London Records is an independent label based in London, England. It was created when Decca Records split its British and American branches, with the “London” label being used to release Decca albums in the US as it was not allowed to use the Decca name there. The London label was also used by British Decca in the UK market to free up American labels such as Imperial Records, Chess Records, Dot Records, Atlantic Records, Specialty Records and Sun Records. In the 1960s, a large number of contracts were signed with Big Top Records, Monument Records, Parrot Records, Philles Records and Hi Records.
After Decca was bought by PolyGram in 1979, London followed a more independent path with subsidiary labels such as Slash Records, Essential Records and FFRR Records.
In 1998, PolyGram – then headed by Roger Ames – was acquired by Universal Music Group and granted semi-independent status by its new owners. When Ames left for Warner Music Group, he took the label with him and it was at this point that Warner acquired ownership of the London name from Decca. Some of the major artists of this London Records 90 era include bands such as New Order, Happy Mondays and Shakespears Sister.
In July 2017, Because Music announced the acquisition of Warner Music 90, the WMG division in charge of re-releasing London Records artists from the PolyGram era. The transaction was finalised in August 2017 and includes the rights to over 50 London artists, including Bananarama and Happy Mondays in particular. With a new team in place, London Records is once again operating as an independent label. In addition to “Singles Party (1988-2019)”, which includes some new material from Shakespears Sister, the label recently re-released artists such as Blancmange, Bananarama, Bronski Beat, The Redskins and Goldie.