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Epic Records is an Americanmarker record label. It is a premier subsidiary label of Sony Music Entertainment. The label was founded in 1953 as a jazz label, but was eventually expanded to several genres of music. The label itself manages several imprints as well.


Epic was launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS as a sister label to CBS' Columbia Records. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. This has included such notables as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Juilliard String Quartet, Antal Doráti conducting the Hague Philharmonic and George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra.

By 1960, the label's musical base was expanded to include all genres of music and became an avenue for Columbia's A&R department to sign newer artists and avoid "overstuffing" the larger sister Columbia label, which at the time leaned on signing better known or already established artists. Many of Epic's signings were newer pop, Rock & Roll, and R&B artists in nature, where Columbia had better known "mainstream" popular artists.

Ten years later, Epic earned its first gold records and developed into a formidable hit-making force in rock and roll, R&B and country music. Among its many acts, it included Roy Hamilton, Bobby Vinton, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, Tammy Wynette, Donovan, The Yardbirds, Lulu, and Jeff Beck. Several of the British artists on the Epic roster in the 1960s were the result of Epic's distribution deal with EMI in which Epic recordings were issued by EMI on the Columbia label before the contract with EMI expired at which point CBS Records formed a British Epic Records branch to market Epic label material.

In the 1960s, Epic oversaw the smaller subsidiary CBS labels including Okeh Records, Date Records. and distributed Ode Records.

Epic has a long history of many successful acts. During the late 1960s and 1970s, its success extended to include Sly & the Family Stone (66), Charlie Rich (67), Edgar Winter (70),Steve Vai (70-present), REO Speedwagon (71), The Jeff Beck Group (71), Johnny Nash (72), ABBA (in the UKmarker) (72), The Isley Brothers (73), Ted Nugent (75), Boston (76), Heart (on sister label Portrait Records) (76), Cheap Trick (76), The Clash (76), Charlie Daniels, and The Jacksons/Michael Jackson.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Epic made stars out of the likes of Meat Loaf, Adam Ant, Cry Before Dawn, Culture Club, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Electric Light Orchestra, Ozzy Osbourne, Europe, Sade, Luther Vandross, Gloria Estefan, and Cyndi Lauper (through the Portrait label.) Other successful acts included Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Fiona Apple, Jennifer Lopez and Mandy Moore.

Other artists signed to Epic include Lamb of God, Natasha Bedingfield, Menudo, Brandy, Anastacia, The Fray, Incubus, Alkaline Trio, Social Distortion, Modest Mouse, Good Charlotte, Live, Boxer, KISS, Duran Duran, Fey, Rage Against the Machine, Kat DeLuna, Chevelle, Editors, Prong, Pearl Jam, Sara Bareilles, Suicidal Tendencies, Macy Gray, B*Witched (via Glowworm Records), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (via Ruthless Records), Tori Amos, Nicole Bennett, Tenacious D, FireHouse, multiplatinum selling artist Billy Gilman, Céline Dion, Low Vs Diamond, The White Tie Affair, Vedera, Augustana, Margot & The Nuclear So and So's, Cheyenne Kimball, Red and Scouting For Girls, also Go:Audio.

Epic is part of the Sony Music Entertainment company. Sony Corporation bought all of CBS's labels in 1988. A joint venture between its music division and BMG happened in 2004, and Sony purchased BMG's stake to take hold of the whole company in 2008.

Legacy Recordings continues to reissue the label's classic and historical albums.

In March 2007, Epic, along with Columbia Records, signed an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment Japan to handle that company.

In February 2009, Sony Music appointed singer/songwriter Amanda Ghost president of Epic.

Imprint labels

Past and present imprint labels of Epic Records include the following:

Epic Records artists

Pat Carl

Epic Records Executives

  • Amanda Ghost - Epic Records President
  • Nick Raphael - Epic UK Managing Director
  • Jo Charrington - Epic UK Head of A&R

See also

Former logos

Image:First epic logo.png|Original Epic Records "radial sound" logo.Image:Epicrecords.jpg|Classic Epic Records "radial sound" sunburst logo used in the 1960s and the early 2000s.Image:Epicrecords70s.png|Epic Records logo used in the 1970s. (1980s Epic script logo was recently revived as the current logo shown above in Infobox.)Image:Epicrecords90s.png|Epic Records logo used following the creation of Sony Music Entertainment in 1991


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