The Vanity Label
The Vanity Label is an American record label created by Nate Ruess and Sam Means of The Format, the label’s only signed artist (as of 2007). The company was created by Ruess and Means subsequent the absorption of Elektra Records into Atlantic Records Group in 2004, as The Format was dropped from the newly formed Atlantic Records Group. The newly formed Vanity Label was created to launch their then upcoming album, and Vanity Label’s first album release, Dog Problems.
The name for the label (The Vanity Label) is rooted in the slang of the same name, which picks out an artist-found label-within-a-label. Such a ‘vanity label’ is made by/for a popular artist from within the record label they are signed with, primarily to promote artists he or she likes. Though the album is distributed under the parent label, the vanity label's branding adorns the records it releases. A recent example of this kind is ATO Records, started by Dave Matthews, whose parent label is Sony BMG. This trope mockery of the music industry is a recurring theme in The Format’s short history, as seen with their first single release entitled “The First Single,” and even in the band's name, which is intended as a critique of the strophic industry “format” needed for a hit single.
The Format Website http://www.theformat.com/
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