Shrapnel Records


American heavy metal label founded in 1980 by producer Mike Varney.

It was the first dedicated metal label in the USA signing guitarists including Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Richie Kotzen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman.
(Before Metal Blade and Megaforce)

Guitarist Marty Friedman (formerly of Megadeth and Cacophony), one of the label's most successful artists, first appeared on the album Unsung Guitar Heroes II in 1980 with the band Vixen. Vixen would later change their name to Hawaii and release the album One Nation Underground for Shrapnel. In 1981, a friend gave Mike Varney a tape featuring a 17-year-old Swedish guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen. A year later, Malmsteen wrote to the label stating that he wanted to export his music to America. Varney, who started writing a column called "Spotlight" for Guitar Player magazine in 1982, featured Malmsteen in his February 1983 column. The record executive flew Yngwie to California and set him up with vocalist Ron Keel's new band called Steeler. Steeler's self-titled album became a best selling release for Shrapnel Records.

The label was acquired by The Orchard, subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, in November 2015.[1]

Roadrunner licensed their titles on vinyl in Europe for a few more years though.

Label variations:

1980 - 1983
eg U.S. Metal (Unsung Guitar Heroes)
"Green labels" used only on the first 6 releases.

1983 - 1985
eg Chastain – Mystery Of Illusion
"Black labels" used from the Steeler s/t LP from 1983 up until the end of 1985 - beginning of 1986, where some variations of the design appeared.

1985 - 1990
"Silver labels"
eg Chastain – Mystery Of Illusion
Used from 1985 until their last vinyl releases in 1990, at least one repress of an earlier release with a slightly different design.

Parent Label:Shrapnel Records, Inc.
Sublabels:Shrapnel Hard Rock Series
Contact Info:

Shrapnel Records
P.O. Box P
Novato, Ca

1-800-937-8943 , Facebook , X , MySpace , Lastfm


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