The letter R with two dots resembling a gramophone sound recording set-up.
Reprise (pronounced rih-PREEZ) is a record label owned by the Warner Music Group and currently its largest sub-label. The label was founded by Frank Sinatra
in 1960 and after struggling through its early years, was bought by Warner Bros. Records
three years later (they called it a "rescue takeover").
Sinatra's main philosophy when he founded the label was that all artists would be given full creative control of their work, and eventually ultimate ownership of their catalog. This means that most of Reprise's earliest artists now distribute under different labels.
After the takeover, Reprise's new owner, Mo Ostin, would lead the label away from the swing roster that Sinatra had built and into the pop direction for which it became famous (starting with securing rights to The Kinks
). The roster throughout the 1970s included Jimi Hendrix
, Captain Beefheart
, Tom Lehrer
, Neil Young
(who's stayed with the label to this day, except during a brief, ill-fated switch to Geffen Records
), the 1970's recordings by Frank Zappa
, Fleetwood Mac
, Jethro Tull
and the late 1960s to mid 1970s recordings by The Beach Boys
Fleetwood Mac's internal conflict and dwindling sales led to them being moved up to the parent label, where they would record the massively popular and critically acclaimed Rumours
; this didn't bode well for Reprise's future. Reprise had been struggling to maintain good sales after coming down from the success they'd had in the early 1970s, and from the mid-1970s to the 1980s, all of its artists had been moved up to Warner. From the label's revival in the late 1980s onward, Ostin has worked to elevate Reprise into the incarnation it's recognized as being today. Most of the label's (many) former artists still distribute their work from that era through the label. Reprise currently holds the place of a secondary parent to Warner, hosting many small labels that Warner can't handle.
Finally, if you've ever had a Warner-licensed song taken down from Youtube
, it probably belonged to Reprise — they're very serious about that. Despite this, unlike Warner, Reprise has a good relationship with videogames: they have a track pack on Guitar Hero III
and were completely supportive of Green Day: Rock Band
Keep in mind that most of the artists listed here are officially under Warner management, but distribute heavily through Reprise - only a few of them are officially signed Reprise artists.
List of current artists:
List of former artists: