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Epitaph Records
Epitaph Records Logo.svg
Founded 1980
Distributing label Alternative Distribution Alliance
Genre Punk, pop punk, emo, screamo, hardcore
Country of origin U.S.
Official Website epitaph.com

Epitaph Records is a Hollywood, California based record label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The label was originally "just a logo and a P.O. box" created in the 1980s for the purpose of selling Bad Religion records, but has evolved into a large independent record label. Gurewitz took the name from a King Crimson song of the same name. Throughout the 80s and 90s most of the bands on Epitaph were punk and pop punk groups, while it is now primarily made up of post-hardcore and emo bands. Several sister-labels also exist, such as ANTI-, Burning Heart Records, Hellcat Records and Heart & Skull Records that have signed other types of bands.

Contents

History

In 1988, Epitaph released its first record as a proper label. It was the band L7's self-titled album, and it was distributed by Chameleon. The first album that was both released and distributed by Epitaph was Suffer by Bad Religion, which eventually became one of the label's best selling albums and is credited with "saving" the Southern California punk rock scene by fans.

In 1994, Epitaph received widespread fame, both within and outside the punk community, when NOFX, Rancid and The Offspring all released hit records. This was a big year for punk in the mainstream; Rancid appeared on Saturday Night Live the following year, playing "Ruby Soho" and "Roots Radicals". The Offspring eventually left for Columbia Records in a contract dispute, but their album Smash lived up to its name and quickly became Epitaph's all time best selling album, with more than 11 million units sold worldwide to date.[1]

Although Bad Religion was the founding band of Epitaph, releasing their early records through the label, they switched over to Atlantic in 1993, with Recipe For Hate being their first record outside of the label. Recipe for Hate was followed by their 1994 highly successful release Stranger Than Fiction. Brett Gurewitz is thought to have left Bad Religion as a result of internal disputes, but actually left the band in 1994 so he could run Epitaph full time. This came after lead singer Greg Graffin said he wanted to tour more and quit school to do so. The band responded by filling Gurewitz's place with Brian Baker. In 2001, Brett returned to the band and Bad Religion once again signed to Epitaph Records, releasing three more albums: The Process of Belief in 2002, The Empire Strikes First in 2004, and New Maps of Hell in 2007.

In January 2002, Brett Gurewitz was quoted saying that "I had multiple offers for $50- and $100 million for half of my business".[citation needed] He never took any of them.

In 2003, Epitaph sparked some controversy among its fans by signing Emo and post-hardcore acts as well as alternative hip hop artists such as Atmosphere and Sage Francis and grindcore band The Locust, leading to debates about what constitutes the true nature of "punk" music. This has caused much criticism and scrutiny within its punk base.

In mid-2005 Epitaph was added to the official list of RIAA members[2] along with several other high-profile independent labels. The reason for the listing is not clear, but one source points to an agreement for internet P2P distribution.[3] Another source claims label management joined RIAA in order to get certified sales awards (i.e., official "Gold" or "Platinum" record status) for releases. This sparked some controversy as some feel they should no longer be labeled independent if they are a member of the RIAA.[4]

However, the only source that has actually been used for these claims of membership is the official RIAA membership list, which has been disputed.[2] As of this writing, not only is Epitaph listed as an official member, but Lookout! Records is once again listed, after being falsely listed before. In addition, Fat Wreck Chords has released statements denying their own involvement in the RIAA, condemning the organization.[5]

Current artists

Former artists

Compilations

See also

References

External links


Epitaph Records
Founded 1980
Distributing label Alternative Distribution Alliance
Genre Punk rock, Hardcore punk, Pop punk, Post-hardcore, Metalcore, Alternative rock, Alternative hip hop
Country of origin U.S.
Official Website epitaph.com

Epitaph Records is a Hollywood, California based independent record label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The label was originally "just a logo and a P.O. box" created in the 1980s for the purpose of selling Bad Religion records, but has evolved into a large independent record label. Gurewitz took the name from a King Crimson song of the same name. Throughout the 80s and 90s most of the bands on Epitaph were punk and pop punk groups, while it is now primarily made up of post-hardcore and emo bands. A large portion of the record label, known as Hellcat Records, is owned by Tim Armstrong, frontman of the punk rock band Rancid. Several sister-labels also exist, such as ANTI-, Burning Heart Records, Fat Possum Records, Hellcat Records and Heart & Skull Records that have signed other types of bands.

Contents

History

Early days

Brett Gurewitz formed Epitaph Records a vehicle for releases by his band Bad Religion. Its first release for the label was Bad Religion's 1981 self-titled EP, followed by their debut How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, which was also the label's first full-length release. Also released during this period was Peace thru Vandalism, an EP by The Vandals, who were the first band besides Bad Religion to sign to Epitaph. Two more Bad Religion releases followed – How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Into the Unknown and the EP Back to the Known – before their temporary split. After Gurewitz had cleaned up his drug issues, both Epitaph and Bad Religion were revived in 1987. In the following year, Epitaph released its first record as a proper label, which was L7's self-titled album, and it was distributed by Chameleon. Also in 1988, Bad Religion released Suffer, which was both released and distributed by Epitaph. Not only is Suffer often cited as one of the band's best by fans, but it is credited with "saving" the Southern California punk rock scene by fans and Bad Religion's contemporaries alike.[1]

In 1989, Gurewitz signed NOFX to his label. They released their Epitaph debut S&M Airlines that same year, featuring the video for its title track and the cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way, which featured guest vocals by Gurewitz and Greg Graffin, who is also a member of Bad Religion. Following this were the release of Bad Religion's next two albums – No Control and Against the Grain – which sold 60,000[2] and 100,000[3] copies respectively.

