WWE Music Group
|WWE Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Sony Music Entertainment|
WWE Music Group, (formerly known as WWE Records, as well as SmackDown! Records) is a record label funded and operated by WWE. It is manufactured and co-marketed by Columbia Records and distributed by Sony Music Entertainment. The label specializes in compilation albums of the WWE wrestlers' entrance themes, often by contributing performing artists, but also releases titles that have been actually performed by the wrestlers themselves, including the various-artists album WWE Originals and John Cena's You Can't See Me.
Historically, most WWE entrance themes have been performed by Jim Johnston since the 1980's, while in recent times, themes have been written or performed by John Alicastro and Mike Lauri, known collectively as CFO$. The label is currently under the management of Neil Lawi.
The series of World Wrestling Federation (WWF) produced albums began in 1985 with The Wrestling Album. The album contained the song, "Land of a Thousand Dances", recorded by a majority of the WWF roster at the time (including Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura, and Randy Savage). The locker room would later reconvene for the song's music video.
Format change and success
The format of the wrestling albums changed in 1996, as the focus went from the wrestlers themselves singing to a compilation of various wrestlers' entrance themes. WWF Full Metal was the first album released with the new focus. In October, the album reached #184 on the Billboard 200 and by 2002, had sold 173,000 copies. This new format proved to be a success. The follow-up album, WWF The Music, Vol. 2, which was released two years later, spent sixteen weeks on the chart and sold over 480,000 copies.
WWF The Music, Vol. 3 and WWF The Music, Vol. 4, released in December 1998 and October 1999 respectively, each sold over a million copies. In particular, Vol. 3 reached #10 on the Billboard 200, spent thirty weeks on the chart, and sold over 1.21 million copies. The album reached position #4 in its début week, stayed on the charts for twenty weeks, and sold over 1.13 million copies.
On 21 March 2000, the company worked with Priority Records to release a hip-hop album titled WWF Aggression, which featured rappers such as Snoop Dogg, ODB, Method Man, and Kool Keith, all of whom recorded versions of various wrestlers' entrance themes. This album differed from previous albums, which were more along the lines of rock music. Despite the change, the album still sold approximately 640,000 copies.
In February 2001, WWF The Music, Vol. 5 débuted on the Billboard 200 at position #2, spending two weeks in the top twenty and selling 176,000 copies. as well as reaching #2 in the UK Albums Chart and #5 in the Canadian Albums Chart. The album featured an original song by The Rock. By 2002, Vol. 5 had sold 640,000 copies. In September 2001, the WWF Tough Enough album sold 138,000 copies.
In May 2001, WWE signed their first act, the heavy metal band Neurotica, and released their third album in June 2002, the only non-wrestling related album released on the label so far, before they disbanded.
In 2002, WWF Forceable Entry sold 145,000 copies in its first week to enter the Billboard 200 at position #3. It was the fourth consecutive WWF album to début in the top ten of the Billboard 200. Forceable Entry also débuted on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart. The album included music from Creed, Our Lady Peace, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, Kid Rock, Drowning Pool, Rob Zombie, Sevendust, and Saliva. Later in the year, WWE Anthology was certified platinum after just 10 days of release.
As of March 2006, WWE officially announced the launching of the "WWE Music Group" under the management of Neil Lawi, who not only maintains the label but selects songs to be used on television and pay-par-view events, and regularly scouts new talent to showcase via WWE. Within two months of operation, the newly restructured label had an album reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 when WWE Wreckless Intent, featuring songs by artists such as Motörhead, Three 6 Mafia, P.O.D. and Killswitch Engage, reached #8. In 2007 the label released ¡Quiero Vivir!, the début album of WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia, in conjunction with Universal Music Latino.
In 2007, WWE released WWE The Music, Vol. 7, the first digitally exclusively album released on the label iTunes, and starting in 2012, WWE began making old albums available through online stores, starting with the first five "Volume" albums released from 1995 to 2001.
