Multinational label; also appears as Decca Records. Label code: LC 0171 / LC 00171.
This is the LABEL to use, regardless of whether the COMPANY behind is The Decca Record Company Limited (formerly owned by its founder Edward Lewis and PolyGram) or Decca Records, Inc. (formerly owned by MCA), or whichever else.

Former stockbroker Edward Lewis formed The Decca Record Company Limited in the United Kingdom on February 28, 1929. It was founded for Brunswick Ltd., which was founded locally by Brunswick-Balke-Collender and the German Polyphon Musik.The company started releasing records under the Decca trademark.

A US branch, Decca Records, Inc., was launched on August 4th, 1934. The first US Decca label was a Sunburst design (also referred to as three-dimensional) but that design disappeared in 1937. The sunburst design was replaced by a Decca in block lettering (also referred to as two-dimensional) mainly blue and red. This branch was sold off during World War II, but the UK & US companies continued to release each other’s recordings in their respective territories. In the UK, US Decca recordings were released on the Brunswick label from 1934 until February 1968, when the MCA Records label was established. Brunswick was also used elsewhere in Europe and other countries. However, some European countries released recordings from the two companies on the same Decca label, sometimes with the extra slogan \“American Series\”.

In 1935, The Decca Record Company Limited contracted with EMI companies in Australia, New Zealand, India and elsewhere for the release of UK & US Decca recordings in those territories. This deal gave US Decca the rights to release recordings from the Parlophone and Odeon labels in North America.

In 1947, The Decca Record Company established the London Records trademark in the US, Canada, South America, and the Far East, as they couldn't use their own Decca trademark in those territories anymore.

In the early 1960’s, following MCA, Inc’s acquisition of US Decca, the company name appearing on releases became Decca Records, A Division Of MCA, Inc. The company name became MCA Records, Inc. in 1971. MCA Records was then established as an American label in 1973 to replace the Decca, Coral, Kapp Records, Uni Records and Vocalion labels.

At the end of 1968 Decca UK had stopped preparing separate monos and stereos for new recordings and instead relied on compatible mixes. There was a shrinking demand for mono, but still enough to make the issues lucrative. To save the cost of printing two different covers they made a common one with a die-cut hole top right on the back cover and separating the issues with different inner sleeves - blue stereo and red mono. This was used for most labels distributed by UK Decca record group (one exception being RCA).

The 1970s were disastrous for the UK Decca label. Although The Decca Company set up the first of the British "progressive" labels, Deram, in 1966, by the time the punk era set in 1977, Decca had become known primarily as a classical label. Label founder Edward Lewis died in January 1980, and PolyGram acquired the Decca labels within days of his death.

Decca was revived as a US label for reissues in the 1980’s and 1990’s, some of these in conjunction with the GRP label. Decca Records Nashville was also formed to release new country recordings.

In 1997, Seagram bought out MCA/Universal, giving them ownership of Decca US. They then acquired Decca UK's parent company PolyGram in 1998, thus consolidating Decca trademark ownership under the new Universal Music Group. The recordings from the two Deccas have not, however, been reconsolidated under the Decca label, with reissues of US recordings typically appearing on the Geffen Records, MCA Nashville, Verve Records and Deutsche Grammophon imprints.

Today, Decca is a leading label for both classical music and Broadway scores. Decca Music Group Limited also includes the Philips Classics label, and those labels are grouped together with the Deutsche Grammophon and ECM labels into the Universal Classics group.

This label contains releases on multinational markets. Do NOT create imprints for different countries.
Cover that information on new releases with the country field and with company links, rights societies, labelcode etc.

For all unofficial releases (bootlegs, counterfeits ... , pirate compilations) that pretend to be a release of Decca please use Decca

Link to a great 1428 pages of Decca classical recordings database from 1929 to 2009
Companies related to Decca:


The Decca Record Company Limited, later Decca Music Group Limited – original company founded in 1929; subsidiary company name Brunswick Ltd., acquired by Decca in 1932, appears on Brunswick label releases for licensed US recordings until 1968.
MCA Records Ltd. - company name used for a brief period of independence after the MCA Records label was established before the license returned to Decca until 1973. Revived again in the late 1970's or early 1980's.
The Gramophone Co. Ltd., later EMI Records Ltd. - the US MCA license switched from Decca to EMI on 1 January 1974, finally (at least until 1999) severing UK Decca's connections to its one-time subsidiary.
BMG Records (UK) Ltd. - distributor of MCA Records Ltd. from 1st Januuary 1991.
Universal MCA Music (UK) Ltd. - renamed UK MCA company following merger of Universal and PolyGram in 1999.
Releases via Universal MCA may also show the name Universal Music Operations Ltd. for manufacturing and/or distribution roles.

