Back in 1980, the only label–and I mean the ONLY label–that was willing to take a chance on U2 was Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Up until about seven years ago, all U2 releases were in the Island Imprint and then distributed through Universal, which had become Island’s owner through its acquisition of PolyGram, which had bought Island in 1989.
But then there were changes within the management structure of Universal–and because U2 was unhappy with the way Island was being managed and they way they were being treated–they were moved over to Mercury, another Universal subsidiary. (U2 never really gave up on Island, though; most U2 releases on Mercury continued to show an Island logo).
Then in yet another reorganization that followed the demise of EMI, Universal shuttered Mercury earlier this year, leaving U2 as free agents as far as a place to release their records.
Universal moved many former Mercury and EMI acts to a new company called Virgin/EMI. U2, though, was still a question mark.
This week it was announced that U2 will return to their “spiritual home” now that Island has undergone a wholesale change of management, one that is more to U2’s liking. This means that the new album–due in April, still untitled–will be the first Island-based U2 album in almost a decade.
(Via The Guardian)