Demon Records is a British record label, founded in 1980 by former United Artists A&R executive Andrew Lauder and Jake Riviera, who had previously started Stiff Records. The pair had also founded Radar Records in 1978 and F-Beat in 1979.
The label was originally planned to release one-off singles, with early releases from the Subterraneans (featuring NME journalist Nick Kent), the Spectres (formed by Glen Matlock), TV21, and Department S. Demon's first chart success came with Department S's "Is Vic There?", which reached #22 in the UK Singles Chart.
Further chart success followed with Bananarama'a "Aie-a-Mwana". The label then changed direction towards launching long-term artists. Lauder left to join Island Records in 1981, and Demon started a subsidiary label, Edsel Records, the same year, for reissues of 1960s and 1970s albums. By 1982, Lauder had returned, and Demon had spawned further sub-labels, including Hi Records (the Memphis soul label), and Drop Out (psychedelic rock).
Demon was also the home of sub-label Zippo, which released albums by American artists such as Dream Syndicate, Green On Red, True West, Rain Parade, Russ Tolman, amongst others in the 1980s.
In 1998, Demon was acquired by Crimson Productions and the record label was merged with its Westside Records operation. In 2002 Westside issued a double CD compilation album of blues from Ace Records (US). The company is now known as the Demon Music Group and releases records by artists such as Jane McDonald and Marti Pellow. Demon is also the European licensee of the Hi Records catalog.
The firm is also known for releasing a large number of compilation albums, with multi-genre compilation brands including the 'Absolute Hits' series of single-disc collections (through Crimson) and the budget-range '100 Hits' series of five-disc box sets each themed to a particular genre or era of music. These have proved successful, with the 100 Hits series alone amassing sales of 1.5 million units in its first 18 months on sale. The firm also releases genre-based compilation sets through labels such as "Harmless" (funk) and "Nascente" (world music).
The artwork for the Nascente-released 'Beginner's Guide' series (particularly Beginner's Guide to Africa) may have provided inspiration for similar artwork used by Blur on their 2009 EMI collection, Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur.
Demon Music Group (DMG) is currently the UK’s largest independent record company, specialising in the creative production and marketing of CDs and music DVDs. There are 17 labels spanning all genres, formats and price points. From low-price single CDs, through to mid-price box sets and full-price TV advertised albums. The repertoire is sourced from both major and independent companies around the world as well as their own vast library of rights that includes artists such as Marc Bolan and T. Rex and Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
During 2013, Demon's subsidiary company Edsel had released the entire Island Records back catalogue of Robert Palmer and Blancmange. There was initial concern on forums such as the Steve Hoffman boards that the mp3 files had been used as the masters to all eight albums, as many had returned their CDs. Annoyed fans scanned the files with professional audio analyzing software such as Adobe Audition and Audacity, to find that all the frequencies of the recordings were cut off at 16kHz. The blog Superdeluxeedition had put these claims to the manager of Edsel Records; Val Jennings who vehemently refuted the claims. Superdeluxeedition has approached Nick Watson, who has produced for bands such as the Kinks, Faith No More, and the Libertines, for obtaining a professional opinion on the issue. The final verdict was all the CDs were mastered from mp3 files. The manager of Edsel did not respond. DMG TV (artist album projects)
Edsel (mostly re-issues)
Demon Records (vinyl releases)
Harmless (funk and urban music collections)
Music Club Deluxe (deluxe 2CD packages)
Nascente (world music collections)
THE Red Box