Vox was founded in 1945, starting out with 78-rpm discs, specializing in licensed pressings of classical recordings made in Europe. It was one of the last major recording companies to adopt stereo recording, about 1960. The company's output featured the "Vox Box", compilations of music by specific composers, such as piano music of Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Ravel; the complete symphonies and orchestral music of Rachmaninoff; rarely heard orchestral music by Tchaikovsky, Massenet, and Rimsky-Korsakov; the complete orchestral music of the eccentric French composer Erik Satie; and one of the most complete collections of the music of the early American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
Vox had subsidiary labels including Turnabout and Candide. Both labels generally focused on contemporary music. In recent years, some Vox recordings have been released on the Excelsior label.
Although Vox has specialized in imported recordings, it also recorded the Utah Symphony Orchestra under Maurice Abravanel, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and Walter Susskind, the Minnesota Orchestra under Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Schippers, Walter Susskind and Michael Gielen.
In the early 1970s, Vox and its subsidiaries issued a number of compatible quadraphonic/stereophonic recordings using the Sansui QS quadraphonic matrix system; some of the ambience can still be heard when the CD versions are played with an amplifier with Dolby decoding and four speakers. One of these was the first album made by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, led by Robert Shaw, a 2-LP set entitled Nativity.
In the course of its existence, Vox has displayed a willingness to explore unusual literature and a penchant for covering broad swaths of repertory in comprehensive releases. Among its numerous noteworthy issues were the following:
- During the 1950s, Vox released the first nominally complete cycle of Schubert's piano sonatas on records, performed by the Austrian pianist Friedrich Wührer; it omitted a few fragmentary works but did include Ernst Krenek's rarely recorded completion of the Sonata in C Major, D. 840 (Reliquie). At first issued as single records with uniform jacket art, the series later appeared in two different sets of three Vox Boxes—one, with gold covers and red labels, monaural as originally recorded and the other, with white covers and purple labels, rechanneled for ersatz stereo. Vox subsequently replaced Wührer's cycle with one in true stereo recorded by Walter Klien; unlike its predecessor, the latter set has appeared in CD reissues as noted below.
- Vox released one of the few complete recordings of Tchaikovsky's rarely heard third piano concerto, as reconstructed by Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev (1856–1915), with pianist Michael Ponti. This performance has been included in a Vox Box (released in 1991) featuring Tchaikovsky's three piano concertos and the seldom-performed Concert Fantasy, Op. 56, all performed by Ponti, with the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Kapp (in the first and second concertos and the fantasy) and the Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg conducted by Louis de Froment.
- Vox issued recordings of the French composer Darius Milhaud directing the Luxembourg Philharmonic in his complete symphonies.
A partial listing of Vox recordings available in 2007 on CD included:
- 25 Classics Series
- 25 Bach Favorites
- 25 Beethoven Favorites
- 25 Concerto Favorites
- 25 Classical Favorites
- 25 Classical One Hit Wonders
- 25 Guitar Favorites
- 25 Handel Favorites
- 25 Mozart Favorites
- 25 Piano Favorites
- 25 Romantic Classics
- 25 Romantic Moods
- 25 Sentimental Favorites
- 25 Symphony Favorites
- 25 Tchaikovsky Favorites
- 25 Thunderous Classics
- 25 Ultimate Classics
- 25 Vivaldi Favorites
- Early Romantic Piano Concerti - Clementi, Hummel, et al.
- Alfred Brendel Plays Mozart with Walter Klien
- Ionisation - Music of Varèse, Penderecki and Ligeti
- Milhaud: 6 Little Symphonies, etc. / Milhaud, Luxembourg RSO
- Beethoven: Variations & Vignettes for Piano / Alfred Brendel
- Americana - Siegmeister, Ines, Copland, Gould, Sousa
- Debussy: Solo Piano Music Vol 1 / Peter Frankl
- Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 1 / Michael Ponti
- Manuel Barrueco - 300 Years of Guitar Masterpieces
- Gottschalk Festival / Eugene List, Igor Buketoff
- Saint-Saëns: Complete String Concertos
- Mozart: The Complete Masonic Music / Maag, Equiluz, Rapf
- Alfred Brendel plays Schubert
- L'Esprit de France - The Music of Satie
- Schubert: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol 2 / Walter Klien
- Mozart: Piano Sonatas Vol I / Walter Klien
- Schubert: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol 3 / Walter Klien
- Mozart: Piano Sonatas Vol 2 / Walter Klien
- Schubert: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol 1 / Walter Klien
- Mozart: Twelve Great Piano Concertos / Klien, Brendel, et al.
- Complete Gershwin- Works for Piano & Orchestra / Siegel
- Saint-Saëns: Complete Works for Piano / Dosse, Petit
- Young [Alfred] Brendel - The Vox Years
- American as Apple Pie / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
- American String Quartets 1950-1970 / Concord String Quartet
- 20th Century Voices in America - Rochberg, Cage, Carter, etc.
- Aaron Rosand plays Ernst, Godard, Lehár, Hubay, Ysaÿe, et al.
- Abbey Simon plays Chopin: Etudes and Waltzes Complete
- Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol I
- Alfred Brendel plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Vol III
- Alfred Brendel plays Beethoven Sonatas Vol II
- American Composers Series - American Orchestral Music
- American Composers Series - Homespun America
- American Composers Series - Music of Samuel Barber
- American Composers Series - The Incredible Flutist
- Art of Ruggiero Ricci
- Bach: 24 Preludes and Fugues, Vol 2 / Anthony Newman
- Bach: Orchestral Suites, etc. / Kehr, Faerber, et al. Box Set
- Bartók: Complete Solo Piano Music / György Sándor
- Beethoven: Complete Chamber Music for Flute / JP Rampal
- Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Bagatelles, etc. / Brendel
- Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 4 / Alfred Brendel
- Biber: Rosary Sonatas / Lautenbacher, Ewerhart, Koch
- Brahms, Mendelssohn et al. / Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
- Brahms: Complete String Quartets, etc. / Tokyo String Quartet
- Brendel plays Mozart and Haydn - Piano Concertos
- Chavez: The Complete Symphonies / Mata, London SO
- Chopin: Complete Works for Piano / Abbey Simon
- Chopin: Sonatas, Ballades, Scherzos, etc. / Abbey Simon
- Concord String Quartet - Haydn, Dvořák, et al.
- Eyewitness account by Robert E. Nylund