West End Records
|West End Records|
|Parent company||BMG Rights Management|
|Genre||Electro, disco, garage house, boogie, hip hop|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||New York City|
West End Records is an American music record label based in New York City. Led by co-founder Mel Cheren, West End was one of the most prominent labels in dance music's history, along with Prelude Records, Salsoul Records, and Casablanca Records. West End Records helped introduce the 12-inch single, the vinyl format popularized by disco music in the 1970s and promoted the nascent garage house music pioneered by DJ Larry Levan in Paradise Garage. West End Records was acquired by Verse music group in 2010. On June 29, 2015, Verse Music was acquired by BMG Rights Management.
It was founded by Mel Cheren and Ed Kushins in 1976 and the label went on to define the sound of New York City in the heyday of disco. That sound eventually filtered to dance floors and clubs across the country and around the world. During the disco era, many labels and artists scrambled to put out records that would ride the wave of disco's popularity but West End was not jumping on any bandwagon. West End created the bandwagon, releasing hits like Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat," Karen Young's "Hot Shot," Loose Joints' "Is It All Over My Face," Barbara Mason's "Another Man," and The NYC Peech Boys' "Don't Make Me Wait," creating a frenzy on dance floors. These titles, along with many others in the West End Records catalog, went on to become some of the most sampled songs in music history.
Samples of West End Records' titles appear in productions of million selling artists: Jennifer Lopez, Notorious B.I.G, Ja Rule, Ini Kamoze, DMX and many others. The sound of West End is intimately remembered by all the dancers and music lovers from the world over. In the film industry, you can find West End's music in such films as "The Cookout" (Lions Gate Films, 2004), "Honey" (Universal Pictures, 2003), "Loving Jezebel" (Shooting Gallery, 1999), "Reversal of Fortune" (Warner Bros, 1990) and much more. West End's music has also been featured on such television programs as "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", "Queer Eye for the Straight Girl", and "Showtime at the Apollo".
The label released such hits as
- Taana Gardner – "Heartbeat"
- Karen Young – "Hot Shot"
- Barbara Mason – "Another Man"
- Loose Joints – "Is It All Over My Face?"
- The New York Citi Peech Boys – "Don't Make Me Wait"
- Raw Silk - "Do It To The Music"
The Godfather of Disco is a 2006 feature-length documentary based on Mel Cheren's autobiography, My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep On Dancin directed by Gene Graham and produced by Determined Pictures.