89

Ertegun and Wexler realized many R&B recordings by black musicians were being covered by white performers, often with greater chart success. Atlantic Records_sentence_90

LaVern Baker had a No. Atlantic Records_sentence_91

4 R&B hit with "Tweedlee Dee", but a rival version by Georgia Gibbs went to No. Atlantic Records_sentence_92

2 on the pop chart. Atlantic Records_sentence_93

Big Joe Turner's April 1954 song "Shake, Rattle and Roll" was a No. Atlantic Records_sentence_94

1 R&B hit, but it only reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_95

22 on the pop chart. Atlantic Records_sentence_96

Bill Haley & His Comets's version reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_97

7, selling over one million copies and becoming the bestselling song of the year for Decca. Atlantic Records_sentence_98

In July 1954, Wexler and Ertegun wrote a prescient article for Cash Box devoted to what they called "cat music"; the same month, Atlantic had its first major "crossover" hit on the Billboard pop chart when the "Sh-Boom" by The Chords reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_99

5 (although The Crew-Cuts' version went to No. Atlantic Records_sentence_100

1). Atlantic Records_sentence_101

Atlantic missed an important signing in 1955 when Sun owner Sam Phillips sold Elvis Presley's recording contract in a bidding war between labels. Atlantic Records_sentence_102

Atlantic offered $25,000 which, Ertegun later noted, "was all the money we had then." Atlantic Records_sentence_103

But they were outbid by RCA's offer of $45,000. Atlantic Records_sentence_104

In 1990 Ertegun remarked, "The president of RCA at the time had been extensively quoted in Variety damning R&B music as immoral. Atlantic Records_sentence_105

He soon stopped when RCA signed Elvis Presley." Atlantic Records_sentence_106

Nesuhi Ertegun Atlantic Records_section_5

See also: Atlantic Records discography Atlantic Records_sentence_107

Ahmet's older brother Nesuhi was hired in January 1955. Atlantic Records_sentence_108

He had been living in Los Angeles for several years and had intermittent contact with his younger brother. Atlantic Records_sentence_109

But when Ahmet learned that Nesuhi had been offered a partnership in Atlantic's rival Imperial Records, he and Wexler convinced Nesuhi to join Atlantic instead. Atlantic Records_sentence_110

Nesuhi became head of artists and repertoire (A&R), led the label's jazz division, and built a roster that included Shorty Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, Herbie Mann, Les McCann, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane. Atlantic Records_sentence_111

By 1958 Atlantic was America's second-largest independent jazz label. Atlantic Records_sentence_112

Nesuhi was also in charge of LP production. Atlantic Records_sentence_113

He was credited with improving the production, packaging, and originality of Atlantic's LPs. Atlantic Records_sentence_114

He deleted the old '100' and '400' series of 10" albums and the earlier 12" albums in Atlantic's catalog, starting the '1200' series, which sold for $4.98, with Shorty Rogers' The Swingin' Mr Rogers. Atlantic Records_sentence_115

In 1956 he started the '8000' popular series (selling for $3.98) for the label's few R&B albums, reserving the 1200 series for jazz. Atlantic Records_sentence_116

Joel Dorn became Nesuhi's assistant after his successful production of Hubert Laws' album The Laws of Jazz. Atlantic Records_sentence_117

Herb Abramson departs Atlantic Records_section_6

When Abramson returned from military service in 1955, he realized that he had been replaced by Wexler as Ahmet's partner. Atlantic Records_sentence_118

Abramson did not get along with either Wexler or Nesuhi Ertegun, and he had returned from military service with a German girlfriend, which precipitated his divorce from Miriam, a minor stockholder and Atlantic's business and publishing manager. Atlantic Records_sentence_119

By 1958, relations between Abramson and his partners had broken down; in December 1958 a $300,000 buy-out was arranged; his stock was split between Nesuhi Ertegun and Abramson's ex-wife Miriam, who had in the meantime remarried to music publisher Freddy Bienstock (later the owner of the Carlin Music / Chappell Music publishing empire). Atlantic Records_sentence_120

Abramson's departure opened the way for Ahmet Ertegun to take over as president of the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_121

The roles of the other executives with Abramson's departure were Wexler as executive vice-president and general manager, Nesuhi Ertegun as executive vice-president in charge of the LP department and Miriam Bienstock as vice-president and also president of Atlantic's music publishing arm Progressive Music with Wexler as executive vice-president and the Ertegun brothers vice-president of Progressive. Atlantic Records_sentence_122

Expansion Atlantic Records_section_7

Atlantic played a major role in popularizing the genre that Jerry Wexler dubbed rhythm & blues, and it profited handsomely. Atlantic Records_sentence_123

The market for these records exploded during late 1953 and early 1954 as R&B hits crossed over to the mainstream (i.e. white) audience. Atlantic Records_sentence_124

In its tenth anniversary feature on Atlantic, Billboard noted, "... a very big R&B record might achieve 250,000 sales, but from this point on (1953–54), the industry began to see million sellers, one after the other, in the R&B field". Atlantic Records_sentence_125

Billboard said Atlantic's "fresh sound" and the quality of its recordings, arrangements, and musicians was a great advance from standard R&B records. Atlantic Records_sentence_126

For five years Atlantic "dominated the rhythm and blues chart with its roster of powerhouse artists". Atlantic Records_sentence_127

Beginning in 1954, Atlantic created or acquired several subsidiary labels, the first being Cat Records. Atlantic Records_sentence_128

