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Asylum Records/Atlantic

 

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Asylum Records is an American record label founded in 1971 by David Geffen, and partner Elliot Roberts, who had previously worked as agents at the William Morris Agency. Founded specifically to provide a record contract for Jackson Browne, the label signed Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan for two albums. It was taken over by Warner Communications (now the Warner Music Group) in 1972, and merged with Elektra Records to become Elektra/Asylum Records.
After various incarnations, today it is geared primarily towards hip-hop, along with rock and Alternative Metal. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and is currently distributed through Warner Bros. Records.
Asylum was founded in 1971 by David Geffen, and partner Elliot Roberts, who had previously worked as agents at the William Morris Agency, and operated a folk/rock label. They founded their own management company, and when Geffen was unable to get a recording contract for Jackson Browne, one of his clients at the time, Geffen and Roberts founded Asylum specifically to sign Browne. Asylum's early releases were distributed by Atlantic Records. The same year, Asylum signed John David Souther, Judee Sill, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and Glenn Frey (whom Geffen encouraged to form the Eagles, with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.) In 1972, then folk-based singer/songwriter Tom Waits signed with the label, releasing his debut, Closing Time, in 1973. His fifth and final album for the label, Heartattack and Vine, was released in 1980. The biggest coup for Asylum was signing Bob Dylan, who had been with Columbia Records since the early 1960s but who, after a falling-out with the company, was shopping around for a new label. Dylan recorded two albums, Planet Waves and the live Before the Flood, for Asylum before returning to Columbia. Columbia reissued Dylan's two Asylum albums in 1981.

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