Janet Jackson. The Spice Girls. D’Angelo.
Virgin Records, in its heyday, was home to some of the most diverse and wildly successful artists the music industry has ever known.
However, a series of mergers and mishandling’s have seen the label morph into a shadow of its once-flourishing self.
That all looks set to change, though, amidst mounting speculation that Richard Branson is preparing to buy back the music arm of his Virgin empire.
Details after the jump…
As reported, Universal Music’s groundbreaking EMI takeover plans are under threat by the EU Competition Commission – due to the fact that, if green-lit, it would mean the big “U” would ultimately control 40% of the music industry.
Hence, according to the Wall Street Journal, the juggernaut are gearing up to “trim the fat” in the a bid to make their proposition more appealing. And with EMI having bought and consolidated much of Virgin’s music arm years ago, sources close to negotiations suggest that Virgin Records has been identified as “the excess” Universal are willing to let go in hope of finally acquiring EMI.
These potential developments have reportedly come at the best of times for Branson, who has been eager to return to the music market for years. As such, he has confirmed that he is seriously mulling over the idea of making a swoop for label he started in 1972. Any such purchase-plan will likely be lodged in conjunction with French music executive Patrick Zelnik – who owns independent imprint Naive Records in Paris.
“What does this all mean?”, you may wonder. Well, put simply, if this plays out in the manner all involved are hoping, Universal Music will become an even bigger force, while Virgin will reaffirm their place as one of the industry’s most powerful independent labels. What’s more, with their rich and illustrious history, it could well see the V re-emerge as a genuine force for new and established talent. (Potentially) exciting times!
Check out videos from some of our favourite past Virgin acts…
And for it’s “so bad, it’s good” greatness…