- Not to be confused with Phillips International Records.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Decca Music Group|
(current) Classical music
|Country of origin||Netherlands|
|Official website||Decca & Philips Classics|
Philips Records is a record label that was founded by the Dutch electronics company Philips. It was started by "Philips Phonographische Industrie" (PPI) in 1950. Recordings were made with popular artists of various nationalities and also with classical artists from Germany, France and Holland. Philips also distributed recordings made by the US Columbia Records on the European continent. After the separation of English Columbia and American Columbia by the end of 1954, Philips also started distributing original Columbia recordings on the Philips label in the United Kingdom.
In the late 1950s Philips created a subsidiary label, Fontana Records, and helped American Columbia Records form CBS Records in 1961, after Columbia formed its own international operations, adopting the name of its then parent CBS. In 1962 Philips Records and Deutsche Grammophon were linked into the Gramophon-Philips Group joint venture (GPG), which later became PolyGram.
In 1961, after Philips lost its North American distribution deal with Columbia Records, it entered an exchange agreement with Mercury Records. A year later, Philips' US affiliate Consolidated Electronics Industries Corp. (a.k.a. Conelco), bought Mercury and its subsidiary labels. Philips classical, jazz and pop records were marketed by Mercury in the US under the Philips label. The Mercury Living Presence team also made classical recordings for Philips, in July 1961. These records, made in Walthamstow Town Hall near London, included: Liszt piano concertos by Sviatoslav Richter and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kiril Kondrashin; two albums of symphonic "bon-bons" by the London Symphony Orchestra and Charles Mackerras released as "Kaleidoscope"; "Russian Song Recital" by Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich; and Beethoven sonata op. 69 for cello and piano by Richter and Rostropovich. The Richter Liszt album was recorded on 3-track 35mm magnetic film and was reissued on CD from a remaster made from the film by original producer Wilma Cozart Fine, (wife of the late recording pioneer Bob) as part of the Philips Solo series.
Classical groups that Philips heavily recorded included the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Quartetto Italiano. Violinist Arthur Grumiaux and the pianist Claudio Arrau were under contract to Philips.
From 1961 until the late 1960s, Philips Records (USA) issued many classical titles in US-specific packaging, initially in the same glossy-laminated covers as Mercury Records. The records were pressed at Mercury's plant in Richmond, Indiana, and mastered in New York by George Piros at Fine Recording, using 2-track and mono master tapes provided by Philips. These releases were the PHS 900 xxx series for stereo and the 500 xxx series for mono. Clair Van Ausdal in Mercury's New York office oversaw the Philips classical US releases through the mid-1960s.
Philips also launched an eponymous jazz label in the US, releasing both imported European Philips recordings and making new American recordings of Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman, among others. These records were made through Mercury's existing jazz operations and produced by Jack Tracy and others.
In addition to jazz and classical music, Philips also became a major player in the world of rock and pop music in the late 1950s till late 1970s. In the UK, Philips developed a strong popular music roster, signing acts like Marty Wilde, Roy Castle, Anne Shelton, The Four Pennies, Dusty Springfield, and The Walker Brothers. The American pop label was launched in 1962 starting with the R&B single "Gee Baby" by Ben & Bea and showed a comfortability with folk-country, releasing "Makes You Wanna Sigh" by Ross Legacy in 1969. It signed the Four Seasons in 1964. It also played a major part in promoting the garage rock genre and the psychedelic rock genre in the mid to late 60s, their most successful signing being Blue Cheer.
In the 1970s, Philips decided to turn its attention more to the growing MOR market with artists like Lena Zavaroni, Peters and Lee, and Demis Roussos, as well as issuing novelty records by media personalities like Ed Stewart, Bruce Forsyth, and Chris Hill. In 1972, Philips, Fontana, Mercury Records, and the newly formed Vertigo Records were amalgamated into a new company called Phonogram Records. In Europe, however, Philips was used on a major basis and it became the outlet for Sire Records in America and distributed a number of punk and new wave bands like Talking Heads, The Ramones, and Radio Birdman, who were signed from Australia. It also released some disco records by Donna Summer and The Village People, as their home label Casablanca Records was not cleared for use in all countries around the world.
