|UserSoundoffs 32Album Ratings 1018Objectivity 54%Last Active 02-09-15 12:20 pmJoined 05-13-11Forum Posts 4Review Comments 1,145
|Record Labels: A Brief History|
More recently I've found loads of great new artists who haven't necessarily broken through to a wider audience simply by checking out the label mates of those who have. This is just a short list featuring some of the more impactful record labels...
Kind of Blue
COLUMBIA (1888): One of the biggest record labels around released a number of cornerstone jazz albums from the likes of Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra as well as Bob Dylan's discography.
PARLOPHONE (1896): Another major record label, parlophone released practically the whole Beatles discography as well as some of Radiohead's classics. Kraftwerk, Gorillaz and Coldplay have also released with them.
POLYDOR (1924): Achieved major success with Slade, The Who and The Jam (as well as Style Council later on)
|4||The Beach Boys|
CAPITOL (1942): Another one that is still going strong today as a major label, they released records from The Beach Boys, Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Led Zeppelin IV
ATLANTIC (1947): Released a lot of blues and jazz records but most well known due the success of Led Zeppelin as well as Yes and Cream.
ELEKTRA (1950): Home to some of America's most treasured bands; The Doors and The Stooges Elektra also released records from many other great artists including Tim Buckley.
|7||The Velvet Underground|
The Velvet Underground & Nico
VERVE (1956): Rose to prominence through Ella Fitzgerald and was propelled to even greater heights by the success of The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa.
UNITED ARTISTS (1957): Home to many of krautrocks major stars including Can and Amon Duul II they also released albums from The Buzzcocks.
In the Court of the Crimson King
ISLAND (1959): Still going strong today with many top pop acts including U2 Island also released classics from King Crimson, Nick Drake, Jethro Tull and Brian Eno.
What's Going On
MOTOWN (1959): Hugely successful and influential label, Motown released a number of great albums from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5. They had some fairly recent success with Erykah Badu.
A Love Supreme
IMPULSE! (1960): Released a variety of Jazz albums from John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Pharoah Sanders and Ray Charles. Most of my favourite Jazz came from this label.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
MCA (1967): Had some major success with Elton John, Neil Diamond and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Remain in Light
SIRE (1966): Released influential albums from Talking Heads, The Undertones and Ramones. Influenced a number of sub genres of rock music.
The Dark Side of the Moon
HARVEST (1969): Some of the biggest selling bands of all time came from Harvest, including Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and Deep Purple. Classic stuff.
This Nation's Saving Grace
BEGGARS BANQUET (1973): Became the all encompassing Beggars Banquet Group, but the original label released great records itself from artists such as The Fall, The National and St. Vincent.
FACTORY (1978): Influencing not only music but how record labels should be run, Factory becomes more infamous as time goes on. The in house production team provided the foundation for Joy Division, New Order and The Durutti Column.
MUTE (1978): Released most of Depeche Mode's discography and is the home of artists such as Goldfrapp, Liars and now Swans.
The Queen Is Dead
ROUGH TRADE (1978): Famous worldwide for it's shops as well as it's artists which include The Smiths, The Strokes and Pantha du Prince.
SST (1978): Another key label formed in 78' SST was the birth place of many key indie bands including Sonic Youth, Husker Du and Dinosaur Jr.
4AD (1979): Still as strong as ever, 4AD has been releasing great records for a long time. Pixies, Deerhunter, Cocteau Twins, Bon Iver, Dead Can Dance, Red House Painters and St. Vincent are among the alumni.
|21||The Jesus Lizard|
TOUCH AND GO (1981): Some oddball indie from The Jesus Lizard, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Butthole Surfers and TV on the Radio.
The Glow Pt. 2
K (1982): Some of indie's finest from Modest Mouse, Beck, The Microphones and Mount Eerie.
|23||My Bloody Valentine|
CREATION (1983): Although they are perhaps best known for signing Oasis and putting out their two best records, Creation as perhaps had a longer lasting impact on the genre shoegaze. Most of the key artists released albums such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride.
ONE LITTLE INDIAN (1985): An eclectic mix of artists (Bjork, The Shamen, Chumbawumba...)
