Last year marked the 50th celebration of Island Records and while that in itself is worth celebrating it makes me wonder what exactly is being celebrated. It also triggers off very found memories of Island 25 and the time when Island really was Island and it’s founder Chris Blackwell stood proudly at the helm. That was a wonderfully festive time celebrated by the coolest TV show of it’s generation ‘The Tube’…. Oh how we danced. What made it special was it was celebrated by the people who had played a part in it’s success. For me, and I doubt I am alone in my opinion it ceased to be Island the day it’s founder Chris Blackwell sold it.
It always seems weird and somehow wrong when people retain a name that rightfully they have no claim to, other than they paid for it. Why in fact is it still called Island at all? It irritates me really because Chris Blackwell has nothing to do with anybody that they sign, it’s an insult to his legacy. They could sign a pile of shit and it would sour his reputation…..probably not but you get my drift. I doubt they have a ‘no crap clause in the contract….we’ve paid for it, it’s ours , we’ll do as we see fit. Island Records was his vision and his dream and now it’s a corporate brand that doesn’t make it much different to any other label…..except that they are using the name.
‘ I am just a dreamer and you are just a dream’… Neil Young ‘Like a hurricane’
To all of us that worked there we were dreamers and Chris Blackwell’s Island was our dream.
One man was an Island back then and we were all happy to be shipwrecked there. Chris Blackwell was our Robinson Crusoe and we were all his men/women Fridays. He saved us from EMI,Warner, Sony(CBS as it was back then) eating us up!