Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Enigma Records

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1991 (1991)

Country of origin

Ceased operations



Enigma Records httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenee8Eni

Parent company
Greenworld Distribution (until 1985) EMI (from 1989)

William and Wesley Hein

Hard rock, heavy metal, alternative, punk

Culver City, California, United States

Stryper, Poison, Death Angel, TSOL, Sonic Youth

To Hell with the Devil, Soldiers Under Command, In God We Trust, Look What the Cat Dragged In, Open Up and Say Ahh!

Enigma Records (also known as Enigma Entertainment Corporation) was a popular rock and alternative American record label in the 1980s.



Enigma Records launched as a division of Greenworld Distribution, an independent music importer/distributor, in 1981. Four years later, in 1985, Enigma became its own company. The label was initially located in Torrance, California, then El Segundo, California and finally Culver City, California. Enigma was founded and run by brothers William and Wesley Hein. Jim Martone joined the company in 1984. Enigma focused on punk rock, alternative, and heavy metal music though it also released techno, jazz and classical music through subsidiary labels.

The label's first release was Motley Crue's "Too Fast For Love." The album was initially released under the band's own Leathür Records imprint. After the band moved on to Elektra Records, the Enigma Records name was adopted and all subsequent artists were released under this new name. The next major success was with the techo pop band Berlin.

Enigma Records was initially distributed through independent record importers/distributors such as JEM Records and Important Records. In 1984, Enigma entered into a joint venture with EMI America. Among the artists signed under the venture were the Red Hot Chili Peppers and SSQ (later renamed Stacey Q and signed to Atlantic Records). In 1986, Enigma moved its distribution to Capitol/EMI, a major record label, while leaving its Restless Records division with independent distributors. Poison, a glam rock band, and The Smithereens were two of the first artists released under the joint Enigma / Capitol relationship, both of which had significant success. That same year it launched a music video line also distributed by Capitol.

One of Enigma's biggest successes was with the Christian rock band Stryper, who had several gold and platinum records on the label as well as significant international success.

In addition to the primary Enigma Records label, the company had two smaller divisions. Enigma Retro focused on re-issues of material licensed from other labels such as Straight Records, Bizarre Records, and DiscReet Records. The Restless Records division focused on alternative artists not intended for major label distribution. Enigma also released film soundtracks including The Terminator and River's Edge. Enigma released a compilation album, Enigma Variations, with various artists. Enigma had a joint venture with Mute Records and released certain Mute titles in the United States. Sonic Youth's landmark 1988 album Daydream Nation was originally released on Enigma Records, in association with Blast First Records.

Enigma was formerly acquired by Capitol/EMI in 1989 and finally merged with Restless in 1991, where its operations, catalogs and some of the artists moved to.

Enigma's Canadian division was closed in 1992 and was reorganized into FRE Records before shuttering in 1999, after which its back catalogs was sold to DROG Records.


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  • Bardeux
  • Barren Cross
  • Berlin
  • David Cassidy
  • Channel 3
  • Dead Milkmen
  • Death Angel
  • The Descendents
  • Devo
  • The Dickies
  • Don Dixon
  • Fear
  • The Fibonaccis
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  • Game Theory
  • GG Allin
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  • Great White
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  • Guardian
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  • John Trubee and the Ugly Janitors of America
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  • Krash Palace
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  • Lizzy Borden
  • Mass (US Band)
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  • Mojo Nixon
  • Motley Crue
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  • Bill Nelson
  • Obsession
  • Plan 9
  • Plasticland
  • Poison
  • Chris Poland
  • Rain Parade
  • Red Flag
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Redd Kross
  • The Residents
  • Skid Roper
  • Saxon
  • Shooting Star
  • Slayer
  • The Smithereens
  • Al Stewart
  • Stryper
  • Thor (band)
  • T.S.O.L.
  • The U-Krew
  • Untouchables
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  • Wednesday Week
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  • References

    Enigma Records Wikipedia

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