In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Sire specialized in signing progressive British and European bands who didn't have American label deals. The most successful artists from this era include Renaissance (4), Climax Blues Band and Focus (2), whose instrumental "Hocus Pocus" gave Sire its first Top 10 hit.
Later in the 1970s, Sire was one of the first large independent labels to sign artists from the burgeoning punk and NYC new wave scene, including The Ramones, The Dead Boys and Talking Heads.
Originally pressed and distributed by London Records from 1968 to 1972; it switched to Dot Records/Famous Music later in 1972. Distribution again changed in 1974, this time to ABC Records.
In 1977, a distribution deal was signed with Warner Bros. Records, and Warner finally purchased the label in 1980. In addition to the punk/new wave acts mentioned above, Sire also signed Madonna, who became the label's most popular act. Many Sire albums were put out through the Warner subsidiary Reprise Records.
In 1995, Sire temporarily switched distribution from Warner Brothers and Reprise to Elektra, always remaining part of the Warner Music Group.
In 2000, Sire Records and the US division of London Records, which came to the Warner fold when Roger Ames was hired to run all of Warner Music, were merged to become London-Sire Records, part of Warner Music Group. This partnership was dissolved in April, 2003, at which point Sire once again became a distinct imprint in the portfolio of Warner-owned labels and returned to the aegis of Warner Bros. Records.
Label Code: LC 3228
A NOTE ON CATALOGUE NUMBERS:
Many releases on this label will have two separate catalogue numbers. Catalogue numbers printed on the packaging are typically in the format 9 #####-#, while numbers printed on the media itself are typically in the format #-#####. For example, a release listed as 0-12345 on the center label of a record may also be listed as 9 12345-0 on the picture sleeve. Please be sure to doublecheck both versions of the catalogue number before attempting to add your release, to prevent duplicates. If both numbers are listed on a release, enter the #-##### form on the first label line, and the 9 #####-# form on the second label line.