Verve Records

Verve Records
Multinational record label; appears with logo "Verve" as well as with logo "Verve Records".
Label Code: LC 0383 / LC 00383
For all Unofficial / Bootleg releases of this label, please use Verve Records.

Verve Records was originally the product of the vision of jazz impresario Norman Granz (1918-2001). He formed the label in 1956 and moved all of the recordings released on his earlier Norgran Records and Clef Records labels to create the new Verve catalog. The first releases were in February of that year.

In December 1960, Granz sold the label to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., becoming a subsidiary of MGM Records in the process. During the 1960s, Verve expanded into comedy (Jonathan Winters, Mort Sahl, Phyllis Diller), pop (The Righteous Brothers), R&B (Howard Tate, Arthur Prysock), rock (The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Blues Project) and folk (Janis Ian, Richie Havens, Tim Hardin) music, eventually creating the Verve Folkways (later renamed Verve Forecast) label in 1966 for issuing more psychedelic-leaning rock as well as folk and blues material.

Verve had million-selling jazz recordings during that decade from Stan Getz, Kai Winding, Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald and Jimmy Smith among others under the studio/A&R direction of Creed Taylor.

The MGM film studio sold its record division to Polydor in 1972, a move that brought Verve into the newly formed PolyGram and its family of record labels. Verve slowly became relegated to jazz reissues as MGM Records (and the non-jazz Verve output) was ultimately absorbed into Polydor by 1976. During this period, PolyGram had Mercury Records' Emarcy jazz catalog absorbed into Verve's holdings. In the late 1980s, PolyGram decided to reactivate the long-dormant label with both a reissue program and new artist signings. The revitalized label's new material and remastered classic recordings sold very well and it soon became PolyGram's front-line jazz division.

With the 1999 merger of PolyGram with Vivendi Universal creating the Universal Music Group, Verve Records became the hub of the The Verve Music Group, which also encompasses the influential GRP, Impulse! and Blue Thumb Records labels as well as overseeing the jazz catalog holdings of a number of UMG-owned labels, including Commodore, Chess, Brunswick (pre-1958), Argo, Cadet Records, Dot Records, Coral, Decca, ABC-Paramount, A&M Records, Mercury, Philips and Polydor.

For the different label designs, see label guide links below.

For the company credits, see:
-Verve Records, Inc. (1956-1960)
-MGM Records, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (US) / MGM Records, a division of Loew's Incorporated (Germany) (1960-1971)

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