Industry News: Richard Branson Readies Virgin Records Bid

Published: Wednesday 18th Jul 2012 by Sam

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…

Your thoughts?

Posted under:

Comments 13

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Beyonce’s Blog July 18, 2012

    This will be great if Janet were to re-sign with Virgin when Richard buys it back. They had a great working relationship with the janet. and Velvet Rope cd’s.

  2. ENOUGH ONIKA July 18, 2012

    I hope he re-signs those talented artists who were dropped during the merge like Stacie Orrico. “Beautiful Awakening” would’ve been successful if the US/Canada release wasn’t cancelled…

  3. JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) July 18, 2012

    “And for it’s “so bad, it’s good” greatness…”

    Yeah yeah Sam… and Mariah still displayed on that her only album for Virgin (soundtrack) more songwritting abilities and stunning vocal moments than Janet Jackson best records (no shade to Janet). Have u ever heard “Lead The Way”? Cos I know for damm sure your favorites could only wish and imagine themselves doing that (meaning Kelly Rowland, Janet Jackson and Beyonce… oh and Michelle Williams lmao)

  4. mark July 18, 2012

    unnecessary loverboy shade. that song is a jam. I wish people would stop lumping the glitter album in with the movie, because the album is pretty good.

  5. john July 18, 2012

    that glitter alumb was a pretty good alumb. I don’t know why they was givong her a hard time with that alumb. wben that was a soundtrack to glitter. i hope he resighns janet cause they had a good working relationship. He might can give janet singing career the boast it need. i hope they resighs brooke valentines. brooke valentines chain letter alumb went hard. she very under rated when ut comes to song writing. I think him selling part of his label off messed up his music empure. but he steal owns the biggest record store in the world. A lot of artist decided to sigh with virgin records cause it gave them the freedom that they wanted. it allowed his artist to write, sing the music they wanted.

  6. bored July 18, 2012

    ‘IF’ is one of my all time favorite songs from Janet.

  7. Mike July 18, 2012

    If this all goes through, I hope he can sign:
    – Janet Jackson
    – Letoya Luckett(she needs to escape Katy Perry’s takeover of Capitol Records)
    – Keke Palmer(I recently heard she was unsigned, and I know she has talent)
    – JoJo(Blackground Records just isn’t working anymore)
    – Dawn Richard (I saw that Bombs video, and I am still wondering why she is unsigned)

    • NewF*YorkBabe. July 18, 2012

      Was this a Christian singer for the ’90s?!?
      Like a s*** Amy Grant? I SO remeber loving her!!!

      • ENOUGH ONIKA July 19, 2012

        YES! Stacie was a christian singer who came out in 2000. Her second album is when she merged with virgin records and release “Stacie Orrico” which spawned the hit singles Stuck and (There’s Gotta Be) More To Life. Then 2006 she came out with her third album “Beautiful Awakening” which was pure R&B and amazing but was cancelled in the US/Canada after the merge…..It went platinum in the Philippines (Nicki went gold btw lol!) and gold in Japan I believe. True artist right there.

  8. NewF*YorkBabe. July 18, 2012

    Mariah’s breakdown was definatly pretty them Britney’s, lol >> Agreed tho! Glitter the album has a couple of Mariah’s BEST ballads (Love Let the Way, Never too Far). Not to mention ‘All My Life’ co-produced by Rick James, her cover of ‘Last Night a DJ saved My Life’ and my ultimate Fave ‘Don’t Stop’ W/ Mystical! All Single worthy. ‘Loverboy’ was a bit over the top and during her ultimate sexual liberation phase (too s*** for most at the time… She was what the pussycat dolls and Rihanna are of the ’00) … But damn, it was a soundtrack! The retro 80’s thing was too soon, before it’s time and ppl didn’t like the retro vibe at that point. Take a listen now in 2012. it’s a Crazy HoT album, well thought out, and the packaging is flawless. (The Ja Rule duet was F*ckin wack tho!!)

    Janet’s BEST work was with Virgin!!! Branson really courted her (read his biography, he gives crazy details of what he did to get Janet’s attention) and it paid off for both of them! Janet seemed so organic during the Velvet Rope era. “Together Again” always get’s ppl bouncing and singing.

    Branson started with Music and should have never got distracted by airplanes and cell phones, he let his roots and passion for music fall by the waste side.

    • NewF*YorkBabe. July 18, 2012

      Prettier then*

Recommended Posts