2017 Is "The Year Of Sire" As Label Marks 50th Anniversary
February 1, 2017
Sire Records will mark its 50th anniversary with a string of events in the upcoming months. Founded by Seymour Stein - who remains at the helm today - and Richard Gottehrer, Sire was launched as a full-fledged independent label in 1967. By the mid-'70s, the company had become a champion of the emerging punk and New Wave scene with such groundbreaking signings as The Ramones and Talking Heads. In 1976, Sire joined the Warner Music Group family, growing into one of the world's most influential record labels and a groundbreaking cultural force, with a roster that expanded to include iconic performers such as Madonna, The Pretenders, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, K.D. Lang, The Cult, The Replacements, Ice-T, and dozens more.
The Sire 50th celebration kicks off on February 6th, when the Recording Academy hosts a special Grammy Week event with Seymour Stein at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. The intimate evening will feature a panel discussion with Stein and special guests Billy Duffy of the Cult, director/producer Brett Ratner, and Martin Mills, Chairman of the Beggars Group, moderated by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.
A highlight of Sire's anniversary year will be the fall publication of Stein's long-awaited autobiography, written by Stein and noted author Gareth Murphy. Other events planned include: a talk with Stein and special guests at the 92nd Street Y in New York City (date TBD); the launch of a new Sire Records website on February 3rd, along with a Sire 50 playlist campaign across multiple streaming services; a special limited edition vinyl box set release; a number of high-profile media stories; and more to be announced. In addition, a documentary film on Seymour Stein and Sire is currently being planned by Stein's daughter, Mandy.
At the same time that Sire is celebrating its rich history, the label is moving into its sixth decade with upcoming releases from a slate of exciting new signings, including Ethan Gruska, Alvarez Kings, Sugarmen, The Lottery Winners, Cold Fronts, and Residual Kid. In addition, Stein has recently overseen new Sire album projects for Cyndi Lauper and Paul Shaffer, released via WMG's Rhino Entertainment. Alongside his work at Sire, Stein also works closely with ADA, the independent services arm of WMG, in seeking out new talent and fresh business opportunities around the world.
"Seymour has been a pillar of our Warner Bros. family for the past four decades," noted Warner Bros. Records Chairman & CEO Cameron Strang. "The roster of artists he has brought to WBR over the years is nothing short of astounding, and the Sire catalog is a gem filled with revolutionary, culture-shifting music. The brilliance of Sire is a direct reflection of Seymour's unbridled passion for artists and their songs, his encyclopedic musical knowledge, his insatiable curiosity, and his uncanny ability to recognize original, compelling talent. The range and diversity of artists he has championed is extraordinary, and he changed the landscape of our company and modern music forever. I am thrilled to congratulate him on the 50th anniversary of the great Sire label."
"Seymour's love of music and dedication to this business are unparalleled, and his influence on the course of contemporary music and culture cannot be overestimated," said Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper. "He is a pioneering figure in the history of our industry, and has played an irreplaceable role in the evolution of WMG as a home for the most innovative and original artists in modern music. Today, Seymour continues to be a vital force in the business, through his work at both Sire and ADA - as he travels the globe in search of cutting edge label partners and the next generation of musical genius. Seymour defines what it means to be a music man and a global citizen. All of us at WMG are honored and deeply proud to call him one of our own."
"It's impossible to believe that it's been a half century since Richard Gottehrer and I decided to turn our little production company into a proper record label," said Seymour Stein. "I've been blessed to be surrounded by so many, many great artists. I always tried to get in on the ground floor and see artists before anybody else, and I believe that great music will always prevail, sooner or later. The one constant is that it all begins with the song, and that's the most important thing. Recorded music is 140 years old, but there's been a music business for hundreds of years, and I love being part of that continuum as much now as I did when I started out over 60 years ago. I also want to thank my colleagues at WMG for giving Sire such a welcoming home for the past four decades, and my many great team members at Sire over the years for their invaluable contributions."