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Institution Research - Island Records

  • Founding of Island Records

    Founding of Island Records
    Island Records was founded in Jamacia on this date by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong and partially funded by Stanley Borden from RKO. The name was inspired by the 1957 Harry Belfonte song 'Island in the Sun'.
  • Island are acquired by PolyGram

    Blackwell sold Island Records and Island Music to the PolyGram UK Group for £180 million (US$300million) and in 2009 he explained that the company 'had gotten too big and too corporate for me and I couldn't really handle it.'
  • Blackwell Parts Company with Island and PolyGram

    Blkackwell left to found Palm Pictures and went on to run a chain of boutique hotels in Miami, the US and the Carribean, including the very exclusive and famous Goldeneye estate, which was once the home of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.
  • Seagram

    In 1998, PolyGram announced that it was being purchased along with it's associated labels, including Island Records by Seagram the Canadian alcoholic beverages company. Seagram planned to integrate PolyGram with UMG to produce an estimated cost savings of, within a couple of years, between US$275 million and US$300 million anually.
  • Under Universal Music Group

    In Decmber 1998 and the first three months of 1999, UMG placed three divisions under management of the Island brand: one in the UK, one in the US and one in Germany. In each country, these companies were merged under umbrella groups:
    1) In the UK, Island Records Group.
    2) In the US, Island and Mercury were merged into Island Mercury Group
    3) In Germany, Island and Mercury merged to become divisions of the Island Mercury Label group.
  • Vivendi

    However, in 2001, UMG was merged with French company Vivendi S.A. to create Vivendi Universal S.A.; but the music company remains named Universal Music Group (UMG).
  • Moving into the present

    In the US, Island became a predominantly pop/rock label, as their urban artists were assigned to either Def Jam or Def Soul, a new Def Jam R&B imprint.
  • The artists most commonly associated with Island Records today

    Here is a selection of the most commonly seen or at least most popular artists that are signed to Island Records in this day and age:
    Bombay Bicycle Club
    Jake Bugg
    Dizzy Rascal
    PJ Harvey
    Jamie Cullum
    Keane They have a wide approach to artists and have performers from across the globe.