East West Records (stylized as eastwest from 1990 to 2000) is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group, that operates under WMG's Independent Label Group.
Upon its creation in 1955 by Atlantic Records, the label had one hit with the Kingsmen (a Bill Haley & His Comets offshoot) and went into hibernation until 1990, when Atlantic revamped the imprint as EastWest Records America. Atlantic senior VP Sylvia Rhone was appointed Chairman/CEO of the fledgling label.
Under Rhone's leadership, East West shot to mega success with several multiplatinum acts, such as: Simply Red, En Vogue, Pantera, Yo-Yo, Das EFX, Snow, Gerald Levert, AC/DC, Dream Theater, Missy Elliott and MC Lyte. EastWest also distributed other imprints, such as: Interscope Records, Motor Jams Records, Mecca Don Records and The Gold Mind Inc.
In 1991, East West merged with its Atlantic sister label Atco Records, briefly calling itself Atco/East west Records. In 1993, Atco's name was dropped and the company continued to operate under the East West name once more. While in the United Kingdom, the brand was applied to many of the WEA artists such as Simply Red, Chris Rea, and the Beloved.
In 1994, Rhone was appointed Chairman and CEO of Atlantic's sister label Elektra Records. At the time, East West (along with most of its roster) also broke away from the Atlantic umbrella to continue to operate under Rhone at Elektra.
By the new millennium, budget cuts at Warner Music Group resulted in East West being absorbed into Elektra, where some of its acts were shifted over as well. In 2004, Time Warner sold Warner Music Group to private investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr.. Subsequently, more budget cuts were made, this time resulting in Elektra to be absorbed into Atlantic.
In 2005, WMG reactivated the East West imprint as an in-house indie-rock label, which primarily markets and distributes other rock music-based labels. East West today operates under Warner's Independent Label Group.