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Reprise Records is an Americanmarker record label, founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra, which is owned by Warner Music Group, and operated through Warner Bros. Records.

Company history

Reprise (pronounced rih-PREEZ) was formed in 1960 by Frank Sinatra in order to allow more artistic freedom for his own recordings. Hence, he garnered the nickname "The Chairman of the Board." Having left Capitolmarker/EMI, and after trying to buy Norman Granz's Verve Records, the first album Sinatra released on Reprise was Ring-a-Ding-Ding! As CEO of Reprise, Sinatra recruited a host of his cronies for the fledgling label, such as fellow Rat Pack members Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.. The original roster from 1961 to '63 included Bing Crosby, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Esquivel and stand-up comedian Redd Foxx . The label still issues any Sinatra work recorded while on the label and, after his death in 1998, it had great success with his greatest hits collections.

One of the label's founding principles under Sinatra's leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work; including publishing rights. This is the reason why recordings of early Reprise artists (Dean Martin, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, etc.) are (in most cases) currently distributed through other labels. In Martin's case, his Reprise recordings were out of print for nearly 20 years before a deal was struck with Capitol Records.

Many of the older artists were dropped when Sinatra sold control of the label to Warner Bros. Records in early 1963 (most of these albums were not good sellers). From that point, Warner-Reprise executives began targeting younger acts beginning by securing the American distribution rights to the Pye Records recordings by The Kinks in 1964. Reprise would later add teen-oriented pop acts like Dino, Desi, & Billy and Nancy Sinatra, before moving almost exclusively to pop-oriented music in the late 1960s.

Through direct signings or distribution deals, the Reprise roster grew to include Lee Hazlewood, the early Joni Mitchell recordings, Neil Young, The Electric Prunes, The Kinks, Arlo Guthrie, Norman Greenbaum, Tom Lehrer, Tiny Tim, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart, the early 1970s recordings by Frank Zappa and The Mothers, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Nico's Desertshore, The Fugs, Jethro Tull, Pentangle, T.Rex, The Meters, John Cale, Gordon Lightfoot, Michael Franks, Richard Pryor, Al Jarreau and the early '70s recordings of The Beach Boys.

In the late 1970s, as Joni Mitchell and Captain Beefheart had left the label, Sinatra expressed a wish to be the sole artist on Reprise, but Neil Young refused to leave. Mitchell returned to the label in the late 1980s after a stint on Geffen Records but now records for Hear Music. Young remains on Reprise to this day, though he also recorded for Geffen in the 1980s.

In 1977, Warner Bros. hibernated Reprise, reassigning all of its retained acts to the main Warner Bros. label. Although older catalog albums continued to be reissued with the Reprise logo, there were no new releases on the Reprise imprint until the label was reactivated in 1988. In the time since, Warner Bros. has often elevated the stature of Reprise to the rank of secondary parent label, as many of its subsidiary labels (such as Straight and Kinetic) have had their records released in conjunction with Reprise.

Today, in addition to Young, it is home to such artists as Devendra Banhart, Green Day, Michael Bublé, Enya, Avenged Sevenfold, The Used, Mastodon, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Serj Tankian, Josh Groban, Charice, My Chemical Romance, Disturbed and Oasis. Reprise is also the North American label for Britishmarker band Depeche Mode.

It was formerly home to the Jimi Hendrix and the Barenaked Ladies' catalogs in the U.S.marker

Neil Young stated in a documentary about his life that Charles Manson was turned down by Reprise.

Reprise Records artists


See also


  1. Reprise Records story.
  2. The Chairman of the Board hits another quarter century, by John Ward, The Tech, 12/11/90

External links

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