Island Records turns 50 (thanks to a little help from U2)

Monday, 15 June, 2009

A retrospective of Island Records, who are celebrating their 50th year of operation, and a story of a time when record companies and bands used to actually help each other out:

After Marley played his last concert in London in 1980, Blackwell was taken by the company’s PR guru, Rob Partridge, to a south London pub to see a young Irish band named U2. It would be unlikely to happen with today’s corporations, but Blackwell stuck with them until 1984, when The Unforgettable Fire propelled the group to global stardom. U2 returned the favour when the label was near collapse in 1986 by deferring millions in back royalties and fronting some more cash besides.

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From major to minor

Friday, 18 January, 2008

From major to minor.

I can’t say that I know of anyone who has spoken of making a CD purchase anytime recently.

IN 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. “That was the moment we realised the game was completely up,” says a person who was there.

While a lot of people having been saying for sometime that the record labels, as we know them, are on the way out, this article shows just how bleak the outlook is, especially for some of the people who have recently paid out large sums of money to buy record companies.

Can you believe someone paid $6.5 billion dollars to buy EMI last year? Good luck giving away those free CDs guys…

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