FFRR Records (sometimes credited as Full Frequency Range Recordings) is a dance music label originally founded by London Records in 1986, with A&R run by English DJ Pete Tong, from the start.[2] Originally a part of London Records' label roster, FFRR is currently a sublabel of Parlophone, a division of Warner Music Group. Its activities were mostly halted in the early 2000s, until the label was revived in 2011. Its catalog was sold off in 2017, but the label was revived a second time in 2021, this time with a new identity.

FFRR Records
Parent companyBecause Music/London Recordings (1986 catalogue)
Warner Music Group (label and 2011 catalogue)
Founded1986 (original)
2011 (current)[1]
FounderPete Tong
Distributor(s)Virgin Music (1986 catalogue)
Parlophone Records
(in the UK)
Warner Records
(in the US)
Warner Music Group
(outside the UK and the US)
Rhino Entertainment Company (re-issues)
(2011 catalogue)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Official websitehttp://www.ffrrecords.com

The original incarnation of FFRR was founded in 1986, and also had two subsidiaries: Double F Double R Records and Ffrreedom Records.[2] The first singles from the label were UK releases of three Run-DMC singles in 1986,[3] but the tone for the label's initial run was set by their A&R man Pete Tong's project, the compilation "The House Sound of Chicago III", which saw the comp series move from London Records.

Early artist releases on the label reflected the Dance genre, which then included Hip-Hop, blending together the 80s pop of Bananarama and Sabrina with US hip-hop and hip-house groups like Salt n' Pepa and Ultramagnetic MCs. Alongside these mostly singles-releases, a string of genre-defining compilations showcasing scenes like Chicago House music[4] and the Baleraric[5] sounds from Ibiza's dancefloors. As the label's profile grew, its label-branded compilations (with the iconic ear logo on the cover) became more notable - The Silver on Black (1989),[6] Gold on Black (1990)[7] and Platinum on Black (1993)[8] showcased the wide roster of the label, and describe how it changed over time.

Orbital are probably the most notable artists that started on the label. FFRR released their records, from their eponymous debut album in 1991, to 2001's The Altogether, and the singles around and between them.

Other labels edit

Double F Double R was a short-lived pop/trance music imprint that released a handful of titles between 2001 and 2003.[9]

Ffrreedom was a sister-label that released mostly singles with more of a pop-dance bent.[10]

Internal was a sub-label run by Christian Tattersfield, which released an eclectic mix of more upscale and underground offerings, including singles by UK techno act The Advent, some of Orbital's releases, cuts by CJ Bolland, Hardcore rave pioneers Genaside II, Todd Edwards and others.[11]

The label collaborated with smaller labels on their major releases. Notable examples include Metalheadz' 1995 release of Goldie's debut album Timeless and the 1996 compilation Platinum Breakz, a compilation which importantly introduced a larger shift in Drum n' Bass from the more hectic post-Jungle sound of running breakbeat samples to the more precise and surgical sound often named Tech-Step.[12]

When Mo-Wax published its biggest record to date, DJ Shadow's Endtroducing, the record was co-branded with FFRR, and FFRR handled many of Mo-Wax' US releases.

It also handled international versions for Andrew Weatherall's Sabres of Paradise label.

Brand edit

The logo is considerably older than the label. The iconic ear logo first appeared on labels of records released on London Records in the late 1940s,[13] to denote that those records had been recording with Decca's Full Frequency Range Recording process. Decca founded the first London Records in the 1940s, and London Records founded FFRR in 1986. As such the name is self-referential, the technology it references was developed by Arthur Haddy and Kenneth Wilkinson at Decca Records.[14][15]

The technology was initially developed for submarine hunting during WWII, but was soon applied to the Decca's recordings. This technology advancement was hugely influential, as it moved the record industry from the grainy, tinny sound people associate with pre-WWII recordings to the clear sound people take for granted today. [16]

In 2021, the label was re-branded, with the ear replaced by a simple word-mark logo, "ffrr" written in lower-case sans-serif, inside a circle. The new brand was designed by Graphic Designer and music producer Trevor Jackson, also known by his moniker Playgroup.[17]

Company edit

FFRR's parent company London was run by Roger Ames[18][19][20][21] as his own 'semi-autonomous indie' from within the major label group PolyGram, so when Ames joined Warner Music as Chair and CEO in 1999, London/FFRR moved to Warner with him. Releases continued through to 2001, slowing to a trickle in 2002-3, and from there until 2011, only sporadic compilations and re-issues were released with the label.

