Artists helped by a label change

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by seed_drill, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Tryon, NC, USA
    Of course there are many examples of groups going from a small indie to a major label and seeing their career explode, like Nirvana. But there are also cases where one label just didn't "do right" by an artist, who only reached their full potential after they left. Like when Aretha Franklin left Columbia for Atlantic.

    Then, of course, there was Michael Jackson leaving Motown for Epic.
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Bob Dylan going back to Columbia...Blood on the Tracks
    rockerreds and Mr.Sean like this.
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Kinks leaving RCA for Arista and another resurgence
    Mr.Sean, OldSoul and Mickey2 like this.
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Rolling Stones - Decca/London to;
    - Atlantic - RS Records

    Brilliant on Decca and then peaked for first 2 lps on Atlantic.

    Decca messed them around continuously so they would have left at any cost in 1970
    Mr.Sean likes this.
  5. lesterbangs

    lesterbangs Forum Resident

    The Replacements, I suppose...

    Tbey made a few great albums after they moved to Sire, but working for a big label may have caused them some problems.
  6. zen

    zen Forum Resident

    Deep Purple with earMUSIC / Edel AG. German independent record label in Hamburg.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  7. dalem5467

    dalem5467 Forum Resident

    Charlie Rich is the first person I think of. Little success with Phillips International, RCA and Smash. A fourth change to Epic was the charm.
    Fine and Sneaky Pete like this.
  8. ralphie

    ralphie Forum Resident

    Lawrence, KS
    Linda Ronstadt leaving Capitol for Asylum comes to mind.....though the final album she owed Capitol in her deal ended up being her breakthrough.
  9. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    And Marvin Gaye leaving Motown for CBS-- sadly only one album, but his biggest hit in a decade.
    seed_drill and Zoot Marimba like this.
  10. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    Phil Ochs moving to A+M from Elektra. Helped him artistically at any rate.
  11. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    I can think of a couple Motown acts that had their biggest success after leaving the label:
    The Spinners
    Gladys Knight & The Pips
    The Isley Brothers

    There’s also Slayer, who switched from Metal Balde to Def Jam and then had Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven, and Seasons Of The Abyss.
    Hall Cat and seed_drill like this.
  12. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    I would pick George Harrison.

    Though his sales stayed about the same, I think the move from Apple to WB in 1976 gave him a shot in the arm. "Thirty Three and 1/3" was his best album in years!
    Zoot Marimba likes this.
  13. Aurora

    Aurora Forum Resident

    Reba McEntire: Mercury -> MCA Nashville
    Kelly Clarkson: RCA -> Atlantic
  14. OldSoul

    OldSoul Well, I'm a lonesome schoolboy...

    Vallejo, CA
    Funkadelic going to WB, possibly. Could just have been that Parliament got big right before that, though.
  15. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    Theoretically, many label changes occurred for want of :
    More $$$,
    a larger advertising budget to support album releases,
    a strong supportive A&R team,
    a wider record distribution deal,
    Both Domestically and Internationally, if all these reasons were actually achieved, this list should have hundreds of bands.
  16. sixtiesstereo

    sixtiesstereo Forum Resident

    Elvis - Sun to RCA
  17. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    An unusual case because he was on both labels at the same time for a while, but Keith Jarrett's albums for ECM were more successful (commercially, and from his perspective I would guess musically too) than his records for Impulse.
  18. DPK

    DPK Forum Resident

    Lexington, SC
  19. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    Bonnie Raitt. WB to Capitol.
    She went from 'Nine Lives' to 'Nick of Time'.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    scousette and Chris C like this.
  20. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Johnny Cash signing to American Recordings and Columbia before that.
  21. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    styx moving from wooden nickel to AM?
    van m from Bang to WB
    (maybe doesn't count, both kind of small labels)
  22. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    James Taylor : Warner -> Columbia. First album for Columbia was the biggest of his career. Warner Bros had grown tired of him.

    Heart: Sony -> Capitol. Their career on Sony (Epic/Portrait) had stalled.
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  23. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    I don't know if this really counts but The Sex Pistols gained tons of publicity and notoriety from being singed first to EMI then dropped, afterwards being signed to A&M and subsequently dropped from them too before finally signing (and staying) with Virgin Records.
  24. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    He was on Mercury for a few years without any success as well.
    jonathan likes this.
  25. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    John Anderson (the country singer) had his first commercial success with Warner Bros., he moved to MCA and Capitol without as much success, but when he signed with BNA/Sony Nashville in the early 1990s, he ended up with a resurgence in popularity.

    Exile had recordings on Columbia as the Exiles in the 1960s and only had regional success, they also recorded for Wooden Nickel and ATCO for a while, but their first true breakthrough was with Warner Bros/Curb when they had "Kiss You All Over" and the album Mixed Emotions out in 1978 (they released 4 albums and followup singles to Kiss You All Over didn't meet with much success), so they moved to the Nashville industry, signed with Epic as a country band after discovering Alabama had hits with covers of Take Me Down and The Closer You Get among other country acts recording songs they had written and they finally had their most overall successful part of their career with 4 albums with Epic Records, and when J.P. Pennington and Les Taylor left Exile to try their hands in solo careers, Paul Martin joined the band and they had 2 albums for Arista Records which although they did have some hit singles on the Arista albums, the albums didn't sell quite as well as the Epic albums and it was the Epic years that had their overall best material.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018

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