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Chrysalis Records
Chrysalis records.png
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1969
Status Defunct
Distributor(s) Rhino Entertainment
(re-issues)
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]

History[edit]

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.

EMI[edit]

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 British Chrysalis catalogue (minus Robbie Williams, whose catalogue is currently distributed by Island Records) 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]

The American Chrysalis catalogue, including artists such as Blondie, Huey Lewis and The News, and Pat Benatar, was merged into EMI Records Group America, which was then merged into former sister label Capitol Records, and is currently distributed by that label.

Artists[edit]

References[edit]

  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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237 news items

The Unionville Times

The Unionville Times
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:22:30 -0800

It's been almost a quarter of a century since Jeffrey Gaines signed his first recording deal with a major label. It's been 22 years since his debut album “Jeffrey Gaines” was released on Chrysalis Records. It's been 11 years since “Toward the Sun” on ...
 
OC Weekly (blog)
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:48:57 -0700

And though Chris Wright's name probably doesn't ring a bell to you, acts like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, The Specials and Billy Idol, who owe much of their careers to his label Chrysalis Records, probably do. Wright started the label in 1969 with ...

Irish Post

Irish Post
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:17:46 -0800

Music that started life with Polydor in the late '70s moved to Chrysalis Records and then changed again to Demon Records and then again to BMG.” The catalogue moved, paperwork was discarded and no sales pattern emerges. Even so, why not add the ...

Indiantelevision.com

Indiantelevision.com
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 03:45:49 -0700

Amongst the highlights of the 6th MRMC – which has “Shaping the Digital Future” as its theme - are keynotes by MixRadio head Jyrki Rosenberg, one on one conversations with Chrysalis Records founder Terry Ellis as well as Live Nation APAC head Alan ...

Billboard

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

He had previously served in senior executive roles at Geffen Records, A&M Records, RCA Records, EMI Records, Island Records and Chrysalis Records as well as his own Faircraft Records. A formal announcement by CMG is not expected. Print ...
 
Mirror.co.uk
Fri, 26 Nov 2010 16:24:54 -0800

Chrysalis – which began life as the Chrysalis Records label, which was later sold to EMI – controls the publishing rights to songs by artists such as David Bowie and Michael Jackson and has written hits for Cheryl Cole and Kylie Minogue. BMG owns the ...

NPR

Ultimate Classic Rock
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 07:31:24 -0700

So the talented mezzo-soprano spent the bulk of the '70s making up for lost time in a succession of club gigs, cabaret sets, and musical theater parts before finally signing with Chrysalis Records, by which time she was also divorcing her husband and ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:00:00 -0700

... most successful pop groups around. Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp talk about their past hits and their future plans. True is courtesy of Chrysalis Records while the clip of Soul Boys of the Western World is courtesy of Metrodome Distribution. More ...
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