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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/virgin_records_roger_dean_logo_cropped.jpg
The original Virgin logo (1972-77), designed by Roger Dean.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/virgin_records.jpg
The second Virgin logo (1977-2013), known as "the scrawl".
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/virginemi.jpg
The current Virgin EMI Records logo (2013-present).
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Virgin Records is a British record label with a long, colorful history and one of the most diverse catalogues in the music industry.

Virgin has humble origins; it was founded by counterculture entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, and Nik Powell in 1972, as an extension of a record store they already owned. Its first release, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, was an album consisting of one track: an eerie, 48-minute instrumental (mostly) that hardly seemed like chart-topping material at first. However, when excerpts from the album were featured on the soundtrack of The Exorcist, it became a critically acclaimed smash. Virgin soon established itself as a home for adventurous Progressive Rock and Krautrock performers such as Tangerine Dream, Kevin Coyne, Hatfield and the North, Faust, Henry Cow, Slapp Happy and Gong.

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Virgin changed its "hippie" image in 1977 by taking on the Sex Pistols, who had already burned their bridges at EMI and A&M. The Pistols and their spinoffs (most notably Public Image Ltd.) wound up staying with the label, and Virgin then signed many Post-Punk and New Wave Music acts such as XTC, Magazine, Devo, The Human League, Penetration, The Records, Fingerprintz, The Ruts, The Members, and The Motors. It also dabbled in Reggae, eventually devoting a subsidiary label called Front Line to Jamaican music.

During The '80s, the company began signing more pop-oriented acts such as Culture Club and Cutting Crew. By the beginning of The '90s, Virgin had transformed into a mainstream label, spending huge amounts of money to sign The Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson. Subsidiary labels were established in other countries, including the United States and Canada. Two sublabels devoted to Classical Music, Virgin Classics and Virgin Veritas, began operations. In the midst of all this, Branson was able to further his Virgin brand into a successful international business whose assets have included an airline, a winery, and a mobile phone company, among many other products and services.

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In 1992, the label was purchased by Thorn EMI. Around the Turn of the Millennium, the company experimented with a Country Music division, Virgin Records Nashville; it didn't last long, and its roster was either transferred to Capitol Records or dropped. Capitol returned to the Virgin story in 2007, when the two labels merged to form the Capitol Music Group. In 2013, after EMI's demise, ownership of Virgin Records passed to Universal Music Group, which merged it with Mercury Records' UK branch to form Virgin EMI Records, which remains active today, with a roster consisting primarily of British/European artists.

Virgin used to have a song publisher, which EMI sold to BMG Rights Management in 2013.


Original Virgin Records artists

Virgin EMI Records artists

Artists whose songwriting credits were with Virgin Music Publishing


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