The Info List - Geffen Records

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Geffen Records is an American major record label, owned by Universal Music Group, which operates as one third of the Interscope Geffen A&M Records label. On March 23, 2017, Billboard.com announced the label was relaunching with longtime A&R Neil Jacobson as President,[1] who reports to John Janick, CEO and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records.


1 History

1.1 Acquisition by MCA 1.2 Interscope-Geffen-A&M

2 Labels under Geffen 3 Current Artists 4 Past Artists 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] Geffen Records was started in 1980 by music industry businessman David Geffen[2] who, in the early 1970s, had founded Asylum Records. Geffen stepped down from Asylum in 1975, when he crossed over to film and was named a vice-president of Warner Bros. Pictures. He was fired from Warner circa 1978, but remained locked in a 5-year contract, which prevented him from working elsewhere. He returned to work in 1980 and struck a deal with Warner Bros. Records to create Geffen Records. Warner provided 100 percent of the funding for the label's operations and distributed its releases in the United States
United States
and Canada; Epic Records handled distribution in the rest of the world until 1985, when Warner Bros. also took over those territories. Profits were split 50/50 between Geffen and the respective distributors. Geffen Records' first artist was disco superstar Donna Summer, whose gold-selling album The Wanderer became the label's first release in 1980. The label followed it up with Double Fantasy
Double Fantasy
by John Lennon
John Lennon
and Yoko Ono. It was Lennon's first new album since 1975. Two weeks after it entered the charts, Lennon was murdered in New York City. Subsequently, the album went on to sell millions and gave Geffen its first number-one album and single; the rights to the album would later be taken over by EMI, which eventually was absorbed by Geffen's parent Universal Music. As the 1980s progressed, Geffen would go on to have success with such acts as Berlin, Kylie Minogue, Enya, Quarterflash, Oxo, Asia, Wang Chung and Sammy Hagar. In the meantime, the label continued to sign a handful of established music icons, including: Elton John, Irene Cara, Cher, Debbie Harry, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel and Jennifer Holliday. Toward the end of the decade, the company also began making a name for itself as an emerging rock label, thanks to the success of Whitesnake
(U.S. and Canada only), The Stone Roses, Guns N' Roses, Tesla, Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth
and the mainstream comeback of 1970s-era rockers Aerosmith. This prompted Geffen to create a subsidiary label, DGC Records
DGC Records
in 1990; which focused on more progressive rock and would later embrace the emergence of alternative rock—Nirvana being an example. Geffen also distributed the first incarnation of Def American Recordings through Warner Bros. from 1988 to 1990. Acquisition by MCA[edit] After a decade of operating through Warner, when its contract with the company expired, the label was sold to MCA Music Entertainment
MCA Music Entertainment
(later renamed Universal Music Group) in 1990. The deal ultimately earned David Geffen an estimated US$800 million in stock (until the Japanese conglomerate, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.'s cash acquisition of MCA in 1991, made Geffen a billionaire) and an employment contract that ran until 1995. Following the sale, Geffen Records operated as one of MCA's leading independently managed labels. Geffen stepped down as head of the label in 1995 to collaborate with Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
and Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
to form DreamWorks
SKG, an ambitious multimedia empire dealing in film, television, books and music. Geffen Records would distribute releases on the new operation's DreamWorks
Records subsidiary. Interscope-Geffen-A&M[edit] Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
acquired PolyGram
in 1999, resulting in a corporate reorganization of labels. Geffen Records, along with A&M Records, was subsequently merged into Interscope Records. Although Geffen would continue to exist as a brand, it was downsized to fit into the greater expansion of Interscope. At the same time, international distribution of Interscope and Geffen releases switched to ex- PolyGram
label Polydor Records, which had already been distributing A&M releases overseas (in return for A&M handling Polydor releases in the U.S.). By 2000, despite Geffen Records no longer being independently operated within UMG and taking a more submissive position behind Interscope, it continued to do steady business—so much so that in 2003, UMG folded MCA Records
MCA Records
into Geffen. Though Geffen had been substantially a pop-rock label, its absorption of MCA (and its back catalogs) led to a more diverse roster; with former MCA artists such as Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Blink-182, Rise Against
Rise Against
and Common now featured on the label. Meanwhile, DreamWorks
Records also folded, with artists such as Nelly Furtado, Lifehouse and Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
being absorbed by Geffen as well. During this time, DGC Records
DGC Records
was also folded into Geffen, with retained artists now recording for Geffen directly (DGC was reactivated in 2007, however it would now operate through Interscope Records instead). As the 2000s progressed, Geffen's absorption of the MCA and DreamWorks labels, along with its continuing to sign new acts such as Ashlee Simpson, Angels & Airwaves, Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg
and The Game, had boosted the company to the extent that it began gaining equal footing with the main Interscope label, leading some industry insiders to speculate that it could revert to operating as an independently managed imprint at UMG again. At the end of 2007, however, Geffen was absorbed further into Interscope, laying off sixty employees. In 2009, it was announced that Geffen Records had signed an agreement with the Holy See
Holy See
to produce an album of Marian songs and prayers from Pope Benedict XVI.[3] Jimmy Iovine
Jimmy Iovine
relaunched the Geffen imprint in 2011, moving its headquarters from California to New York City. Gee Roberson was appointed chairman.[4] In March 2017, Neil Jacobson was appointed President of Geffen Records to oversee the relaunch of the label via new signings as well as reinvigoration of the label’s legendary catalog. [5] Labels under Geffen[edit] Main article: Universal Music Group

