Virgin Records Turns 40
Richard Branson’s iconic label is 40 this year and to mark the occasion there will be several celebratory events and releases this autumn including an exhibition, book, documentary and numerous compilations.
The label, which was launched in 1973 with the largely instrumental ‘Tubular Bells’, has released some of the biggest acts of the past four decades. It was even the label that signed the Sex Pistols when they had been rejected by the rest of the music industry. In the 80s it introduced a new era of British pop acts such as Culture Club (pictured below) and The Human League and helped to push the DJ and sound system culture into the mainstream. The 90s included artists such as The Spice Girls, The Verve, The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk who are still going strong and currently have the biggest selling album of 2013.
Going into the noughties, Virgin signed superstar DJs Swedish House Mafia, Emeli Sande, Laura Marling and newcomers Bastille. Founder Richard Branson said, "Virgin Records is where it all started for Virgin and 40 years later it's great to see we are still being innovative. This exciting series of events is the perfect way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Virgin Records and the artists, from Mike Oldfield to Emeli Sande, who continue to disrupt the status quo."
Events to celebrate Virgin Records' ’40 years of disruptions’ include: An exhibition overseen by Adrian Shaughnessy which will feature photos and memorabilia of cultural icons. An art book edited by leading music journalist Adrian Thrills, who wrote the first ever cover story for iconic style magazine The Face featuring The Specials. A documentary, which will be directed by Paul Tilzey whose credits include many award winning documentaries for both the BBC and Channel 4. A series of live events at legendary Camden venue KOKO in October which will celebrate four decades of disruptions involving icons from Virgin’s extensive artist catalogue. Lastly, there will also be a series of compilations spanning the decades as well as a two CD set compilation, with one disc showcasing current Virgin artists and a second featuring covers of Virgin classics.