Manticore Records

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Manticore Records
Manticore logo.jpg
Founded1973 (1973)
FounderEmerson, Lake & Palmer
Distributor(s)Atlantic Records (1973–1975)
Motown Records (1975–1977)
Country of originUK

Manticore Records is a record label launched by the Manticore production company in 1973. These companies were owned by the members of the progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer (commonly known as ELP.) and their manager, Stewart Young.[1] The manticore was first featured in the artwork for the second ELP album Tarkus, as one of the eponymous creature's adversaries (the only one able to inflict damage on the Tarkus creature, according to the sleeve illustrations). Manticore was initially the name given to ELP's music publishers, credits first appearing in the credits on Trilogy,[2] released on Island in 1972.

Initially, the label was manufactured and distributed by Island Records, distributed by Island/EMI,[1] but ELP were unhappy with Island's overseas licensing of their previous records via Cotillion, and looked to RCA for interim distribution before choosing WEA for a manufacturing and distribution deal.[3] The label was then distributed by Atlantic Records (part of WEA) in the UK.[4] (In the US, Atlantic Records distributed the label from 1973 until 1975. Motown Records took over US distribution until the label shut down in 1977.) Although inactive in the UK for new releases (ELP had signed to Atlantic in 1977), the label remained active for back catalogue sales.[5] Although Manticore was inactive for many years most of its recordings have been re-issued by other labels.

The label was relaunched in 2017 under authorization from the Greg Lake estate, stating one of his last wishes was to bring the label back. Live in Piacenza is the first release on the new incarnation of Manticore,[6] released on 7 December 2017. The second was the last album Greg Lake produced before his death, Moonchild by Annie Barbazza and Max Repetti. The third one was John Greaves', Life Size.

One artist considered by the label, but subsequently not signed, was Steve Swindells,[7] whose first LP, Messages, was released instead by RCA. Swindells later joined Pilot, and the Hawklords.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, Philip (16 June 1973). "International News: From The Music Capitals of the World: London". Billboard: 76.
  2. ^ Unattributed (2 October 2021). "Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Trilogy". Discogs.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Palmer, Philip (16 June 1973). "International News: From The Music Capitals of the World: London". Billboard: 81.
  4. ^ Unattributed (22 December 1973). "Turn On to Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Advertisement)". Melody Maker: 22.
  5. ^ Unattributed (7 May 1977). "Threshold Stays as Catalog Label" (PDF). Billboard: 67.
  6. ^ "'Greg Lake Live in Piacenza'". 21 November 2017.
  7. ^ Swindells, Steve (2009) Messages (CD sleeve notes). London: Eclectic. ECLEC2163.
  8. ^ "John Greaves: Life Size". September 2018.

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