Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records

infobox record label
name = Atlantic Records

parent = Warner Music Group
founded = 1947
founder = Ahmet Ertegün
Herb Abramson
distributor = Atlantic Records Group (US)
WEA (Outside the US)
genre = Various
country = US
url = [ Official website of Atlantic Records]

Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm & blues, rock and roll, and jazz. [ [ Atlantic Records :: Our History ] ] Long one of the most important American independent labels, Atlantic now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group, which consolidated Atlantic Records and the Elektra Entertainment Group into one label in 2004.Veiga, Alex. [ Warner group's new chief gets right to work] . Associated Press: March 3, 2004] Craig Kallman is currently Chairman of Atlantic Records. Ahmet Ertegün served as "Founding Chairman" until his death on December 14, 2006 at age 83. [cite web|url=|publisher=Billboard|date=2006-12-14|author=Cohen, Jonathan|title=Industry Icon Ahmet Ertegun Dies At 83] The label also has a number of deals with independents such as Must Destroy (which brought Goldie Lookin' Chain and The Darkness into the label) [ [ The Darkness :: Discography ] ] and VP Records in Jamaica, home to reggae artists such as Sean Paul. [ [ Atlantic Records :: Sean Paul ] ]


The label was founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson.cite news|title=Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun dies|url=|date=2006-12-14|page=1|publisher=MSNBC|accessdate=2007-05-28] cite news|title=Rock & Roll Founding Father Ahmet Ertegun Dies at 83|url=|date=2006-12-14|publisher=Rolling Stone|accessdate=2007-05-28|first=James|last=Sullivan] Upon its creation, Atlantic was principally a jazz and R&B label, signing Ray Charles from 1952-1959, [cite news|title=Ray Charles dead at 73|url= | date=2004-06-11|publisher=CNN|accessdate=2007-05-28] though it also released some country western recordings as well. In the early fifties Ahmet was joined by Jerry Wexlercite news|title=The Soul of Jerry Wexler | url= | date=1993-08-29|page=1|publisher=The New York Times|accessdate=2007-05-28|first=Leo|last=Sacks] and then Nesuhi Ertegün.cite news|title=Atlantic Records founder Ertegun dead at 83|url=|date=2006-12-15|publisher=USA Today|accessdate=2007-05-28|first=Steve|last=Jones] [cite news|title=Ahmet Ertegun, Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies|url=|date=2006-12-14|publisher=The New York Times|accessdate=2007-05-28|first=Tim|last=Weiner] From February 7, 1955 [cite news|title=Rock & Roll Hall of Fame biography of Nesuhi Ertegun|url=|accessdate=2007-05-28] Nesuhi headed the label's jazz division and was responsible for major signings such as Charles Mingus and John Coltrane; later Joel Dorn became Nesuhi's full-time assistant from the success of his produced album "The Laws of Jazz" by flutist Hubert Laws. [cite web| last = Bailey| first = C. Michael| title = 32 Jazz: Anthropology New and Old| publisher = All About Jazz| date = September 1999| url =| accessdate = 2007-07-28 ] [cite web| last = Ankeny| first = Jason| title = Joel Dorn - Biography| publisher = Allmusic| url = | accessdate = 2007-08-05 ] Although it began as an independent record company, it became a major player in the music business in the 1960s, with mainstream pop signings like Sonny and Cher. Competing record labels included Columbia Records and RCA Records. [cite news|title=Ahmet's Atlantic: Shake, Rattle and Roll|url=,8599,169279,00.html|date=2001-07-28|publisher=Time|accessdate=2007-05-28|first=Richard|last=Corliss]

