Sign O' the Times: Arista, Jive, J record labels to disappear

It didn't receive much attention the other day when RCA Music Group announced the closing of three of its labels, the iconic Arista and Jive labels and the more recent J Records.  Each had its time in the sun, but continuing cost cutting at RCA and the desire to strengthen a single label (RCA) led to their demise.

It didn't receive much attention the other day when RCA Music Group announced the closing of three of its labels, the iconic Arista and Jive labels and the more recent J Records.  Each had its time in the sun, but continuing cost cutting at RCA and the desire to strengthen a single label (RCA) led to their demise.

Arista ruled the pop and adult R&B charts during parts of the 70s and 80s with such stars as Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Phyllis Hyman, Ray Parker, Angela Bofill, Dionne Warwick and, of course, Whitney Houston, along with literally dozens of other major artists. A decade later, Jive was the hot place to be, bridging traditional pop sounds with hotter, more youth oriented hip hop influences. Artists like the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, Syleena Johnson and even Tupac spent time on Jive. Then, after the start of the new millennium, former Arista boss Clive Davis created the J Records imprint, signing future star Alicia Keys and drawing over veteran soul singer Luther Vandross.

The end of these imprints doesn't change the world and they were only label names, for God's sake. But it is still kinda sad to see the demise of these companies that were associated with so much great music over the years. The music industry has changed so much so quickly, I guess there isn't much place for nostalgia about a name or a logo. But we'll take a moment anyway to remember fondly a couple of great ones.

By Chris Rizik

See a list of artists who recorded on Jive Records

See a list of artists who recorded on Arista Records

 

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