Victory Records is a Chicago-based independent record label founded by Tony Brummel. Victory Records is a privately held corporation with several imprint labels, as well as a music publishing company called “Another Victory Publishing.”

Founder Tony Brummel has received media attention for his criticism of Apple Computer’s iTunes music download service, which he believes “makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul.” However, music by bands signed to Victory Records can be purchased on iTunes, making it possible that Brummel has backtracked on this position.

Originally focusing on Straight Edge, Hardcore Punk, and emo bands, Victory later shifted focus to metalcore and Pop-punk subgenres and has had multiple records exceeding the 200,000 sales mark including three gold certified records, “The Silence in Black and White” by Hawthorne Heights, has now reached platinum status. At least one band, Thursday, has accused Victory of forcing them to sign to a major label (Island Def Jam in 2002); a clause in their contract said the band must sign to a major label if they left Victory.

Sean Bonner worked as the Creative Director for the label from 1995 to 1998. As creative director he was responsible for much of the label’s design including all branding and logos for bands such as Blood for Blood and Hatebreed but assisted with recruiting and signing bands such as Catch 22 and Grade.

In early 2002, 25% of the label was announced to have been sold to Universal Music Group for an undisclosed amount. However later that year the deal was terminated, apparently prior to completion. Victory is currently distributed by Sony’s RED Distribution.

This is not the same Victory Records that was owned by JVC in the early ’90s.

On September 26, 2006, the Victory Records catalog was put on iTunes.

Lately, music from the Victory roster has been used on video packages for TNA wrestling.

On August 7, 2006, Hawthorne Heights, a Victory signed band, announced that they were leaving the label and suing Brummel and the label. Hawthorne Heights issued a manifesto on their website as a direct statement from the band. The band alleges that Brummel used “overly-aggressive, unethical and illegal schemes and tactics” which severely damaged the band’s reputation and relationship with their fans. Brummel allegedly issued public statements in the band’s name which declared war on singer Ne-Yo, whose CD In My Own Words was Hawthorne Heights’ most prominent competition on the Billboard 200 charts, and even urged street teams to visit record stores to conceal copies of Ne-Yo’s CD.

On September 13, 2006, Victory records filed a counter-suit against Hawthorne Heights accusing the band of breach of contract and libel. The original trial was still ongoing at this point.

Among other claims in the lawsuit are “egregiously fraudulent accounting practices,” which allege that Brummel and Victory refused to pay Hawthorne Heights royalties for any of the albums, for which Brummel claims that the band has yet to recoup money spent on advertising and other related expenditures and still owe the label $1 million.

Other claims in the lawsuit include “copyright and trademark infringement, invasion of privacy for placing the band in a ‘false light,’ fraud and interference with business relations.” Representatives from Victory have issued a statement that the lawsuit is without merit and Hawthorne Heights will not be released from their contract until they deliver two additional studio albums, as per their contract.

Victory Records packaged a number of their CD releases in colored CD jewel cases. The exact number of CDs sold with a colored CD case is not known. This was done simply as a way to make the CDs stand out more on music store shelves and was not limited or collectible in ways that some pressings of colored vinyl was.

Edited by KERPLUNKEN on 29 Jul 2007, 08:20

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