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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, 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 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. In July 2013, Warner Music Group completed acquisition of Parlophone Label Group, which includes the British Chrysalis catalogue, for £487 million ($765 million USD).[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.



  1. ^ Jason Nisse (1993-02-07). "Profile: A truly passionate sport: Chris Wright of Chrysalis outplayed BSkyB in football with his Italian job and is now revving up a car racing deal. Jason Nisse on a music man with perfect pitch". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-12-22. 
  2. ^ Ben Sisario (2010-11-27). "Music Publisher BMG Buying Chrysalis in $168 Million Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-22. 
  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. ^ "Warner Music Group Completes Acquisition of Parlophone Label Group" (Press release). Warner Music Group. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-22. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysalis_Records — Please support Wikipedia.
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238 news items

Ultimate Classic Rock
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:26:15 -0800

Slaughter and Strum parted ways with Vincent, and the band's label, Chrysalis Records, pulled the plug on its association with the Invasion. For Vincent's former employees, however, that collapse served as the entree to the duo being offered a deal of ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 14:07:23 -0800

He is the co-founder of Chrysalis Records and the man who catapulted pop band Blondie to worldwide fame, so it seems only natural that music mogul Terry Ellis's pioneering spirit should extend to the seven-bedroom home he built in the British Virgin ...

Creative Review (blog)

Creative Review (blog)
Mon, 05 Jan 2015 05:10:53 -0800

John 'Teflon' Sims was an art director at Chrysalis Records, which distributed 2 Tone, and worked closely with Dammers in turning his visual ideas down into artwork. "Jerry had tunnel vision of the band and the label concept," says Sims. "He had an art ...

The Oxford Times

The Oxford Times
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 07:04:23 -0800

Leaving the plant, he went to work for Chrysalis Records. He went on to manage folk-rockers Steeleye Span, and promote acts as varied as James Last, Thin Lizzy and Johnny Cash on all of his UK shows. He then moved into merchandise, working with ...

Zanesville Times Recorder

Zanesville Times Recorder
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:26:15 -0800

Benatar signed with Chrysalis Records and recorded her smash debut album “In The Heat Of The Night” in 1979. Benatar and her lead guitarist husband, Neil Giraldo, went on to dominate the 1980s with Top 40 singles, including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot ...
Creative Loafing Atlanta
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 01:02:37 -0800

Kemit pursued a BA in Communications from Howard University in Washington, D.C., while Speech fronted Arrested Development and struck a deal with EMI/Chrysalis Records. In 1994, Kemit joined the group at the apex of its career, two years after its ...
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 ...

Homes & Property

Homes & Property
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 01:45:00 -0800

Chrysalis Records was a trailblazer, later joined by celebrated fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino. Stella McCartney and Cath Kidston have followed, while the Louise Blouin Foundation, in a former coachworks, is an art gallery and ...

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