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Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records.png
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1947
Founder Ahmet Ertegün
Herb Abramson
Distributing label Atlantic Records Group
(In the US)
WEA International Inc.
(Outside of the US)
Genre Various
Country of origin United States
Official Website Atlantic Records.com

Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm & blues, rock and roll, and jazz.[1] Long one of the most important American independent labels, Atlantic now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group, which consolidated Atlantic Records and the Elektra Entertainment Group into an umbrella label titled Atlantic Records Group in 2004.[2] Craig Kallman is currently Chairman of Atlantic Records. Ahmet Ertegün served as "Founding Chairman" until his death on December 14, 2006 at age 83.[3] The label also has a number of deals with previously independent labels such as Must Destroy (which brought Goldie Lookin' Chain and The Darkness into the label)[4] and VP Records in Jamaica, home to reggae artists such as Sean Paul.[5]

Contents

History

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20th century

The label was founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson.[6][7] Upon its creation, Atlantic was principally a jazz and R&B label,[6] signing Ray Charles from 1952 to 1959,[8] though it also released some country and western recordings as well. In the early fifties Ahmet was joined by Jerry Wexler[9] and then Nesuhi Ertegün.[10][11] From February 7, 1955[12] Nesuhi headed the label's jazz division and was responsible for major signings such as Charles Mingus and John Coltrane;[10] later Joel Dorn became Nesuhi's full-time assistant from the success of his produced album The Laws of Jazz by flutist Hubert Laws.[13][14] Although it began as an independent record company, it became a major player in the music business in the 1960s, with mainstream pop signings like Sonny and Cher.[9] Competing record labels included Columbia Records and RCA Records.[15]

The engineer, and later producer, Tom Dowd headed Atlantic's engineering department. Several sub-labels have been created or acquired since then. A short-lived but significant sub-label was Cat Records established in 1954. Atco Records was started in 1955 by Herb Abramson. Spark Records (the record label of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) was purchased in November 1955. Others including Lava Records[16] and 143 Records became part of the Atlantic group. In 1958, Atlantic changed its catalogue numbering system for singles after issuing record number 1199 to the 2000 series because the 1200 series was reserved for Jazz LPs.[17][18] In 1960, Wexler began a distribution relationship between Atlantic and Memphis-based Stax Records.[7][19][20] The association with Stax ended in 1968.

Atlantic Records Logo from 1966 to 2005.

Atlantic was acquired by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1967. Initially, it and Atco were to be run entirely separate from WB-SA's other labels, Warner Bros. and Reprise Records.[21] One of Atlantic's major signings around this time was British rock band Led Zeppelin. The band had a deal with Atlantic Records directly from 1968 to 1973. After this contract ran out, they started their own vanity label, Swan Song Records. It signed a distribution deal with Atlantic after being turned down by other labels.

WB-SA was sold in 1969 to the Kinney National Company, which later became Warner Communications. After buying Elektra Records and its sister label Nonesuch Records the following year, Kinney combined the operations of all of its record labels under a new holding company, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, or WEA for short, and also known as Warner Music Group. WEA was also used as a label for distributing the company's artists outside North America.

In May 1988, the label held a 40th Anniversary concert, broadcast on HBO. This concert, which was almost 13 hours in length, featured performances by a large number of their artists and included reunions of some rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (being David Crosby's first full band performance since being released from prison).[22]

Warner Communications merged with Time Inc. (owners of the aforementioned HBO) in 1990, forming Time Warner. That same year, Jimmy Iovine founded Interscope Records, which Atlantic owned a 50% stake in. Interscope released notable gangsta rap titles — many in conjunction with Death Row Records. Pressure from activist groups opposed to gangsta rap, however, later led to parent company Time Warner's decision to sell Atlantic's stake in the label to MCA in 1995.[23]

Since 2000

A country music division, which was founded in the 1980s, was closed in 2001.[24] This branch included acts such as Neal McCoy, Tracy Lawrence and John Michael Montgomery, all of whom were transferred to Warner Bros. Records' Nashville division. The Atlantic Nashville division was revived in 2008 with Zac Brown Band and Jesse Lee being signed to it.

Time Warner sold Warner Music Group to a group of investors for $2.6 billion in late 2003. The deal closed in early 2004, consolidating Elektra Records and Atlantic into one label operated in the eastern United States.[2]

In 2006, the label denied "Weird Al" Yankovic permission to release "You're Pitiful", a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", despite Blunt's own approval of the song. Atlantic claimed that it was "too early" in Blunt's career, and that they didn't want Blunt to become a one-hit wonder.[25] Although Yankovic could have legally gone ahead with the parody anyway, his record label, Volcano Records, thought that it was best not to "go to war" with Atlantic.[26] The parody was released onto the Internet as a free download, and can be legally accessed and downloaded from Yankovic's official website. Later he recorded two more parodies, "White & Nerdy", and "Do I Creep You Out", to replace "You're Pitiful". However, the music video for "White & Nerdy" depicts Weird Al vandalizing the Wikipedia article for Atlantic Records.

