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Rykodisc Records is an Americanmarker record label. It is owned by Warner Music Group, operates as a unit of WMG's Independent Label Group and is distributed through Alternative Distribution Alliance.

Company history

Claiming to be the first CD-only independent record label in the United States, Rykodisc was founded in 1983 in Salem, Massachusettsmarker, by Arthur Mann, Rob Simonds, Doug Lexa and Don Rose. In the late 1980s, the label also began to issue high-quality cassette and vinyl versions of many releases under the name Ryko Analogue.

Rykodisc had some notable successes in the CD-reissue industry, as artists such as Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Frank Zappa, Nine Inch Nails, Robert Wyatt, and Mission of Burma allowed Rykodisc to issue their catalogs on CD. Rykodisc still retains the rights to the Zappa and Mission of Burma catalogs. Rykodisc also re-released the classic SST Records-era recordings by the Meat Puppets.

Over the years the label has acquired Hannibal Records, Tradition Records, Gramavision Records, Emperor Norton Records, Restless Records and, most recently, Cordless Recordings. Rykodisc also founded a distribution company, Ryko Distribution, and a music publishing company, Rykomusic. The label's catalogue now exceeds 1,200 titles.

In 1998, Chris Blackwell left Island Records and bought Rykodisc for a reported $35 million as a means of acquiring music marketing and distribution expertise for his new venture, a media company called Palm Pictures. In 1999, one year after the Blackwell buy-out, the office in Salem MA was closed, and many industry veterans were laid off. The office held a wake for the label. In 2001 Blackwell parted ways with Rykodisc. The label was then located in New Yorkmarker with offices in Los Angelesmarker and in Beverly, Massachusettsmarker.

Rykodisc sets apart its CD issues with its trademarked green-tinted jewel boxes, which the company began using in 1988. The label began limiting the use of the green-tinted cases on new releases in 2002.

On March 23, 2006, it was announced that Warner Music Group acquired the Ryko Corporation for $67.5 million. When Warner bought Ryko, it acquired the label's Frank Zappa master tapes, entitling Warner to any reissue rights—an irony considering Zappa's outspoken hatred for the major record label. During this same year, the independent publishing company EverGreen Copyrights purchased the Rykomusic publishing catalogue, among others.

In 2009, Ryko Distribution was folded into Alternative Distribution Alliance. Currently, ADA acts as the distributor for all Rykodisc releases in the United Statesmarker.

Rykodisc artists

See also


  1. EverGreen grows global - EverGreen Copyrights:: Articles
  2. Ryko Dist. Merged With ADA, Staffs Shuffled -

External links

  • Rykodisc Official Site
  • Cordless Official Site

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