Polydor Records

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Polydor Records_table_infobox_0

Polydor RecordsPolydor Records_header_cell_0_0_0
Parent companyPolydor Records_header_cell_0_1_0 Universal Music GroupPolydor Records_cell_0_1_1
FoundedPolydor Records_header_cell_0_2_0 2 April 1913; 107 years ago (1913-04-02)Polydor Records_cell_0_2_1
Distributor(s)Polydor Records_header_cell_0_3_0 Polydor Records_cell_0_3_1
GenrePolydor Records_header_cell_0_4_0 VariousPolydor Records_cell_0_4_1
Country of originPolydor Records_header_cell_0_5_0 Germany

United KingdomPolydor Records_cell_0_5_1

LocationPolydor Records_header_cell_0_6_0 London, EnglandPolydor Records_cell_0_6_1
Official websitePolydor Records_header_cell_0_7_0 Polydor Records_cell_0_7_1

Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label and company that operates as part of Universal Music Group. Polydor Records_sentence_0

It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. Polydor Records_sentence_1

In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records_sentence_2

Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. Polydor Records_sentence_3

It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972. Polydor Records_sentence_4

Its artists have included ABBA, Cream, The Moody Blues, The Who, Samantha Mumba, Cher Lloyd, Years & Years, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Slade, Bee Gees, The Jam, Cheryl, Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, Gary Barlow, Take That, James Brown, Fickle Friends, The Fauves, Ellie Goulding, Duffy, James Blake, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Status Quo, Eric Clapton, Marie Osmond, Waldo de los Ríos, Ruti Olajugbagbe, Lana Del Rey, Soraya, Haim, Keith O'Conner Murphy, LANY, Azealia Banks and Alyssa Reid. Polydor Records_sentence_5

Label history Polydor Records_section_0

Beginnings Polydor Records_section_1

Polydor Records was founded on 2 April 1913 by German Polyphon-Musikwerke AG in Leipzig and registered on 25 July 1914 (Nr. Polydor Records_sentence_6

316613). Polydor Records_sentence_7

The label was founded as Firma Brachhausen & Riesener in 1887 by Gustav Adolf Brachhausen and Ernst Paul Riessner, for manufacturing their new mechanical disc-playing music box Polyphon, invented in 1870. Polydor Records_sentence_8

During World War I on 24 April 1917, Polyphon-Musikwerke AG acquired the German Deutsche Grammophon-Aktiengesellschaft record plant and company from the German government. Polydor Records_sentence_9

The German state had taken over British-held Grammophon as enemy property during World War I. Polydor Records_sentence_10

Polydor was originally an independent branch of the Polyphon-Grammophon-Konzern group. Polydor Records_sentence_11

It was used as an export label from 1924. Polydor Records_sentence_12

After the British and German branches of the Gramophone Company were separated during World War I, Deutsche Grammophon claimed the rights to the Nipper-dog and gramophone trademark for Germany, where HMV recordings were to be released under the Electrola trademark replacing the company lost during the war. Polydor Records_sentence_13

In turn, Deutsche Grammophon records exported from Germany were released on the Polyphon Musik and Polydor labels. Polydor Records_sentence_14

New foreign branches were founded, for example in Austria, Denmark, Sweden and France. Polydor Records_sentence_15

In 1941, Deutsche Grammophon (including Polydor) was purchased by Siemens & Halske. Polydor Records_sentence_16

Polydor became a popular music label in 1946, while the new Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft label became a classical music label in 1949. Polydor Records_sentence_17

The previously used label, Grammophon, was disbanded. Polydor Records_sentence_18

DGG gave, by an agreement dated 5 July 1949, an exclusive license from 1 July 1951 to use the Nipper-dog with gramophone to the original owner's company Electrola, the German branch of EMI. Polydor Records_sentence_19

(In Germany, it was impossible to sell the trademark without selling the company.) Polydor Records_sentence_20

Polydor remained Deutsche Grammophon's export label, including classical music, in France and the Spanish-speaking world for the remainder of the long-playing era, as a result of language and cultural concerns. Polydor Records_sentence_21

