- Chrysalis Records
Chrysalis Records Parent company EMI Founded 1969 Status Defunct Distributor(s) The Right Stuff Records
Genre Various Country of origin UK
Chrysalis Records ( //) 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. It started as the Ellis-Wright Agency.
Chrysalis was formed through a licensing deal with Chris Blackwell's Island Records based on the success of bands like Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Robin Trower 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, the Chrysalis offshoot 2 Tone Records brought in bands such as The Specials and The Selecter.
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).
The '80s proved to be the most successful time for the label, whose roster then included arena-fillers Billy Idol and Pat Benatar, seminal new-wavers Blondie and top 40 "hit machines" like Huey Lewis and the News. Chrysalis also distributed Animal Records, the short-lived label founded by Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. In early 1983 Daniel Glass moved to Chrysalis as Director of New Music Marketing, advancing later to Senior Vice President.
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 & flagship label EMI Records in 2005.
For a full overview of the remaining activities, see Chrysalis Group. These included music publishing, radio, books and ringtones for mobile phones.
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