- Pye Records
Pye Records Parent company Pye Ltd. then ATV Founded 1953 Status Defunct Distributor(s) Self-distributed Genre Various Country of origin UK
Pye Records was a British record label. In its first incarnation, perhaps Pye's best known artists were Lonnie Donegan (1956–69), Petula Clark (1957–71), The Searchers (1963–67), The Kinks (1964–71), Sandie Shaw (1964-1971) and Brotherhood of Man (1975–79). The label changed its name in 1980, but was briefly reactivated in 2006.
The Pye Company originally manufactured televisions and radios. It entered the record business when it bought Nixa Records in 1953. In 1955, the company acquired Polygon Records, a label that had been established by Petula Clark's father to control distribution of her recordings, and merged it with Nixa Records to form Pye Nixa Records.
In 1958, Pye International Records was started. The company licensed recordings from American and other foreign labels for the UK market, including Chess, A&M, Kama Sutra, Colpix, Warner Bros., Buddah, 20th Century, and King. It also released recordings from British artist Labi Siffre which were produced outside the company.
In 1959, Pye Nixa became Pye Records and ATV acquired 50% of the label. ATV bought the other half of the business in 1966. The company entered the budget-priced record market in the 1960s, with first Golden Guinea, priced at a guinea (one pound and one shilling), and then 'Marble Arch' reissuing older Pye material at an even lower price.
Piccadilly and Dawn labels
Another, full-price, subsidiary, Piccadilly Records, was for new pop acts, including Joe Brown & the Bruvvers, Clinton Ford, the Rockin' Berries, Sounds Orchestral, Al Saxon, the Sorrows and, later on, the Ivy League (who metamorphosed into the Flower Pot Men, famous for their Summer of Love anthem "Let's Go to San Francisco" on Deram Records). In 1969, Pye launched a less mainstream label for folk, jazz, blues and progressive acts, Dawn Records, the most successful Dawn act being Mungo Jerry.
As PRT Records
When the rights to the name Pye expired in 1980, the label changed its name to PRT, which stood for Precision Records and Tapes. At that time, it had sublabels such as Fanfare Records, a late 80's/early 90's UK-based Hi-NRG label issuing records by Sinitta; R&B Records, an 80s disco/electro label featuring Imagination; and Splash Records, which featured Jigsaw and the Richard Hewson Orchestra. PRT ceased operations in 1989.
In July 2006, Pye Records was reactivated by Sanctuary Records as an indie and alternative label, featuring artists such as Scottish alternative rock group Idlewild. However, plans for continued usage of the Pye name were abandoned when Universal Music Group bought Sanctuary in 2007.
Pye international divisions
Pye in the U.S.
Starting with the "British Invasion" of 1964, Pye placed their artists in the U.S. mostly on labels that they distributed in the UK: The Searchers to Mercury Records, Liberty Records, and finally Kapp Records, The Kinks to Cameo Records and then to Reprise Records, David Bowie, The Sorrows and Petula Clark to Warner Bros. Records, Donovan to Hickory Records, and Status Quo to Chess Records (which issued their records on their newly created Cadet Concept Records label).
In 1972, Bell Records set up a short-lived Pye label, featuring Michel Pagliaro, a Canadian artist whose first English-language album was issued on UK Pye (largely recorded in England), and Jackie McAuley, whose lone solo album was originally issued on UK Dawn. The label only lasted a very short time.
In 1974, Pye established an American version of its record label. The label was not a success, however, and closed its U.S. operations in 1976. The head of the U.S. division, Marvin Schlachter, then started Prelude Records, named after one of Pye's acts of the time, Prelude; its initial LP and 45 catalogue series were carried over from the ill-fated U.S. Pye label (with the catalogue prefix changed from PYE- to PRL-), and Prelude had a string of disco and dance music hits into the early 1980s.
Pye in Canada
Whilst Pye did not have its own operations in Canada, it arranged with Canadian record companies to issue Pye recordings on the Pye label in Canada. Before then, Quality Records issued Pye recordings on the Quality label. Their earliest Pye Canada releases such as Lonnie Donegan's "My Old Man's A Dustman" were distributed by Astral Music Sales. Around 1963, distribution shifted to Allied Record Corporation. In 1968 distribution shifted to Phonodisc.
Artists on Pye Records
(including the U.S. labels that issued records by the artists during the time they were on Pye)
- The Bachelors
- Sounds Orchestral (issued in U.S. on Parkway)
- Long John Baldry (issued in U.S. on Warner Bros.)
- Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen (issued in U.S. on Kapp)
- Trader Horne
- Acker Bilk
- Chris Barber's Jazzband (issued in U.S. on Laurie)
- David Bowie (1965–1966; issued in U.S. on Warner Bros.)
- The Brook Brothers (1961–64)
- Brotherhood of Man (1975–1979)
- Max Bygraves made a successful series of singalong albums for Pye
- Petula Clark (1957–1971: in addition to dozens of singles, her output for Pye included seventeen albums. Issued in U.S. on Laurie and then on Warner Bros.)
- Clem Curtis
- Joe Dolan
- Lonnie Donegan (1956–1969; issued in U.S. on Mercury, Atlantic, then Dot)
- Donovan (1965–1971; issued in U.S. on Hickory and then Epic)
- Carl Douglas
- The Enid
- Episode Six (issued in U.S. on Elektra for 1 single only)
- The Flying Machine (1969)
- Emile Ford and the Checkmates
- The Foundations (issued in the U.S. on Uni)
- Brian Joseph Friel (issued in the U.S. on ATV Records)
- Benny Hill (1961–1965)
- The Honeycombs (1964–1966; issued in the U.S. on Interphon and then Warner Bros.)
- Idlewild (2006)
- The Ivy League (1965–1966; issued in the U.S. on Cameo)
- Tony Jackson and the Vibrations (1964–1966)
- Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
- The Kinks (1964–1971; issued in the U.S. on Cameo and then Reprise)
- Vera Lynn (1979-1981)
- David MacBeth
- Gerald Masters (1977–1980)
- Mungo Jerry (1970–1974; issued in the U.S. on Janus and then Bell)
- Olivia Newton-John (Olivia, Festival, Australia, 1972)
- Maxine Nightingale
- The Migil 5 (1964–1965)
- Des O'Connor
- Lennie Peters (1966)
- The Real Thing (1976–1979)
- Joan Regan (1960–1961)
- The Remo Four
- The Searchers (1963–1967; issued in the U.S. on Mercury Liberty and then Kapp)
- Sandie Shaw (1964–1972; issued in the U.S. on Reprise)
- Labi Siffre (1970–1973) (Pye International)
- Hurricane Smith (1976–1977)
- The Sorrows (1964–1966; issued in the U.S. on Warner Bros.)
- Status Quo (1968–1971; issued in the U.S. on Cadet Concept and then Janus)
- Graduate (1979)
- Tommy Steele
- Frankie Vaughan (1973–1978)
- Velvett Fogg (1969)
- Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band (issued in the U.S. on Kapp)
- Mark Wynter (1962–1968)
- Marble Arch Discography
- Official Yahoo! Group for Pye Records
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=4QoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=%22pye+records%22+%2B+canada&source=bl&ots=xAlnGprntG&sig=lhMtE1y0Zh90VbKjduU-QQ3NiLo&hl=en&ei=qPdxS86vDZSCNurKieUJ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAgQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=%22pye%20records%22%20%2B%20canada&f=false
- ^ http://www.capitol6000.com/protected/PyeList.htm
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