Sanctuary Records Group
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|Former type||Division of BMG Rights Management|
|Industry||Music & Entertainment|
|Genre||Rock, Hard rock, Heavy metal, Pop, Indie, Urban|
|Parent||BMG Rights Management|
Sanctuary Records Group Limited are a record label based in the United Kingdom and a subsidiary of BMG Rights Management. Until June 2007, it was the largest independent record label in the UK and the largest independent music management company in the world. It was also the world's largest independent owners of music intellectual property rights, with over 160,000 songs.
The company was formed in 1979 by Rod Smallwood and Andy Taylor, who had first met as undergraduates at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later organized dance events for students together. In 1979, they discovered (in a London pub) and then managed Iron Maiden. They consequently named the record company after the band's song “Sanctuary", a 1980 single later included on the reissued version of their 1980 eponymous debut album.
Sanctuary Records are noted for preferring to sign artists with long-term appeal, usually the artists are those considered heritage acts, being artists that have had a long career and steady fan base.
In 1994, the company diversified. Amongst the new media interests included a joint venture with screenwriter and producer, Raymond Thompson, which evolved into the Cloud9 Screen Entertainment Group.
Iron Maiden's back catalog was re-issued by Sanctuary in conjunction with Columbia/SME Records in the US in 2002.
Kenny Rogers's 1980s back catalog (originally released on RCA Records) was re-issued by Sanctuary's Castle Music label in conjunction with Kenny Rogers' Dreamcatcher Records in the UK. The albums were only available as imports in the US. Rogers' 2003 release "Back To The Well" was released by Sanctuary in the UK.
After a £110m loss in 2005 pressure from the UK financial and business leaders led to Smallwood becoming merely a general manager of the company, Taylor becoming Chief Executive and former British Airways chief executive Bob Ayling being installed as the new Chairman. On May 26, 2006, Ayling dismissed Taylor from the company over severe problems and inaccuracies in previous years' accounting. Sanctuary Group PLC shares had already become drastically reduced in value after a restructuring designed to deal with the previous year's huge loss. In late 2006, Smallwood left the company, taking with him Iron Maiden's management interests.
In July 2006, it was reported that MAMA, the management group behind the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand and headed by Mean Fiddler chief Dean James, had bid for the group. This proved unsuccessful. On 15 June 2007 Universal Music Group announced it had reached an agreement to buy Sanctuary Records for £44.5 million.
In April 2007 Billboard reported that Sanctuary Records would cease to exist as a new release label in the US that summer, though catalog, licensing, and new media operations would continue. On October 22, 2007, the record company was absorbed by Universal Music Group. By December 2007, it appeared that the Sanctuary name had begun to be airbrushed away, with both Morrissey and Robert Plant being transferred to the Universal-owned Decca Music Group for future releases.
On 21 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of EMI from Citibank for £1.2 billion. However, due to conditions imposed by the European Commission, UMG will be required to sell Sanctuary. BMG Rights Management will be acquiring Sanctuary for over €46 million. The previous incarnation of BMG had previously distributed Sanctuary in the USA and Russia.
Sanctuary and Mathew Knowles 
Mathew Knowles, father of Beyoncé Knowles and manager of Destiny's Child, joined the label as an executive in 2003, when Sanctuary purchased his urban music company in America. However, this move proved disastrous when records by such acts as Bizarre of D12, Ray J and De La Soul were delayed, and the main company headed towards collapse.
After restructuring the main company in 2006, it was decided no more records would be released by this American Urban division, while in July of that year Sanctuary came to the agreement that it would sell the MWE talent agency back to Mr. Knowles for £2.7m.
Former artists 
- Alan Price and The Electric Blues Company
- Allman Brothers Band (Hittin' the Note)
- Apollyon Sun
- The Ataris
- Andy Bell
- Belle & Sebastian - Rough Trade Records
- Bizarre - Urban Division
- Black Sabbath (except the US and Canada)
- Blue Nile
- Blue Öyster Cult
- Blues Traveler
- Brides of Destruction
- The Charlatans - Creole Records
- Corrosion of Conformity
- The Cranberries
- The Damned
- Bruce Dickinson
- Rob Dickinson
- Peter DiStefano
- Drowning Pool
- De La Soul - Urban Division
- Earth, Wind and Fire - Urban Division
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer (label outside the US, Canada, and Japan)
- Ex Cathedra
- The Fall
- Fun Lovin' Criminals
- Gamma Ray
- The Gathering
- Thea Gilmore
- Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
- Gravity Kills
- Adam Green
- Groove Armada
- Guns N' Roses
- Humble Pie
- Idlewild - Pye Records
- Billy Idol
- Iron Maiden (North America only, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment)
- Jane's Addiction
- Jimmy Chamberlin Complex
- Jo O'Meara
- Elton John
- King Crimson
- The Kinks
- Living Colour
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Manic Street Preachers
- Marillion (US and UK)
- The Marmalade
- Christine McVie (except North America)
- Meat Loaf
- Morrissey - Attack Records
- Alison Moyet
- Sally Oldfield
- Jo O'Meara
- William Orbit
- Orange Goblin
- Dolores O'Riordan
- Kelly Osbourne
- Pet Shop Boys
- Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation
- Joey Ramone
- Ray J
- Rollins Band
- Bruce Ruffin
- The RZA
- Saint Etienne
- The Small Faces
- Simple Minds
- Status Quo
- The Strokes - Rough Trade Records (UK only)
- Super Furry Animals
- Tangerine Dream ("Pink Years" and "Blue Years" albums)
- Tegan and Sara
- 3 Colours Red
- Uriah Heep
- Virgin Steele
- Widespread Panic
- Within Temptation (UK only)
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Neil Young
See also 
- BBC News, "Universal Music to buy Sanctuary", 15 June 2007, accessed June 16, 2007
- BBC News, "Sanctuary may sell off some units", 26 January 2007, accessed June 16, 2007
- "Corporate Information". Sanctuary Records Group Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- White, Adam. "The Untold Saga of the Zomba Group: Clive Calder's Empire is World's Largest Independent Music Firm" Billboard 113/18 (5 May 2001)
- Bob Stanley, sleevenotes to CD86
- Kate Holton and Chris Wills, "Universal agrees to buy struggling Sanctuary", Reuters, 15 June 2007, accessed June 16, 2007
- "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Universal Music agrees to sell Sanctuary Records". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 February 2013.