What's In A Label?

The other day, I was thinking about Jaime Cullum, a fabulous young artist who does kick ass covers of standards as well as his own original material. I've been a fan since I heard him on NPR a few years ago. Jaime's pretty awesome and I can't wait to finally see him in person - tearing up his piano on the stage. I happened to mention the talented twenty-something to a friend who remarked, "isn't he on.....?" some label. I had to admit that I indeed, had no idea from what label the two albums of his I own were minted. As a matter of fact, when I thought about it, I had no idea on what labels artists in my own iPod released their albums under. It occurred to me that record companies have lost their identity and therefore, their relevance.

Just think, remember back in the day - the association between the artist and the label was strong. Remember record labels like this?
Or how about this?
I still have strong memories connected to the album, "Let It Be" that my Mom's friend, Jo had in her apartment in the Jungle. While they chatted away, talking about grown up stuff, I'd play the record over and over again. In my young mind, the Beatles were Apple and Apple was the Beatles.
And Aretha was Atlantic. Billy Joel was Columbia. Duran Duran was Capitol.

But today? Who the heck knows? What label is Beyonce on? Do I care? Not really. I could not care less if any of the labels goes under. They don't seem to stand for anything - like Casablanca was disco central (does the Village People ring a bell?). Speaking of Casablanca, I saw Donna Summer in concert last night and she was great. She did a lot of oldies, including "Enough Is Enough", sans Barbra (a back up singer stepped in quite nicely). She also did a few cuts from her new album, Crayons, that were very nice. I especially liked the track, "Sand on my Feet".
In my mind, Donna is Casablanca and Casablanca is Donna. But that was Yesterday. On Apple. And remember, I love you just the way you were, Columbia.


Don said…
Wow. You really brought back some memories then. I too remember when I used to 'put my aunt's favorite record on' and recall all the labels and some of the artist you named. I even remember it continued with Warner Brothers (Prince) and Epic Records (Michael Jackson).

Ndelible said…
Don ~~

I had so many labels in my head - even a bunch that I don't remember the name of, but I have the picture in my head. Yeah, Michael on Epic - I thought of that one too. I also had pictures of album covers in my head, but those remind me more of the artist than the labels. Probably a future post!
Lovebabz said…
Hey Sister,

You had me cracking up! Yes I too remember this stuff...a lot was my coming of age music!

I hope you are well. A Donna Summer concert...I am so jealous!

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