SUB POP (1986): Influential grunge label that now releases albums from the likes of Fleet Foxes, Beach House and The Shins.
|26||The Field Mice|
I Can See Myself Alone Forever
SARAH (1987): Everyone recognises the brand but how many people know the music? Great for indie pop (The Orchids, The Field Mice, East River Pipe etc)
Slanted & Enchanted
MATADOR (1989): Loads of great records from Pavement, Interpol, Iceage and Mogwai (amongst others).
|28||Neutral Milk Hotel|
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
MERGE (1989): Had it's biggest success with Arcade Fire whilst still retaining crediblilty. Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Dinosaur Jr, and The Magnetic Fields have all released great albums on this label.
|29||Boards of Canada|
Music Has The Right To Children
WARP (1989): The biggest player in electronic music as well as being at the cutting edge of it. Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada and Flying Lotus have all releasd some of the best electronic music ever.
Modern Vampires of the City
XL (1989): Many acclaimed, popular acts reside on this label including Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Sigur Ros, The Horrors and The xx.
NINJA TUNE (1990): Another legendary electronic label releasing music from Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Actress and Kelis amongst others.
RELAPSE (1990): Great metal label still going strong today with acts like Baroness, Tombs and Nothing.
DEATH ROW (1991): Highly influential Hip-Hop label releasing some of the best known albums from Dr. Dre, 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.
Leaves Turn Inside You
KILL ROCK STARS (1991): Both Unwound and Elliott Smith released their best work on this label. Acts like Xiu Xiu are continuing the stream of high quality releases.
FAT POSSUM (1992): Releasing albums from some major artists (The Black Keys, El-P...) as well as modern indie bands such as Yuck and Wavves.
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
LOUD (1992): Released classics from Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon, GZA and Mobb Deep. Twista and Three 6 Mafia were also on the legendary label.
CANDLELIGHT (1993): Signed Opeth and released albums from Emperor and many other great metal bands.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
DOMINO (1993): One of the most prolific and consistent modern indie labels. Domino houses Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, Hot Chip and Julia Holter.
Harmony in Ultraviolet
KRANKY (1993): Where Deerhunter started out and where Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza currently reside. Oh and ambient pioneers Stars of the Lid and Tim Hecker are also on the label.
METALHEADZ (1994): One of the most revered labels in the UK dance music scene. Goldie, Photek and Dillinja amongst others carved the future for Drum & Bass as well as influencing both garage and Dubstep producers.
The Marshall Mathers LP
AFTERMATH (1996): Probably the most successful rap label due to the huge success of Eminem, 50 Cent, the Game and Dr. Dre. The legacy continues with Kendrick Lamar...
For Emma, Forever Ago
JAGJAGUWAR (1996): Some great indie records have emerged from Jagjaguwar from Bon Iver, Women, Foxygen and Angel Olsen. Many of their albums are distributed by 4AD in the UK.
|43||The War on Drugs|
Lost in the Dream
SECRETLY CANADIAN (1996): Continues to grow into this decade, the label has released a number of great records already from Major Lazer, The War on Drugs and Yeasayer.
STONES THROW (1996): The most influential left field Hip-Hop label ever. The brand is now extremely well known after the success of MF Doom, Madlib and J Dilla.
|45||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...
CONSTELLATION (1997): Many of Canada's greatest artists release through Constellation. Godspeed, Colin Stetson, Thee Silver Mount Zion, Ought... One of the great modern labels.
Since I Left You
MODULAR (1998): Australia's answer. Released a classic exercise in sampling from the Avalanches and is now home to some of Australia's top imports; Tame Impala and Wolfmother.
Monoliths and Dimensions
SOUTHERN LORD (1998): Some of the best modern metal is coming from this label from Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die and Sunn.
Here and Nowhere Else
CARPARK (1999): Great modern indie label releasing albums from Cloud Nothings, Toro y Moi and Beach House.
DEATHWISH (1999): Formed by Converge frontman, Deathwish is now one of the premier metal labels releasing some of the best albums of the decade so far.
FRENCHKISS (1999): Great indie pop label with artists such as The Antlers, Passion Pit and Bloc Party.
MODERN LOVE (2002): Physical heavy house, techno drum & bass music. Releasing some of the most forward thinking dance music around at the moment from Andy Stott, Deepchord and Miles Whittaker.
The Idiots Are Winning
BORDER COMMUNITY (2004): Oddball electronic releases heavily influenced by the pioneers from Warp. Some great futuristic stuff from James Holden, Nathan Fake and Luke Abbott.
