London Records, styled London Recordings in logo, is a record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, originally marketing records in the United States, Canada and Latin America from 1947 to 1979, then becoming a semi-independent label. London arose from the split in ownership between the British branch of Decca Records and that same company's USA branch; the American London label released British Decca records in the USA, since it could not use the "Decca" name there. They were noted for their classical albums made in then state-of-the-art stereophonic sound. Such artists as Georg Solti, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti made many, if not all, of their recordings for the company.
The London name was also used by British Decca in the UK market for releases taken from American labels which British Decca licensed, such as Imperial, Chess, Dot, Atlantic, Specialty and Sun, as well as the first two UK releases from Motown. In the sixties more licensing deals were made with Big Top, Monument, Parrot, Philles and Hi, and London Atlantic, London Monument and London Dot became subsidiaries. (An unusual feature was the letter code in the numbering system: see Catalog numbering systems for single records.) From 1959 until 1973, the label bore the logo "London American Recordings", and on Radio Luxembourg it was known as "London American".
1965 London Records trade ad for the Rolling Stones
In America, the label was best known as the American imprint of the pre-1971 recordings of the Rolling Stones (now owned by ABKCO). The label also originally issued some early LPs and singles by Texas-based band ZZ Top (whose catalog went to Warner Brothers when the band moved there).
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