By the mid-1950s Atlantic had an informal agreement with the French label Barclay, and the two companies regularly exchanged titles, usually jazz recordings. Atlantic Records_sentence_129

Atlantic also began to get recordings distributed in the United Kingdom, first through EMI on a 'one-off' basis. Atlantic Records_sentence_130

But in September 1955 Miriam Abramson traveled to the UK and signed a distribution deal with Decca. Atlantic Records_sentence_131

Miriam recalled, "I would deal with people there who were not really comfortable with women in business, so...we would do business very quickly and get it over with." Atlantic Records_sentence_132

A subsidiary label, Atco, was established in 1955 to keep Abramson involved. Atlantic Records_sentence_133

After a slow start, Atco had considerable success with Bobby Darin. Atlantic Records_sentence_134

His early releases were unsuccessful, and Abramson planned to drop him. Atlantic Records_sentence_135

But when Ertegun offered him another chance, the result was "Splish Splash", which Darin had written in 12 minutes. Atlantic Records_sentence_136

The song sold 100,000 copies in the first month and became a million-seller. Atlantic Records_sentence_137

"Queen of the Hop" made the Top 10 on both the US pop and R&B charts and charted in the UK. Atlantic Records_sentence_138

"Dream Lover" reached No. Atlantic Records_sentence_139

2 in the US and No. Atlantic Records_sentence_140

1 in the UK and became a multi-million seller. Atlantic Records_sentence_141

"Mack the Knife" (1959) went to No. Atlantic Records_sentence_142

1 in both the US and the UK, sold over 2 million copies, and won the 1960 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Atlantic Records_sentence_143

"Beyond the Sea" became Darin's fourth consecutive Top 10 hit in the US and UK. Atlantic Records_sentence_144

He signed with Capitol and moved for Hollywood to attempt a movie career, but hits such as "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and "Things" continued to benefit Atco through 1962. Atlantic Records_sentence_145

Darin returned to Atlantic in 1965. Atlantic Records_sentence_146

Leiber and Stoller Atlantic Records_section_8

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote "Smokey Joe's Cafe", which became a hit for The Robins. Atlantic Records_sentence_147

Their label Spark was bought by Atlantic, and they were hired as America's first independent record producers, free to produce for other labels. Atlantic Records_sentence_148

Two members of The Robins formed The Coasters and recorded hits for Atlantic, such as "Down in Mexico" and "Young Blood". Atlantic Records_sentence_149

"Yakety Yak" became Atlantic's first No. Atlantic Records_sentence_150

1 pop hit. Atlantic Records_sentence_151

Leiber and Stoller also wrote the hit "Ruby Baby" for The Drifters. Atlantic Records_sentence_152

Record producer Phil Spector moved to New York to work with Leiber and Stoller. Atlantic Records_sentence_153

He learned his trade at Trey Records, a label in California owned by Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood and distributed by Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_154

Sill recommended Spector to Leiber and Stoller, who assigned him to produce "Corrine, Corrina" by Ray Peterson and "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" by Curtis Lee. Atlantic Records_sentence_155

Both became hits, and Atlantic hired him as a staff producer. Atlantic Records_sentence_156

Ahmet Ertegun liked him, but Leiber said, "He wasn't likable. Atlantic Records_sentence_157

He was funny, he was amusing—but he wasn't nice." Atlantic Records_sentence_158

Wexler disliked him. Atlantic Records_sentence_159

Miriam Bienstock called him "a pain in the neck". Atlantic Records_sentence_160

When Spector criticized Bobby Darin's songwriting, Darin had him thrown out of the house. Atlantic Records_sentence_161

Atlantic tolerated Spector but with diminishing returns. Atlantic Records_sentence_162

He produced "Twist and Shout" for The Top Notes, and it flopped. Atlantic Records_sentence_163

Songwriter Bert Berns hated Spector's arrangement and thought it ruined the song, so Berns re-recorded it with The Isley Brothers and it became a hit. Atlantic Records_sentence_164

During his short time at Atlantic, Spector produced music for LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, Jean DuShon, and Billy Storm. Atlantic Records_sentence_165

In 1961, he left the label, returned to Los Angeles, and founded Philles Records with Lester Sill. Atlantic Records_sentence_166

Spector became one of the most successful record producers of the 1960s. Atlantic Records_sentence_167

Although Leiber and Stoller wrote many popular songs for Atlantic, their relationship with the label was deteriorating in 1962. Atlantic Records_sentence_168

The breaking point came when they asked for a producer's royalty. Atlantic Records_sentence_169

It was granted informally, but their accountant insisted on a written contract and an audit of Atlantic's accounts. Atlantic Records_sentence_170

The audit revealed Leiber and Stoller had been underpaid by $18,000. Atlantic Records_sentence_171

Although Leiber considered dropping the matter, Stoller pressed Atlantic for payment. Atlantic Records_sentence_172

Wexler exploded and replied the payment would mean the end of their relationship with the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_173

Leiber and Stoller backed down, but the relationship ended anyway. Atlantic Records_sentence_174

Their assignment to work on The Drifter's next recording was given to Phil Spector. Atlantic Records_sentence_175

Leiber and Stoller worked briefly for United Artists, then started Red Bird with George Goldner. Atlantic Records_sentence_176

They had hits with "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups and "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las, but Red Bird's finances were precarious. Atlantic Records_sentence_177

