Sire Records Bio:
Sire Records is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. Records.
The label was founded in 1966 as Sire Productions by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. Its early releases as a record label were issued in 1968, distributed by London Records. From the beginning, Sire introduced underground, progressive British bands to the American market. Early releases included the Climax Blues Band, Barclay James Harvest and proto-punks The Deviants. The label was distributed by Polydor Records from 1970 until 1971, during which time the now-famous logo was introduced, and then by Famous Music from 1972 to 1974, during which the progressive rock band Focus charted with their 1972 hit "Hocus Pocus." In the seventies, Sire released a number of compilation LPs, including the 3 volume "History Of British Rock" series, and diverse artists such as The Turtles, Duane Eddy, The Small Faces, and Del Shannon. ABC Records inherited Sire's distribution contract when it acquired Famous Music in 1974. The UK signing policy was vindicated when Climax Blues Band scored a Top 40 hit in 1977 with "Couldn't Get It Right," Also in 1977 Stein, who had worked with the group in the 1960s, convinced the Shangri-Las to reform and return to the studio. But the trio was unhappy with the quality of material it recorded, and the trio opted out of its contract. Those tracks have yet to be released.
Acquisition by Warner
In the later 1970s, Sire transformed itself into a successful independent record label and went on to sign artists from the burgeoning punk rock and New Wave scenes, including the Ramones, the Dead Boys and Talking Heads. Sire switched distribution to Warner Bros. Records in 1977 which acquired Sire in 1978. During the 1980s, Sire achieved mainstream status after having launched the recording careers of Madonna and Ice-T—who were signed to the label in 1982 and 1986 respectively—as well as with Depeche Mode, Echo and The Bunnymen, and The Cure in North America. Into the 1990s, the label had continued commercial success with acts such as Seal, k.d. lang, Tommy Page, A House, and Jack's Mannequin.
In 1994, Sire left Warner Bros. to operate under its sister label Elektra Records where Stein was appointed president under newly appointed CEO Sylvia Rhone. Sire later left the Elektra umbrella, but remained at Warner Music Group. In 2000, Sire Records and the US division of London Records (not London Classics USA) were merged to become London-Sire Records. This partnership dissolved in April 2003, at which point the company went back to being called Sire Records, and it returned to the aegis of Warner Bros. Records.
In 2009, official music videos displayed on the Sire Records website were taken down 'due to a copyright claim' by their parent Warner Music Group, after royalty negotiations between WMG and YouTube (which Sire had been using to host the videos) broke down in December 2008.