|Origins of Virgin Records|
Quite apart from the innovative characteristics of the music, Tubular Bells has the second claim to rock 'n roll greatness. Being the first record released by Virgin Records, it was also the start of the Richard Branson empire, which has since blossomed into a global conglomerate built on megastores, airlines, railways, telecommunications and much more.
Branson, having left his private school with minimal formal qualifications, founded Virgin as a cut-price mail-order record store, but it was the massive sales generated by Tubular Bells that transformed the toothy-grinned charmer into a business mogul, who went o to sell Virgin Records to EMI in March 1992 for about $1,033 million.
Branson's canny business instincts remain his empire's greatest asset, though his clever manipulation of his own image runs it a close second. He knows that to be seen abseiling down the side of a skyscraper or balooning across the world's oceans brings the kind of advertising money can't buy. Pegged early on as "the hip captialist," he is famous for apparently knowing nothing about music. "It was a bit beyond him," says Mike Oldfield, who points out that Branson's real gift was for employing people who did know what they doing. Those people signed Phil Collins, Culture Club, The Sex Pistols, and countless other acts that probably made Branson richer than any of them.
Source: Classic Albums. Back to Back.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 23 April 2011 23:06|
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