HYPERDUB (2004): One of the most influential modern labels once the foundation of Dubstep and now much more as well. Kode9, Cooly G, The Bug, Laurel Halo and Zomby have all released and many more are associated. Look out for the 10 year anniversary albums this year.
PROFOUND LORE (2004): Great mix of metal sub genres with quality artists such as Agalloch, Altar of Plagues and Pallbearer.
KEYSOUND (2005): Emerging as one of the best electronic dance labels around. Innovative urban sounds from the likes of Dusk & Blackdown, Logos and Wen.
FOOL'S GOLD (2007): Genres range from indie to dance to Hip-hop. Danny Brown, Killer Mike and El-P have released some of the best hip-hop albums this decade off Fool's Gold.
For Lack of a Better Name
MAU5TRAP (2007): Deserves a mention for the success achieved by artists like Deadmau5 and Skirllex over such a short period of time. Waning a little now though
BRAINFEEDER (2008): Run by Flying Lotus for fans of his melding of Jazz, Hip-Hop and Electronica. Artists like Thundercat and Gaslamp Killer are consistently releasing great stuff.
THE FLENSER (2009): Some of the most interesting stuff I've heard recently is coming from The Flenser. Have a Nice Life combine metal and shoegaze for a fairly accessible sound, whilst noise artists like White Suns make some of the most abrasive music I've heard.
|60||The Haxan Cloak|
TRI ANGLE (2010): Some brilliantly produced, organic sounding electronic productions. The Haxan Cloak, Forest Swords, Clams Casino and Evian Christ lead the way.
|List is in order of the label's formation. obviously I will have missed some, give me recs..|
|sweet list man.|
|Not seen too many lists on this topic so thought it would be interesting|
|yeah it is, ive been planning on doing a list about current british record labels and the bands on them but havent got round to it yet. this was a very interesting read though, well done|
|Sweeeet list, deserves a feature|
|No Rise Records no list|
|"No Rise Records no list"|
yeah a label that releases predominately generic metalcore and post-hardcore is so essential to this list
|It wasn't a serious comment|
|"It wasn't a serious comment"|
that wasnt exactly very clear, its the internet, there was no way of telling that "No Rise Records no list" wasnt serious
|Nice list--Verve is amazingly consistent in quality.|
|Anyone heard Hiss Tracts - Shortwave Nights yet? Another great one coming from Constellation |
|I apologize for not making it obvious, I'll put a disclaimer before my next sarcastic comment in order to clarify|
|"There are plenty of good bands on Rise. Unless you think your too "elite" to listen to them."|
id disagree with "plenty" but i said "predominately" decay. i like a fair few bands on Rise, i just find that for the most part, they sign really generic bands
|sweet list (non sarcastic) |
|but seriously this needs a feature|
|Yeah, there's a couple decent bands on rise, but they're such an easy thing to poke fun at for their numerous recycled bands|
|sacred bones has been the best label of recent|
|Yeah some great stuff, their compilations are really good. Also, anything associated with David Lynch will be good|
|Quote Unquote is a great record label - the world's first ever donation-based label. founded by Arrogant Sons of Bitches frontman Jeff Rosenstock, Quote Unquote was originally just a label for Rosenstock's solo project, Bomb the Music Industry!. However, Rosenstock expanded to include acts as varied as Chotto Ghetto, Cheap Girls, and Chewing on Tinfoil.|
|blue note all da way|
|Blackest Ever Black and Livity Sound are more great electronic labels|
|yea blue note and hydra head|
|Holy Roar are pretty sick|
|Rhymesayers as well|
|Anybody heard much from 26. Not many people seem to despite its notoriety |
|This list is seriously comprehensive.|
|to a point|
|Elephant 6 is pretty interesting, although not a record label (I don't think)|
|Could use Dischord and Third Man |
|New Wreck & Reference album off 59 sounds like it will be amazing|
|omg no Dischord list is void|
|Haven't heard much from them apart from Fugazi and Void. Will go and do some listening. Also, can't believe SubRosa off |
54 didn't get more attention last year, amazing record
|subrosa got so much attention what sheltered world are you living in|
|Not saying they got no attention, just thought they would blow up a bit more |
|Just heard that Matana Roberts album off 45. One of the better modern jazz albums i've heard|
|Erased Tapes man! Neoclassical music mostly, with the likes of Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds there|
