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Parlophone Records Limited (also known as Parlophone Records or just simply Parlophone) is a German-British record label founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch of the company was founded in 8 August 1923 as The Parlophone Company Limited (The Parlophone Co. Ltd.), which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a jazz record label. On 5 October 1926, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired Parlophone's business, name, logo, and release library, and merged with the Gramophone Company on 31 March 1931 to become Electric & Musical Industries Limited (EMI). George Martin joined EMI in 1950 as assistant label manager, taking over as manager in 1955. Martin produced and released a mix of product, including comedy recordings of the Goons, pianist Mrs Mills, and teen idol Adam Faith.
|Parlophone Records Ltd.|
|Founded||1896Carl Lindström Company until 1926)(as Parlophon Parlograph Company) (subsidiary of the|
(In the UK/Most of Europe)
Warner Bros. Records
(In the US)
(Outside the UK/Europe and the US)
Rhino Entertainment Company (re-issues)
|Country of origin||Germany|
In 1962, Martin signed the Beatles, at the time a struggling rock band from Liverpool. During the 1960s, when Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer, the Fourmost, and the Hollies also signed, Parlophone became one of the world's most famous labels. For several years, Parlophone claimed the best-selling UK single, "She Loves You", and the best-selling UK album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, both by the Beatles. The label placed seven singles at No. 1 during 1964, when it claimed top spot on the UK Albums Chart for 40 weeks. Parlophone continued as a division of EMI until it was merged into the Gramophone Co. on 1 July 1965. On 1 July 1973, the Gramophone Co. was renamed EMI Records Limited.
On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group (UMG)'s planned acquisition of EMI on condition that its EMI Records group would be divested from the combined group. EMI Records Ltd. included Parlophone and other labels to be divested and were for a short time operated in a single entity known as the Parlophone Label Group (PLG), while UMG pended their sale. Warner Music Group (WMG) acquired Parlophone and PLG in 7 February 2013, making Parlophone their third flagship label alongside Warner Bros. and Atlantic. PLG was renamed Parlophone Records Limited in May 2013. Parlophone is the oldest of WMG's "flagship" record labels.
Parlophone was founded "Parlophon" by Carl Lindström Company in 1896. The name Parlophon was used for gramophones before the company began making records of their own. The label's ₤ trademark is a German L that stands for Lindström. (It coincidentally resembles the British pound sign £, which itself is derived from the letter L for the Ancient Roman unit of measurement libra, which means pound in Latin.) On 8 August 1923, the British branch of "Parlophone" (with the "e" added) was established, led by artists and repertoire manager Oscar Preuss. In its early years, Parlophone established itself as a leading jazz label in Britain.
EMI years and initial successEdit
In 1927, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired a controlling interest in the Carl Lindström Company, including Parlophone. Parlophone became a subsidiary of Electric & Musical Industries (EMI), after Columbia Graphophone merged with the Gramophone Company in 1931.
In 1950, Oscar Preuss hired record producer George Martin as his assistant. When Preuss retired in 1955, Martin succeeded him as Parlophone's manager. Parlophone specialized in mainly classical music, cast recordings, and regional British music.  Musicians signed to the labels include Humphrey Lyttelton and the Vipers Skiffle Group.
One of the label's consistently successful acts was teen idol Adam Faith, who was signed to the label in 1959. The label gained significant popularity in 1962 when Martin signed the Liverpool band the Beatles. Parlophone gained more attention after signing the Hollies, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 1960s. Martin left to form Associated Independent Recording (AIR) Studios in 1965.
Parlophone became dormant in 1973 when most of EMI's heritage labels were phased out in favor of EMI. Parlophone was revived in 1980. During the next decades the label signed Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Roxette, Radiohead, Supergrass, Guy Berryman, the Chemical Brothers, Blur, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn, Conor Maynard, Gabrielle Aplin, and Gorillaz.
