Manhattan Records

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Manhattan Records
Parent company
Founded 1984
Founder Bruce Lundvall
Status Active
Distributor(s) Capitol Music Group
Genre Adult Contemporary, Classical
Country of origin United States
Official website Official website

Manhattan Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group and operates as a branch of Capitol Music Group.

Company history[edit]

Manhattan Records was formed in 1984 by Bruce Lundvall, and was later renamed EMI Manhattan Records after absorbing the EMI America Records imprint. In addition to being a fully functional label in its own right, EMI Manhattan was also used to reissue back catalogue titles from Capitol Records, as well as other EMI labels, such as United Artists Records and Liberty Records. It also distributed new albums from Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International Records during the later half of the 1980s as well, after a 15-year stint with CBS Records. The deal also gave EMI the distribution rights to PIR's back catalog from 1976 onward (CBS, later Sony Music, would retain the rights to PIR's catalog up to 1975).

The primary artist released on EMI Manhattan Records was Kenny Rogers. His hugely successful United Artists Records and Liberty albums, including "The Gambler" and "We've Got Tonight", were reissued on CD on EMI Manhattan. The label was also used to reissue singles (at that time, issued on vinyl 45s). Again, the main artist was Rogers. His biggest hits, among them "The Gambler", "Lucille", and "Lady", were reissued on singles in the 1980s.

Notable artists signed to EMI Manhattan Records included Richard Marx, Natalie Cole, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robbie Nevil, Queensrÿche, Bernard Wright, Lila Downs, Anoushka Shankar, Baltimora, and Thomas Dolby. Pet Shop Boys were also distributed in North America on the label, being signed and distributed in the UK by Parlophone. In 1992, EMI Manhattan was dismantled and absorbed into Capitol Records with the catalog bearing the EMI label.

In 2001, the Manhattan label was relaunched (sans the EMI prefix) as a division of EMI Classics by veteran record producer Arif Mardin. Richard Marx, one of its flagship artists during the label's heyday, returned to the label upon its revival. In 2006, EMI reorganized its adult music operations and put the Manhattan label under the aegis of the Blue Note Label Group. As of 2013, following the reorganization of labels as a result of Universal Music Group's acquisition of EMI, Manhattan now operates under the umbrella of the Capitol Music Group.