Vertigo Records was a subsidiary of the Philips/Phonogram record label, launched in 1969 in the UK to specialise in prog rock and other non-mainstream musical styles. Today it is an operated by Universal Music UK.
Vertigo was the brainchild of Gerry Bron, Tony Reeves and Olav Wyper when the latter was Creative Director at Phonogram. It was launched as a competitor to labels such as Harvest (a prog subsidiary of EMI) and Deram (Decca). It was the home to bands such as Colosseum, Jade Warrior, Affinity and other bands from 'the "cutting edge" of the early-'70s British prog-folk-post-psych circuit'.
Vertigo later became the European home to various hard rock bands signed to Mercury in North America, such as Bon Jovi, Rush and Kiss. Now part of the Universal Music Group, Vertigo is a division of Mercury Music Group (UK), which in turn is a frontline music group operation of Universal Music UK. It distributes Cooking Vinyl (France and Germany), Metallica (outside the US and Canada), Razorlight, Rush (Europe) and Dire Straits (except the US).
More recent signings include The Rapture, The Killers (UK/Éire), One Night Only, Amy Macdonald, Noisettes and Thee Unstrung 2004-2005 and Kassidy in 2009. Black Sabbath have returned to the label in 2013 (including the US and Canada for the first time) though former sister label Sanctuary Records acquired international rights to their back catalogue in the interim (the band were last on Vertigo in 1987).