Richard Russell (XL Recordings)

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Richard Russell
Also known as rLr
Born United Kingdom
Occupation(s) Record label executive, record producer
Instruments Programming, keyboards
Labels XL Recordings
Website XL Recordings

Richard Russell is the owner of British record label XL Recordings.


XL Recordings was founded in 1989 by Tim Palmer and Nick Halkes (in partnership with Beggars Banquet Records) to release rave and electronic music on 12" vinyl singles.[1] Richard Russell joined XL as an A+R scout in 1991. Around this time, he was also a part of the Kicks Like a Mule rave/electronic music duo with Nick Halkes.

In 1993, Halkes left XL. In 1994, Palmer retired from the music business, leaving Russell in sole charge of XL. Russell later broadened the musical horizons of the label whilst maintaining a credo of working with artists he saw as original and inventive.[2]

XL enjoyed early success with The Prodigy whose first four albums were released by the label. They have since worked with Radiohead, The White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, The xx, Gil Scott-Heron and Adele.

In 2005, Russell appeared at the 'In The City' conference in Manchester alongside other British independent record label founders Chris Blackwell, Tony Wilson and Alan McGee on a panel entitled 'I Wasn't Born To Follow'.

In 2006, he co-produced the avant-garde orchestral album Aluminium by Aluminium, based around songs written by Jack White of The White Stripes.

Thom Yorke, of Radiohead fame, released his first solo record, The Eraser on the label in July 2006. In October 2007, Radiohead completed negotiations to sign with XL for the physical release of their seventh studio album, In Rainbows. XL have subsequently released Radiohead's album The King Of Limbs and its remix companion TKOL RMX 1234567.

Between 2007 and 2009, Russell worked with the seminal American musician and lyricist Gil Scott-Heron to produce the album I'm New Here, released in 2010. He also conceived the reworking of the original album, We're New Here, remixed by Jamie xx and released in 2011.[3]

In 2011, Russell joined Damon Albarn and several other producers on a trip to Congo where they recorded the album Kinshasa One Two as the newly established DRC Music (Democratic Republic of the Congo Music) group. The album features various producers including Russell, Dan the Automator, Jneiro Jarel, T-E-E-D, Rodaidh McDonald and Kwes alongside various local musicians from Congo. It was released on 7 November 2011 on CD and LP, following a digital release the previous month.[4]

In 2012, Russell and Damon Albarn co-produced The Bravest Man in the Universe, the new studio album from Bobby Womack.[5] In April 2012, Russell became the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Strat Award, named after music manager Tony Stratton Smith, at the Music Week Awards in London. Russell's label, XL Recordings was named Label of the Year at the ceremony.[6]

In 2013, Damon Albarn had revealed that Russell would be working with him on his forthcoming solo studio album Everyday Robots, with Russell providing percussion and rhythm, while Albarn provides everything else.

Russell is worth £75 million, according to the "Sunday Times Rich List 2015." [7]

Production discography[edit]


External links[edit]