SBK Records was a record label, owned by Universal Music Group, that was currently part of the Capitol Music Group, where it is in hibernation. The label was founded in 1988 and during its time in activity existed as part of the EMI Group.

SBK Records
SBK Records.svg
Parent companyUniversal Music Group (recorded music catalog)
Sony Music Publishing (publishing catalog)
FounderStephen Swid
Martin Bandier
Charles Koppelman
DefunctJuly 1997
Distributor(s)Capitol Music Group
Country of originUnited States


Stephen Swid, Martin Bandier and Charles Koppelman formed SBK Entertainment in 1989 after they purchased the music publishing division of CBS Records, CBS Songs, in 1986 for $125 million.[1] CBS Songs was subsequently renamed to SBK Songs. The name is an acronym incorporating the first letter of the founders' surnames.

The partners sold the company to EMI Music Publishing (for a reported US$295 million), afterward SBK Songs was renamed EMI Songs and with support of Capitol Records launched SBK Records.[2][3] It was distributed through the short-lived EMI Records Group North America, or ERG. In 1989, Daniel Glass joined SBK as Senior Vice President of Promotion. In 1990, Glass was promoted to Executive Vice President/General Manager. With the consolidation of SBK, Chrysalis USA, Wild Pitch and EMI Records USA several years later into EMI Records Group North America, he rose to President-CEO.

The label had several hits with Vanilla Ice, Waterfront, Jesus Jones, Boy George, Wilson Phillips, Grayson Hugh, Jon Secada, Ya Kid K, McQueen Street,[4] Technotronic, Blur, Billy Dean and Everyday People.

SBK Records was part of the EMI Group, but became dormant as of 2007, when Martin Bandier left EMI Music Publishing for Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Publishing. EMI (and SBK Entertainment World assets) was sold in 2012 to two different entities and split up with most of the recorded music division to Universal and music publishing division to Sony-led consortium.

SBK also signed the first Latino MC to a major label, Ray Roll, from the famed Rock Steady Crew, and Selena, the first female crossover Latin artist.

The 1994 album The Divine Comedy by Milla Jovovich was released through SBK and was critically acclaimed. The album is still in print since its release.

It also published the first ever Barney & Friends album Barney's Favorites, Volume 1.

SBK music publishing catalog (SBK/EMI Songs and April Music) is now controlled by Sony Music Publishing,[5] and the recorded music catalog is now controlled by Universal Music Group.

SBK Records was shut down in July 1997, with all of its employees being let go.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CBS Records to Buy Tree, Ending an Era in Nashville". New York Times. January 4, 1989. Retrieved 2012-08-29. CBS Songs, the record company's publishing arm, was sold in 1986 for $125 million to Stephen Swid, Martin Bandier and Charles Koppelman, who renamed it SBK Entertainment. It is now the second-largest music publishing company.
  2. ^ "Michael Stewart". Variety. 1999-04-07. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  3. ^ Knoedelseder, William K. Jr. (1989-01-05). "British Firm to Pay $340 Million for SBK Entertainment Song Catalogue". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  4. ^ "LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS HISTORY AND PRESTIGE". LA Music Awards. 2010-08-22. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  5. ^ Ed Christman (11 November 2011). "It's Official: Sony-Led Group Purchases EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 Billion". News / Publishing. Billboard. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Trakin, Roy (2021-10-28). "Right Place, Right Time: How SBK Records' 30 Months of Existence Launched 30 Years of Music Industry Leadership". Variety. Retrieved 2022-06-23.