Decca Records, Inc., later Decca Records, A Division of MCA, Inc. – US company founded in 1934; UK Decca started selling their shareholding c. 1939 and had completely divested their interests c. 1943. MCA Records, Inc. was the company name used starting in 1971, though the MCA Records label wasn’t established in the Americas until 1973. Also includes the MCA Classics label.
The London Gramophone Corporation, later London Records, Inc. – UK Decca’s second venture into the American record market, established in 1947, with a Canadian subsidiary established the following year. As the Decca name could now not be used, London Records was created for the bulk of releases from the UK company.
PolyGram Records, Inc. – US company which absorbed London in 1980.
GRP Records, Inc. – US jazz company/label, acquired by MCA Records, Inc.; reissued classic US Decca recordings of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and others on the Decca Jazz imprint in conjunction with MCA.
Geffen Records, A Division Of UMG Recordings, Inc. – Universal folded the MCA Records label in the early 2000’s, and any non-jazz or country reissues from US Decca or MCA now go to this label.
MCA Nashville, A Division Of UMG Recordings, Inc. – one of Universal’s current country music labels, which also encompasses reissues from US Decca’s country catalogue.
The Verve Music Group, A Division Of UMG Recordings, Inc. – Universal’s jazz division, which since 1999 has reissued several US Decca recordings on the Verve Records label, often with vintage label graphics.
Universal Classics – the US division encompassing the classical issues from Decca Music Group Limited and Deutsche Grammophon, the latter label now used worldwide for reissues from US Decca’s classical catalogue, notably those of Andrés Segovia. Also includes Decca Broadway, for new and reissued recordings of stage shows and film soundtrack albums from across Universal’s family of labels. For the older label design version see the Vinylbeat link below.

Columbia Graphophone (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., E.M.I. (Australia) Pty. Limited, EMI (Australia) Limited - EMI companies licensing the UK Decca labels from 1935 to the early 1980’s (including US recordings on the Decca and Brunswick labels until 1952).
Festival Records Pty. Ltd. – licensee for US Decca (released on Festival Records), Coral and Brunswick from 1952 to 1969.
Radio Corporation Pty. Ltd., Astor Records Pty. Ltd. – both familiarly known as Astor Records; licensee for US Decca/Decca Records/MCA Records, Inc. from 1969 to 1981, on the MCA Records label.
PolyGram Records Pty. Limited, later PolyGram Pty. Limited – licensee for UK Decca labels from c. 1981-1999, and for MCA Records, Inc. from 1981-1983.
WEA Records Pty Ltd. – licensee for MCA Records, Inc. from 1983 to early 1990’s.
BMG Australia Limited – licensee (later distributor) for MCA Records, Inc., early 1990’s to 1999.
MCA Music Entertainment Limited – mid-late 1990’s licensee for MCA Records, Inc.; still distributed by BMG Australia Limited.
Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd – following Universal’s acquisition of PolyGram, Australian company for all UK/Europe and US Decca recordings from 1999 to present.

S.A. Fonior N.V. - Exclusive importer and distributor since 1934, also manufacturing local products since 1940, up to the company's bankruptcy in 1980.

The following succeeding companies acted as exclusive distributor (and after 1934 manufacturer) in the Netherlands (and its colonies):
Decca Dutch Supplies (1930-1936)
Hollandsche Decca Distributie (Decca-Dutch Supplies) N.V. (1936-1943)
Hollandsche Decca Distributie N.V. (1943-1972)
Hollandsche Decca Distributie B.V. (1972 - ?)
In 1942 N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabriek became the main shareholder, in 1951 manufacturing was handled by Philips Phonografische Industrie.

TELDEC »Telefunken-Decca« Schallplatten GmbH - Founded 1950 as joint venture between Telefunken AG and The Decca Record Company Limited.

Société Française du Son - Exclusive distributor since 1934, and manufacturer since 1950, up to the company's bankruptcy in 1979.

45 RPM Catalog Number, Date and Label Identification:
23000 through 29400 (1949–1955): Black label with lines
on both sides of the Decca name.
29401 through 31100 (1955–1960): Black label with lines
and a star under the Decca name.
31101 and higher (1960 forward): Label is black at the top
and bottom, but has a horizontal multi-color band through the
An occasional number above 30000 will surface on the
label (with lines on both sides of the name Decca) shown for
numbers under 29401. Numbers before Decca 45s began
(23000 and some as high as 25500 – black label with lines on
both sides) are 45 rpm reissues of material first issued on 78s.

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