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|Parent company||Important Records
Sony Music Entertainment
|Country of origin||United States|
Combat Records was an American independent record label from New York City. The label was home to predominantly metal and punk rock acts including Megadeth, Circle Jerks, Nuclear Assault, OZ, Death, Dead Brain Cells, Possessed, Crumbsuckers, Agnostic Front, Agent Steel, Dark Angel, Heathen, Zoetrope and Exodus.
Combat Records was the "in house" heavy metal label for the independent powerhouse distributor Important Record Distributors. Important had several offices in the United States that promoted and sold Combat's releases. Important Records was also home to Megaforce Records in the mid-1980s and produced Metallica's Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning (prior to Metallica's transfer to Elektra Records), Anthrax's Fistful of Metal and many other early Megaforce releases.
In mid-1986, the Noise label signed a deal with Combat to distribute records in the US. Noise represented the bands Voivod, Celtic Frost, Helloween and Running Wild). Neat also signed with Combat, bringing Venom, Raven to the US, while Metal Blade brought Slayer and Trouble. Usually releases were issued in joint venture with the Combat logo.
The label signed thrash metal band Megadeth to a contract in November 1984. The band released Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!, their first album, in 1985. Capitol Records signed Megadeth in 1985, obtaining the rights from Combat to Megadeth's second album, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?. The Combat logo appeared on the back of every Megadeth album on Capitol up through Countdown to Extinction. Megadeth's album Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! is one of the highest selling albums released by Combat Records with more than 200,000 copies sold.
Purchase of the company
Combat Records was later taken over by Relativity Records. Owned by Sony Records, Relativity allowed Combat to exist for a brief period of time, before shutting it down. Later, Sony would discontinue Relativity Records as well. Sony Music Entertainment continues to retain rights to the majority of the label's catalog.
Sony Music Entertainment released most of the original Combat catalog digitally for the first time in 2015. The releases were marketed through the relaunched Music For Nations label.
- Moleski, Linda (24 August 1985). "Important Records Rediscovers Relativity". Billboard: 70. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
Shortly after its formation in 1983, Relativity was put on hold because the company decided it would be more beneficial to "drop dance" and start a specialty label for heavy metal... As a result ... the money generated by Combat 'paved the way for us to start signing other [types of] bands.'
- Important Record Distributors; Megaforce Records; Combat Records (8 December 1984). "advertisement". Billboard: RB16. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Waller, Don (29 Jan 2000). "Secrets of RED's Success". Billboard: R-2. Retrieved 15 January 2015. The Billboard Salute to RED.
- Moleski, Linda (7 June 1986). "Grass Route". Billboard: 43. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Combat Records (27 April 1985). "Bang Your Head 'Til You're Dead". Billboard: HM-5. Retrieved 15 January 2015 (advertisement).
- Titus, Christa (22 October 2005). "Venerable Metal Label Again Ready for Combat". Billboard: 22. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Combat Records discography at Discogs
- Corrosion of Conformity discography at Discogs
- Have Mercy discography at Discogs
- "Home Video ....newsline....". Billboard: 32. 6 April 1985. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "New Releases: Home Video". Billboard: 29. 19 October 1985. Retrieved 15 January 2015.