In 1964 they approached Jerry Wexler and proposed a merger with Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_178

When interviewed in 1990 for Ertegun's biography, Wexler declined to discuss the matter, but Ertegun claimed these negotiations were a plan to buy him out. Atlantic Records_sentence_179

In September 1964, the Ertegun brothers and Wexler were in the process of buying out the company's other two shareholders, Sabit and Bienstock, and it was proposed that Leiber and Stoller buy Sabit's shares. Atlantic Records_sentence_180

Leiber, Stoller, Goldner, and Wexler suggested their plan to Ertegun at a lunch meeting at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Atlantic Records_sentence_181

Leiber and Stoller told Ertegun they had no intention of buying him out, but Ertegun was aggravated by Goldner's attitude and was convinced Wexler was conspiring with them. Atlantic Records_sentence_182

Wexler told Ertegun if he refused, the deal would be done without him. Atlantic Records_sentence_183

But the Ertegun brothers held the majority of stock while Wexler controlled about 20 percent. Atlantic Records_sentence_184

Ertegun started lifelong grudges against Leiber and Stoller, and his relationship with Wexler was damaged. Atlantic Records_sentence_185

Stax Atlantic Records_section_9

Atlantic was doing so well in early 1959 that some scheduled releases were held back, and the company enjoyed two successive months of gross sales of over $1 million that summer, thanks to hits by The Coasters, The Drifters, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, and Clyde McPhatter. Atlantic Records_sentence_186

Months later the company was reeling from the successive loss of its two biggest artists, Bobby Darin and Ray Charles, who together accounted for one third of sales. Atlantic Records_sentence_187

Darin moved to Los Angeles and signed with Capitol. Atlantic Records_sentence_188

Charles signed a contract with ABC-Paramount that included higher royalties, a production deal, profit-sharing, and eventual ownership of his master tapes. Atlantic Records_sentence_189

"I thought we were going to die", Wexler recalled. Atlantic Records_sentence_190

In 1990 he and Ertegun disputed the content of Charles's contract, which caused a rift. Atlantic Records_sentence_191

Ertegun remained friendly with Bobby Darin, who returned to Atlantic in 1966. Atlantic Records_sentence_192

Ray Charles returned to Atlantic in 1977. Atlantic Records_sentence_193

In 1960, Atlantic's Memphis distributor Buster Williams contacted Wexler and told him he was pressing large quantities of "Cause I Love You", a duet between Carla Thomas and her father Rufus which was released by the small label Satellite. Atlantic Records_sentence_194

Wexler contacted the co-owner of Satellite, Jim Stewart, who agreed to lease the record to Atlantic for $1000 plus a small royalty—the first money the label had ever made. Atlantic Records_sentence_195

The deal included a $5000 payment against a five-year option on all other records. Atlantic Records_sentence_196

Satellite was renamed Stax after the owners, Stewart and Axton. Atlantic Records_sentence_197

The deal marked the start of a successful eight-year association between the two labels, giving Stax access to Atlantic's promotions and distribution. Atlantic Records_sentence_198

Wexler recalled, "We didn't pay for the masters...Jim paid for the masters and then he would send us a finished tape and we would put it out. Atlantic Records_sentence_199

Our costs began at the production level—the pressing, and distribution, and promotion, and advertising." Atlantic Records_sentence_200

The deal to distribute Satellite's "Last Night" by The Mar-Keys on the Satellite label marked the first time Atlantic began marketing outside tracks on a non-Atlantic label. Atlantic Records_sentence_201

Atlantic began pressing and distributing Stax records. Atlantic Records_sentence_202

Wexler sent Tom Dowd to upgrade Stax's recording equipment and facilities. Atlantic Records_sentence_203

Wexler was impressed by the cooperative atmosphere at the Stax studios and by its racially integrated house band, which he called "an unthinkably great band". Atlantic Records_sentence_204

He brought Atlantic musicians to Memphis to record. Atlantic Records_sentence_205

Stewart and Wexler hired Al Bell, a disk jockey at a radio station in Washington D.C., to take over promotion of Stax releases. Atlantic Records_sentence_206

Bell was the first African-American partner in the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_207

An after-hours jam by members of the Stax house band resulted in "Green Onions". Atlantic Records_sentence_208

The single was issued in August 1962 and became the biggest instrumental hit of the year, reaching No. Atlantic Records_sentence_209

1 on the R&B chart and No. Atlantic Records_sentence_210

3 on the pop chart, selling over one million copies. Atlantic Records_sentence_211

Over the next five years Stax and its subsidiary Volt provided Atlantic with many hits, such as "Respect" by Otis Redding, "Knock on Wood" by Eddie Floyd, "Hold On, I'm Comin'" by Sam and Dave, and "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett. Atlantic Records_sentence_212

Soul years Atlantic Records_section_10

Aretha Franklin signed with Atlantic in 1966 after her contract with Columbia expired. Atlantic Records_sentence_213

Columbia tried to market her as a jazz singer. Atlantic Records_sentence_214

Jerry Wexler said, "we're gonna put her back in church." Atlantic Records_sentence_215

She rose to fame quickly and was called the Queen of Soul. Atlantic Records_sentence_216

Wexler oversaw production himself at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Atlantic Records_sentence_217

The result was seven consecutive singles that made both the US Pop and Soul Top 10: "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_218

1, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_219

9), "Respect" (Soul and Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_220

1), "Baby, I Love You" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_221

1, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_222

4), "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_223

2, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_224

8), "Chain of Fools" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_225

1, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_226

2), "Since You've Been Gone" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_227

1, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_228

5), and "Think" (Soul No. Atlantic Records_sentence_229

1, Pop No. Atlantic Records_sentence_230

7). Atlantic Records_sentence_231

In late 1961 singer Solomon Burke arrived at Jerry Wexler's office unannounced. Atlantic Records_sentence_232

Wexler was a fan of Burke's and had long wanted to sign him so when Burke told Wexler his contract with his former label had expired Wexler replied: "You're home. Atlantic Records_sentence_233

I'm signing you today". Atlantic Records_sentence_234

The first song Wexler produced with Burke was "Just Out of Reach", which became a big hit in September 1961. Atlantic Records_sentence_235

The soul/country & western crossover predated Ray Charles' similar venture by more than 6 months. Atlantic Records_sentence_236

Burke became a consistent big seller through the mid-1960s and scored hits on Atlantic into 1968. Atlantic Records_sentence_237

In 1962 folk music was booming and the label came very close to signing Peter, Paul & Mary; although Wexler and Ertegun pursued them vigorously the deal fell through at the last minute and they later discovered music publisher Artie Mogull had introduced their manager Albert Grossman to Warner Bros. executive Herman Starr, who had made the trio an irresistible offer that gave them complete creative control over the recording and packaging of their music. Atlantic Records_sentence_238

The mid-1960s British Invasion led Atlantic to change its British distributor. Atlantic Records_sentence_239

Decca had refused access to its British acts, who usually appeared in the US on the London subsidiary. Atlantic Records_sentence_240

In 1966 Atlantic signed a licensing deal with Polydor which included the band Cream, whose debut album was released by Atco in 1966. Atlantic Records_sentence_241

In 1967 the group traveled to Atlantic's studio in New York City to record Disraeli Gears with Tom Dowd; it became a Top 5 LP in both the US and the UK, with the single "Sunshine of Your Love" reaching No. Atlantic Records_sentence_242

5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Atlantic Records_sentence_243

Wexler dismissed developments in pop music, dubbing the musicians "the rockoids". Atlantic Records_sentence_244

But Atlantic profited from moving into rock music in the 1970s when it signed Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, and Yes. Atlantic Records_sentence_245

Acquisition by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Atlantic Records_section_11

Despite the huge success Atlantic was enjoying with its own artists and through its deal with Stax, by 1967 Jerry Wexler was seriously concerned about the disintegration of the old order of independent record companies and, fearing for the label's future, he began agitating for it to be sold to a larger company. Atlantic Records_sentence_246

Label President Ahmet Ertegun still had no desire to sell, but the balance of power had changed since the abortive takeover attempt of 1962; Atlantic's original investor Dr Vahdi Sabit and minority stockholder Miriam Bienstock had both been bought out in September 1964 and the other remaining partner, Nesuhi Ertegun, was eventually convinced to side with Wexler. Atlantic Records_sentence_247

Since they jointly held more stock, Ahmet was obliged to agree to the sale. Atlantic Records_sentence_248

In October 1967 Atlantic was sold to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for US$17.5 million, although all the partners later agreed that it was a poor deal which greatly undervalued Atlantic's true worth. Atlantic Records_sentence_249

Initially, Atlantic and Atco operated entirely separately from the group's other labels, Warner Bros. Records and Reprise Records, and management did not interfere with the music division, since the ailing movie division was losing money, while the Warner recording division was booming – by mid-1968 Warner's recording and publishing interests were generating 74% of the group's total profits. Atlantic Records_sentence_250

The sale of Atlantic Records activated a clause in the distribution agreement with Stax Records calling for renegotiation of the distribution deal and at this point the Stax partners discovered that the deal gave Atlantic ownership of all the Stax recordings Atlantic distributed. Atlantic Records_sentence_251

The new Warner owners refused to relinquish ownership of the Stax masters, so the distribution deal ended in May 1968. Atlantic Records_sentence_252

Atlantic continues to hold the rights to Stax recordings it distributed in the 1960s. Atlantic Records_sentence_253

In the wake of the takeover, Jerry Wexler's influence in the company rapidly diminished; by his own admission, he and Ertegun had run Atlantic as "utmost despots" but in the new corporate structure, he found himself unwilling to accept the delegation of responsibility that his executive role dictated. Atlantic Records_sentence_254

He was also alienated from the "rockoid" white acts that were quickly becoming the label's most profitable commodities, and dispirited by the rapidly waning fortunes of the black acts he had championed, such as Ben E. King and Solomon Burke. Atlantic Records_sentence_255

Wexler ultimately decided to leave New York and move to Florida. Atlantic Records_sentence_256

Following his departure, Ertegun—who had previously taken little interest in Atlantic's business affairs—took decisive control of the label and quickly became a major force in the expanding Warner music group. Atlantic Records_sentence_257

During 1968 Atlantic established a new subsidiary label, Cotillion Records. Atlantic Records_sentence_258

The label was originally formed as an outlet for blues and deep Southern soul; its first single, Otis Clay's version of "She's About A Mover", was an R&B hit. Atlantic Records_sentence_259

Cotillion's catalog quickly expanded to include progressive rock, folk-rock, gospel, jazz and comedy. Atlantic Records_sentence_260

In 1976, the label started focusing on disco and R&B. Atlantic Records_sentence_261

