Concord Bicycle Music

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Concord Music
Industry Music, entertainment
Founded 1973
Headquarters Beverly Hills, California
Owner Alchemy Copyrights
Website Concord Music
Footnotes / references
Distributed by Universal Music Group

Concord Music is a wholly owned independent music company based in Beverly Hills, California, with worldwide (including the U.S) distribution through Universal Music Group.[1][2] The company is specialized in recordings (Concord Records, Fantasy Records, Loma Vista Recordings) and music publishing (The Bicycle Music Company, Imagem). As of September 2017, Concord is the fifth-largest music company in the world.[3]

Concord Music's active roster includes James Taylor, Chick Corea, Alison Krauss, Ben Harper,[4] Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott, Arturo Sandoval, Booker T. Jones, Kenny G, George Benson, Steve Martin, Alejandro Escovedo and AFI. The company’s master catalog recordings includes John Coltrane, John Fogerty, Frank Sinatra, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, Isaac Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Albert King.[5]


The company was founded in 1973 in Concord, California by Carl Jefferson, an auto dealer and jazz enthusiast. Jefferson produced the first Concord Jazz recording by guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. He named the label after the Concord Jazz Festival, which he had organized some years earlier. Jefferson sold Concord to Alliance Entertainment in 1994 and died the following year.[6] In 1999, film/television producer Norman Lear and entertainment executive Hal Gaba purchased the company. In 2002, the label's headquarters were moved to Beverly Hills, California.[7]

In 2004 Concord Records acquired Fantasy, Inc., owner of Prestige, Fantasy, Milestone, Riverside, and Specialty, and the post-Atlantic Stax catalog. Concord then combined with Fantasy to form the independent Concord Music Group.[8] That same year, Concord first partnered with Starbucks to release Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company – which won 8 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.[9] In 2005, the company acquired the classics and jazz label Telarc International.[10] On December 18, 2006, Concord announced the re-launch of the soul label Stax; rights to the name were formerly held by Fantasy. New signings included Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone.[11]

On March 12, 2007, Concord Music Group and Starbucks jointly founded the Hear Music label.[12] Hear Music’s initial release, Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full, was released in June of ‘07.[13] Hear Music has since released albums by artists that include Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, John Mellencamp and more.[14] In 2008, Village Roadshow Pictures Group (VRPG) and Concord completed their merger resulting in the creation of the new diversified entertainment group, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.[15] In April 2010 it was announced that Paul McCartney transferred the distribution rights of his post-Beatles output to Concord from EMI.[16]

Concord purchased Rounder Records in 2010.[17] Distribution is mainly handled by Universal Music Group.[18] In smaller markets, such as those in Africa and Eastern Europe, local independent labels that represent Universal license the catalogue.[18] In 2012 Concord Music Group designated four distinct operating units: Fantasy Label Group (Hear Music, Stax, Fantasy), Rounder Label Group, Concord-Telarc Label Group (Concord Jazz/Heads-Up/Telarc) and Prestige Group.

Esperanza Spalding was honored with the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011, a first for Concord.[19] Concord Music Group artists won 8 Grammy Awards at the 2013 Awards ceremony, the most of any label.[20]

On March 25, 2013, Wood Creek Capital Management, an affiliate of MassMutual Financial Group, purchased Concord Music Group from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.[21] On October 31, 2013, The Bicycle Music Company acquired Wind-up Records back catalog including the master recordings of 1,600 songs including albums by Creed, Evanescence, Seether and Alter Bridge. The Bicycle Music Company then cut a service agreement deal with sister company Concord Music Group to market the acquired Wind-up Records back catalog to retailers and consumers.[22]

On July 1, 2014, Tom Whalley's label, Loma Vista Recordings (home to St. Vincent, Little Dragon, Spoon, Cut Copy, Marilyn Manson, Ghost, and the Grammy-nominated Django Unchained soundtrack, among others) agreed to a new multi-year, worldwide strategic partnership with Concord Music Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Concord provides funding for new talent relationships and artist development, as well as comprehensive label services for Loma Vista.[23] On July 8, 2014, Concord Music Group announced the acquisition of the Vee-Jay Records catalog including over 5,000 master recordings from Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Betty Everett, Jimmy Reed, Jerry Butler, The Staple Singers, Gene Chandler, and the Dells, among many others.[24]

