|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founder||Koninklijke Philips B.V.|
|Distributor(s)||Decca Music Group|
Verve Label Group
Classical music (current)
|Country of origin||Netherlands|
The record label was started as "Philips Phonographische Industrie" (PPI) in June 1950 when it began issuing classical recordings. Recordings were also made of popular artists of various nationalities and of classical artists from Germany, France and the Netherlands. Launched under the slogan "Records of the Century" (referring to Philips Industries' UK Head Office at Century House, W1), the first releases in Britain appeared in January 1953 on 10" 78 rpm discs, with LPs appearing in July 1954.
Philips also distributed recordings made by Columbia Records (which at the time was a unit of CBS) in the UK and on the European continent. After the separation of the English Columbia label (owned by EMI) and American Columbia, Philips also started distributing original Columbia recordings on the Philips label in the UK.
The first batch of eight singles releases in 1953 included British artists such as Gilbert Harding, Flanagan & Allen and Gracie Fields, followed by American Columbia recording artists Jo Stafford, Frankie Laine and Johnnie Ray. The first single on the label to chart was Frankie Laine's "I Believe", which reached the No. 1 chart position in the UK that April. Many of the first British recordings on the label were produced by Norman Newell until John Franz was appointed artists and repertoire (A&R) manager in 1954.
In 1958 Philips created a subsidiary label, Fontana Records, which meant that American-Columbia recordings were being issued on both the Philips and Fontana labels. This arrangement lasted until April 1962, when, under pressure from Columbia in America, Philips then created a third label for them, CBS Records (it could not name the label Columbia as the copyright for that name had long been owned by EMI). In late 1964, under the stewardship of U.S. President of Columbia Records Goddard Lieberson, CBS Records formed its own international operations, adopting the name of its then parent CBS. CBS Records set up their UK operation in Theobalds Road in Holborn. Singles and albums on the Philips and Fontana labels by Columbia-owned product were subsequently withdrawn.
In 1962, Philips Records and Deutsche Grammophon formed the Grammophon-Philips Group joint venture (GPG), which later became PolyGram in 1972. UK pressings were manufactured at the company's large factory based at Walthamstow in N.E. London.
In 1961, after Philips lost its US and Canadian distribution deal with Columbia Records, it entered an exchange agreement with Mercury Records. A year later, Philips' US affiliate Consolidated Electronics Industries Corp. (aka Conelco), bought Mercury and its subsidiary labels, such as Smash. Philips classical, jazz and pop records were marketed by Mercury in the US under the Philips label. The Mercury Living Presence team also made classical recordings for Philips, in July 1961. These records, made in Walthamstow Town Hall near London, included Liszt piano concertos by Sviatoslav Richter and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kiril Kondrashin; two albums of symphonic "bon-bons" by the London Symphony Orchestra and Charles Mackerras released as "Kaleidoscope"; "Russian Song Recital" by Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich; and Beethoven sonata op. 69 for cello and piano by Richter and Rostropovich. The Richter Liszt album was recorded on 3-track 35mm magnetic film and was reissued on CD from a remaster made from the film by original producer Wilma Cozart Fine, (wife of the late recording pioneer Bob) as part of the Philips Solo series.
Classical groups that Philips heavily recorded included the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Quartetto Italiano. Violinist Arthur Grumiaux and the pianist Claudio Arrau were under contract to Philips. Symphony orchestras under contract, including the LSO, were under the command of prestigious young conductors such as Colin Davis and Bernard Haitink.
From 1961 until the late 1980s, Philips Records (USA) issued many classical titles in US-specific packaging, initially in the same glossy-laminated covers as Mercury Records. The records were pressed at Mercury's plant in Richmond, Indiana, and mastered in New York by George Piros at Fine Recording, using 2-track and mono master tapes provided by Philips. These releases were the PHS 900 xxx series for stereo and the 500 xxx series for mono. Clair Van Ausdal in Mercury's New York office oversaw the Philips classical US releases through the mid-1960s.
Philips also launched an eponymous jazz label in the US, releasing both imported European Philips recordings and making new American recordings of Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman, among others. These records were made through Mercury's existing jazz operations and produced by Jack Tracy and others.
