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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, 25 Oct 2014 12:07:30 -0700

BENATAR: I got signed to Chrysalis Records and immediately, they fired everybody that was in the band except for the bass player and they brought in all these top studio guys, all the guys that were in New York, the big guys. And we were in auditions ...


Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Fair was hired in Feb. 2013 as chief creative officer and executive vice president of Virgin Records and charged with rebuilding the label. The imprint saw significant success during his reign, particularly with the band Bastille, whose debut album has ...
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Produced by Ray Davies at Konk Studios, featuring John Dagleish, Ned Derrington, George Maguire and Adam Sopp as The Kinks. Album released 27th October on BMG Chrysalis Records. Sunny Afternoon, the critically acclaimed new musical, which tells ...
The Pasadena Star-News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:15:00 -0700

While Sturges doesn't consider himself creative, the music veteran — he spent a dozen years as head of creative for Universal Music Publishing and another dozen as president of Chrysalis Records — recognizes talent in others. It's led him to sign the ...
MSN Canada
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:31:12 -0700

Laurence had previous experience in the media and entertainment field, at MGM Studios and Chrysalis Records, but was most recently the CEO of Vodafone U.K., a privately held subsidiary of the second-biggest cellphone company in the world. Laurence ...

Cherry Hill Courier Post

Cherry Hill Courier Post
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 17:22:30 -0700

More, more, more: To keep Chrysalis Records from releasing his Rebel Yell album with a cover he didn't like, Idol held his tapes hostage. "I left the masters with my heroin dealer for safekeeping," he writes. The song remains the same: The inspiration ...

Tivyside Advertiser

Tivyside Advertiser
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:04:54 -0700

Around 40 or so years ago the UK was awash with a glittering array of top notch performers and one of these were the legendary Tír na nÓg - formed by Leo O'Kelly & Sonny Condell in 1970 they were quickly snapped up by Chrysalis Records recording three ...
Something Else! Reviews
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:52:45 -0700

“I moved onto a label called Chrysalis Records, and I think when they signed me, they thought I was just going to take over for ELP and sell platinum records instantly,” Lake tells us, in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown. “That doesn't happen. When ...

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