Castle Communications

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Castle Communications PLC
Private
Industry Publishing, distribution
Genre Musical reissues and repertoire
Fate Dissolved
Founded 1983 (1983)
Founder Terry Shand, Cliff Dane, Jon Beecher
Defunct 2007 (2007)
Headquarters Chessington, Surrey, United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
Parent Alliance Entertainment (from 1994)
Sanctuary Records Group (from 2000)
Divisions Dojo Ltd.
Raw Power

Castle Communications was a British independent record label and home video distributor founded in 1983 by Terry Shand, Cliff Dane, and Jon Beecher. Its video imprint was called Castle Vision.

Castle Communications was acquired by the American music distributor Alliance Entertainment in 1994[1] and in 2000 it was absorbed into Sanctuary Records Group.[2] The label dissolved when Sanctuary became a subsidiary of Universal Music Group in 2007 and later sold by Universal in 2012.[3][4] Its catalogue of masters is now owned by BMG Rights Management, with global distribution handled by Warner Music Group.[5]

Starting out as a mid-price catalogue reissue specialist, with labels including The Collector Series and Dojo, Castle grew into the largest European owner of repertoire outside the major record companies. It purchased a number of record catalogues, including Pye, Piccadilly, Bradley's, Bronze, Black Sabbath, Sugar Hill,[6] Transatlantic, Beserkley, All Platinum and Solar. They possessed most of the Transatlantic and Trailer catalogue.

Starting in the early 1980s, they released compilations and reissued work by Fairport Convention, John Renbourn, Barbara Dickson, Steeleye Span, the Watersons, Richard Thompson, Geoff Turton and many others. They have also diversified to reissue several early albums by the Fall as well as "Pink Years" and "Blue Years" albums by Tangerine Dream, and compilations by Nurse with Wound and Current 93. They have also released a comprehensive compilation featuring songs by Canadian rock band, Triumph.

In the 1980s they were notable for releasing many heavy metal compilations albums under the series name Metal Killers. Interest in these licensed releases led them to form their own heavy metal imprint Raw Power, to sign and promote new rock acts, rather than to just license older product from other more established labels. The first signing to the Raw Power label was the NWOBHM act Hell's Belles, releasing their debut album and single in 1985. After several years, the Raw Power imprint was retired with the alleged waning of heavy metal's popularity in the UK.

Castle Vision/Home Video[edit]

Castle Vision was Castle Communications' home video distributor arm. It released many videotapes, including TUGS, The Raggy Dolls, Tumbledown Farm, Alvin and the Chipmunks, You've Been Framed!, the Men of our Time series (documentaries about Hitler, Lenin, Gandhi and Kennedy), a documentary called Falklands War: The Untold Story, The Fugitive, Harry's Game and more.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Castle Communication PLC". PLC Magazine. 1 September 1994. Retrieved 2011-07-03. 
  2. ^ Masson, Gordon; Ed Christman (8 April 2000). "U.k.'s Sanctuary Buys Castle Music". AllBusiness.com. Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  3. ^ Sweney, Mark (21 September 2012). "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". London: The Guardian. 
  4. ^ Chmielewski, Dawn C. (14 February 2013). "Universal Music agrees to sell Sanctuary Records". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Ed Christman (28 April 2016). "Warner Music's Global Deal for BMG's Catalog Sets Up Showdown With RED". Billboard.com. 
  6. ^ "RHINO AND CASTLE COMMUNICATIONS PLC BUY SUGAR HILL CATALOG MASTERS". PR Newswire. 12 June 1995. Retrieved 2011-07-03. 

See also[edit]