DGG established a subsidiary in London called Polydor Records Ltd. in 1954. Polydor Records_sentence_22

In the early 1960s, orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert signed unknowns Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers - who later became known as The Beatles—to Polydor. Polydor Records_sentence_23

Popular International entertainers such as James Last, Bert Kaempfert, Kurt Edelhagen, Caterina Valente and the Kessler Twins appeared on the Polydor label, as well as many French, Spanish and Latin-American figures. Polydor Records_sentence_24

Siemens entered into a joint venture with Philips in 1962 creating the Grammophon-Philips Group, of which Polydor became a subsidiary label. Polydor Records_sentence_25

Polydor opened a US branch in 1969 (in years prior, they licensed their catalogue to Atlantic Records), but did not become a real presence in the US record industry until its purchase of the recording contract and back catalogue of R&B performer James Brown in 1971, and the absorption of the MGM Records label by its parent company PolyGram in 1972. Polydor Records_sentence_26

In 1970, Polydor acquired the Hong Kong-based Diamond Records, which had been owned and founded by the local Portuguese merchant Ren da Silva in the late 1950s. Polydor Records_sentence_27

PolyGram Polydor Records_section_2

In 1972, The Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG) reorganized to create PolyGram. Polydor Records_sentence_28

The Polydor label continued to run as a subsidiary label under the new company. Polydor Records_sentence_29

The name PolyGram is a portmanteau of Polydor and PhonoGram. Polydor Records_sentence_30

Throughout the 1970s, Polydor became a major rock label, also releasing records by such platinum-selling acts as the Bee Gees and Gloria Gaynor. Polydor Records_sentence_31

Into the 1980s, Polydor continued to do respectable business, in spite of becoming increasingly overshadowed by its PolyGram sister label Mercury Records. Polydor Records_sentence_32

Polydor took over management of British Decca's pop catalogue. Polydor Records_sentence_33

A&R manager Frank Neilson was able to score a major top ten hit in March 1981 for the label with "Do The Hucklebuck" by Coast to Coast as well as signing Ian Dury and Billy Fury to the company. Polydor Records_sentence_34

In 1984, the company name was parodied in the rockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap (whose soundtrack album was distributed by Polydor), where "Polymer Records" was the band's record company. Polydor Records_sentence_35

By the early 1990s, Polydor had begun to underperform. Polydor Records_sentence_36

PolyGram subsequently trimmed most of Polydor's staff and roster, and shifted it to operate under the umbrella of PolyGram Label Group (PLG), a newly constructed "super label" specifically designed to oversee the operations of PolyGram's lesser performing imprints, which included Island Records, London Records, Atlas Records and Verve Records at the time. Polydor Records_sentence_37

In 1994, as Island Records recovered from its sales slump, PolyGram dissolved most of PLG into it. Polydor Records_sentence_38

Meanwhile, Polydor Records and Atlas Records merged, briefly called "Polydor/Atlas", and began operating through A&M Records, another PolyGram subsidiary. Polydor Records_sentence_39

In 1995, Polydor/Atlas became simply Polydor Records again. Polydor Records_sentence_40

Twilight years in the United States Polydor Records_section_3

Over the next few years, Polydor tried to keep itself afloat with new artist signings, new releases, and reissues, while still becoming more and more dormant. Polydor Records_sentence_41

In 1998, PolyGram was purchased by Seagram and absorbed into its Universal Music Group. Polydor Records_sentence_42

During the consolidation of these two music giants, Polydor's United States operations were folded into Interscope-Geffen-A&M and Universal Records, while its overseas branch remained intact, with its records continuing to be distributed domestically through Interscope and A&M. Polydor Records_sentence_43

Today, in North America, the Polydor Records name and logo is mostly used on reissues of older material from its 1960s and 1970s heyday. Polydor Records_sentence_44

Island Records handles the US distribution of most pre-1998 Polydor releases, including the reissues from the British Decca pop/rock collections. Polydor Records_sentence_45

