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Swan Song Records

From Academic Kids

Swan Song Records was a record label launched by Led Zeppelin on May 10, 1974. It was managed by Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant and was a vehicle for the band to promote its own products as well as sign artists who found it difficult to win contracts with other major labels. The decision to launch the label came after Led Zeppelin's five year contract with Atlantic Records expired at the end of 1973. Atlantic Records ultimately distributed the label's product.

The label design was based on Evening, Fall of Day (1869) by painter William Rimmer, while the company logo featured a pair of swans.

A lavish media party was held at Chislehurst Caves in Kent, England on October 31, 1974, to celebrate the label’s first release by the Pretty Things, Silk Torpedo. By March 1975, Swan Song had four albums (Bad Company, Silk Torpedo, Physical Graffiti, and Suicide Sal) in the Billboard Top 200 chart. The recording label also partly funded film projects such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975.

Artists who signed with the label but did not produce any releases included New York singer-songwriter Mirabai, Metropolis which featured members from the Pretty Things, guitarist Richie Sambora (who later joined Bon Jovi), and the Kentucky Headhunters. Both Iron Maiden and The Q Tips featuring Paul Young were considered but not signed. Four artists that Swan Song Records wanted to sign but bowed out to other labels were Roy Harper, blues guitarist Bobby Parker, composer Vangelis, and John Lennon before his return to music in 1980.

Swan Song ceased operations in October 1983 due to the break-up of Led Zeppelin and Peter Grant’s health problems. A rescue attempt to save the label by Atlantic Records executive Phil Carson proved fruitless. Robert Plant started his own label Es Paranza Records in the wake of Swan Song’s passing, while Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones signed up with Atlantic Records.

  • UK Address: 484 Kings Road, London, SW10 U.K.
  • US Address: 444 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, 10022 U.S.A.

Personnel

The following is a list of Swan Song Records’ commercially-released records, with release dates, catalogue numbers, title, and artists.

Label discography

see also

Led Zeppelin
John Bonham - John Paul Jones - Jimmy Page - Robert Plant
Original albums: Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin III - Untitled - Houses of the Holy - Physical Graffiti - Presence - The Song Remains the Same - In Through the Out Door - Coda
Other albums: Boxed Set - Profiled - Remasters - Boxed Set 2 - The Complete Studio Recordings - BBC Sessions - Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One - Latter Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume Two - How the West Was Won
Films: The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin DVD
Songs: "The Battle of Evermore" - "Dazed and Confused" - "Stairway to Heaven" - "When the Levee Breaks"
Other: Peter Grant - Swan Song Records

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