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|Parent company||Sony Music Entertainment|
Sony BMG (2002-2008)
Sony Music Entertainment (2008–present)
|Country of origin||Germany|
Ariola Records (also known as Ariola, Ariola-Eurodisc and BMG Ariola) is a German record label. In the late 1980s, it was a subsidiary label of BMG, which in turn has become a part of the international media conglomerate SME.
Ariola was founded in 1958 as a music outlet of Bertelsmann. It set up several foreign subsidiaries. Ariola America was founded in 1975 in Los Angeles, and achieved Billboard magazine number one singles with Mary MacGregor's "Torn Between Two Lovers" (1976) and Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood" (1979). Other artists on the Ariola America roster during the late 1970s included Gene Cotton, The Three Degrees, Chanson, and the Canadian band Prism among others. After its pop success dried up, Ariola America found success in the Spanish language market including Rocio Dúrcal from the late 1980s onward and Mexican artist Marisela starting in the 1990s. Other subsidiaries include Ariola-Athena to release spoken word records; Ariola Benelux was founded in 1970 to cover the Benelux market; Ariola Eurodisc was a Spanish division of Ariola, founded in 1970; Ariola UK the UK based subsidiary of Ariola was founded in 1977; Baccarola; Türküola for the Turkish market; Eurodisc to release disco records in France - most successfully with Amanda Lear, Giorgio Moroder (house producer of Ariola) and Jupiter Records for German schlager music and disco like for instance group Dschinghis Khan.
It acquired both Arista Records and German rival label Hansa Records in 1979. It sold 50% of Arista to RCA Records in 1983; after a brief joint venture between RCA and Ariola, RCA (including its record division) were acquired by General Electric who promptly sold RCA's stake in the venture back to Ariola. Ariola America also had a sister label called Ocean Records, which included on its roster actress/entertainer Ann-Margret. It was active 1979 through 1980. In the 1980s, there was a software development division called Ariolasoft.
In the early 1980s, Ariola launched the career of the five-piece United Kingdom new wave ensemble RPM, who had previous success stories with the 1981 tracks "Now That Summer's Here" and "I'm Energy".
Today, Ariola is a unit of Sony Music Entertainment and is still active in Germany under the Sony Deutschland umbrella.