Epic Records

Epic Records

infobox record label

Epic script logo used from late 1979 to 1991, revived in 2006.
image_bg = none
parent = Sony Music Entertainment
founded = 1953
distributor = Epic Records (In the US)
genre = Various
location = New York, NY
country = US
url = [http://www.epicrecords.com/ Official website of Epic Records]

Epic Records is an American record label. It is owned and operated by Sony Music Entertainment. The label was founded in 1953 as a jazz label, and was eventually expanded to several genres of music. The label manages several imprints as well.


Epic was launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. This has included such notables as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Juilliard String Quartet, Antal Doráti conducting the Hague Philharmonic and George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra.

By 1960 ,the label's musical base was expanded to include all genres of music and became an avenue for Columbia's A&R department to sign newer artists and avoid "overstuffing" the larger sister Columbia label, which at the time leaned on signing better known or already established artists. Many of Epic's signings were newer pop, Rock & Roll, and R&B artists in nature, where Columbia had better known "mainsteam" popular artists.

Ten years later, Epic earned its first gold records and developed into a formidable hit-making force in rock and roll, R&B and country music. Among its many acts, it included Bobby Vinton, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, Tammy Wynette, Donovan, The Yardbirds, Lulu, and Jeff Beck. Several of the British artists on the Epic roster in the 1960s were the result of Epic's distribution deal with EMI in which Epic recordings were issued by EMI on the Columbia label before the contract with EMI expired at which point CBS Records formed a British Epic Records branch to market Epic label material.

In the 1960s, Epic oversaw the smaller subsidiary CBS labels including Okeh Records, Date Records. and Ode Records.

Epic has a long history of many successful acts. During the late 1960s and 1970s, its success extended to include Sly & the Family Stone (66), Charlie Rich (67), Edgar Winter (70),Steve Vai (70-present), REO Speedwagon (71), Johnny Nash (72), ABBA (in the UK) (72), The Isley Brothers (73), Ted Nugent (75), Boston (76), Heart (on sister label Portrait Records) (76), Cheap Trick (76), The Clash(76), Charlie Daniels,The Jacksons, and Michael Jackson,.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Epic made stars out of the likes of Meat Loaf, Adam Ant, Culture Club, Electric Light Orchestra, Ozzy Osbourne, Europe, Sade, Luther Vandross, Gloria Estefan, and Cyndi Lauper (through the Portrait label.) Other successful acts included Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Fiona Apple, Jennifer Lopez (from the WORK label) and Mandy Moore.

Other artists signed to Epic include Natasha Bedingfield, Brandy, Anastacia, Alexz Johnson,The Fray, Incubus, Alkaline Trio, Modest Mouse, Good Charlotte, Live, AC/DC, KISS, Duran Duran, Rage Against the Machine, Kat DeLuna, Chevelle, Editors, Prong, Pearl Jam, Sara Bareilles, Lamb Of God, Suicidal Tendencies, Macy Gray, B*Witched (via Glowworm Records), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (via Ruthless Records), Tori Amos, Nicole Bennett, FireHouse, multiplatinum selling artist Céline Dion (on the 550 imprint), Low Vs Diamond, The White Tie Affair, Vedera, Augustana, Margot & The Nuclear So and So's,Red and Scouting For Girls, also Go:Audio.

Epic is part of the Sony BMG Music Entertainment company. Sony Corporation bought all of CBS's labels in 1988. A joint venture between its music division and BMG happened in 2004.

Legacy Recordings continues to reissue the label's classic and historical albums.

In March 2007, Epic, along with Columbia Records, signed an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment Japan to handle that company.

Imprint labels

Past and present imprint labels of Epic Records include:
* 550 Music (defunct)
* MJJ Music (defunct)
* Epic Nashville (closed down in 2006, some artists moved to Columbia)
* Epic Street – Formed for hip-hop artists.
* Daylight Records
* Koch Records - partially purchased in 2007
* Beluga Heights - Established By Big Time Producer Jonathan "J.R." Rotem
* DC Flag Records
* Glowworm Records
* Hidden Beach Records – Specializing in R&B and Soul
* Okeh Records - For reissues of Okeh label material.
* Portrait Records (defunct)
* Ruthless Records (defunct) – Hip-hop label formed in 1987 by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller
* Work Records (defunct) – also known as '"WORK" and "The WORK Group". Formerly operated as Chaos Recordings.

Epic Records artists

Epic Records Executives

* Charlie Walk - Epic Records President
* Nick Raphael - Epic UK Managing Director
* Jo Charrington - Epic UK Head of A&R
* Andy Gershon - Epic Executive Vice President

See also

* List of record labels

External links

* [http://www.epicrecords.com/ Epic Records – Official website]
* [http://www.sonymusic.com/ Sony Music] , Parent Company of Epic
* [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=71636838 Epic Records on Myspace]

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