Virgin Records is one of the most iconic record labels in music history. Founded in 1972 by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, Virgin Records has grown from a small independent label to a major player in the music industry. Over the years, Virgin Records has released music from some of the biggest names in music, including The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, and U2.
In this article, we will look at the history of Virgin Records and explore some of the most memorable moments in its storied history. We will also discuss the current state of the label and how it continues to shape the music industry today.
History of Virgin Records
Virgin Records was a record label owned by Universal Music Group. It is a British record label founded in 1972 by entrepreneur Richard Branson. The label was initially a small independent label that specialized in progressive rock, jazz, and classical music.
In 1979, Virgin Records signed the Sex Pistols and released their first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.” This was the first of many successful signings for the label, and helped to catapult the label into the mainstream.
In the 1980s, Virgin Records signed a number of successful artists, including Phil Collins, Culture Club, and the Human League. In 1989, Virgin Records was sold to Thorn EMI, and the label’s roster expanded to include a variety of genres, including hip-hop, pop, and dance.
In the 1990s, Virgin Records signed a number of popular artists, including the Spice Girls, the Verve, and the Chemical Brothers. In 1992, Virgin Records was purchased by EMI and became part of the EMI Group.
In the 2000s, Virgin Records signed a number of successful artists, including the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, and Gorillaz. In 2007, the EMI Group was acquired by the Universal Music Group, and Virgin Records became part of the Universal Music Group.
Today, Virgin Records is one of the world’s most prominent record labels and has signed a number of successful artists, including Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, and Amy Winehouse.
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world’s leading music company. It is a division of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and operates in more than 60 countries worldwide.
UMG’s music catalogue includes the works of some of the world’s most popular and iconic artists such as The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Drake, Lady Gaga, and U2. UMG also owns a number of record labels, including Interscope, Island, Def Jam, and Capitol. UMG’s operations span the entire music industry, from recording and publishing to digital distribution and music licensing.
Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies in various fields. He is best known for his success in the music industry with Virgin Records, but he has also ventured into other industries such as mobile telephony, transportation, financial services, health, and space travel.
Branson has been an active philanthropist, donating to various causes and launching the Virgin Unite foundation in 2004. He has also written several books, including his autobiography, Losing My Virginity. He is an advocate for environmental protection and has received numerous awards for his business and philanthropy efforts.
Notable Artists signed with Virgin Records
Virgin Records is a major record label that has signed many notable artists over the years. Some of the most famous artists signed to Virgin Records include:
The Rolling Stones
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Human League
Notable Albums released with Virgin Records
Here are some of the most notable albums released by Virgin Records and why they are noteworthy:
Tubular Bells (1973) by Mike Oldfield
This album is notable for being the first release on Virgin Records and for its innovative combination of rock, folk, classical, and electronic music.
The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls (1978)
This album is notable for being the first album by the Rolling Stones to be released on Virgin Records, and it is also considered one of the band’s best albums.
Culture Club’s Colour by Numbers (1983)
This album is notable for being the group’s most successful album, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit single “Karma Chameleon”.
U2’s The Joshua Tree (1987)
This album is notable for being U2’s most successful album, selling over 25 million copies worldwide and winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Janet Jackson’s janet. (1993)
This album is notable for being Janet Jackson’s most successful album, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit singles “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “Again”.
Massive Attack’s Mezzanine (1998)
This album is notable for being Massive Attack’s most successful album, selling over 3 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit single “Teardrop”.
Gorillaz’s Demon Days (2005)
This album is notable for being Gorillaz’s most successful album, selling over 8 million copies worldwide and spawning the hit single “Feel Good Inc.”.
Virgin Records’ impact on the industry
Virgin Records has been a major player in the music industry for decades. It has had a major influence on the development of the modern music industry, from its pioneering use of digital music distribution to its early adoption of emerging genres such as punk and new wave.
The label has also helped launch the careers of some of the biggest stars in the music industry, including Madonna, the Spice Girls, and U2. Virgin Records has been a major influence on the music industry, and its legacy will continue to be felt for generations to come.
The label continues to be a pioneer in the music industry, releasing groundbreaking albums and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in music.