By 1993, more punk acts had signed to Epitaph, including Pennywise, Down by Law, Coffin Break, The Offspring, Rancid, R.K.L., SNFU, Total Chaos and Claw Hammer.

Success and Gurewitz's split and reunion with Bad Religion

In 1994, Epitaph received widespread fame, both within and outside the punk community, when Bad Religion (even though they had left Epitaph by this time), NOFX, Rancid and The Offspring all released hit records. This was a big year for punk in the mainstream; Rancid appeared on Saturday Night Live the following year, playing "Ruby Soho" and "Roots Radicals". The Offspring eventually left for Columbia Records in a contract dispute, but their album Smash lived up to its name and quickly became Epitaph's all time best selling album, with more than 11 million units sold worldwide to date.[4]

Although Bad Religion was the founding band of Epitaph, releasing their early records through the label, they switched over to Atlantic in 1993, with Recipe For Hate being their first record outside of the label. Recipe for Hate was followed by their 1994 highly successful release Stranger Than Fiction. Brett Gurewitz is thought to have left Bad Religion as a result of internal disputes, but actually left the band in 1994 so he could run Epitaph full time. This came after lead singer Greg Graffin said he wanted to tour more and quit school to do so. The band responded by filling Gurewitz's place with Brian Baker. In 2001, Brett returned to the band and Bad Religion once again signed to Epitaph Records, releasing four more albums: The Process of Belief in 2002, The Empire Strikes First in 2004, New Maps of Hell in 2007, and The Dissent of Man in 2010.

Recent years

In 2003, Epitaph sparked some controversy among its fans by signing post-hardcore acts as well as alternative hip hop artists such as Atmosphere and Sage Francis and grindcore band The Locust, leading to debates about what constitutes the true nature of "punk" music. This has caused much criticism and scrutiny within its punk base.[citation needed]

In mid-2005 Epitaph was added to the official list of RIAA members[5] along with several other high-profile independent labels. The reason for the listing is not clear, but one source points to an agreement for internet P2P distribution.[6] Another source claims label management joined RIAA in order to get certified sales awards (i.e., official "Gold" or "Platinum" record status) for releases. This sparked some controversy as some feel they should no longer be labeled independent if they are a member of the RIAA.[7]

However, the only source that has actually been used for these claims of membership is the official RIAA membership list, which has been disputed.[5] As of this writing, not only is Epitaph listed as an official member, but Lookout! Records is once again listed, after being falsely listed before. In addition, Fat Wreck Chords has released statements denying their own involvement in the RIAA, condemning the organization.[8]

Current artists

Former artists

Compilations

See also

References

External links


Simple English

Epitaph Records is an American record label. The company mainly deals with punk bands. Epitaph was started by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Bands that have signed this label are:

  • 1208
  • Alkaline Trio
  • ALL *
  • Bad Religion
  • The Blackout
  • The Boss
  • The Bouncing Souls *
  • Bring Me the Horizon (U.S. only)
  • Busdriver
  • Cadence Weapon
  • Can't Hang
  • The Color of Violence
  • Converge
  • The Coup
  • Danger Doom
  • Darkest Souls
  • Death By Stereo *
  • Descendents *
  • The Draft
  • Dropkick Murphys *
  • Escape the Fate
  • Every Time I Die
  • Farewell
  • Frank Turner (U.S. only)
  • Frenzal Rhomb (Australia only)
  • The Ghost of a Thousand
  • Green Day (re-releasing old material in Europe) *
  • Guttermouth *
  • The Higher
  • The Hives *
  • The Hot Melts
  • I Am Ghost
  • I Set My Friends On Fire
  • Leathermouth
  • The Locust
  • Millencolin (U.S. only)
  • New Found Glory
  • NOFX *
  • Off With Their Heads
  • The Offspring *
  • Our Last Night
  • Parkway Drive (U.S. only)
  • Pennywise
  • The Pietasters *
  • Rancid (now on Epitaph's sub-label Hellcat Records) *
  • Rich Kids on LSD *
  • The Robocop Kraus
  • Sage Francis
  • Settle
  • Set Your Goals
  • Sing It Loud
  • SNFU *
  • SoliLLaquists of Sound
  • Story of the Year
  • Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros *
  • Ten Foot Pole *
  • This City[1]
  • Thursday
  • Vanna
  • Veara
  • The Weakerthans
  • You Me At Six (U.S. only)

The asterik (*) marks indicate as those who are no longer signed to Epitaph.








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