In 2007, the label celebrated its 60th anniversary with the May 2 PBS broadcast of the American Masters documentary Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built and the simultaneous Starbucks Entertainment CD release of Atlantic 60th Anniversary: R&B Classics Chosen By Ahmet Ertegun.[27]

The country music division was re-established in late 2008. That year also saw Atlantic reach a milestone for major record labels: "More than half of its music sales in the United States are now from digital products, like downloads on iTunes and ring tones for cellphones", doing so "without seeing as steep of a decline in compact disc sales as the rest of the industry."[28]

Artists

Atlantic Records Group labels

See also

References

  1. ^ Atlantic Records :: Our History
  2. ^ a b Veiga, Alex. Warner group's new chief gets right to work. Associated Press: March 3, 2004
  3. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2006-12-14). "Industry Icon Ahmet Ertegun Dies At 83". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003522075.  
  4. ^ The Darkness :: Discography
  5. ^ Atlantic Records :: Sean Paul
  6. ^ a b "Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun dies". MSNBC. 2006-12-14. p. 1. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16212086/. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  7. ^ a b Sullivan, James (2006-12-14). "Rock & Roll Founding Father Ahmet Ertegun Dies at 83". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/12811234/rock__roll_founding_father_ahmet_ertegun_dies_at_83. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  8. ^ "Ray Charles dead at 73". CNN. 2004-06-11. http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/10/obit.charles/. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  9. ^ a b Sacks, Leo (1993-08-29). "The Soul of Jerry Wexler". The New York Times. p. 1. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7D7163BF93AA1575BC0A965958260. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  10. ^ a b Jones, Steve (2006-12-15). "Atlantic Records founder Ertegun dead at 83". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-12-14-ahmet-ertugun_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  11. ^ Weiner, Tim (2006-12-14). "Ahmet Ertegun, Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/14/arts/music/14cnd-ertegun.html?ex=1323752400&en=1a3048af7bb6cf84&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  12. ^ "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame biography of Nesuhi Ertegun". http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/nesuhi-ertegun. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  13. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (September 1999). "32 Jazz: Anthropology New and Old". All About Jazz. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/articles/a0999_01.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-28.  
  14. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Joel Dorn - Biography". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wbfuxql5ldde~T1. Retrieved 2007-08-05.  
  15. ^ Corliss, Richard (2001-07-28). "Ahmet's Atlantic: Shake, Rattle and Roll". Time. http://www.time.com/time/sampler/article/0,8599,169279,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  16. ^ the atlantic records group
  17. ^ 45 Discography for Atlantic Records
  18. ^ http://bsnpubs.com/atlantic/atlantic12001463.html
  19. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Jerry Wexler Biography". Allmusic. All Media Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:i8ae4j271wai~T1. Retrieved 2006-06-28.  
  20. ^ Leopold, Todd (2001-08-31). "Atlantic Records: A label with soul". CNN. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/30/atlantic.records/index.html. Retrieved 2007-05-31.  
  21. ^ Atlantic Records Story
  22. ^ Perry, Shawn (1999). "The Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Bash". VintageRock.com. Vanilla Fudge. http://www.vintagerock.com/atlantic.html. Retrieved 2007-07-27.  
  23. ^ Interscope Records
  24. ^ "Atlantic Records to close Nashville offices". Wichita Eagle. 2001-05-01. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=WE&s_site=kansas&p_multi=WE&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EBC6FE65EEC8ABB&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  25. ^ Skaggs, Austin (2006-09-19). "Weird Al Yankovic Dishes on James Blunt, Discusses His Role as the Whitest, Nerdiest Rock Star Ever" (in English). Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2006/09/19/weird-al-yankovic-dishes-on-james-blunt-discusses-his-role-as-the-whitest-nerdiest-rock-star-ever/. Retrieved 2007-07-27.  
  26. ^ "Free 'Weird Al' Yankovic!" (in English). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5482774. Retrieved 2007-11-13.  
  27. ^ "Atlantic Kicks Off 60th Anniversary Year with 2 Major Events". Atlantic Records. 2007-05-01. http://www.atlanticrecords.com/news/article/?id=8a0af8121234e3b9011249cdb7ff0d3a. Retrieved 2007-07-27.  
  28. ^ Atlantic Records hits milestone on digital music sales, a November 25, 2008 from the International Herald Tribune

External links


Simple English

Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm & blues, rock and roll, and jazz.

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