The Essential Guide To All The Euro 'Grey' Market Record Companies

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jackie P, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Jackie P

    Jackie P Music Is My Occupation Thread Starter

    Dub Lane
    Not everyone is aware of all these 'grey' market record companies so I think it would be helpful if everyone is made aware who they are before they get conned into any purchases.

    Unfortunately I bought a few of these 'grey market' company releases (listed below), completely unaware about them and their iffy mastering processes and sources at the time of purchase, so I'll kick start the list naming the companies I'd think twice (or completely avoid) going anywhere near in the future.

    Lone Hill Jazz
    Essential Jazz Classics
    Avid Jazz
    Brilliant Jazz
    Fantastic Voyage
    Not Now Music
    & possibly

    Please add on any other companies you think should be included in this listing.
  2. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    There was a recent thread on Jasmine, and Sepia was questioned.

    There is Realgonejazz label, which is completely different than Real Gone.

    I have a Lone Hill cd, and some Disky and Jasmine releases.

    This is a good idea for a thread. But the reality is for some of us, we'll never get the music on cd if we don't get some of these releases.

    And I suppose now, that the current 'legitimate' owners of some of the artist work will not trouble to issue the music as they know these gray market companies will immediately clone their products :(
    lightbulb and Ridin'High like this.
  3. Ricko

    Ricko Forum Resident

    Disky and Hallmark aren't "grey market" companies and have put out some great licenced budget stuff on CD over the years. Hallmark is however now doing some Euro public domain.

    Jasmine is one of the worst offenders in terms of stealing old bootleg needledrops of (now) public domain stuff & putting a hefty price on it.
  4. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy The Liverbirds

    New Zealand
    Disky has put out some good stuff. Hallmark are crap, apart from the reissues of those old knock off Top of the Pops LP's.
  5. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
  6. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    There was ASV Living Era but that closed shop.
    melstapler likes this.
  7. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I suppose Proper should be added to the list, although the few box sets I have from them are quite good, and the booklets are well-researched.
    Shvartze Shabbos likes this.
  8. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Gambit is a public-domain label, based in Andorra.

    Other PD labels than the ones already mentioned:
    American Jazz Classics
    Fresh Sound
    Blue Moon
    melstapler, Simon A and Jackie P like this.
  9. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    Are Disky not part of the Universal group or some other major? They have put out a lot of legitimate budget releases in the UK.
  10. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    Proper is not only a PD label, they have a lot of signed artists eg. The Waterboys.
  11. Mylene

    Mylene Senior Member

    EMI, I think. They were like EMI Gold but LOUDER!!!

    Snapper put out all The Pretty Things' CDs. They're like Repertoire, only good ;)
    goodiesguy and Simon A like this.
  12. Ricko

    Ricko Forum Resident

    They're a Dutch private company who had access to the European EMI group in the 90s. They did great budget boxes on Dean Martin, Peggy Lee & Julie London before anyone else, and they also did that "Basic" series of 60s beat stuff.
    goodiesguy, Ridin'High and Simon A like this.
  13. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident

    Just beat me to it. Yes, it's basically EMI's budget outlet in Holland. They're as legit as can be. The western European market used to be flooded with their budget releases, mostly V/A comps of 60s, 70s and 80s hits from the EMI catalogue, along with some individual EMI artists that are/were largely forgotten.
    goodiesguy, Ridin'High and Simon A like this.
  14. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Charly has issued some licensed stuff as well. I have some PD Disky stuff in my collection such as the 3 CD Golden Greats. JSP also has also signed some blues and jazz artists.
  15. onionmaster

    onionmaster Tropical new waver from the future

    Ozit-Morpheus are a UK based label who sell glorified bootlegs mostly sourced from the internet or other bootlegs. Beefheart fans will be aware of their shoddy work, which often includes entirely fictional blurbs of how the tracks are sourced from Don's own tapes, or those of John Peel (never true, and an insult to both men, who aren't around to say it's not true). The compilations they make are mislabelled, shoddily compiled, often have horrible cover art.

    In fact, the ex-members of Joy Division tried to sue them for some Joy Division release they did, but it was settled that they would simply not press anymore copies and sell the copies they had already made.

    The reason they qualify as a grey label is that their CDs are for some reason available in major stores like HMV.
  16. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    I have The Fall's "Live At Deeply Vale" on Ozit and it has by far the worst sound of any live Fall release, and thats saying something!! Mind you knowing MES he probably did sell the tape to Ozit!
    Poison_Flour and noyoucmon like this.
  17. apple-richard

    apple-richard Overnight Sensation

    I thought Snapper was a legit label. They have some RSD releases coming out next month to include There Are But Four Small Faces on LP. I own the Badfinger Head First 2 CD set by them and like it a lot.
    melstapler likes this.
  18. onionmaster

    onionmaster Tropical new waver from the future

    It's like Ozit deliberately pick the worst sources they can find.
  19. KennyG

    KennyG Forum Resident

    I think that some people here are confusing legit European independents with public domain labels - I certainly wouldn't count Disky, Charly or Snapper in the latter category.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  20. Jackie P

    Jackie P Music Is My Occupation Thread Starter

    Dub Lane
    Thanks to comments up thread about Disky I just listened to the only CD I have on that label (Chet Baker Sings And Plays Jazz Standards) and must say it sounds very good to me, so I have removed it from my original list. I think I was judging it on the the sleeve and comparing it to Pacific Jazz sleeves, rather than concentrating on the actual sound/mastering quality.
    Echo likes this.
  21. Tetrack

    Tetrack Forum Resident

    Scotland, UK.
    Get Back/Abraxas.
  22. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    Get Back arent Public Domain.

    I think the OP is specifically referring to the multitude of labels that are releasing European out of copyright material.

    Labels like Get Back/Lillith ect have "licenced" material of maybe somewhat dubious sources, a completely different topic, IMO.
  23. Planbee

    Planbee No Flipping!

    What about Folio? I've seen a lot of their stuff pop up lately in the jazz/blues sections at Half Price Books, where the jazz areas are already well-stocked with shady labels.
  24. ElizabethH

    ElizabethH Forum Resident

    SE Wisconsin,USA
    Well, I have over 50 Proper Boxes of early 20's 30's 40's Jazz I would never have been able to afford without them. So I have to say they certainly have done a good job in my book. For early Jazz artists the proper Boxes are great. For the 50's stuff they cover, i already own a lot of it anyway.
  25. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    Proper's Ska box is fantasic value. At least with Proper all their PD stuff has some care and attention paid to it.

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