EMI Records is back as a brand

EMI Records is back as a brand


norman lebrecht

June 17, 2020

Years after the demolition of a once-great British label, Universal Music are resurrecting EMI Records as an active brand, with Decca’s Rebecca Allen at its helm.

Becky is 2nd-gen record business. She knows the catalogue and she’s hot on nostalgia..

Not clear where she’ll go by way of artists and repertoire, but here are a few bones from the ress release:

London, June 16th, 2020: Universal Music Group has mapped out a bold new future for one of the most renowned British record labels of all time with Virgin EMI being renamed EMI Records with immediate effect. The music powerhouse will be led by Rebecca Allen who is appointed to President, EMI Records after a stellar 20-year career with UMG.

Allen will oversee the entire team and roster at the market-leading company, the label home of artists including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Florence + The Machine and Bastille, international repertoire from Justin Bieber, Lewis Capaldi, The Killers, Metallica, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Taylor Swift alongside the unstoppable Queen catalogue plus emerging talent from across the musical spectrum…

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group, says, “Growing up in London, EMI was the most iconic brand in British music.  When we acquired the company, we committed to new investment, innovation, creativity and, of course, leadership.  Not only have we delivered on that promise, but we continue to position EMI for the future.  

“The appointment of Becky Allen is a testament to our long-term commitment, and our adamance that the EMI name will mean as much to a new generation of artists and fans as it did for mine.  Becky is such a strong leader – creatively and commercially – and has the values, dedication and acumen to keep EMI as the unquestioned home for some of the UK’s greatest talent.”

Rebecca Allen says, “Being asked to reimagine one of the UK’s most important record labels is an incredible opportunity, as is the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative artists.  Working with artists, and finding and developing the talent of the future, is what drives me and I can’t wait to get started with building on what the brilliant Virgin EMI team have already achieved.”

After studying at the Trinity College of Music in London, Allen started her career at the BBC before joining Universal Music’s UCJ division in 1999. She became General Manager of Decca Records UK in 2012 and was promoted to President in 2017.


  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Coming soon: the next ultimate remastering av Schnabel’s Beethoven box, and of Furtwaengler’s Ring of course. 🙂

  • Good thing. EMI was famous in the 70’s for the LP of Riccardo Muti.

  • Jean says:

    Pablo Casals Bach cello suite on Blu-ray Audio !
    (Not a joke: have seen…)

  • jbb says:

    Who are the pop-tarts flashing gang signs?

  • Ross Amico says:

    Does this mean we will no longer have to suffer the disconnect of seeing the blue-and-white Warner logo on classic EMI releases? Looking forward to an orange resurgence.

    In the meantime, I found this:


  • Jon says:

    I assume the use of the EMI label will only apply to new recordings of pop music. The back catalogue of HMV and EMI classical recordings belongs to Warner, and not Universal.

  • Alexander says:

    I have some EMI’s CDs. Since we are surviving Internet of Things and other things of that sort the question is – which medium will new/old EMI use for making money on music . I would guess digital one is the most up-to-date. Maybe they should think of holograms, personally programmed streaming and so on.
    Actually it’s hard to imagine the regular revival of plain CD selling .

  • The View from America says:

    Lots of verbosity in the press release, but nothing to see here — It’s just a label name.

  • Pedro says:

    I hope that a new remastering of Karajan’s opera recordings on EMI will be released soon. The same with Furtwängler and Klemperer in complete new sets.

    • Ramesh Nair says:

      I bought many that were remastered by EMI Japan over the past 15 years. ( New 24 bit 96 k transfers then transferred to DSD and released as hybrid SACDS ). F ‘Rome Ring’ complete ( purportedly a new tape source ) and Tristan, Klemperer Zauberflöte, Don G, Holländer. Muti’s Don G, Karajan’s EMI Rosenkavalier. Booklets in Japanese. The full list is on hraudio.net The Tower Records Japan labels have also issued a bunch of EMI/Universal opera sets in new remasterings, most recently the Kempe VPO Lohengrin.

  • Bruce says:

    Looks like the press release makes no mention of classical music, so we’ll just have to wait and see what they do in that area. (Maybe an “Elton John Sings Kurt Weill” album… that might actually be kind of fun 😉 )

  • Adi says:

    Jon has raised a very relevant point. The new EMI will be of great interest to classical music lovers only if they obtain rights to release important recordings of their past catalogue.

  • Karl says:

    Let’s bring back Mercury Living Presence. There are some great old recordings on that label.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    Every Miscalculation Imaginable.

  • Ramesh Nair says:

    Typo– Giulini’s Don Giovanni. [ BTW This, the Karajan Rosenkavalier, Klemperer Dutchman are also available as a high resolution download from Presto Classical.]