Among its acts were the post-Curtis Mayfield Impressions, Slave, Brook Benton, Jean Knight, Mass Production, Sister Sledge, The Velvet Underground, Stacy Lattisaw, Lou Donaldson, Mylon LeFevre, Stevie Woods, Johnny Gill, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Garland Green, The Dynamics, The Fabulous Counts, and The Fatback Band. Atlantic Records_sentence_262

Cotillion was also responsible for launching the career of Luther Vandross, who recorded for the label as part of the trio Luther. Atlantic Records_sentence_263

Cotillion also released the triple-albums soundtrack of the Woodstock festival film in 1970. Atlantic Records_sentence_264

From 1970 it also distributed Embryo Records, founded by jazz flautist Herbie Mann after his earlier Atlantic contract had expired. Atlantic Records_sentence_265

In addition to establishing Cotillion, Atlantic began expanding its own roster to include rock, soul/rock, progressive rock, British bands and singer songwriters. Atlantic Records_sentence_266

Two female artists were personally signed by Wexler, with album releases in 1969, Dusty Springfield (Dusty in Memphis) and Lotti Golden (Motor-Cycle), although Golden also had a close working relationship with Ertegun, who was instrumental in her signing with the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_267

By 1969, the Atlantic 8000 series (1968–72) consisted of R&B, rock, soul/rock and psychedelic acts. Atlantic Records_sentence_268

Other releases that year include albums by Aretha Franklin (Soul '69), Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin), Don Covay (House of Blue Lights), Boz Scaggs (Boz Scaggs), Roberta Flack (First Take), Wilson Pickett (Hey Jude), Mott the Hoople (Mott the Hoople), and Black Pearl (Black Pearl). Atlantic Records_sentence_269

In 1969 Warner Bros.-Seven Arts was taken over by the Kinney National Company, and in the early 1970s the group was rebadged as Warner Communications. Atlantic Records_sentence_270

After buying Elektra Records and its sister label Nonesuch Records in 1970, Kinney combined the operations of all of its record labels under a new holding company, WEA, and also known as Warner Music Group. Atlantic Records_sentence_271

WEA was also used as a label for distributing the company's artists outside North America. Atlantic Records_sentence_272

In January 1970, Ahmet Ertegun was successful in his executive battle against Warner Bros. Records President Mike Maitland to keep Atlantic Records autonomous and as a result Maitland was fired by Kinney president Steve Ross. Atlantic Records_sentence_273

Ertegun recommended Mo Ostin to succeed Maitland as Warner Bros. Records president. Atlantic Records_sentence_274

With Ertegun's power at Warners now secure, Atlantic was able to maintain autonomy through the parent company reorganizations and continue to do their own marketing, while WEA handled distribution. Atlantic Records_sentence_275

The rock era Atlantic Records_section_12

Some acts on the Atlantic roster in this period were British (including Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Yes, Bad Company and Phil Collins) and this was largely due to Ertegun. Atlantic Records_sentence_276

According to Greenberg, Ertegun had long seen the UK as a source of untapped talent. Atlantic Records_sentence_277

At his urging, Greenberg visited the UK six or seven times every year in search of acts to sign to the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_278

For much of its early history, Jerry Wexler had been managers of the label, while Ertegun had concentrated on A&R and had less interest in the business side. Atlantic Records_sentence_279

But that changed after the sale to Warner. Atlantic Records_sentence_280

Although Ertegun had been forced into accepting the sale, he turned the situation to his advantage. Atlantic Records_sentence_281

He gained executive control of the label and influenced the Warner group. Atlantic Records_sentence_282

By contrast, Wexler was disenchanted by Atlantic's move into rock; he left in 1975. Atlantic Records_sentence_283

Wexler's protégé Jerry L. Greenberg replaced him and played a role in Atlantic's success during the 1970s. Atlantic Records_sentence_284

In seven years, Greenberg went from personal assistant to president of the label. Atlantic Records_sentence_285

Wexler had hired Greenberg and acted as his mentor, teaching him the daily operations of the record business. Atlantic Records_sentence_286

From Ertegun he learned how to treat musicians. Atlantic Records_sentence_287

Signing Led Zeppelin and CSN Atlantic Records_section_13

In 1968 Peter Grant flew to New York with tapes of the debut album by British rock band Led Zeppelin. Atlantic Records_sentence_288

Ertegun and Wexler knew of the group's leader, Jimmy Page, through The Yardbirds, and their favorable opinion was reinforced by Dusty Springfield, who recommended Atlantic sign the band. Atlantic Records_sentence_289

Atlantic signed the band to an exclusive five-year contract, one of the "most substantial" in the label's history Zeppelin recorded for Atlantic from 1968 to 1973. Atlantic Records_sentence_290

After the contract expired, they founded their label Swan Song and signed a distribution deal with Atlantic after being turned down by other labels. Atlantic Records_sentence_291

In 1969 Stephen Stills was still signed to Atlantic under the contract dating from time with in Buffalo Springfield. Atlantic Records_sentence_292

His agent David Geffen went to Wexler to ask for Stills to be released from his Atlantic contract, because Geffen wanted Stills' new group to sign with Columbia. Atlantic Records_sentence_293

Wexler lost his temper and threw Geffen out of his office, but Geffen called Ahmet Ertegun the next day, and Ertegun persuaded Geffen to convince Clive Davis at Columbia to let Atlantic sign Crosby, Stills & Nash. Atlantic Records_sentence_294