On 20 April 2013, the entrance theme of wrestler Fandango reached #44 in the UK Singles Chart, after briefly being close to the Top 10 in the mid-week charts. Following the NXT Arrival show on 27 February 2014, WWE released singles of eight NXT Superstars created by CF0$, and was followed in May by the music video and single of Tyler Breeze.
|The Wrestling Album||10||November 1985|
|Piledriver - The Wrestling Album 2||10||September 21, 1987|
|WrestleMania: The Album||10||1993|
|WWF Full Metal||14||September 24, 1996|
|WWF The Music, Vol. 2||15||November 18, 1997|
|WWF We Gotta Wrestle||15||1997||This was the first WWF album released outside of the United States.|
|WWF The Music, Vol. 3||14||November 29, 1998|
|WWF The Music, Vol. 4||14||November 2, 1999|
|WWF Aggression||13||March 21, 2000||The first WWF album featuring a collaboration of commercial artists performing themes.|
|WWF The Music, Vol. 5||14||February 20, 2001|
|WWF Forceable Entry||18||March 26, 2002||This was the last album sold under the WWF banner.|
|WWE Anthology||86||November 12, 2002||The CD consists of 3 discs titled, The Federation Years, The Attitude Era, and Now!.|
|WWE Originals||17||January 13, 2004||Album recorded by various WWE superstars and divas.|
|WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6||16||November 16, 2004||The CD was released with a bonus DVD which featured the songs set to entrance videos.|
|WWE Wreckless Intent||15||May 23, 2006||The album is the sequel to WWF Forceable Entry album.|
|WWE The Music, Vol. 7||21||March 16, 2007|
|RAW Greatest Hits: The Music||19||December 18, 2007|
|WWE The Music, Vol. 8||14||March 25, 2008 (US)
March 24, 2008 (UK)
|Voices: WWE The Music, Vol. 9||13||January 24, 2009 (Australia)
January 27, 2009 (US)
April 13, 2009 (UK)
|WWE The Music: A New Day, Vol. 10||14||January 28, 2010||.|
|Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Entrance Music EP||4||June 13, 2011|
|Hall of Fame 2012 - The Music||16||March 25, 2012|
|WWE The Music: The Beginning||80||July 16, 2012|
|WrestleMania - The Music 2013||23||April 1, 2013|
|SummerSlam - The Music 2013||20||August 16, 2013|
|The Federation Era||23||April 1, 2014|
|The Music of WCW||57||April 1, 2014|
|WrestleMania - The Music 2014||62||April 7, 2014|
|11||June 25, 2002||First single-artist album from WWE Music Group.|
|You Can't See Me
(John Cena & Tha Trademarc)
|17||May 10, 2005 (US)
May 30, 2005 (UK)
|12||October 9, 2007||Released through Universal Music Latino and WWE.|
|A Jingle with Jillian
|7||December 11, 2007|
|Legendary (Music From the Motion Picture)
(James Alan Johnston & Various Artists)
|26||September 28, 2010|
|Knucklehead (Music From the Motion Picture)
(James Alan Johnston and various artists)
|26||November 2, 2010|
|The Chaperone (Music From the Motion Picture)
(James Alan Johnston and various artists)
|21||February 18, 2011|
|Inside Out (Music From the Motion Picture)
(James Alan Johnston and various artists)
|22||September 8, 2011|
|The Reunion (Music From the Motion Picture)
(Jim Johnston and various artists)
|31||October 20, 2011|
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- "Hard Rockers Square Off On 'WWF Forced Entry'". Billboard. 8 February 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Rock's Hottest Stars Get Down & Dirty on WWF Forceable Entry CD Featuring Creed, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Drowning Pool, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Sevendust, Saliva, & Others". Sony Columbia. 4 March 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "WWE Anthology hits Platinum 10 days after shipping". WWE Official Website (Corporate). 25 November 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "WWE Launches the WWE Music Group, Neil Lawi named General Manager". WWE Official Website (Corporate). 27 March 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
- "WWE enters the ring with music venture". New Zealand Herald. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- High, Kamau (15 June 2008). "Music a key element in WWE brand profile". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Hoffman, Brett (31 May 2006). "Wreckless Intent debuts in Top 10". WWE Official Website. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Hillhouse, Dave (6 June 2006). "Wreckless Intent - Silly title, good CD". Slam Sports. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "WWE and Universal Music Latino relese Lilian Garcia's "Quiero Vivir"". WWE Official Website (Corporate). 24 September 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Dee, Louis (3 April 2007). "iTunes and WWE team up again". WWE Official Website. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
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- "The music of WWE NXT". WWE Official Website. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Rueter, Sean (6 June 2014). "Tyler Breeze world premiere music video from WWE NXT (June 5, 2014)". CageSide Seats. Retrieved 8 July 2014.