Island's sister label Republic Records distributes reissues from James Brown and MGM Records. Polydor Records_sentence_46

However, starting in the 2010s, Interscope Records has been signing acts such as Azealia Banks and Lana Del Rey jointly to Polydor and its logo has been seen on both releases. Polydor Records_sentence_47

Polydor Nashville Polydor Records_section_4

Record producer Harold Shedd founded Polydor's Nashville, Tennessee, division in 1994, which specialized in country music. Polydor Records_sentence_48

Among the acts signed to Polydor Nashville were Shane Sutton, Tasha Harris, 4 Runner, the Moffatts, Chely Wright, Mark Luna, Clinton Gregory, Amie Comeaux, along with Toby Keith and Davis Daniel, who transferred from Mercury Nashville in 1994. Polydor Records_sentence_49

The Nashville division was renamed A&M Nashville in March 1996 and closed in September of the same year, as PolyGram consolidated all its Nashville operations under the Mercury name. Polydor Records_sentence_50

Today, Polydor, along with EMI Records in the UK and Australia and UMG itself in Canada distribute Lost Highway Records' albums in the Commonwealth realms. Polydor Records_sentence_51

Polydor UK Polydor Records_section_5

In 1972 the British Polydor Records Ltd. was renamed to Polydor Ltd. Polydor Records_sentence_52

In the early 1970s, the main source of income for the label was the successful UK band Slade as well as The New Seekers and The Who. Polydor Records_sentence_53

At the time, between the 1970s and 1980s, the Polydor/PolyGram Senior VP (who was originally the first head of their new [at the time] rock department) was Jerry Jaffe, who also signed acts such as Motörhead, Dexy's Midnight Runners, and the Jam. Polydor Records_sentence_54

He also interacted with many famous and successful artists while in that position, including Nick Lowe and John Lennon, as well as going on to work with groups such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and Saint Etienne the late 1980s and 1990s. Polydor Records_sentence_55

Later, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the label was also home to the Who and the Jam (as well as its successor act the Style Council). Polydor Records_sentence_56

Although Polydor's American branch is nearly inactive, in the United Kingdom Polydor remains one of the most prominent labels in the country—with artists such as Take That, Cheryl, Duffy, the Saturdays, Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding and Lawson. Polydor Records_sentence_57

Polydor also has a strong indie roster through the Fiction imprint with acts such as Ian Brown, Bright Eyes, Elbow, White Lies, the Maccabees, Kate Nash, Snow Patrol, Filthy Dukes, and Crystal Castles. Polydor Records_sentence_58

Polydor has also survived in Canada, becoming the home label for Drake. Polydor Records_sentence_59

It also acts as the UK label for American-based acts under Interscope-Geffen-A&M like Madonna, Eminem, the All-American Rejects, the Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Dr. Polydor Records_sentence_60 Dre, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, M.I.A. Polydor Records_sentence_61 , No Doubt, Sting and JoJo. Polydor Records_sentence_62

In 2006, Polydor launched Fascination Records, a music label dedicated to pop music. Polydor Records_sentence_63

Both Girls Aloud and Sophie Ellis-Bextor transferred to the new label and created groups such as the Saturdays and Girls Can't Catch. Polydor Records_sentence_64

Several pop acts from US label Hollywood Records, such as Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez & the Scene were also signed to Fascination. Polydor Records_sentence_65

In 2008, A&M Records UK was founded as an imprint of Polydor UK. Polydor Records_sentence_66

The same year Polydor obtained distribution of the Rolling Stones' back catalogue as well as new releases. Polydor Records_sentence_67

With the establishment of A&M Records UK, A&M Records' Canadian division became a separate entity for the first time since the formation of Universal Music Group. Polydor Records_sentence_68

Polydor, meanwhile, continued to distribute Interscope, Geffen and selected Lost Highway releases in Canada through Universal Music Canada, as it does to this day. Polydor Records_sentence_69

See also Polydor Records_section_6

Polydor Records_unordered_list_0


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