Saturday, 1 December 2012

Columbia Record's 125 Year History

Quote from Times 18.11.12
The gunshot snare drum at the start of Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone; the distinctive two-note dance that underscores Miles Davis's So What; the unearthly howl and hum of Blind Willie Johnson on Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground; the electrifying saxophone solo that lights up the middle section of Bruce Spingsteen's Born To Run....The thing that binds these varies sounds together is that they were all- for better or worse captured for posterity by Colombia Records. 
It was Dylan's success that made John Hammond a rock star of A & R. Without Hammond's discoveries, it's hard to envisage Colombia being anything like the beacon of American artistry it has become.

Today the label is mighty mix of heritage artists and unit shifting pop behemoths such as Adele and Beyonce. It has also expanded cannily into television, bringing music from programmes such as Britain's Got Talent and Glee to the listening public. 

'There's so much music out there, labels sort it out for you - they're the gatekeepers - and Colombia is still on of the biggest. They're not the only ones who do that any more, but they bring you into contact with people you should be listening to. You need that - we all need that.'  
360 Sound: The Colombia Record Story By Sean Wilentz