|I've heard quite of their artists but never knew they were on the same label, good to know. Also Broken Flag Records if anyone's into Power Electronics.|
|Chess Records RIP.|
|big fan of|
secretly canadian &
tooth and nail
|Durutti Column off Factory records are another recent discovery. Madeleine is such a chilled instrumental.|
|Feature? Hopefully get some more good recs over the next few days|
|yeah this needs a feature. post in the meds thread on the forums|
|nvm I'll do it for ya|
|Cheers, there's not too many discussions on record labels and its good to educate and be educated on the subject|
|great list. if you are gonna mention electro / house you should probably have Anjunabeats / Anjunadeep in there|
|Epic, Interscope, Dischord, Roadrunner, Earache, Profile, American, Warner Bros, and CASH MONEY |
|heck yea bro fantastic list|
|Burial fans should check out DMZ and Ringo Records. Classic dub step from Loefah, Digital Mystikz etc|
|Roadrunner . Also surprised this isn't on here.|
|cool list wheres interscope|
|Hydra Head (critical miss), Season of Mist, Mercury, Sargent House, Neurot Recordings (another crit miss), Translation Loss|
|neurot's pretty niche and so is trans loss - list's for more impactful labels|
sargent house is missed too tho
|list needs Revelation and Hyrda Head. Good list though|
|@Relinquished yeah I just put Translation Loss there because it's one of my faves, but Neurot should be here. I recommend watching Blood, Sweat and Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century, which focuses on Hydra Head, Constellation, and Neurot Recordings (can be found on Youtube). It gives great insight into all 3 labels.|
|kewl list. sst forever. and dischord|
|thing is neurot's more niche at the moment and they hopefully will grow in time but they haven't made much of an impact (not their priority) as much as the labels on here|
|Level Plane Records|
|never paid too much attention to record labels tbh. very helpful list. :]|
|Incredibly pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of 21 (Album and label)|
another shoutout for Sst
|Impulse has nice records. You should've put Blue Note on the list. Classic jazz albums on that label.|
|Ipecac Records deserves an honorable mention.|
|good list. didn't know Ray Charles recorded for Impulse.|
|best record label is sepulchral productions, all their stuff is sweet.|
|Very nice list. Great to see stuff like Modern Love on here.|
You're missing quite a few goodies (Dischord, yeah...) but can't include them all.
|Reprise Records would've been a nice addition, and most the bands I like currently come from Hopeless Records|
|who could forget Roadrunner Records?|
thank god there's no Fueled by Ramen
|"One of the most influential modern labels once the foundation of Dubstep "|
Never tell Kode9 this
|Your description for Island Records pisses me off. It's was a Jamaican music label - reggae, ska, etc. - at the start.|
|yo where the fuck is dischord|
|Does anybody know where you can buy or download Kleistwahr's releases off Broken Flag Records. Can't find them..|
|The German label Prophecy Productions and it's sub-labels (Lupus Lounge and Auerbach Tonträger) have collectively released some great music.|
Prophecy Productions -- Alcest, Amber Asylum, Dornenreich, Empyrium, Les Discrets, Nucleus Torn, Tenhi
Lupus Lounge -- A Forest of Stars, Lantlôs, Negura Bunget, Nhor
Auerbach Tonträger -- Neun Welten, Sol Invictus, Vàli
|Great list btw|
|Loving The Flenser atm, anybody know any more experimental metal/noise labels?|
|No Geffen or Heavenly?|
|One of the best lists I have seen on this site, ever.|
|For some Avant-Garde stuff Sub Rosa is pretty good, their 'An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music' series is amazing (the 7th one in particular)|
|PAN and Editions Mego for experimental electronic, may need to add some of it to the database. |
|Arctic Monkeys are Domino not the one you've included.|
Sub Pop didn't release Nevermind, I believe it was Geffen.
I'm just being a dick though, cool list!
|Century Media (late '80s)|
|Kinda forgot about Victory Records?|
|I'm of the opinion that Epitaph needs representation here. Epitaph was a driving force in the revival |
of punk in the late 80's and the rapid spread of pop-punk in the 90's, and is also the label upon
which the best-selling indie record of all time ('Smash', by The Offspring) was released.
|Mister Saturday Night Records |
|Cool article. |
Personally I'm a big fan of Sepulchral productions and I, Voidhanger. But those are rather small compared to other labels on here.
|37 and 54 are legit|
|This is a great list. Saving this on my bookmark bar so if I need to hear more artists I can look at this for guidance. Well done!|