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Chrysalis Records
Chrysalis records.png
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1969
Status Defunct
Distributor(s) Rhino Entertainment
Genre Various
Country of origin UK

Chrysalis Records /ˈkrɪsəlɪs/ was a British record label that was created in 1969. The name was both a reference to the pupal stage of a butterfly and a combination of its founders names, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis.[1] It started as the Ellis-Wright Agency.[2]


Early years[edit]

In an interview for Jethro Tull's video 20 Years of Jethro Tull, released in 1988, Wright states "Chrysalis Records might have come into being anyway, you never know what might have happened, but Chrysalis Records really came into being because Jethro Tull couldn't get a record deal and MGM couldn't even get their name right on the record". This was after the single Sunshine Day/Aeroplane was incorrectly credited to Jethro Toe.

Chrysalis entered into a licensing deal with Chris Blackwell's Island Records for distribution,[2] based on the success of bands like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and Procol Harum, which were promoted by the label. Jethro Tull signed with Reprise Records in the United States, which led Chrysalis to an American distribution deal with Reprise's parent company, Warner Bros. Records. This lasted from 1972 until U.S. Chrysalis switched to independent distribution in 1976. PolyGram handled international distribution and Festival Records covered Australia and New Zealand. Towards the end of the 1970s, Chrysalis offshoot 2 Tone Records brought in bands such as The Specials and The Selecter.[3]

In 1979 Chrysalis bought and distributed U.S. folk label Takoma Records, naming manager/producer Denny Bruce as president, who signed The Fabulous Thunderbirds and T-Bone Burnett. Jon Monday who was Vice President of Takoma Records prior to the acquisition continued as General Manager,[4] later becoming Director of Marketing of Chrysalis Records.

Chrysalis made history in 1979 by creating the first "music video album", a videocassette featuring a corresponding music video for each song on Blondie's Eat to the Beat album (released at the same time as the LP).

In the 1980s, Chrysalis was at the forefront of the British New Romantic movement with bands such as Ultravox, and Spandau Ballet. The 1980s proved to be the most successful time for the label, whose roster then included Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, Blondie and Huey Lewis and the News. Chrysalis also distributed Animal Records, the short-lived label founded by Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. In 1983 Daniel Glass moved to Chrysalis as Director of New Music Marketing, advancing later to Senior Vice President.


Main article: Chrysalis Group

The Chrysalis Records label was sold 50% in 1990, then the remaining half in 1991 to EMI with catalogue and artists such as Starsailor being shifted to the main EMI imprints. Chrysalis Records folded into EMI subsidiary and flagship label EMI Records in 2005.

The Chrysalis catalogue (minus Robbie Williams) was put up for sale by Universal Music Group after its acquisition of EMI. Warner Music Group acquired the catalogue, as well as other EMI labels led by Parlophone, for US$765 million.[5]



  1. ^ "Chrysalis PLC: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Chrysalis - CDs and Vinyl at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  3. ^ "History of Chrysalis Group plc – FundingUniverse". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  4. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1979-06-02. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Breaking: Universal agrees to sell EMI Classics + Parlophone to Warner Music Group". Artsjournal.com. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 

External links[edit]

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

... of Tull's website, Cornick was “invited to leave” Tull due to his partying ways, which was at odds with the more subdued members of the group. But his next band, Wild Turkey, was signed to Chrysalis Records, which was founded by Tull manager Terry ...
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Meet Pat Banatar…one of the most-played artists in the early days of MTV! This four-time Grammy winner was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski in Brooklyn on January 10, 1953. Her father was a sheet metal worker, her mother a beautician. “Patti” became ...

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Kent Online
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:03:45 -0700

After all, John was at the epicentre of the ska and 2-Tone heyday of the late 1970s and early 1980s as the art director for Chrysalis Records, whose 2-Tone Records label included the Specials and the Selecter. John is now busy at the helm of this year ...
Hastings and St. Leonards Observer
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:52:30 -0700

Still a schoolboy, he was responsible for The Clash and The Pretenders appearing on Hastings Pier. By the age of 22 he was talent spotting for Chrysalis Records and three years later set up on his own, building a portfolio of talent including the Spice ...

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