The trio was formed following a chance meeting between members of three leading 1960s pop groups – Stephen Stills, David Crosby of The Byrds and Graham Nash of The Hollies. Atlantic Records_sentence_295

Stills and Crosby had been friends since the early 1960s; Nash had first met Crosby in the mid-1960s when The Byrds toured the UK, and he renewed the friendship when The Hollies toured the US in mid-1968. Atlantic Records_sentence_296

By this time creative tensions within The Hollies were coming to a head, and Nash had already decided to leave the group. Atlantic Records_sentence_297

Fate intervened during the Hollies US tour, when Nash reunited with Crosby and met Stephen Stills (ex-Buffalo Springfield) at a party at the Los Angeles home of Cass Elliott in July 1968. Atlantic Records_sentence_298

After Crosby and Stills sang Stills' new composition "You Don't Have To Cry" that evening, Nash asked them to repeat it, and chimed in with an impromptu third harmony part. Atlantic Records_sentence_299

The trio's unique vocal chemistry was instantly apparent, so when Nash quit the Hollies in August 1968 and relocated to Los Angeles, the three immediately formed a trio, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Atlantic Records_sentence_300

After surprisingly failing their audition for Apple Records, thanks to Ertegun's intervention and intense negotiations with David Geffen, who represented Crosby and Nash, as well as Stills, they ultimately signed with Atlantic, who gave them virtually complete freedom to record their first album. Atlantic Records_sentence_301

The signing was complicated by the fact that Nash was still under contract to Epic Records (The Hollies' US distributor), but Ertegun used his diplomatic prowess to overcome this by arranging a 'swap' – he released former Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay from his Atlantic contract, allowing Furay's new group Poco to sign to Epic, and in exchange Columbia Records (the parent company of Epic) allowed Nash to sign to Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_302

In the event, Ertegun and Atlantic were the clear winners. Atlantic Records_sentence_303

Poco achieved moderate success for Epic, but Crosby, Stills & Nash's self-titled debut album (released in May 1969) became a huge and enduring hit, reaching #6 on the Billboard album chart, spawning two US Top 40 singles, becoming a multi-platinum seller and eventually earning a place in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Atlantic Records_sentence_304

Hot on the heels of the huge success of CSNY and Led Zeppelin, British band Yes rapidly established themselves as one of the leading groups in the burgeoning progressive rock genre, and their success also played a significant part in establishing the primacy of the long-playing album as the major sales format for rock music in the 1970s. Atlantic Records_sentence_305

After several lineup changes during 1969–70, the band settled into its "classic" incarnation, with guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard player Rick Wakeman, who both joined during 1971. Atlantic Records_sentence_306

Although the extended length of much of their material made it somewhat difficult to promote the band with single releases, their live prowess gained them an avid following and their albums were hugely successful – their third LP The Yes Album (1971), which featured the debut of new guitarist Steve Howe, became their first big hit, reaching #4 in the UK and just scraping onto the chart in the US at #40. Atlantic Records_sentence_307

From this point, and notwithstanding the impact of the punk/new wave movement in the late 1970s, the band enjoyed an extraordinary run of success—beginning with their fourth album Fragile, each of the eleven albums they released between 1971 and 1991 (including the lavishly packaged live triple-album Yessongs) made the Top 20 in the US and the UK, and the double-LP Tales of Topographic Oceans (1973) and Going For The One (1977) both reached #1 in the UK. Atlantic Records_sentence_308

Much of Atlantic's renewed success as a rock label in the late 1970s can be attributed to the efforts of renowned A&R manager John Kalodner. Atlantic Records_sentence_309

In 1974 the former photographer, record store manager and music critic joined Atlantic's New York publicity department. Atlantic Records_sentence_310

In 1975 Kalodner moved to the A&R department, rose rapidly through the ranks, and in 1976 he was promoted to become Atlantic's first West Coast director of A&R. Atlantic Records_sentence_311

Over the next four years he was instrumental in signing a string of major acts including Foreigner, AC/DC, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. Atlantic Records_sentence_312

Kalodner built his reputation by signing acts that other labels had turned down, and perhaps the most significant example of his achievements in this area was his championing of Anglo-American band Foreigner. Atlantic Records_sentence_313

The group was the brainchild of expatriate British musicians Mick Jones (ex Spooky Tooth) and Ian McDonald, one of the founding members of King Crimson. Atlantic Records_sentence_314

The demo tapes of the songs that eventually became their debut album (including the song "Feels Like The First Time") were famously rejected by almost every major label, including Atlantic – although their tenacious manager Bud Prager later revealed that, in retaliation for a previous bad deal, he deliberately didn't approach CBS ("They had screwed me out of a lot of money, so I figured I would screw them out of Foreigner. Atlantic Records_sentence_315

The band was never even offered to them.") Atlantic Records_sentence_316

Prager persisted with Atlantic, even though their A&R department and label President Jerry Greenberg repeatedly rejected Foreigner; it was Kalodner's dogged belief in the group (and a live audition) that finally convinced Greenberg to allow Kalodner to sign them and take them on as his personal project. Atlantic Records_sentence_317

Even then, Kalodner was turned down by twenty-six producers before he found someone willing to take on the project. Atlantic Records_sentence_318

Despite all the resistance, Kalodner's belief in Foreigner was totally vindicated by the group's massive success – their 1976 debut single "Feels LIke The First Time" reached #4 on the Billboard singles chart, their self-titled debut album sold more than 4 million copies, and the subsequent singles from the album kept the group in the US charts continuously for more than a year. Atlantic Records_sentence_319

