Family Productions


American record label, founded in 1970 by Artie Ripp. In 1971, Family Productions signed 22-year-old Billy Joel to a long-term recording-and-publishing contract as a solo artist. Ripp produced Joel's first solo album Cold Spring Harbor. However, the recordings were mastered at the wrong speed, causing the pitch of the entire album to be a semi-tone too high. On top of that, it was a commercial failure; distribution was poor, and promotion was insufficient. The relationship between Joel and Ripp deteriorated and in 1972, Joel jumped ship to Columbia Records. In exchange for releasing Joel from his contract with Family, Ripp agreed to receive about four percent (originally, about twenty-eight cents) of the retail price of each sale of Joel's first ten albums released with Columbia. Ripp retained publishing rights until Walter Yetnikoff, head of Columbia in the 1970s and 1980s, bought them and gave them to Joel as a birthday gift in 1978.


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