The Blue Horizon Records label is reactivated by the orchard and the warner music group.
January 27, 6:58 PMMusic Industry ExaminerMark Cope
Now this is cool…except what’s the deal with the catalog? One of THE premier blues labels, Blue Horizon Records, is about to be revived by Seymour Stein, the man that started Sire Records, and Richard Gottehrer, producer and founder and chief creative officer for The Orchard.The deal was announced on Jan. 25th at the MIDEM conference in Cannes. The revived U.K label will be based in the New York City office of The Orchard,
Blue Horizon Records was the UK’s most influential blues label. In but a short life span, in excess of seventy singles and sixty albums were released. Blue Horizon had more chart success than all other blues related labels could muster collectively. The name Blue Horizon has become synonymous with the blues boom of the '60s and '70s. Blue Horizon, which was distributed by CBS under exclusive contract, was in operation until the '70s. The label's repertoire is currently released by Sony Music Entertainment and the new label will not have access to the old catalog.
Blue Horizon Records was the home for blues artists like Otis Spann, The Fleetwood Mac Blues Band (awesome stuff), Chickenshack (Christine Perfect (McVie)’s first band), Champion Jack Dupree, Bukka White, Mississippi Joe Callicot & Furry Lewis, Eddie Boyd (Get the “Dust My Broom” album), Ansley Dunbar, Elmore James, and the amazing “Fleetwood Mac In Chicago.”
It’s too bad that the new Blue Horizon Records won’t have access to the catalog since this is a very special label. The recordings that Fleetwood Mac released were all stellar and heavily blues oriented. The band included Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, and Jeremy Spencer. One will find the original version of the Santana hit, “Black Magic Woman,” which was written by Green. Along with the classic song “Albatross,” also penned by Green. If you haven’t yet discovered Peter Green, find the Blue Horizon recordings or any 60’s Fleetwood Mac albums as quick as possible and you will realize what a great guitar player he is and how tight this band was to play the blues. British record producer Mike Vernon founded the original Blue Horizon company. Sire later took a 50% stake and went on to take control of the company, although Sony has the catalog.
Seymore Stein, VP of Warner Bros. Records, joined Gottehrer in Cannes for the announcement. Gottehrer has stated that the label will look for new talent to distribute through The Orchard, while Warner Music Group will have the opportunity to participate in releases in Europe and the U.K. Physical product will be released "where necessary" but the label will initially focus on digital releases, on a global basis. It has not announced any band signings yet. "The real reason for doing this is both Seymour and I want to get back to functioning in a creative way (together) and discovering and working with artists," Gottehrer told Billboardbiz.com. He added, "we both work at great companies" (Warner Music Group and The Orchard). WMG will "have the opportunity to step in and bring it to a wider audience," says Gottehrer of Blue Horizon signings, although the major label group has no equity stake or formal relationship with the label. Again, it's too bad that they didn't get the catalog.