Reprise Records Bio:
Reprise Records is a company whose legendary reputation rests on risk-taking, a rock solid instinct for talent and a roster with the diversification and distinctive artistry that stands as a model for the rest of the music industry.
Reprise was founded in 1961 by Frank Sinatra (who went on to record over 30 albums for the label) and attorney Micky Rudin. It served, early on, as a recording outlet for Sinatra's Rat Pack compatriots, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin, as well as Rosemary Clooney, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Errol Garner, Ella Fitzgerald and Trini Lopez. The label's first hit: Lou Monte's "Pepino The Italian Mouse."
Among the earliest executive hirings at Reprise was former Verve Records Controller Mo Ostin, who became Executive Vice President of the fledgling operation in 1961. Two years later, the ailing label was sold to Warner Bros. Records with part of the deal being an agreement that Sinatra would star in three Warner Bros. Pictures.
Over the next several years, Warner Bros. and Reprise Records became the most successful and prestigious labels in the burgeoning rock and roll album market, thanks to an inspired series of signings that included, on the Reprise ledger, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Roxy Music, Fleetwood Mac, Randy Newman, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, T Rex, Jethro Tull, The Mother's of Invention and Alice Cooper.
Considered a driving force in progressive pop and rock music during its '60s and '70s heyday, Reprise nevertheless increasingly fell under the shadow of its Warner's bigger brother until, by the mid '80s, the label was all but inactive. While a few artists continued to record albums with the distinctive Reprise Riverboat logo, the company's best days seemed behind it.
It was in the summer of 1987 that Mo Ostin, then Board Chairman of Warner Bros. Records and label President Larry Waronker, announced the reactivation of Reprise, a move that included recruiting an entirely separate promotion staff to service Reprise releases. Former Warner Bros. Vice President of Promotion, Rich Fitzgerald moved to Reprise as label Vice President. The newly revitalized company, meanwhile, nurtured relationships with several independent labels, including Slash and Sire, as well as establishing a presence in country music, with the signing of Dwight Yoakam and others.
In 1995, former Sire Records executive Howie Klein was named President of Reprise Records, with Fitzgerald becoming Executive Vice President and General Manager.
From the moment Reprise Records was reprised, the company has aggressively re-established its reputation for cutting edge music with artists signings that include Eric Clapton, Enya, Depeche Mode, Alanis Morrissette, Chris Isaak, Green Day, Filter, Lindsey Buckingham, Belly, Mudhoney and such Reprise mainstays as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, who resigned to the company in 1995 after an almost twenty-five year absence. The company has also taken an active role in emerging interactive entertainment technology.
True to its name, Reprise Records champions music that generation after generation has asked to hear, again and again.