London Records


British label, also appears as: London only or London Recordings.
Label Code: LC 0253 / LC 00253 (LC 7654 / LC 07654 for London/FFRR releases).

Please note: INT is not part of the catalogue number, it merely indicates that number is the international number.
For all unofficial / bootleg copies of this label please use London Records (3).
London American Recordings is regarded a sub label of London Records. All entries on London American Recordings should be marked as two labels, firstly London Records, secondly London American Recordings.

London Records was established in 1947 from the split in ownership between the British branch of Decca and that same company's USA branch. Since British Decca could not use the Decca name in North America, it used the "London" label and logo to release records mastered by Decca (UK) recordings for USA only. Note: Many USA releases from 1950 to the mid 1970's say "Made in England" on bottom edge of label; these were pressed at Decca's second factory in Hampshire, close to Southampton Docks in southern England (the primary factory was at New Malden in Surrey, about 9 miles south of central London) (see also: Decca Studios). These USA issues have an inverted matrix (master) release # above the USA release # that corresponds to the original "Decca" tapes. British pressings were also shipped to Canada, where London Records of Canada, Ltd. had been established in 1948.

The label was subsequently established in England in late 1949 for releases from London's US roster, starting numerically with catalogue number L 500, "Jealous Heart" by Al Morgan. These early releases had catalogue numbers that were numerically the same as the corresponding US releases, but with the L prefix added. There were gaps in this numerical sequence corresponding to British recordings that were released on Decca in Britain.

Eventually the US roster was wound down and the US label became primarily an outlet for Decca's British and European recordings (though the Canadian branch maintained a significant domestic roster). In Britain from late 1951, the label became an outlet for recordings licensed from US independent labels via London's New York office, leading to the introduction of the HL series of singles in early 1954, and eventually the famous and collectable "American Recordings" sub-branding (or "American Series" on LPs). London Canada adopted a similar role, but without any sub-branding.

This branding may incorporate additional logos for ffrr, Full Frequency Range Recording (not Recordings), American Recordings or British Recordings, none of which are currently acknowledged as distinct labels in the database (except for an early incarnation of London American Recordings). FFRR is only for the Full Frequency Range Recordings (not Recording) dance music imprint established in the mid-1980s; see its label profile for details.
In the UK, the London label focused on pop music under the aegis of Roger Ames, while the Decca Record Company Limited operated as a separate company, with its US releases rebranded with the London name. Decca was eventually acquired by PolyGram in 1980.
Please note that Decca released several classical series in Europe under the London Records label, for example The British Collection, Collectors' Editions 2000, and an unnamed series of reissues of works composed and conducted by Benjamin Britten.

In 1999, the MCA and PolyGram families merged to form Universal Music Group, and in 2000, Roger Ames was hired to run Warner Music. The Decca name could be used worldwide by Universal after the merger. Ames was awarded London as part of a severance package and took it to WEA worldwide. In the US, the imprint was merged with Sire Records Group to form London-Sire Records, which existed until 2003. In the UK, The company was renamed London Records 90 Ltd. to distinguish it from the Decca Label Group. Ames later sold the London Records 90 Ltd to Warner Music.

In 2010, Universal Music reclaimed ownership of the London Records trade mark. On July 1, 2011 Universal Music reclaimed the London Records name and relaunched it under the executive team of Nick Raphael (President) and later Jo Charrington (Senior Vice President of A&R) who together previously ran Epic Records for Sony Music Entertainment since 2001. Both had started their careers at London Records in the Ames era in the 1990s. The team would later rebrand itself as Capitol Records Ltd. following UMG's buyout of EMI.

Misleading boilerplate information.
Beware of spiel on a large number of releases which states "Marketed in France by Barclay & in Germany by Metronome Musik GmbH/Motor Music Gmbh" as this is very often applied arbitrarily with no consideration for the genuine country of release.

For example, releases earmarked for exclusive release in specific countries such as UK, Germany or Croatia often include this text. Where this text is displayed it should be used as a guide only when attributing a release to a given country.

Rights societies
In the mid 1980's London's parent at the time Polygram signed a central licensing agreement (CLA) in Europe with the Dutch rights society Stemra. In the summer of 1996 an new CLA was signed this time with MCPS. As such, the appearance of these rights societies on European releases should not be used to determine the country of release.

Parent Label:Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Sublabels:American Hit-Parade, American Series (2), Brazilian Beat, Continental Series, Disques London, Double Decker (3), Elysée (2), Emperor Series, Essential Recordings, Felsted, ...
Contact Info:

UK office:
London Records Ltd.
PO Box 2LB
London W1A 2LB

Canadian office:
London Records of Canada
6265 Côte de Liesse
St Laurent, PQ H4T 103
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