defunct British music recording and publishing company

EMI was a music company founded in London. It is in charge of a record label, EMI Music. EMI is one of the "big four" record labels; the labels not part of the "big four" are called independent. It started in 1931, when it was called "Electric and Music Industries". In 1957, it took over Capitol Records, an American record company.

The EMI logo

In 1962, The Beatles signed a contract with EMI's Parlophone Records, and they became the company's most successful musicians. The Beatles made nearly all their recordings at Abbey Road Studios, EMI's main recording studios in London.

In 1992, EMI bought Virgin Records, which had been owned by Richard Branson. It almost bought Universal Records in 1998, also. In 2007, EMI was taken over by a group called Terra Firma, after it said no to a bid from Warner Music Group.

Other famous musicians that were with EMI include Prince, Pink Floyd, Spice Girls, and Coldplay.[1]

In 2012, Universal Music Group bought EMI, but the European Commission told Universal to sell some of EMI's record labels. Parlophone, the oldest EMI label, was sold to Warner Music Group; while BMG bought Mute Records. EMI's music publishing business was sold to a group that included Sony/ATV Music Publishing.


  1. Profile: British music giant EMI (15 January 2008). BBC. Accessed 23 August 2008.

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