In the years that followed, Foreigner became one of Atlantic's biggest successes, and one of the biggest-selling groups in history, scoring a string of international hits and selling more than 80 million albums worldwide, including 37.5 million albums in the US alone. Atlantic Records_sentence_320

In 1978, Atlantic finally broke the leading UK progressive group Genesis as a major act in the US. Atlantic Records_sentence_321

Ahmet Ertegun had first seen them perform in the Midwest on one of their early American tours, and it was on this occasion that he also became an ardent fan of their drummer/vocalist, Phil Collins. Atlantic Records_sentence_322

Jerry Greenberg signed the group to Atlantic in the US in 1973 on Ertegun's advice, but although they were very successful in Europe, Genesis remained at best a "cult" act in America for most of the Seventies. Atlantic Records_sentence_323

In the meantime, original lead singer Peter Gabriel had left the group in 1975, followed in 1977 by lead guitarist Steve Hackett, reducing the group to a three-piece. Atlantic Records_sentence_324

Ertegun was directly involved in the recording of the band's 1978 album ...And Then There Were Three..., personally remixing the album's projected first single "Follow You, Follow Me". Atlantic Records_sentence_325

Although the group didn't use this version, it guided them in their subsequent production. Atlantic Records_sentence_326

Collins later commented, "We didn't use his version, but we knew what he was getting at. Atlantic Records_sentence_327

He saw something more in there that wasn't coming out before." Atlantic Records_sentence_328

The released version of "Follow You, Follow Me" gave Genesis their first hit single in the US, the album became their first American gold record, and the experience resulted in Ertegun and Collins becoming close friends. Atlantic Records_sentence_329

By 1979 Genesis drummer/singer Phil Collins was considering branching out into a solo career. Atlantic Records_sentence_330

Reacting to the acrimonious breakup of his first marriage, he had begun writing and recording new songs at home, which were considerably different from the material he had been recording with Genesis. Atlantic Records_sentence_331

Although many in the industry reportedly discouraged him from going solo, Collins was strongly supported by Ertegun, who encouraged him to record an album after hearing the R&B-flavoured demo tapes Collins had recorded in his garage. Atlantic Records_sentence_332

Ertegun also insisted on changes to the song that became Collins' debut single. Atlantic Records_sentence_333

After hearing the song's sparsely-arranged opening section, Ertegun said: "Where's the backbeat, man? Atlantic Records_sentence_334

The kids won't know where it is – you've got to put extra drums on it." Atlantic Records_sentence_335

Collins replied "The drums come later," to which Ertegun retorted "By that time the kids will have switched over to another radio station." Atlantic Records_sentence_336

Acceding to Ertegun's demand, Collins took the unusual step of overdubbing extra drums on the finished master tape, and he later commented, "He (Ertegun) was quite right." Atlantic Records_sentence_337

Although his close friendship with Ertegun helped Collins launch his solo career, the fact that he eventually signed to Atlantic in the US was apparently as much by luck as by design. Atlantic Records_sentence_338

By early 1980, when Collins was recording his solo album, the record industry was suffering greatly from the impact of the worldwide economic recession, and many labels were beginning to cull their rosters and drop acts that weren't providing major returns. Atlantic Records_sentence_339

At this same time, Genesis' contract with Atlantic was up for renewal, and Collins was yet to sign as a solo artist. Atlantic Records_sentence_340

As part of the negotiations, Collins and his bandmates wanted their own 'vanity' label, Duke Records, but according to Kalodner, and despite of Ertegun's personal interest, the group's demands, and their relatively modest performance in the US made Atlantic executives ambivalent about the deal. Atlantic Records_sentence_341

Kalodner was overseeing the recording of Collins' solo album while Atlantic were vacillating about signing the band and Collins, but it was at this point that Kalodner was abruptly dismissed from Atlantic, although he was almost immediately recruited to head the A&R division at the newly formed Geffen Records. Atlantic Records_sentence_342

Angered by his unceremonious ejection from Atlantic, he alerted Geffen to Collins' availability, but to his chagrin, neither Geffen nor any other US label showed interest; He then alerted Virgin Records boss Richard Branson, who immediately contacted Collins' manager Tony Stratton Smith and signed Collins to Virgin in the UK as a solo act. Atlantic Records_sentence_343

Although Ertegun subsequently disputed Kalodner's account of the Genesis/Collins contract saga, he agreed that the loss of Gabriel was a big mistake, and his regret about his handling of the matter was only compounded by Gabriel's subsequent success with Geffen. Atlantic Records_sentence_344

Much of this was due to Kalodner, who later admitted that, as soon as Gabriel was dropped from Atlantic, he realized he had made a mistake. Atlantic Records_sentence_345

In order to make amends to Gabriel, he alerted both CBS and Geffen to the fact that Gabriel was available, and after a bidding war, Gabriel signed with Geffen. Atlantic Records_sentence_346

They released his fourth solo album (a.k.a. "Security") in 1982 to wide acclaim, and Gabriel scored a minor US hit with the single "Shock The Monkey". Atlantic Records_sentence_347

Atlantic's regret was undoubtedly heightened when Gabriel achieved huge international success with his fifth album So (1986), which reached #1 in the UK and #2 in the US and sold more than 5 million copies in the US. Atlantic Records_sentence_348

