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Transatlantic Records: Wikis


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Transatlantic Records was a British independent record label. It was established in 1961 and developed a reputation as a pioneer in various musical genres. It started primarily as an importer of American folk, blues and jazz records - by many of the artists who influenced the burgeoning British folk and blues boom. Within a couple of years, the company had started recording British artists. The company's philosophy was intentionally eclectic and Transatlantic became successful in a variety of musical genres including folk, blues, jazz, ragtime, pop and rock.

The label was founded by a young Englishman Nat Joseph who started the company at the age of 21 after visiting the USA and realizing that there was a wealth of music of interest to British music fans that was not being made available in the UK. They imported labels from the USA such as Prestige International, Tradition (US) & Riverside. From the outset, many of the covers included photography and design by Brian Shuel. Transatlantic were also instrumental in the importation of MK records (a Russian classical label) which were then issued with the original Russian labels but with an English printed sleeve.

The company's first commercial success came not from music but from three sex education albums. The controversy about these records led to sales approaching 100,000 and the resulting financial lift gave the company money to develop its musical base.

Some of their early records included artists as diverse as The Dubliners, actress Sheila Hancock, jazz singer Annie Ross, actress Jean Hart, and Isla Cameron & Shakespearean actor Tony Britton. They managed to mix the folk music interest with the money making capacity of the sex education records by issuing "When Dalliance was in Flower" - a series of bawdy songs performed by Ed McCurdy and licensed from Elektra in the US. As often happened, these were issued first on the Transatlantic label in the UK and then on the subsidiary label XTRA. The catalogue numbers often contained "TRA" within the prefix, thus MTRA, XTRA, LTRA were all used. The latter prefix was used with a series of LPs produced by Bill Leader (who worked with Nat Joseph from the outset as an engineer). Amongst these "Leader" records were recordings by Nic Jones, Martin Simpson, Mick Ryan, Bandoggs (another Nic Jones group), Andrew Cronshaw and Al O'Donnell.

In 1975, Joseph sold a 75% share of his company to Sidney Bernstein's Granada Group and the company became part of Granada. There was a culture clash between the independent-spirited Transatlantic and the corporate sensibilities of Granada and two years later Granada sold its share in Transatlantic to the Marshall Cavendish publishing company - which also acquired Joseph's 25% share. The new company was renamed Logo Records. In the 1990s Logo Records and the Transatlantic Records catalogue was sold to Castle Communications (now Sanctuary Records.)


Artist roster (1961-1977)

Artist roster (1994 onwards)

See also

External links



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