|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
New York City
|Official website||www.beggars.com www.beggarsgroupusa.com www.beggarsgroup.ca www.beggarsgroup.de www.beggarsjapan.com|
Beggars Group is a British record company that owns or distributes several other labels, including 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, and XL Recordings. The companies’ roots stem from the Beggars Banquet record shops, which first opened in 1973 with a shop in Earls Court, London.
In 1977, spurred by the prevailing DIY aesthetics of the British punk rock movement (then at the height of its popularity), the shop founders decided to join the fray as an independent label and release records under the Beggars Banquet imprint. The first band on the label was English punk group The Lurkers; the first ever release on the label was The Lurkers' punk classic "Shadow"/"Love Story" 7" single. Later in the decade and into the early '80s, hits with Tubeway Army and Gary Numan secured the label's future. Beggars Banquet then went on to release music by Biffy Clyro, Buffalo Tom, The Charlatans, The Cult, The Go-Betweens, The National and Tindersticks.
Having since been trading for over three decades, Beggars Group remains owner-run (by Martin Mills) and its musical focus remains fiercely alternative. In 2008, the labels that form the group are 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade Records and XL Recordings. The company owns 4AD outright (this label also took on the rosters of two other Group owned labels, Beggars Banquet and Too Pure when they were mothballed in 2008) and retains a 50% stake in each of the others.
With its own worldwide network in place, unique in the independent sector, the Group now has three offices in London (two of which also house recording studios), two in the US (New York and Los Angeles), and a dedicated office in every major territory. The company has also been actively involved in helping to promote the collective interests of the sector, proud to be founding members of the AIM (UK) in 1999, IMPALA (Europe) in 2000, A2IM (USA), and most recently the Worldwide Independent Network, each of which represent the interests of the independent music industry. The Beggars Group are also active members of Merlin, the independents’ rights licensing body.
Martin Mills has become known as a fierce advocate for independent label rights, and testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights hearing against the Universal Music Group-EMI merger. In 2011, The Guardian named him #22 in their "Music Power 100. He was given the "Industry Icon" award by Billboard (magazine) at Midem in 2013.
Current group artists
The labels that are part of The Beggars Group are home to a range of artists including:
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- "Beggars Group". Beggars Group. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- Smirke, Richard (2011-12-09). "XL's Richard Russell On Adele, Six Grammy Noms, What's Next (Bobby Womack!)". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
- "XL Recordings - Kirin J Callinan - Listen To Embracism". Xlrecordings.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- "Ratking". Xlrecordings.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04.