EMI merging with UMG and WMG acquisitionEdit
On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of Parlophone's parent group EMI for £1.2 billion, subject to conditions imposed by the European Commission requiring that UMG sell off a number of labels, including Parlophone itself (aside from the Beatles' catalogue, which was kept by UMG and moved to Universal's newly formed Calderstone Productions), Chrysalis, Ensign, Virgin Classics, EMI Classics, and EMI's operations in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. These labels and catalogues were operated independently from Universal as Parlophone Label Group to prepare for a transaction early in 2013. UMG received several offers for PLG, including those from Island founder Chris Blackwell, Simon Fuller, a Sony/BMG consortium, Warner Music Group, and MacAndrews & Forbes.
On 7 February 2013, it was confirmed that Warner Music Group would acquire Parlophone Label Group for US$765 million. The deal was approved in May 2013 by the European Union, which saw no concerns about the deal because of WMG's smaller reach compared to the merged UMG and Sony. Warner Music closed the deal on July 1. Parlophone Label Group was the old EMI Records company that included both the Parlophone and the eponymous EMI labels. The EMI name was retained by Universal (as Virgin EMI Records) while the old EMI Records was renamed Parlophone Records.
Soon after acquiring Parlophone, WMG signed an agreement with IMPALA and the Merlin Network (two groups which opposed the EMI/Universal deal) to divest $200 million worth of artists to independent labels in order to help offset the consolidation triggered by the merger. In April 2016, the back catalogue of British rock band Radiohead, who had sued Parlophone and EMI over a dispute in music royalties, was transferred to XL Recordings.
WMG treats Parlophone as its third "frontline" label group with Atlantic and Warner Bros.. In the US, most of Parlophone's artists are now distributed under Warner Bros. Coldplay and Tinie Tempah are distributed under Atlantic, and David Guetta is distributed under Atlantic's electronic music imprint Big Beat.
Parlophone released the Beatles' albums up to Magical Mystery Tour. Subsequent releases – The Beatles (the White Album), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be – were issued on the Beatles' Apple record label, distributed by EMI, and bearing Parlophone catalogue numbers.
The Beatles deal is one of the cheapest made by Parlophone. Companies used the Beatles' name for a range of products, from T-shirts to hairspray. Their early songs were used in many commercials without permission. The Beatles owned 49% of the company shares, therefore only owning 49% of their songs, which was not enough to buy back the songs from the company.
Despite the separation of Parlophone from EMI as a condition of EMI's acquisition by UMG, Universal was allowed to keep the Beatles' recorded music catalogue, which was assigned to the subsidiary Calderstone Productions.
Parlophone's current roster includes Gabrielle Aplin, Sarah Close, Coldplay, David Guetta, Gorillaz, Blur, Kraftwerk and Conor Maynard. Its contemporary HMV was more of a classical music label and ceased issuing popular music recordings in 1967; later known as EMI Classics, it was absorbed into Warner Classics in 2013; English Columbia was replaced by the EMI pop label. Parlophone also operates Regal, a contemporary revival of the historic Columbia Graphophone budget/reissue label founded in 1914.
Because Parlophone absorbed the catalogues of EMI, Columbia Graphophone Company, His Master's Voice, and other labels the former EMI Records company owned, with new reissues bearing the Parlophone label, only artists whose recordings were originally issued by Parlophone are listed here.
- Damon Albarn
- Pablo Alboran
- Alice in Chains (Parlophone distributed the band's 2009 album "Black Gives Way to Blue" in the UK. As of today, the album is controlled by Virgin Records.)
- All Saints
- Lily Allen
- Gabrielle Aplin
- Athlete (The band's entire back catalogue is now controlled by Chrysalis Records and Kobalt.)
- John Barry Seven
- Bat for Lashes
- The Beatles (The band's entire back catalogue is now handled by Calderstone Productions and Apple Records. Both labels are distributed via the Universal Music Group. Capitol Music Group, a Universal Music subsidiary, serves at times for the distribution of the Beatles' back catalogue in North-America, much like for the U.S. Albums box-set released in 2014.)
- Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers
- Cilla Black
- Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
- The Chemical Brothers (The duo's back catalogue is now handled by Virgin EMI in Europe and Japan and Astralwerks in North-America. Both labels are Universal Music Group subsidaries.)
- Chiddy Bang
- Sarah Close
- Joe Cocker
- Graham Coxon
- Bernard Cribbins
- Jim Dale
- Danger Mouse (Parlophone Records Ltd. only handles two of Brian Burton's past releases : the 2010 collaboration album with Sparklehorse, "Dark Night of The Soul" and the 2011 collaboration album with Daniele Luppi, "Rome". Both of these albums were originally released under Parlophone/EMI.)
- Deep Purple
- Dinosaur Pile-Up
- Dirty Vegas
- Divine Comedy
- Eliza Doolittle
- Duran Duran
- Idris Elba
- Adam Faith
- Shane Fenton
- Sky Ferreira (Parlophone/EMI distributed Ferreira's 2011 single "One". As of today, the single's is now published and distributed via Virgin Records.)
- Shane Filan
- Flanders & Swann
- The Fourmost
- Gesaffelstein (Parlophone and Warner Music France distributed Gesaffelstein's 2013 debut album, "Aleph". However, his 2019 sophomore release, "Hyperion", was released via Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment.)
- The Good Natured
- The Good, the Bad and the Queen
- The Goons
- David Guetta
- George Harrison (Harrison's entire back catalogue is now controlled by Dark Horse Records and Apple Records. Both labels are distributed via the Universal Music Group.)
- Richard Hawley
- Heroes del Silencio
- Becky Hill
- The Hollies
- Interpol (Parlophone/EMI distributed in the UK & Europe three singles taken from the band's 2007 album "Our Love to Admire" : "Mammoth", "The Heinrich Maneuver" and "No I in Threesome". As of today, the album is currently published and distributed through Capitol Records, an Universal Music Group subsidiary.)
- Iron Maiden (Whereas the band's back catalogue is solely handled by Parlophone and Warner Music Group worldwide, Sanctuary Records and BMG are responsible for the handling of the Iron Maiden releases only in North-America.)
- Thomas Jack
- Dick James
- Georgi Kay
- Keith Kelly
- The King Brothers
- Beverley Knight
- Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas
- Kay Kyser
- Late of the Pier
- John Lennon (Lennon's entire back catalogue is now controlled by Calderstone Productions and Apple Records. Both labels are distributed via the Universal Music Group.)
- Bobby Lewis
- Laurie London
- Bonnie Lou
- Love Sculpture
- Humphrey Lyttelton
- Matrix & Futurebound
- Conor Maynard
- Paul McCartney (McCartney's entire back catalogue -including both his solo and Wings releases- is currently controlled by MPL Communications and Capitol Records. Both labels are distributed via the Universal Music Group.)
- Kylie Minogue (Parlophone Ltd. and Warner Bros. Records currently control and distribute worldwide all of Minogue's albums originally published between 2000 and 2015, originally published under Parlophone/EMI. Her 2018 fourteenth studio album, "Golden", was published on BMG.)
- Matt Monro
- Morrissey (All albums originally released from 1988 -"Viva Hate"- to 1995 -"Southpaw Grammar"- are currently controlled by Parlophone and Warner Music. Morrissey has since changed many times of record labels over the course of his career. -see Discography-)
- The Paramounts
- Morning Parade
- Mrs Mills
- Bob and Alf Pearson
- Pet Shop Boys (Since the 2013 release of their twelfth studio album, "Electric", the Pet Shop Boys left Parlophone/EMI and currently release new material on the independent vanity label x2, a Kobalt Label Services subsidiary. However, Parlophone and Warner Music still control the duo's back catalogue that was originally released from 1986 until 2012 under Parlophone/EMI.)
