|Founder||Malcolm Jones, Norman Smith|
|Country of origin||England|
Harvest Records was a record label created by EMI in 1969 to promote progressive rock music and to compete with Philips' Vertigo and Decca's Deram labels, initially under the direction of Malcolm Jones and Norman Smith. Harvest was distributed in North America by EMI's US arm, Capitol Records. With a launch release by The Edgar Broughton Band, it was home to such classic artists as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, Barclay James Harvest, Climax Blues Band, Kevin Ayers and Little River Band; Harvest also promoted more experimental styles of music. In addition, Harvest was the European licensee for the American label Blue Thumb Records from 1969 to 1971.
Harvest Records' focus changed slightly as the 1970s drew to a close, beginning with the signing of post-punk groups Wire, The Saints and The Banned. New Wave artists Thomas Dolby and Duran Duran released their debut albums on the label in North America. Iron Maiden's first three albums were also released in the US by Harvest Records. Pink Floyd switched to EMI after the release of The Final Cut in 1983.
In the US, Capitol initially treated Harvest as a separate label that they expected big sales from. After only a few issues, they had few sales to show for their effort and consequently only issued a few Harvest releases and numbered them within their standard Capitol LP series (mostly using Harvest for Pink Floyd releases). After this initial short-lived series, Capitol passed on most of the UK Harvest artists.
In 1975, Harvest began a reissue sub-label named Harvest Heritage. This new label largely compiled material that had been previously released on Harvest from 1969 onward. However, Harvest Heritage also reissued music from late 1960s EMI bands that had never recorded for Harvest, such as The Gods, Love Sculpture and Tomorrow. Harvest Heritage also occasionally released new music, such as Video Flashback, an album by German composer Eberhard Schoener, and Four Rock 'n' Roll Legends, a recording of a 1977 concert by rockabilly veterans Charlie Feathers, Buddy Knox, Jack Scott and Warren Smith. Another notable Harvest Heritage album was A Major Fancy, a solo project by John Lees of Barclay James Harvest, which was recorded in 1972 but not released until 1977.
Harvest Records no longer operates as a separate label, however the brand is sometimes reactivated when an artist fits into the label's culture. Since 1984, the Harvest imprint has very rarely been used for new releases. However, the label can be found on the back of the Capitol Records 1994 re-release of Pink Floyd's The Wall. For a list of Harvest releases, see the Harvest Records Discography.