Enigma Records

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Enigma Records
Enigma logo
Parent company Greenworld Distribution (until 1985)
EMI (from 1989)
Founded 1980 (1980)
Founder William and Wesley Hein
Defunct 1991 (1991)
Status Inactive
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, alternative, punk
Country of origin U.S.
Location Torrance, El Segundo, Culver City, California

Enigma Records (also known as Enigma Entertainment Corporation) was a popular rock and alternative American record label in the 1980s.


Enigma Records was initially a division of Greenworld Distribution, an independent music importer/distributor founded in 1978,[1] from which it split off in 1985 to become its own company. The label was initially located in Torrance, California, then El Segundo, California and finally Culver City, California.

Enigma was founded and run by brothers William and Wesley Hein.[1] Jim Martone joined the company in 1984 and ultimately became a partner.[2] Enigma focused on punk rock, alternative, and heavy metal music though it also released techno, jazz and classical music through subsidiary labels.

In addition to the primary Enigma Records label, the company had two smaller divisions. Enigma Retro focused on re-issues of material licensed from other labels such as Straight Records, Bizarre Records, and DiscReet Records. The Restless Records division focused on alternative artists not intended for major label distribution. Enigma also released film soundtracks including The Terminator and River's Edge. Enigma released a compilation album, Enigma Variations, with various artists. Enigma had a joint venture with Mute Records and released certain Mute titles in the United States. Sonic Youth's landmark 1988 album Daydream Nation was originally released on Enigma Records, in association with Blast First Records.

Enigma Records was initially distributed through independent record importers/distributors such as JEM Records and Important Records. In 1984, Enigma entered into a joint venture with EMI America. Among the artists signed under the venture were the Red Hot Chili Peppers and SSQ (later renamed Stacey Q and signed to Atlantic Records). In 1986, Enigma moved its distribution to Capitol/EMI, a major record label, while leaving its Restless Records division with independent distributors. Poison, a glam rock band, and The Smithereens were two of the first artists released under the joint Enigma / Capitol relationship, both of which had significant success. That same year it launched a music video line also distributed by Capitol.[3] Enigma was acquired by Capitol/EMI in 1989[1] and finally merged with Restless in 1991, where its operations, catalogs and some of the artists moved to.[4]

Enigma's Canadian division was closed in 1992 and was reorganized into FRE Records. However, it filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and in 1999 its back catalogs were sold to DROG Records.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Wesley Hein". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Jim Martone". Music 180.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  3. ^ Sutherland, Sam (3 May 1986). "Capitol Is Solution for Enigma Distribution". Billboard. 98 (18): 4, 71. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Enigma Records". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2011-06-18. [permanent dead link]