By 1980, Phonogram and Polydor Records decided to merge to become PolyGram Records. Under the new company, PolyGram decided to discontinue Philips as a pop and rock label in the UK and throughout much of Europe, though it was still frequently issued records in France and South East Asia by Chinese and Hong Kong pop artists. The majority of PolyGram's rock and pop music signings went to Mercury, and Polydor in the UK and Europe, though the label was used sparingly in America. Philips became part of PolyGram Classics as a classical music label along with Decca Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
From the early 1970s, Philips classical records were not being produced in the US any more; rather they were made in Holland and sold as imports in the American market. Philips reissued a group of Mercury Living Presence titles as "Mercury Golden Imports", with manufacture in Holland and masters cut from 2-track production tapes, as opposed to the original-issue method of mixing stereo LPs directly from the edited 3-track master tapes and films.
In the eighties Philips Classics Records was formed to distribute its classical artists, although classical recordings have also been issued on the regular Philips label. In the US, Philips eventually handled distribution and sales for Philips, Mercury, British Decca (sold under the London label in the US) and DGG.
Compact disc era
In 1983, Philips became the first record label to issue compact discs, using digital recordings that went as far back as 1978. (The first digital recordings, however, were actually remastered versions of vintage recordings by the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso, using the Soundstream process developed in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1975-76. RCA Victor released vinyl versions of these reprocessed, historic recordings. Philips was among the record labels to use the Soundstream process for modern digital recordings.)
Philips and its subsidiaries eventually re-issued many of its pre-digital stereo and mono recordings on compact disc. Philips and DuPont partnered on a CD manufacturing plant in North Carolina called PDO. By the mid-1990s, Polygram Classics handled the classical labels (Philips, Mercury, Decca, DGG) and Verve Music Group handled the jazz back catalogue (from Verve, Mercury, etc.) and new jazz releases. Mercury continues to manage the Philips pop back catalogue to this day.
Philips Records has been part of Universal Music since 1998, the name continuing to be licensed from the label's former parent company. In 1999, Philips Classics was absorbed into the Decca Music Group, and Philips recording and mastering operations in Holland were shut down. Former employees bought the Philips Recording Center in Baarn, Netherlands, and formed Polyhymnia International (a recording and mastering company) and Pentatone Records (which specializes in SACD releases).
Many of the Philips classical recordings have been reissued on the Eloquence label. Universal also released a "Philips 50" series marking the 50th anniversary of Philips Records in the early 2000s; some of those CD's are still in print. Pentatone has released Philips Quadraphonic sound recordings from the early and mid-1970s in 4-channel SACD format, as their RQR Series.
Philips' classical catalog is issued on CD under the headings Digital Classics, Legendary Classics and Silver Line Classics.
The "Philips Connoisseur Collection" issued world music and other genres.
- PCC-603: Soeur Sourire - The Singing Nun
- PCC-606: Missa Luba (a version of the Latin Mass based on traditional Congolese songs).
- PCC-616: Michel Legrand - The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies De Cherbourg)
- PCC-619: Los Fronterizos Chorus And Orchestra - Misa Criolla
- PCC-608: Edith Piaf - Adieu, Little Sparrow
- PCC-620: Jacques Brel: The Poetic World of Jacques Brel
- PCC-621: Sarah Gorby - Songs Of The Ghetto
- PCC-623: Misa Flamenca · Misa Mozarabe
- PCC-633: Yves Montand - Extraordinaire!