In addition to jazz and classical music, Philips also became a major player in the world of rock and pop music in the late 1950s till late 1970s. In the UK, Philips developed a strong popular music roster, signing acts like Marty Wilde, Roy Castle, Anne Shelton, the Four Pennies, Dusty Springfield, and the Walker Brothers. The American pop label was launched in 1962 starting with the R&B single "Gee Baby" by Ben & Bea and showed a comfortability with folk-country, releasing "Makes You Wanna Sigh" by Ross Legacy in 1969. It signed the Four Seasons in 1964. It also played a major part in promoting the garage rock genre and the psychedelic rock genre in the mid to late 60s, their most successful signing being Blue Cheer.
In the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, Philips turned its attention more to the growing MOR market with artists like Lena Zavaroni, Peters and Lee, Nana Mouskouri and Demis Roussos, as well as issuing novelty records by media personalities like Ed Stewart, Bruce Forsyth, Dave Allen and Chris Hill. In 1972, Philips, Fontana, Mercury Records, and the newly formed Vertigo Records were amalgamated into a new company called Phonogram In Europe, however, Philips was used on a major basis and it became the outlet for Sire Records in America and distributed a number of punk and new wave bands like Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Radio Birdman, who were signed from Australia. It also released some disco records by Donna Summer and the Village People, as their home label Casablanca Records was not cleared for use in all countries around the world. Another important American label signing for the UK was Avco Records, which provided Phonogram with one of their best-selling U.S. acts, the Stylistics. By late 1979 Phonogram signed Dire Straits to the Vertigo label. The band sold huge numbers of records all over Europe and were chosen to promote the initial release of CDs in 1985, with a nationwide road tour in association with Philips/Sony Industries.
By 1980, Phonogram and Polydor Records decided to merge to become PolyGram Records. Under the new company, PolyGram decided to discontinue Philips as a pop and rock label in the UK and throughout much of Europe, though it was still frequently issued records in France and South East Asia by Chinese and Hong Kong pop artists. The majority of PolyGram's rock and pop music signings went to Mercury, and Polydor in the UK and Europe, though the label was used sparingly in America. Philips became part of PolyGram Classics as a classical music label along with Decca Records and Deutsche Grammophon.
From the early 1970s, Philips classical records were not being produced in the US any more; rather they were made in the Netherlands and sold as imports in the American market. Philips reissued a group of Mercury Living Presence titles as "Mercury Golden Imports", with manufacture in the Netherlands and masters cut from 2-track production tapes, as opposed to the original-issue method of mixing stereo LPs directly from the edited 3-track master tapes and films.
In the 1980s Philips Classics Records was formed to distribute its classical artists, although classical recordings have also been issued on the regular Philips label. In the US, Philips eventually handled distribution and sales for Philips, Mercury, British Decca (sold under the London label in the US) and Deutsche Grammophon.
Philips and its subsidiaries eventually re-issued many of its pre-digital stereo and mono recordings on compact disc. Philips and DuPont partnered in four CD manufacturing plants in Hanover, Germany; Blackburn in the UK (formerly the Philips Laservision Disc factory); Kings Mountain in North Carolina, and Louviers in France. By the mid-1990s, Polygram Classics handled the classical labels (Philips, Mercury, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon) and Verve Music Group handled the jazz back catalogue (from Verve, Mercury, etc.) and new jazz releases. Mercury continues to manage the Philips pop back catalogue to this day.
Philips Records has been part of Universal Music since 1998, the name continuing to be licensed from the label's former parent company. In 1999, Philips Classics was absorbed into the Decca Music Group, and Philips recording and mastering operations in the Netherlands were shut down. Former employees bought the Philips Recording Center in Baarn, Netherlands, and formed Polyhymnia International (a recording and mastering company) and Pentatone Records (which specializes in SACD releases).
Many of the Philips classical recordings have been reissued on the Eloquence label. Universal also released a "Philips 50" series marking the 50th anniversary of Philips Records in the early 2000s; some of those CDs are still in print. Pentatone has released Philips Quadraphonic sound recordings from the early and mid-1970s in 4-channel SACD format, as their RQR Series.
Philips' classical catalog was issued on CD under the headings Digital Classics, Legendary Classics and Silver Line Classics. Many of these titles have been reissued on the Decca label.
The "Philips Connoisseur Collection" issued world music and other genres.
