Edel AG is one of the largest independent German music and entertainment groups, with dozens of sub-labels and affiliates all over the world. The company was founded in 1986 by Michael Haentjes and started as a record label, publishing, often through sub-labels, many music genres. It later branched out, developing new media an publishing divisions. Its headquarters are in Hamburg.
With artists such as Scooter, SASH!, Holly Johnson and many others, it became a very successful pop music label. Edel was listed in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1998. In October 1998, Edel produced a video series based on the EM.TV marketed cartoon series Sailor Moon as part of Edel's licensing contract with EM.TV, which gave Edel the right to produce German and European cassettes, CDs, and videos for the series through 2001.
Edel's main office is based in Hamburg, but the Edel network extends the label presence all over Europe with affiliates offices and labels and in the rest of the world with a strong network of distributors, Edel is in fact still present in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and France.
In the most recent years, Edel released studio albums by Tarja Turunen, JoJo, Lisa Stansfield, Toni Braxton, Sabrina Salerno, Deep Purple, Gregorian, Thomas Anders, Chris Rea, Jerry Lee Lewis, Status Quo, Ali Campbell (UB40), Europe, Nazareth, Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes, Turbonegro, and its roster is becoming among the strongest in the independent industry. Edel released also the mammoth last solo album project by Chris Rea, Blue Guitars. This record was nearly the largest album ever to reach the UK Top 75, however by the Sunday the record had dropped from its Top 75 midweek charts position.
Edel was the company chosen by artist Prince in 1994 when he parted from Warner Bros. Records. The company released in Europe the single "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" which was Prince's first UK #1 hit. They also released several Prince-produced albums such as The Beautiful Experience, NPG's Exodus, and Mayte's Child of the Sun.
Over the years, Edel purchased the music labels Eagle Rock Records, Face Down Records (not Facedown Records), Gang Go Music, Club Tools, Control Records and Belgian Play It Again Sam.