Melodiya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Melodiya
Melodiya logo.svg
Founded 1964
Genre Various
Country of origin USSR, Russia
Official website www.melody.su

Melodiya (Russian: Μелодия, meaning melody) is a Russian (formerly Soviet) record label. It was the state-owned major record company/label of the Soviet Union.

History[edit]

Soviet vinyl single by the Beatles with songs "Octopus's Garden" and "Something" from the album Abbey Road. On the B-side was just one song from the same album, "Come Together".

It was established in 1964 as the "All-Union Gramophone Record Firm of the USSR Ministry of Culture Melodiya". It utilized gigantic resources of numerous recording studios, manufacturing facilities throughout the USSR as well as powerful centres of distribution and promotion system. The best selling format at the time was 33⅓ and 78 rpm vinyl records. As of 1973 Melodiya released some 1,200 gramophone records with the total circulation of 190-200 million per year and 1 million compact cassettes per year and was exporting its production into more than 70 countries.[1]

The firm's production was dominated by classical music and music by Soviet composers and musicians, performances by Soviet theater actors, fairy tales for children, etc. For example, Melodiya released performances of works by Peter Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, which were valued for their authenticity. Melodiya also released some of the most successful western pop, jazz and rock records which included Michael Jackson, ABBA, Paul McCartney, Boney M., Dave Grusin, Amanda Lear, Chicago, and Bon Jovi.

In other countries, Melodiya recordings imported from the USSR were often sold under the label MK, which stood for Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga ("International Book", Russian: Μеждународная Книга). In the United States, many Melodiya recordings appeared on the domestically manufactured Monitor Records label. In the 1970s and 1980s, Melodiya recordings of classical and folk music appeared on the Melodiya/Angel [2] (USA) and Melodiya/HMV (elsewhere) labels as the result of an exclusive contract with EMI, the owner of both labels. A smaller number of recordings were distributed on other labels, particularly after 1989, before Melodiya granted exclusive rights to BMG in 1994. In at least one instance, one Melodiya record album, Gennady Rozhdestvensky's recording of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker, made in 1960, appeared on LP in the U.S. on the Columbia Masterworks label. After expiry of the BMG contract in 2003, the company re-opened under new management and in 2006 started re-releasing recordings under its own label.

Being state owned until c.1989, the Soviet recording industry was able to apply a single numbering system to all its releases from 1933 onwards irrespective of origin or place of manufacture. The number sequences for 78s and LPs are strictly chronological, from which it is possible to date many, though not all, releases from the catalogue number [3]

Since 2008, some of Melodiya records are available to North American listeners through the Canadian classical label Analekta which is distributed by Koch Entertainment in the USA[4] and Distribution Select in Canada.

Notable artists[edit]

Thousands of artists have appeared on the Melodiya label. For a partial list, see List of Melodiya Records artists.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd edition, volume 16, p. 54, Moscow, Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya publisher, 1974
  2. ^ See Alexandrov Ensemble discography for examples of Melodiya EMI Angel recordings
  3. ^ Soviet Recordings. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  4. ^ Audio News for July 11, 2008

External links[edit]