- PCC-634: Jacques Brel: If you go away
Popular music artists
- Andy Lau - Hong Kong (1995-1997, now moved to Sony Music Entertainment from 1998–present)
- Aaron Kwok - Hong Kong (1996-1999, now moved to Sony Music Entertainment from 2000–present)
- Dave Wong - Republic of China (1996-1998, now moved to Sony Music Entertainment from 1999-2009)
- Regina - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Sean - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Yoda - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Dion - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Rosa - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Dera - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Belinda - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Khanza - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Febri - Indonesian Idol Season 7 (2012–present, made in Malaysia also known as "Philips Record (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad")
- Kamahl - Australia
- Galapagous Duck - Australia
- Radio Birdman - Australia - European release only
- Mr. George - Australia
- Hush - Australia (debut single release only)
- Silver Studs - Australia
- Demis Roussos - Greece
- Nana Mouskouri - Greece
- Guys 'n' Dolls - England
- The Missing Links - Australia
- Janice Slater - Australia
- Elton John (US singles from 1968 to 1970)
- Mud - England (1969, but also on Philips in Europe from 1975 to 1977)
- Thunderthighs - England
- 5,000 Volts - England
- Lena Zavaroni - Scotland
- Blue Cheer - San Francisco, California, United States
- Teresa Brewer - Toledo, Ohio, United States
- Cluster - Berlin, Germany
- Ray Conniff (licensed from US Columbia Records)
- Teresa De Sio - Cava de' Tirreni, Italy
- Val Doonican - Ireland
- Ekseption - Netherlands
- The Four Pennies - various, England
- The Four Seasons - Newark, New Jersey
- Gong – France
- Johnny Hallyday - Paris, France (from 1961 until 2005)
- Coco Briaval - Paris France (1966)
- Wes Harrison -
- Bobby Hebb - Nashville, Tennessee, United States
- Johnny Horton - (licensed from US Columbia Records)
- Brian Hyland - Queens, New York
- Jim and Jean - New York City, United States (1965)
- Billy Joel -
- Yoshie Kasiwabara - Japan
- The Kaye Sisters - England
- Kraftwerk - Düsseldorf, Germany
- Frankie Laine (licensed from US Columbia Records)
- Vicky Leandros - Greece/Germany
- Los Paraguayos - Paraguay
- Luv' - Netherlands
- Harvey Mandel - Detroit, Michigan
- Manfred Mann's Earth Band - European release only
- Susan Maughan - Consett, County Durham
- Paul Mauriat - Marseille, France
- Roger Miller - Nashville, Tennessee
- Guy Mitchell (licensed from US Columbia)
- Mouth & MacNeal - Netherlands
- Osamu Minagawa - Japan
- New Vaudeville Band - England
- Peters and Lee - England
- Ajda Pekkan - Turkey
- Johnnie Ray (licensed from US Columbia)
- Richard and the Young Lions - Newark, New Jersey, United States
- Serendipity Singers - Boulder, Colorado, United States
- Nina Simone - Tryon, North Carolina, United States
- The Singing Nun - Fichermont, Belgium
- Dusty Springfield - West Hampstead, London
- The Springfields - London
- The Swingle Singers - Paris, France
- Wally Tax - Amsterdam, Netherlands
- The Tempters - Japan
- Frankie Vaughan - Liverpool, England
- The Walker Brothers - Los Angeles, California, United States; based in London from Feb. 1965
- John Walker - New York, United States
- Scott Walker - Hamilton, Ohio, United States
- David Whitfield - England
- Marty Wilde - Greenwich, South London
- Terry Wogan - Limerick, Éire
- Ajda Pekkan - Turkey
- "Billboard - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. 1961-02-20. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- "Liszt: The Two Piano Concertos; The Piano Sonata: Sviatoslav Richter, Franz Liszt, Kiril Kondrashin, London Symphony Orchestra: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- "Pentatone Classics". Pentatonemusic.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- "Pentatone Classics". Pentatonemusic.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- On Decca until 1967, then on Pye.
- Licensed from US Mercury subsidiary Smash; 1970 to Mercury.
- Formerly on HMV till 1956, and on Columbia from 1967. Then moved to Pye in 1973 until 1978, when he recorded for a variety of labels, including Ronco, Big V Records.
- A discography of American Philips pop albums in the 1960s and early 1970s
- A discography of American Philips singles in the 1960s and early 1970s
- Yahoo! Group dedicated to Philips Records
- Philips Records on Facebook