Giant Records (Warner)

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Giant Records
Giantrecordslogo.jpg
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1990
Founder Irving Azoff
Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Records
Rhino Entertainment
(re-issues)
Genre Various
Country of origin US

Giant Records was launched in 1990 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Records and Irving Azoff, who had sold his companies to MCA Records for $15.7 million. Azoff initially intended for the label to be called Big Records, but that name had been taken.

History Of Giant Records[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Along with Interscope Records, Giant became one of two start-up labels Warner Music Group bankrolled in 1990. Upon its launch, Warner Bros. saw this as a replacement for Geffen Records (which had been purchased by MCA Music Entertainment the same year). Giant released product using the catalog numbers that would have been assigned to Geffen, had it remained with Warner. Coincidentally, Interscope would also be sold to MCA in later years, today, along with Geffen, being part of the Interscope-Geffen-A&M division of Universal Music Group.

Giant's first release was the Gulf War all-star tribute song "Voices That Care," assembled by producer David Foster, in early 1991. That spring, "Hold You Tight" by Tara Kemp was released, which went on to become a top-five single. In the months that followed, Giant released the highly successful soundtrack album of the film New Jack City, selling 16 million copies worldwide, and introduced the label's next signees Color Me Badd, whose debut album C.M.B. achieved multi-platinum status and spun off two number one singles. Under the supervision of Cassandra Mills, who was president of its Urban Division, the label went on to score hits with such acts as MC Hammer, Jade, Lord Finesse and teen pop star Jeremy Jordan.

In an unusual move for an upstart label focused on Top 40 and R&B success, Giant also signed established acts as Steely Dan, Warren Zevon, Oingo Boingo, Chicago, Deep Purple, Morbid Angel, Brian Wilson, and Kenny Rogers. The signing of Steely Dan was notable, as the group had tried to sign with Warner Bros. for the release of Gaucho in 1980, but MCA blocked its attempt by claiming that the company owned the rights to the songs from the album.

Giant also operated a country music division in Nashville, Tennessee, whose first act was Dennis Robbins.[1] Other artists on the Nashville division included Clay Walker and Carlene Carter.

Decline[edit]

While the company was adept at developing and launching the recording careers of new artists (namely R&B, hip-hop, and country acts), it often had trouble sustaining their success over time. In 1993, Giant became dissatisfied with the way WEA was handling its international affairs, and subsequently struck a deal with BMG to distribute its recordings outside of the U.S. By the mid-to-late 1990s, Giant was quickly unraveling. In a bid to begin anew, the company replaced most of its staff and focused most of its attention on its newly launched subsidiary label Revolution Records in 1996. But by decade's end, the company reverted to the Giant Records moniker again, to little effect. During this time, it distributed Paladin Records, which included on its roster country/trip-hop artist Greg Garing and singer-songwriter Steve Forbert.

In 2001, Warner Music Group ended its joint venture with Giant, which was absorbed into its Warner Bros. parent. The last Giant release, however, did carry the originally intended Big Records name.

Giant Records artists[edit]

The following is a partial list of artists who have recorded for Giant Records.

See also[edit]

References[edit]