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Atco Records
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1955
Founder Herb Abramson
Distributing label Rhino Entertainment
(In the US)
WEA International Inc.
(Outside of the US)
Genre Various.
Country of origin United States
Official Website Official website of Atco Records

ATCO Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group, currently operating through WMG's Rhino Entertainment.


Company history



Original logo

Atco Records was founded in 1955 as a division of Atlantic Records. It was devised as an outlet for productions by one of Atlantic's founders, Herb Abramson, who had returned to the company from military service. It was also intended as a home for acts that did not fit the format of Atlantic, which at the time was only releasing blues, jazz, and R&B/soul. The Atco name is simply an abbreviation of ATlantic COrporation.

Atco's biggest acts during its early years were Bobby Darin and The Coasters. In the early 1960s Atlantic began to license material from international sources for release on Atco, leading to instrumental hit singles from such acts as Jorgen Ingmann, Mr. Acker Bilk and Bent Fabric. Starting in the mid-1960s, Atco became a force on the burgeoning rock scene, with American acts such as Sonny and Cher, Buffalo Springfield and Vanilla Fudge. A relationship with manager Robert Stigwood brought The Bee Gees and Cream to the label.

In 1964 Atco released a single in the United States by The Beatles, "Ain't She Sweet"; (flip side "Nobody's Child," with lead singer Tony Sheridan), which had been recorded in Hamburg in 1961. With lead vocals by John Lennon, "Ain't She Sweet" reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 1964. Atco also released an album entitled Ain't She Sweet which featured the other two tracks by Sheridan and the Beatles from the Hamburg session and filled out by eight other songs (Beatles and other British Invasion numbers) covered by The Swallows.

In 1966 Atco released a single in the USA by The Who. "Substitute" b/w "Waltz For A Pig" was issued through an arrangement with UK Polydor Records, due to the dispute The Who was raging with their producer Shel Talmy and their contract with US Decca Records and UK Brunswick Records. This would be the only Who recording to appear on Atco, although Pete Townshend and John Entwistle would eventually sign to Atco as solo artists.

ATCO has also provided distribution for other labels, including, but are not limited to, the following: Robert Stigwood's RSO Records, Volt Records, Island Records, Modern Records, Rolling Stones Records, and Ruthless Records.

The twilight years

Atlantic deemphasized Atco in the mid-1970s, using the label mostly for releases by hard rock acts and some British and European bands. The label's roster became more diverse again in the 1980s. The last number one hit on Atco was "If Wishes Came True" by Sweet Sensation in 1990. In 1991, Atlantic merged Atco with its fledgling Eastwest Records label, and briefly operated the combination as "Atco/Eastwest Records." By 1993, the Atco name was dropped and the label continued operating as Eastwest Records. Since then, the Atco name and logo has appeared only on reissues of old material. As of mid-2005, its most recent release (in a joint venture with Rhino Records) was the soundtrack to the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea, starring Kevin Spacey and featuring Spacey's renditions of Darin classics.


In 2006, Warner Music Group reactivated ATCO Records in conjunction with Rhino Entertainment. Scarlett Johansson and Art Garfunkel were among the first artists signed to the label. Garfunkel issued Some Enchanted Evening on January 30, 2007.[1] Johansson issued Anywhere I Lay My Head on May 20, 2008. Queensryche released its American Soldier album through ATCO on March 31, 2009.[2] The New York Dolls released their album, Cause I Sez So through ATCO on May 5, 2009.

Atco Records artists

The following is a list of artists who have recorded for Atco Records.

See also

External links



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