The engineer, and later producer, Tom Dowd headed Atlantic's engineering department. Several sub-labels have been created or acquired since then. Atco Records was started in 1955 by Herb Abramson. Spark Records (the record label of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) was purchased in November 1955. Others including Lava Records [ [ the atlantic records group ] ] and 143 Records became part of the Atlantic group. In 1960, Wexler began a distribution relationship between Atlantic and Memphis-based Stax Records. [cite web
last =Kurutz
first =Steve
url =
title =Jerry Wexler Biography
work =Allmusic
publisher =All Media Guide
accessdate =2006-06-28
] [cite news|first=Todd|title=Atlantic Records: A label with soul|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31|last=Leopold|date=2001-08-31|publisher=CNN] The association with Stax ended in 1968. Atlantic was acquired by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1967. Initially, it and Atco were to be run entirely separate from WB-SA's other labels, Warner Bros. and Reprise Records. [ [ Atlantic Records Story ] ] One of Atlantic's major signings around this time was British rock band Led Zeppelin. The band had a deal with Atlantic Records directly from 1968-1973. After this contract ran out, they started their own vanity label, Swan Song Records. It signed a distribution deal with Atlantic after being turned down by other labels.

In 1969, WB-SA was sold to the Kinney National Company, which later became Warner Communications. After buying Elektra Records and its sister label Nonesuch Records the following year, Kinney combined the operations of all of its record labels under a new holding company, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, or WEA for short, and also known as Warner Music Group. WEA was also used as a label for distributing the company's artists outside North America.

In May 1988, the label held a 40th Anniversary concert, broadcast on HBO. This 11-hour concert [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title = Atlantic Records Plans An 11-Hour Concert
work = Associated Press
pages =
language =
publisher = The New York Times
date = 1988-04-07
url =
accessdate = 2007-07-27
] featured performances by a large number of their artists and included reunions of some rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (being David Crosby's first full band performance since being released from prison). [cite web
last = Perry
first = Shawn
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Bash
work =
publisher = Vanilla Fudge
date = 1999
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-07-27

In 1990, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc. (owners of the aforementioned HBO), forming Time Warner. That same year, Jimmy Iovine founded Interscope Records, which Atlantic owned a 50% stake in. Interscope released notable gangsta rap titles — many in conjunction with Death Row Records. Pressure from activist groups opposed to gangsta rap, however, later led to parent company Time Warner's decision to sell Atlantic's stake in the label to MCA in 1995. [ [ Interscope Records ] ]

In late 2003, Time Warner sold Warner Music Group to a group of investors for $2.6 billion. The deal closed in early 2004, consolidating Elektra Records and Atlantic into one label operated in the eastern United States.

In 2006, the label denied "Weird Al" Yankovic permission to release "You're Pitiful", a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", despite Blunt's own approval of the song. Atlantic claimed that it was "too early" in Blunt's career, and that they didn't want Blunt to become a one-hit wonder.cite web| url =| title = Weird Al Yankovic Dishes on James Blunt, Discusses His Role as the Whitest, Nerdiest Rock Star Ever| accessdate = 2007-07-27| last = Skaggs| first = Austin| authorlink = Austin Skaggs| date = 2006-09-19| work = Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily| publisher = Rolling Stone| language = English] Although Yankovic could have legally gone ahead with the parody anyway, his record label, Volcano Records, thought that it was best not to "go to war" with Atlantic.cite web| url =| title = Free 'Weird Al' Yankovic!| accessdate = 2007-11-13| language = English] The parody was released onto the Internet as a free download, and can be legally accessed and downloaded from Yankovic's [ official website] . Later he recorded two more parodies, White & Nerdy, and Do I Creep You Out, to replace You're Pitiful.

In 2007, the label celebrated its 60th anniversary with the May 2 PBS broadcast of the "American Masters" documentary "Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built" and the simultaneous Starbucks Entertainment CD release of "Atlantic 60th Anniversary: R&B Classics Chosen By Ahmet Ertegun". [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Atlantic Kicks Off 60th Anniversary Year with 2 Major Events
work =
publisher = Atlantic Records
date = 2007-05-01
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-07-27



ee also

* Atlantic Records artists
* List of record labels
* Atlantic Records discography

External links

* [ Warner Music Group page about the Atlantic Records Group]
* [ Atlantic Records label design at]
* [ Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built] television documentary in PBS American Masters series

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