Embassy Records

Embassy Records

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Embassy Records

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Embassy Records was originally a UK budget record label that produced cover versions of current hit songs that were sold exclusively in Woolworths shops at a cheaper price than the original recordings. As such, Embassy can be seen as the UK equivalent of U.S. labels such as Hit and Bell Records. The label was the result of a contractual arrangement between Oriole Records and Woolworths, with Embassy's product being sold exclusively through the latter's stores from 1954 to 1965. The label disappeared after the parent company, Oriole, was taken over by CBS Records. Later, from 1970 through to 1980, CBS Records revived the Embassy imprint to release budget versions of albums in the UK and Europe by artists that were signed to its parent company, Columbia Records.

History 1954-1965

The label's releases mostly consisted of double A-side singles that were cover versions of then-current or predicted UK Top 20 hits and it was not unusual for different artists or contrasting pop styles to appear on either side of a record. Between November 1954 and January 1965 Embassy released around 1,200 songs recorded by about 150 different artists and these releases were sold for half the price of a major label release of the era. Embassy's...
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