Concord Music Group, Inc. is an independent music company based in Beverly Hills, California, with worldwide (including the U.S.) distribution through Universal Music Group. The company is specialized in recordings (Concord Records, Fantasy Records, Rounder Records, Telarc Records, Loma Vista Recordings) and music publishing (Boosey & Hawkes, Imagem, Zomba, Harrisongs).
|Headquarters||Beverly Hills, California|
|Parent||Barings Asset Management|
(MassMutual Financial Group)
|Footnotes / references|
Co-distributed by Universal Music Group, AMPED Distribution and the Alternative Distribution Alliance
(catalogues acquired from Warner Music Group)
Concord's catalogue consists of over 16,000 albums and 390,000 compositions. Concord owns the rights to 273 Grammy-winning albums, and over 400 certifications across 215 titles by the RIAA.
The company was founded in 1973 in Concord, California by Carl Jefferson, an auto dealer and jazz enthusiast. Jefferson produced the first Concord Jazz recording by guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. He named the label after the Concord Jazz Festival, which he had organized some years earlier. Jefferson sold Concord to Alliance Entertainment in 1994 and died the following year. In 1999, film/television producer Norman Lear and entertainment executive Hal Gaba purchased the company. In 2002, the label's headquarters were moved to Beverly Hills, California.
In 2004, Concord Records acquired Fantasy, Inc., owner of Prestige, Fantasy, Milestone, Riverside, and Specialty, and the post-Atlantic Stax catalog. Concord then combined with Fantasy to form the independent Concord Music Group. Concord joined with Starbucks to release the Ray Charles album Genius Loves Company, which won eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. In 2005, Concord bought Telarc. On December 18, 2006, Concord announced the re-launch of the soul label Stax; rights to the name were formerly held by Fantasy. New signings included Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone.
On March 12, 2007, Concord Music Group and Starbucks jointly founded the Hear Music label. Paul McCartney's album Memory Almost Full was released in June 2007. Hear Music has released albums by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and John Mellencamp.
In 2008, Village Roadshow Pictures Group (VRPG) and Concord completed their merger resulting in the creation of the new diversified entertainment group, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. In April 2010 it was announced that Paul McCartney transferred the distribution rights of his post-Beatles output to Concord from EMI.
Concord purchased Rounder Records in 2010. Distribution is mainly handled by Universal Music Group. In smaller markets, such as those in Africa and Eastern Europe, local independent labels that represent Universal license the catalogue. In 2012, Concord Music Group designated four distinct operating units: Fantasy Label Group (Hear Music, Stax, Fantasy), Rounder Label Group, Concord-Telarc Label Group (Concord Jazz/Heads-Up/Telarc) and Prestige Group.
On March 25, 2013, Wood Creek Capital Management, (now Barings LLC, an affiliate of MassMutual Financial Group), purchased Concord Music Group from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. On October 31, 2013, The Bicycle Music Company acquired Wind-up Records back catalog including the master recordings of 1,600 songs including albums by Creed, Evanescence, Seether and Alter Bridge. The Bicycle Music Company then cut a service agreement deal with sister company Concord Music Group to market the acquired Wind-up Records back catalog to retailers and consumers.
On July 1, 2014, Tom Whalley's label, Loma Vista Recordings (home to St. Vincent, Little Dragon, Spoon, Cut Copy, Marilyn Manson, Ghost, and the Grammy-nominated Django Unchained soundtrack, among others) agreed to a new multi-year, worldwide strategic partnership with Concord Music Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Concord provides funding for new talent relationships and artist development, as well as comprehensive label services for Loma Vista. On July 8, 2014, Concord Music Group announced the acquisition of the Vee-Jay Records catalog including over 5,000 master recordings from Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Betty Everett, Jimmy Reed, Jerry Butler, The Staple Singers, Gene Chandler, and the Dells, among many others.
On April 1, 2015, Concord Music Group announced that it had acquired Vanguard Records and Sugar Hill Records from the Welk Music Group. Simultaneously, it was also announced that Concord Music Group merged with the Bicycle Music Company, a leading independent music publisher, record label, and rights manager to form the fully integrated recorded music and publishing company Concord Bicycle Music. Concord Music and Bicycle Music will operate as individual divisions within Concord Bicycle Music, with Concord Music Group being primarily responsible for recorded music activities and Bicycle overseeing publishing and rights management. In May 2015, Concord Bicycle Music acquired Fearless Records and the rest of Wind-Up Records, the latter's back catalogue having been acquired by The Bicycle Music Company in October 2013. The Fearless acquisition also included Fearless Records' Fearmore Music Publishing, along with the company's in-house merchandise operation.
In September 2015 Concord acquired a significant stake in Razor & Tie, which includes the Razor & Tie and Washington Square labels, a publishing company, and the Kidz Bop franchise. Artists on the Razor & Tie label include The Pretty Reckless, All That Remains, Red Sun Rising and Starset. In December 2015, American rock band R.E.M. signed a multi-year distribution deal with Concord, which covers their Warner Bros. Records albums.
On June 2, 2017, Concord acquired music publisher Imagem for $500 million. This deal included the rights to music by Daft Punk, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Mark Ronson, Boosey & Hawkes, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. In July 2017, Concord acquired the back catalogues of several former Warner Music Group artists, including Jewel, the Violent Femmes, Taking Back Sunday, and Sérgio Mendes. Concord also acquired part of Victory Records' back catalogue.
In September 2017, Concord acquired Savoy Records. The catalog deal brings more than 3,000 master recordings to the company. Savoy was founded in 1942 and recorded Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon.