- Duffy Power
- Queen (catalogue controlled by Hollywood Records in North America since 1991) (Island Records outside the US and Canada since 2010, formerly distributed by EMI)
- Queen + Paul Rodgers (catalogue controlled by Island) (outside the US and Canada)
- Radiohead (As of 2016, the band's entire back catalogue is now controlled by XL Recordings, a Beggars Group subsidiary.)
- Rainbow Ffolly
- Rat Boy
- Sigur Rós (All of the albums distributed via Parlophone/EMI between 2007 and 2013 are currently controlled by Parlophone and Warner Music. However, all of the band's other releases are handled by Krúnk -Sigur Rós' vanity label- and distributed XL Recordings.)
- Saint Motel
- Mike Sarne
- Scarlet Party
- Peter Sellers (Sellers' releases with Parlophone are now distributed via Hallmark Music & Entertainment.)
- Luke Sital-Singh
- Belouis Some
- Spandau Ballet
- Dusty Springfield
- Dorothy Squires
- Stereophonics (As of 2017, the band's only output with Parlophone/Warner Music is their tenth album "Scream Above the Sounds".)
- Supergrass (The band's entire back catalogue is now controlled by BMG and the Echo label.)
- Talk Talk
- Vince Taylor
- Tinie Tempah
- The Temperance Seven
- Bobby Tench
- Teresa Teng
- Gyllene Tider
- Tina Turner
- Two Door Cinema Club
- The Verve (Parlophone/EMI distributed the band's 2008 album "Forth" in the UK. As of today, the album is controlled by Virgin Records.)
- Vipers Skiffle Group
- Otis Waygood
- Keith West
- Paul Weller (Paul Weller joined the Parlophone Records Ltd. roster in 2015, alongside the release of his twelfth album, "Saturns Patterns".)
Artists whose catalogue is nowadays controlled by Parlophone and Warner Music but was originally released through another label are listed down here.
- Air (The first release on Parlophone/Warner Music was the 2016 anniversary compilation "Twentyears". The entire duo's back catalogue, released on Virgin France between 1998 -Moon Safari- and 2012 -Le voyage dans la lune-, has been integrated to Parlophone Records France, after the buyout of EMI Music France by Warner Music in 2013.)
- Charles Aznevour
- Syd Barrett
- David Bowie (Parlophone Records Ltd. currently controls over all of Bowie's material originally released between 1969 and 2000 on the labels RCA Victor and EMI Records. The post-2001 releases, starting with the 2002 album "Heathen", are currently controlled by Bowie's vanity label "ISO Records", alongside Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment. The 1967 self-titled debut album is currently controlled via Deram and Universal Music.)
- Kate Bush
- Matthieu Chedid
- Daft Punk (All of the Virgin France/EMI Music France material released between 1995 -"Da Funk"- and 2007 -"Alive 2007"- is now handled by Parlophone and Warner Music France. The duo's 2013 fourth album, "Random Access Memories" has been released on Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment.)
- Doc Gynéco
- Baxter Dury
- Gang of Four
- David Gilmour
- Jethro Tull
- LCD Soundsystem
- Pink Floyd (In 2016, the Pink Floyd Records vanity label was formed in order to handle and maintain the copyright over the band's entire back catalogue. It is currently published and distributed via Parlophone and Warner Music in the UK and Europe, whereas Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment have the rights for publication in North-America, South-America, Australia, New-Zeland, Mexico and Japan.)
- Talking Heads
- Peter Tosh
- The Stranglers
Parlophone record labelsEdit
With the Beatles (side 1) – Parlophone yellow and black label
West End Blues, British Parlophone record
The labels shown here include those used for 78s and LPs. The label design for 7" singles had the same standard template as several other EMI labels, with the large "45" insignia to the right. In recent years, design uniformity has relaxed from release to release.
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