eleveneleven Flawless Records Kon Live Distribution Taylor Gang Records Matriarch Records Suretone Records

Current Artists[edit]

Alex Salibian AlunaGeorge Avicii Bipolar Sunshine Brika DJ Snake Emile Haynie Gryffin Jeff Bhasker Lil Jon Martin Terefe Mura Masa Poppy Yungblud[6]

Past Artists[edit]

List of Geffen Records artists Nirvana Guns 'N' Roses Aerosmith Peter Gabriel

See also[edit]

Geffen Records discography John Kalodner List of record labels


^ Aswad, Jem (2017-03-23). " Geffen Records to Relaunch With Neil Jacobson as President: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-03-23.  ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, pp. 303-307, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ Rocca, Francis X. (2009-07-31). "Pope signs with same label as Snoop Dogg, Ashlee Simpson". USA Today.  ^ Morris, Christopher (2011-06-21). " Gee Roberson named chairman of Geffen Records". Variety.  ^ Gensler, Andy. Billboard. Billboard http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7736470/neil-jacobson-interview-geffen-records-president. Retrieved 13 August 2017.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Records, Geffen. "Geffen Records". Universal Music Group. 

External links[edit]

Official website

v t e


History List of owned assets


Vincent Bolloré Arnaud de Puyfontaine Pierre Rodocanachi

Universal Music Group

Universal Music Publishing Group Decca Gold

Decca Records Deutsche Grammophon

Island Records

Mercury Records

Roc Nation

StarRoc Takeover Roc Nation

Republic Records

Cash Money Records Big Machine Label Group

Universal Music Enterprises

Hip-O Records

Def Jam Recordings Show Dog-Universal Music Vevo

Capitol Christian Music Group

Gospel Sparrow Records Tooth & Nail Records

Capitol Music Group

Astralwerks Apple Records Blue Note Records Capitol Records Caroline Distribution Harvest Records mau5trap Motown Priority Records Virgin Records

Interscope Geffen A&M Records

A&M Records A&M Octone Records DGC Records Geffen Records Interscope Records

UM Latin Entertainment

Capitol Latin Disa Records Fonovisa Records Machete Music

UMG Nashville

MCA Nashville Mercury Nashville Records Lost Highway Records Capitol Records
Capitol Records
Nashville EMI
Records Nashville


Capitol UK Decca Records Island UK Polydor Records Virgin EMI

Verve Records

GRP Records Impulse! Records Verve Forecast Records

Film/TV units

Eagle Rock Entertainment PolyGram
Entertainment Universal Music TV


Canal+ Canalsat

Afrique Calédonie Caraïbes

D8 StudioCanal


Other assets

(90%) Gameloft
(96.9%) Telecom Italia
Telecom Italia
(24.6%) Mediaset