The irony was further compounded by the fact that Gabriel scored a US #1 hit with the R&B-influenced single "Sledgehammer", which featured the legendary Memphis Horns, and which Gabriel later described as "my chance to sing like Otis Redding." Atlantic Records_sentence_349

Long Branch warehouse fire Atlantic Records_section_14

Atlantic suffered a catastrophic loss in the early morning of February 8, 1978 when a fire destroyed most of its tape archive, which had been stored in a non-air-conditioned warehouse in Long Branch, New Jersey. Atlantic Records_sentence_350

The four-story warehouse, located at 199 Broadway, was the former location of Vogel's Department Store, before it closed down in March 1975. Atlantic Records_sentence_351

The building was purchased less than a week earlier and had been scheduled to reopen as a Nadler's Furniture Center, in an effort to revitalize the downtown area. Atlantic Records_sentence_352

The building was owned by the family of Sheldon Vogel, chief financial officer of Atlantic at the time. Atlantic Records_sentence_353

He had recommended to move the company's multitracks and unreleased recordings to the building after Ertegun had complained about the aforementioned tapes taking up too much space in the company's Manhattan offices in New York. Atlantic Records_sentence_354

Although master tapes of the material in Atlantic's released back catalog survived due to being stored in New York, the fire destroyed or damaged an estimated 5,000–6,000 reels of tape, including virtually all of the company's unreleased master tapes, alternative takes, rehearsal tapes and session multi-tracks recorded between 1948 and 1969. Atlantic Records_sentence_355

Atlantic was one of the first labels to record in stereo; many of the tapes that were lost were stereo 'alternates' recorded in the late 1940s and 1950s (which Atlantic routinely taped simultaneously with the mono versions until the 1960s) as well as almost all of the 8-track multitrack masters recorded by Tom Dowd in the 1950s and 1960s. Atlantic Records_sentence_356

According to Billboard journalist Bill Holland, news of the fire was kept quiet, and one Atlantic staffer who spoke to Holland reported that he did not find out about it until a year later. Atlantic Records_sentence_357

Reissue producers and archivists subsequently located some tapes that were at first presumed 'lost', but which had survived because they had evidently been removed from the New Jersey archive years earlier and not returned. Atlantic Records_sentence_358

During the compilation of the Rhino-Atlantic John Coltrane boxed set, producer Joel Dorn located supposedly destroyed outtakes from Coltrane's seminal 1959 album Giant Steps, plus other tapes including Bobby Darin's original Atco demo of "Dream Lover" (with Fred Neil playing guitar). Atlantic Records_sentence_359

Atlantic archivists have since rediscovered other 'lost' material including unreleased masters, alternative takes and rehearsal tapes by Ray Charles, Van "Piano Man" Walls, Ornette Coleman, Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz. Atlantic Records_sentence_360

40th Anniversary concert Atlantic Records_section_15

In May 1988, the label held a 40th Anniversary concert, broadcast on HBO. Atlantic Records_sentence_361

This concert, which was almost 13 hours in length, featured performances by a large number of their artists and included reunions of some rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (being David Crosby's first full band performance since being released from prison). Atlantic Records_sentence_362

"You're Pitiful" dispute Atlantic Records_section_16

In 2006, the label denied "Weird Al" Yankovic permission to release "You're Pitiful", a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", despite Blunt's own approval of the song. Atlantic Records_sentence_363

Atlantic said that it was too early in Blunt's career, and that they did not want Blunt to become a one-hit wonder. Atlantic Records_sentence_364

Although Yankovic could have legally gone ahead with the parody anyway under the Fair Use doctrine, his record label, Volcano Entertainment, thought that it was best not to "go to war" with Atlantic. Atlantic Records_sentence_365

The parody was released onto the Internet as a free download. Atlantic Records_sentence_366

Later he recorded two more parodies, "White & Nerdy", and "Do I Creep You Out", to replace "You're Pitiful". Atlantic Records_sentence_367

Yankovic, afterward, began wearing T-shirts reading "Atlantic Records sucks" while performing live. Atlantic Records_sentence_368

In addition, the music video for "White & Nerdy" depicts Yankovic defacing Atlantic's article on Wikipedia, replacing the whole page with "YOU SUCK!" Atlantic Records_sentence_369

in excessively large type (which spawned copycat vandalism). Atlantic Records_sentence_370

Recent developments Atlantic Records_section_17

A country music division, which was founded in the 1980s, was closed in 2001. Atlantic Records_sentence_371

Time Warner sold Warner Music Group to a group of investors for $2.6 billion in late 2003. Atlantic Records_sentence_372

The deal closed in early 2004, consolidating Elektra Records and Atlantic into one label operated in the eastern United States. Atlantic Records_sentence_373

In 2007, the label celebrated its 60th anniversary with the May 2 PBS broadcast of the American Masters documentary Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built and the simultaneous Starbucks CD release of Atlantic 60th Anniversary: R&B Classics Chosen By Ahmet Ertegun. Atlantic Records_sentence_374

That year also saw Atlantic reach a milestone for major record labels. Atlantic Records_sentence_375

According to the International Herald Tribune, "More than half of its music sales in the United States are now from digital products like downloads on iTunes and ring tones for cellphones", doing so "without seeing as steep of a decline in compact disc sales as the rest of the industry." Atlantic Records_sentence_376

Notable sublabels Atlantic Records_section_18

See also Atlantic Records_section_19

Atlantic Records_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic Records.