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Caroline Records

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Caroline Records
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
FounderRichard Branson
StatusRevived in 2013
Distributor(s)Virgin Music Label & Artist Services
Country of originUnited States
LocationNew York, New York, U.S.

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File:Record cover carol grimes warm blood.jpg
Caroline label design in the UK

Caroline Records is a record label originally founded in 1973. Initially founded in the United Kingdom to showcase British progressive rock groups, the label ceased releasing titles in 1976 and then re-emerged in the United States in 1986 to release the work of American punk, post-punk, and alternative rock bands. Caroline has or had a number of subsidiary labels including Astralwerks, Gyroscope, Caroline Blue Plate, Beat the World, Scamp, and Passenger.

UK label[edit]

The original Caroline record label started as a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin Records from 1973 to 1976. It specialized in inexpensive LPs by progressive rock and jazz artists that lacked commercial appeal. Caroline records rarely mentioned a connection with Virgin, and some UK and European Virgin albums that were distributed internationally (instead of being manufactured in each country) named Caroline as their American distributor.

The first release was Outside the Dream Syndicate by Tony Conrad and Faust in 1973. The logo was a photographic-style variation of Virgin's "Twins" logo designed by Roger Dean.

US label[edit]

In 1983, the Caroline name was reused by Virgin in the US as the importer Caroline Distribution. Caroline Distribution founded the current Caroline Records in 1986. Some Caroline Records CDs issued in the US, bore the label name Caroline Blue Plate, especially Virgin UK originally-issued progressive rock records. Caroline Records was merged into Virgin Records after Virgin was acquired by Thorn EMI.[1] Caroline Distribution was separated and became part of EMI Music Distribution.

Primo Scree[edit]

Primo Scree was an imprint of Caroline Records created by Ned Hayden of the Action Swingers, who had previously been a sales rep at Caroline.[2][3] Its releases included the Action Swingers' single "Fear of a Fucked Up Planet", as well as Gumball's debut album Special Kiss and Monster Magnet's debut album Spine of God.[4][5]

Notable releases[edit]


  1. Barnes, Terry (1999-09-11). "Caroline Distribution: Sweet 16 and Never Been Dissed". Billboard – via Google Books.
  2. "Monster Magnet". Contemporary Musicians. 2004. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  3. Belanger, Ashley (2015-03-25). "Total Punk talks to Action Swingers' Ned Hayden about CBGB, his influences and the early NYC punk scene". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  4. Marlowe, Keith (2015-05-21). "Action Swingers Just Won't 'Quit While You're Ahead'". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  5. Huey, Steve. "Gumball Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  6. Kids on the Street > Overview
  7. "Billy, Don't Be a Hero". Spin. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  8. The Vanishing Point > Overview

External links[edit]