All You Need is Now

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Elton John and Universal

The Rocket Man in action.
Sir Elton John is the company man at Universal Music having been signed to labels in North America and internationally now part of the conglomerate, more than anyone else.  Here's a list:

Philips*++ (also sold PolyGram to Universal in 1999)
Fontana*++ (onetime label for early band Bluesology which backed the late Long John Baldry)
DJM* (sold to PolyGram in 1986 after Dick James' passing by his estate)
Congress**++ (absorbed by Uni)
Uni** (retired in 1972 and replaced by MCA)
Paramount/ABC+ (sold to MCA in 1979; released Friends soundtrack)
MCA** (retired in 2003 outside Nashville and the Philippines in 2003; reissued Friends internationally due to the above)
Rocket* (distributed by EMI in 1976 and Phonogram/PolyGram 1977-93)
Geffen** (absorbed MCA in the US for rock/pop)
Polydor** (1969-76 titles from 1990-95; also released "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy film version)
Mercury* (never used alone for new titles in the US)
Hollywood++ (owned by Disney but distributed today by Universal except the former USSR and Japan; The Lion King hits)
Island** (distributed Rocket in the UK before 1976 and signed Elton in the US less than 20 years on; recently returned to Island in the US and possibly Canada on LP as most new US LPs are sold there now to save money on pressing)
EMI+* (Blue Moves later reissued by Phonogram outside North America as my copy is the French reissue LP; EMI outside half of Western Europe sold to Universal; distributed DJM in several Asian and South American countries)
A&M (Associated)+**
DreamWorks+
Universal** (merged with Republic and Motown)
Universal Music Special Markets/MCA Special Markets/PolyGram Special Markets (impulse/budget labels)**
Interscope**+ (also absorbed A&M US)
Decca**+
Casablanca**+
Virgin EMI*+ (absorbed Mercury UK)
Capitol**+

He hasn't yet appeared on Blue Note, Verve, Motown (although he'd love to), Hip-O, Republic or Deutsche Grammaphon!

* UK and/or international.
** US and/or Canada.
+ One album only.
++ Singles only.