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Capitol UK launches

By | Published on Thursday 25 April 2013

Capitol Records

Universal Music has announced the launch of Capitol Records UK, because like my granny always used to say, you can never have too many imprints. Capitol will operate alongside the mega-major’s other British frontline labels: Island, Polydor, Virgin EMI and Decca.

Universal confirmed rumours that it would launch a UK version of Capitol Records last month. Capitol, of course, was the main US division of EMI, which Universal Music acquired last year. Having been forced to sell EMI’s other iconic label, Parlophone, in order to get regulator approval for its EMI deal in Europe, Universal seemed keen to capitalise on the Capitol name in the UK instead.

Existing Universal UK mini-division London Records will basically be morphed into Capitol UK, with its chief since 2011, Nick Raphael, heading up the new unit. London is a ‘capital’ I suppose, which is only one letter off ‘capitol’. Raphael’s London Records team will become the Capitol team, though additional execs will be recruited in the coming weeks.

Universal’s official announcement of the Capitol venture adds that the new venture “will be based in premises outside Universal Music UK’s Kensington High Street HQ”, which seemingly backs up the rumour that the label will set up home in offices at Abbey Road Studios, also acquired by the mega-major in its EMI deal, to replicate Capitol US being famously based in the Capitol Tower, one of LA’s best known studio complexes.

Confirming the launch of Capitol UK, Universal Music UK boss David Joseph told CMU: “For us to work with Capitol is an honour and a tremendous opportunity – it’s a label with an incredible past but what the new team are doing promises a huge amount for the future. Here in the UK, the same can be said for what Nick’s leadership can do for the label, with Capitol joining Virgin EMI, Island, Polydor and Decca to complete our line-up of frontline labels”.

While Raphael added: “When David approached me to run Capitol Records in the UK I jumped at the opportunity to run a legendary label with an incredible roster and the chance to work with [Capitol US boss] Steve Barnett again”.