On February 1, 2018, Concord acquired Tams-Witmark Music Library, which licenses Broadway musical scripts and scores to professional and amateur theaters. Among the properties handled by Tams-Witmark are Kiss Me, Kate; My Fair Lady; Gypsy; Bye Bye Birdie; Hello, Dolly!; Cabaret; Man of La Mancha and A Chorus Line. In February 2018, Concord acquired the classical soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande. On July 27, 2018, Concord acquired Latin label Fania. In August 2018, Concord acquired the catalogue of British label Independiente. In December 2018, Concord acquired theatrical publisher Samuel French, Inc. Among the musical properties handled by Samuel French are The Rocky Horror Show, The Secret Garden, La Cage Aux Folles, Perfect Harmony and Rock of Ages. In June 2019, Concord acquired the classical publisher Hans Sikorski.
In 2019, the company made the decision to rebrand itself as simply "Concord". In September 2019, Concord Music acquired the rock label Victory Records and its Another Victory publisher.
Concord Music's active roster includes James Taylor, Chick Corea, Alison Krauss, Ben Harper, Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott, Arturo Sandoval, Booker T. Jones, Kenny G, George Benson, Steve Martin, Alejandro Escovedo and AFI. The company's master catalog recordings includes John Coltrane, John Fogerty, Frank Sinatra, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, Isaac Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Albert King.
Concord's songwriting roster includes the catalogues of George Harrison, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, Dolly Parton, Robert Johnson, Igor Stravinsky, Pink Floyd, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nine Inch Nails, Social Distortion, and Kaiser Chiefs.
- "Concord Music Being Shopped to Private-Equity Firms, Not Strategic Suitors", Billboard, 5 December 2012
- "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management", Billboard, 25 March 2013
- Zych, David (1 November 1998). "Concord Jazz". JazzTimes. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Lewis, Randy (1 May 2010). "Concord Music Group marches to its own beat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Concord Records Completes Acquisition of Fantasy, Inc". www.businesswire.com. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Concord Records and Starbucks Partner to Create Historic Ray Charles Duets CD". www.businesswire.com. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Boucher, Geoff (14 February 2005). "Ray's 'Genius' Loves Company". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Concord Music buys Telarc". Los Angeles Times. 21 December 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Stax Relaunches With Hayes, Stone, White Tribute". Billboard. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Woodward, Curt (12 March 2007). "Starbucks launches Hear Music record label". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- About.com Classic Rock "Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full" Archived 2013-04-04 at the Wayback Machine, About.com Classic Rock
- Suzi Price "Village Roadshow Pictures Group And Concord Music Group Join Forces", JazzReview.com, 29 January 2008
- Sean Michaels "Paul McCartney cuts ties with EMI", The Guardian, 22 April 2010
- Lawless, John (14 April 2010). "Rounder acquired by Concord Music Group". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Distribution". Concord Music Group. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Huffington Post "Esperanza Spalding: Grammy Award 2011 Winner For Best New Artist", Huffington Post, 25 May 2011
- "Concord, Warner Bros. Lead Record Labels With Most Grammy Awards at 2013 Ceremony", Billboard.com, 11 February 2013
- "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management", Billboard.com, 25 March 2013
- "Bicycle Music Acquires Wind-Up Records' Back Catalog, Cuts Deal with Concord Music Group (Exclusive)", Billboard.com, 31 October 2013
- "Tom Whalley's Loma Vista Goes to Concord Music Group", Billboard.com, 1 July 2014
- "Concord Music Group Acquires Famed Soul Label Vee-Jay Records", Billboard.com, 8 July 2014
- "Concord and Bicycle Merge to Form Concord Bicycle Music, Acquires Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records", Billboard.com, 1 April 2015
- "Concord Bicycle Music acquires Wind-Up Records and Fearless Records | News | Music Week". www.musicweek.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015.
- "Concord Continues Acquisition Binge with Fearless Records, Wind-Up Deals", Billboard.com, 6 May 2015
- Newman, Melinda (30 September 2015). "Razor & Tie Forms New Company With Concord Bicycle Music". Billboard. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- Newman, Melinda (15 December 2015). "R.E.M. Taps Concord Bicycle to Handle Group's Warner Bros. Catalog". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "Concord Bicycle Music Acquires Imagem Music Group". Music Connection. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- Ingham, Tim (2017-06-02). "Concord's $500m+ Imagem buy marks the birth of a major player in music". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
- "Concord buys yet again in multi-million dollar deal with Warner". Music Business Worldwide. 6 July 2017.
- "Concord Music Acquires the Renowned Savoy Label Group". Concord Music. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "Concord Music Expands Theatrical Reach With Acquisition of Tams-Witmark Music Library". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
- "Concord buys movie music label Varèse Sarabande, signs Cutting Edge deal". Music Business Worldwide. 7 February 2018.
- "Concord acquires independent Latin music company Fania". Music Business Worldwide. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Brandle, Lars (6 August 2018). "Concord Music Acquires U.K. Indie Label Independiente Records". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Schneider, Marc (17 December 2018). "Concord Music Acquires Samuel French, Storied Theatrical Publisher". Billboard. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Kochuba, Courtney (24 November 2015). "Top 10 Big Musicals for Community Theaters". Breaking Character. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- "Concord Acquires Legendary Punk Label Victory Records". Billboard.
- American Songwriter "Ben Harper’s Stax Records Debut Get Up! Due In January", American Songwriter, October 3, 2012
- American Songwriter "Concord Music Group Acquires Rounder Records", American Songwriter, 14 April 2013