In 2011, Pete Tong and Warner revived FFRR, and put the label under the Parlophone umbrella when the latter acquired that label in 2013. In 2017, Warner Music sold London Recordings post-1979 catalogue and with it FFRR's 1986 catalogue to Because Music.

In 2019, the label was taken over by Andy Daniell, formally of Defected Records and got a relaunch in 2021 with a new updated logo created in association with designer Trevor Jackson.[22][23][24][25][26] The first releases under this new brand identity will be DJ Morgan Geist's Storm Queen project with "For A Fool" and the "Loving Touch EP" from Burns.

Artists edit

Former artists edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Pete Tong Teams With Warner U.K. To Relaunch FFRR Label". Billboard.com. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 118. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  3. ^ "FFRR". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  4. ^ Various - The House Sound Of Chicago - Vol. III - Acid Tracks, 1987, retrieved 19 June 2023
  5. ^ Various - Balearic Beats (The Album Vol 1), 19 September 1988, retrieved 19 June 2023
  6. ^ Various - FFRR - Silver On Black, 1989, retrieved 19 June 2023
  7. ^ Various - FFRR – Gold On Black 1990, 1990, retrieved 19 June 2023
  8. ^ Various - Platinum On Black, 1993, retrieved 19 June 2023
  9. ^ "Double F Double R". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Ffrreedom". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Internal". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  12. ^ Weinel, Jonathan (1 February 2018). Inner Sound: Altered States of Consciousness in Electronic Music and Audio-Visual Media. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-067120-4.
  13. ^ Stanley Black And His Orchestra - Musical Comedy Favorites, 1949, retrieved 19 June 2023
  14. ^ "Image of arthur haddy, english electronics engineer, c 1970s by Science & Society Picture Library". www.scienceandsociety.co.uk. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  15. ^ "The London Records Story". bsnpubs.com. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  16. ^ "In the garden of Deram". Record Collector Magazine.
  17. ^ "Trevor Jackson - FFRR –". www.trevor-jackson.com. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  18. ^ "'A&R gurus like in the old days? That's not the way the world is going now.'". Musicbusinessworldwide.com. 13 December 2019.
  19. ^ "The Music Man". Forbes.com.
  20. ^ "Ames, Ex-Chief at Warner Music, Quits Adviser Role". Wall Street Journal. 30 August 2004.
  21. ^ "Warner Music reins to Ames". Variety.com. 16 August 1999.
  22. ^ "FFRR rebrands, aims to become 'No.1 home for electronic artists in the UK'". Musicweek.com.
  23. ^ "Trevor Jackson". Designmcr.com.
  24. ^ "Interview: Trevor Jackson on Being a Career Renaissance Man". Highsnobiety.com. 17 May 2018.
  25. ^ ""We all need to spend more time looking beyond the surface": Trevor Jackson on 30 years of creativity". Itsnicethat.com. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Trevor Jackson - Design Museum – Spirit of Rave". Trevor-jackson.com.
  27. ^ "David Guetta returns to FFRR to drop summer bomb 'Family Affair (Dance for Me)' this Friday". 11 July 2022.
  28. ^ "David Guetta drops nostalgic heater 'Family Affair (Dance for Me)'". 15 July 2022.
  29. ^ "David Guetta Returns to FFRR / Warner Music with 'Family Affair (Dance for Me)'". 15 July 2022.
  30. ^ "David Guetta returns to FFRR / Warner Music with brand-new dancefloor smash 'Family Affair (Dance for Me)'". 15 July 2022.
  31. ^ "FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com.
  32. ^ "NIGHTCRAWLERS | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  33. ^ "ONE DOVE | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com.
  34. ^ "Shakespears Sister | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com. 29 July 1989. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  35. ^ "Together - Hardcore Uproar (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2 March 2013.