Auf Wiedersehn is a German-language studio album by Greek singer Demis Roussos, released in 1974 on Philips Records.Casanova (Luv' song)
"Casanova" is the sixth single by Dutch girl group Luv', released in the spring of 1979 by Philips Records. This song appears on the formation's second album, Lots Of Luv', and was a Top 10 single in a large part of Continental Europe, maintaining Luv's position as the best Dutch export act of 1979.Demis Roussos (album)
Demis Roussos is a studio album by Greek singer Demis Roussos, released in 1978 on Philips Records (on Mercury Records in the United States).Fontana Records
Fontana Records is a record label which was started in the 1950s as a subsidiary of the Dutch Philips Records. The independent label distributor Fontana Distribution takes its name from the label.Golden Hits (Demis Roussos album)
Golden Hits is a greatest hits album by Greek singer Demis Roussos, released in 1975 on Philips Records.I've Got You Under My Skin
"I've Got You Under My Skin" is a song written by Cole Porter in 1936. It was introduced that year in the Eleanor Powell musical film Born to Dance in which it was performed by Virginia Bruce. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. It became a signature song for Frank Sinatra, and, in 1966, became a top 10 hit for the Four Seasons.If I Were a Carpenter (song)
"If I Were a Carpenter" is a song written by Tim Hardin. Hardin's own recording of the piece appeared on his 1967 album Tim Hardin 2. It was one of two songs from that release (the other being "'Misty Roses") performed by Hardin at Woodstock in 1969. The song has been covered a number of times by other artists.Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist, such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids, or potential synthetic life as "living". Biology is the science concerned with the study of life.
There is currently no consensus regarding the definition of life. One popular definition is that organisms are open systems that maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve. However, several other definitions have been proposed, and there are some borderline cases of life, such as viruses or viroids.
Abiogenesis attempts to describe the natural process of life arising from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. The prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but a gradual process of increasing complexity. Life on Earth first appeared as early as 4.28 billion years ago, soon after ocean formation 4.41 billion years ago, and not long after the formation of the Earth 4.54 billion years ago. The earliest known life forms are microfossils of bacteria. Earth's current life may have descended from an RNA world, although RNA-based life may not have been the first. The mechanism by which life began on Earth is unknown, though many hypotheses have been formulated and are often based on the Miller–Urey experiment.
Since its primordial beginnings, life on Earth has changed its environment on a geologic time scale, but it has also adapted to survive in most ecosystems and conditions. Some microorganisms, called extremophiles, thrive in physically or geochemically extreme environments that are detrimental to most other life on Earth. The cell is considered the structural and functional unit of life. There are two kinds of cells, prokaryotic and eukaryotic, both of which consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane and contain many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Cells reproduce through a process of cell division, in which the parent cell divides into two or more daughter cells.
In the past, there have been many attempts to define what is meant by "life" through obsolete concepts such as odic force, hylomorphism, spontaneous generation and vitalism, that have now been disproved by biological discoveries. Aristotle was the first person to classify organisms. Later, Carl Linnaeus introduced his system of binomial nomenclature for the classification of species. Eventually new groups and categories of life were discovered, such as cells and microorganisms, forcing dramatic revisions of the structure of relationships between living organisms. Though currently only known on Earth, life need not be restricted to it, and many scientists speculate in the existence of extraterrestrial life. Artificial life is a computer simulation or man-made reconstruction of any aspect of life, which is often used to examine systems related to natural life.
Death is the permanent termination of all biological functions which sustain an organism, and as such, is the end of its life. Extinction is the term describing the dying out of a group or taxon, usually a species. Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of organisms.My Only Fascination (album)
My Only Fascination is a studio album by Greek singer Demis Roussos, released in 1974 on Philips Records.Ring-A-Ding Girl
"Ring-A-Ding Girl" was the British entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 1962, performed in English by Ronnie Carroll,
On the night of the contest the song was performed 13th, following Yugoslavia's Lola Novaković with "Ne pali svetlo u sumrak" and Luxembourg's Camillo Felgen with "Petit bonhomme". At the close of the voting the song had received 10 points, placing 4th in a field of 16.
The song reached #46 on the UK Singles Chart. Ronnie Carroll returned as the British representative at the following year's Eurovision Song Contest held in London with "Say Wonderful Things".Say Wonderful Things (song)
"Say Wonderful Things" is a popular song with music by Philip Green and lyrics by Norman Newell, published in 1963. It was the United Kingdom's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963, held in London. The singer was Ronnie Carroll, who also represented the UK the year before. The song finished fourth behind Denmark, Switzerland and Italy; eventually reaching No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart.
The most popular version of the song in the United States was recorded by Patti Page, as the title song of her first album for Columbia Records. Page's record peaked only at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 but was more successful in Australia, continental Europe and in Asian territories such as Hong Kong and Japan.Souvenirs (Demis Roussos album)
Souvenirs is a studio album by Greek singer Demis Roussos, released in 1975 on Philips Records.
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