On April 1, 2015, Concord Music Group announced that it had acquired Vanguard Records and Sugar Hill Records from the Welk Music Group. Simultaneously, it was also announced that Concord Music Group merged with the Bicycle Music Company, a leading independent music publisher, record label, and rights manager to form the fully integrated recorded music and publishing company Concord Bicycle Music. Concord Music and Bicycle Music will operate as individual divisions within Concord Bicycle Music, with Concord Music Group being primarily responsible for recorded music activities and Bicycle overseeing publishing and rights management.[25] In May 2015, Concord Bicycle Music acquired Fearless Records and the rest of Wind-Up Records, the latter's back catalogue having been acquired by The Bicycle Music Company in October 2013.[26] The Fearless acquisition also included Fearless Records' Fearmore Music Publishing, along with the company’s in-house merchandise operation.[27]

In September 2015 Concord acquired a significant stake in Razor & Tie, which includes the Razor & Tie and Washington Square labels, a publishing company, and the Kidz Bop franchise. Artists on the Razor & Tie label include The Pretty Reckless, All That Remains, Red Sun Rising and Starset.[28]

On June 2, 2017, Concord acquired the music publisher Imagem [29]for $500 million. This deal included the rights to artists such as Daft Punk, Phil Collins, Mark Ronson, and Rodgers & Hammerstein.[30]



  1. ^ "Concord Music Being Shopped to Private-Equity Firms, Not Strategic Suitors", Billboard, 5 December 2012
  2. ^ "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management", Billboard, 25 March 2013
  3. ^
  4. ^ American Songwriter "Ben Harper’s Stax Records Debut Get Up! Due In January", American Songwriter, October 3, 2012
  5. ^ American Songwriter "Concord Music Group Acquires Rounder Records", American Songwriter, 14 April 2013
  6. ^ Jazz Times "Carl Jefferson names Concord after the festival", Jazz Times, November 1998
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times "Lear and Gaba purchase Concord", Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2009
  8. ^ Eric Olsen "Huge Jazz News: Concord Buys Fantasy",, 2 December 2004
  9. ^ Today "Ray Charles big winner at Grammy Awards", Today, 29 May 2006
  10. ^ Staff Writer "Concord Music buys Telarc", Los Angeles Times, 21 December 2005
  11. ^ "Stax Relaunches With Hayes, Stone, White Tribute", Billboard Magazine, 19 December 2006
  12. ^ Seattle Times "Starbucks launches Hear Music record label", Seattle Times, 12 March 2007
  13. ^ Classic Rock "Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full", Classic Rock
  14. ^ "Starbucks Launches Hear Music Record Label". 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  16. ^ Sean Michaels "Paul McCartney cuts ties with EMI", The Guardian, 22 April 2010
  17. ^ Kristen Callihan "Concord Music Group Buys Rounder Records", Paste Magazine, 16 April 2012
  18. ^ a b "Distribution". Concord Music Group. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  19. ^ Huffington Post "Esperanza Spalding: Grammy Award 2011 Winner For Best New Artist", Huffington Post, 25 May 2011
  20. ^ "Concord, Warner Bros. Lead Record Labels With Most Grammy Awards at 2013 Ceremony",, 11 February 2013
  21. ^ "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management",, 25 March 2013
  22. ^ "Bicycle Music Acquires Wind-Up Records' Back Catalog, Cuts Deal with Concord Music Group (Exclusive)",, 31 October 2013
  23. ^ "Tom Whalley's Loma Vista Goes to Concord Music Group",, 1 July 2014
  24. ^ "Concord Music Group Acquires Famed Soul Label Vee-Jay Records",, 8 July 2014
  25. ^ "Concord and Bicycle Merge to Form Concord Bicycle Music, Acquires Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records",, 1 April 2015
  26. ^ [1] Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "Concord Continues Acquisition Binge with Fearless Records, Wind-Up Deals",, 6 May 2015
  28. ^ Newman, Melinda (30 September 2015). "Razor & Tie Forms New Company With Concord Bicycle Music: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  29. ^ "Concord Bicycle Music Aquires Imagem Music Group - Music Connection". Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  30. ^ Ingham, Tim (2017-06-02). "Concord's $500m+ Imagem buy marks the birth of a major player in music". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 

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