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Parlophone is a record label which was founded in Germany prior to World War I by the Carl Lindstrom Company. The “₤” trademark is not the British pound sign; it’s a German “L” for Lindstrom. During the war, the Transoceanic Trading Company was set up in the Netherlands to look after its overseas assets. In 1923, the British branch of Parlophone was established, led by Oscar Preuss as A&R manager. Parlophone established a master leasing arrangement with co-owned United States based Okeh Records. In 1927, Columbia Graphophone Company of the United Kingdom acquired a controlling interest in the Carl Lindstrom Company and thereby in Parlophone. In 1931, Columbia merged with the Gramophone Company to form EMI.

Under EMI, Parlophone released mainly and novelty/ label material, such as the comedy recordings of The Goons. In 1950, Preuss hired 24-year-old George Martin as his assistant. In 1955, Preuss retired and Martin succeeded him. Parlophone’s fortunes began to rise in 1962, when Martin signed a rising new Liverpool band, The Beatles, who soon turned Parlophone into one of the world’s most famous and sought-after record labels. Since The Beatles, many other / artists have signed to the label, including Queen, The Easybeats and The Church. Recently the labels line-up has included acts such as Athlete, Radiohead, Coldplay, Beverley Knight, Siobhan Donaghy, Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Blur (and, subsequently, Gorillaz) and The Divine Comedy.

In 2013, Warner Music acquired Parlophone from Universal Music, which had bought EMI’s recorded business in 2012.

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