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Caroline Records

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Caroline Records
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
FounderRichard Branson
Distributor(s)Virgin Music
Virgin Records France (France)

Universal Music Group

Capitol Music Group
Country of originUnited Kingdom / United States
LocationNew York City, U.S.
Caroline label design in the UK

Caroline Records is a record label originally founded in 1973. Initially founded in the United Kingdom to showcase British progressive rock groups, the label ceased releasing titles in 1976, and then re-emerged in the United States in 1986. The label released the work of American punk rock, thrash metal and new wave music bands.[1] Caroline had a number of subsidiary labels, including Astralwerks, Gyroscope, Caroline Blue Plate, Beat the World, Scamp and Passenger. In 2013, the brand was relaunched by Universal Music via the Capitol Music Group.[2]

UK label[edit]

The original Caroline record label started as a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin Records from 1973 to 1976. It specialized in inexpensive LPs by progressive rock and jazz artists that lacked commercial appeal. Caroline Records rarely mentioned a connection with Virgin, and some UK and European Virgin albums that were distributed internationally (instead of being manufactured in each country) named Caroline as their American distributor.[citation needed]

The first release was Outside the Dream Syndicate by Tony Conrad and Faust in 1973. The logo was a photographic-style variation of Virgin's "Twins" logo, designed by Roger Dean.

US label[edit]

In 1983, the Caroline name was reused by Virgin in the US as the importer Caroline Distribution. Caroline Distribution founded the current Caroline Records in 1986. Some Caroline Records CDs issued in the US, bore the label name Caroline Blue Plate, especially Virgin UK originally-issued progressive rock records. Caroline Records was merged into Virgin Records after Virgin was acquired by Thorn EMI.[3] Caroline Distribution was separated and became part of EMI Music Distribution.[citation needed] In 2013, the brand was revived by Universal Music Group under Capitol Music Group.

France label[edit]

Caroline France was created in 2014 by Thomas Lorain following a call from Caroline who wanted a subsidiary in France.[4]

Caroline France renamed itself Virgin Records France in 2021 following the launch of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services.[citation needed]

Primo Scree[edit]

Primo Scree was an imprint of Caroline Records created by Ned Hayden of the Action Swingers, who had previously been a sales rep at Caroline.[5][6] Its releases included the Action Swingers' single "Fear of a Fucked Up Planet", as well as Gumball's debut album Special Kiss and Monster Magnet's debut album Spine of God.[7][8]

Notable releases[edit]


  1. ^ "Caroline Records - Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". Metal-archives.com Encyclopedia Metallum. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Caroline Records". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  3. ^ Barnes, Terry (11 September 1999). "Caroline Distribution: Sweet 16 and Never Been Dissed". Billboard – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Caroline comes in France". Ventes Rap. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Monster Magnet". Contemporary Musicians. 2004. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  6. ^ Belanger, Ashley (25 March 2015). "Total Punk talks to Action Swingers' Ned Hayden about CBGB, his influences and the early NYC punk scene". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  7. ^ Marlowe, Keith (21 May 2015). "Action Swingers Just Won't 'Quit While You're Ahead'". Noisey. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  8. ^ Huey, Steve. "Gumball Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  9. ^ Kids on the Street > Overview AllMusic.com
  10. ^ "Billy, Don't Be a Hero". Spin. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  11. ^ The Vanishing Point > Overview AllMusic.com

External links[edit]