HardRockChick

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

the vanity label

dev@hard
November 25, 2007
2
1

What’s a vanity label? The vanity label was a cog in the recording industry that reached its peak in the ’90s. Basically, it was a record label created by an artist, but falling under the umbrella of the parent record company of the artist. This would allow for an artist to sign and promote artists that they felt passionate about, thus ideally giving the vanity label artists a built in audience. Many of the vanity labels have met their demise with the recording industry shake up, were reabsorbed by their parent labels, or are still profitable.

Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin all had them, with Sinatra’s Reprise now being a major label and The Beatles Apple Records being the main ones still existing today.

The Cure’s Fiction Records still exists without The Cure as the record label for Snow Patrol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Madonna’s Maverick Records was dissolved after a lawsuit that ended up in Madonna being bought out, and it in essence becoming Warner Bros., but until then was the label for Alanis Morisette, Deftones, Michelle Branch, The Prodigy, and Candlebox. Quite a lineup.

Of course, of most interest to me was Trent Reznor’s label, Nothing Records, which was used up until With Teeth’s release in 2005. The most famous thing besides NIN to come from Nothing was Marilyn Manson. Even after Reznor and Manson had their falling out, Manson’s records through 2004 were released on Nothing.

Some of the vanity labels that are still alive and well are Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy has Decaydance (how emo…), and some of the Linkin Park guys have Machine Shop Records. Notice that the last two are some of the only mass market bands still in existence.

Fortunately, the benefits that we received from vanity labels are somewhat migrating to indie labels, where the financial backing that the vanity labels had received is now replaced with virtual word of mouth driven by things like MySpace.

Here’s an old NYT article on the subject, from 1992.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Bonded by Blood: Disruption in the Live Music Industry

I’ve crossed over some of my “real” work and my “fun” work here before with my “I’m Your Biggest Fan”…

January 15, 2021
5
1

You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory

“Feel so restless, I am,Beat my head against a poleTry to knock some sense, Down in my bones.” Supposedly Bob Dylan…

January 10, 2021
3
0

Psycho Holiday

It’s been over five years since I’ve written in this space… boy does time fly when you’re having fu….hmmm. Anyway,…

January 6, 2021
< 1
0

I’m Your Biggest Fan (Part 3)

Part 1 “Being a hardcore fan” Part 2 “Music, Concerts, and Merch” Do you participate in your artist’s social networking…

November 8, 2011
25
0

I’m Your Biggest Fan (part 2)

Read Part 1 here. How do you consume music from your artist? What format (CD, MP3, vinyl), where do you…

October 26, 2011
17
0

I’m Your Biggest Fan (part 1)

Something I always try to keep in mind when writing my site is that I always wanted to capture what…

October 24, 2011
14
0

The How, What, and Why of HRC at the GRAMMYs

I was sitting in my room at my parent’s house in Texas writing this review at about 2am when an…

February 6, 2010
7
0

Contemporary Live Music Photography

‘A picture’s worth a thousand words’. As a writer, this phrase always makes me a little sad…..but it is often…

December 18, 2009
2
0

HRC's Musings: Coming Soon

Quite a few people have asked me what I’m going to do now that the NIN shows are over. The…

September 24, 2009
2
2

The Actor turned Musician…another look

I’ve blogged about this before…and now there’s a whole new breed of mostly WTF actors trying to be singers. So…

January 19, 2009
< 1
1