Shelter Records


Shelter Records

Shelter Records was a record label started by Leon Russell and Denny Cordell that operated from 1969 to 1981. Russell remained with Shelter until 1976, when he and Cordell fell out. In a settlement, Cordell then became sole owner of the label, while Russell left to start his own label, Paradise Records.

Even though Leon Russell was the main artist, the label did have some excellent talent, such as Tulsa Sound artists J. J. Cale, The Gap Band, and Dwight Twilley, as well as Freddie King, Tom Petty, Phoebe Snow and The Grease Band.

Shelter Records was originally distributed by Blue Thumb Records, but then it was distributed by Capitol/EMI from 1970 until 1973. During this time, the label was red with an egg on top with an inverted Superman logo inside the egg. This logo did not sit well with DC Comics, which sued Shelter for trademark infringement. Shelter then blacked out the Superman logo on subsequent releases until the distribution deal ran out with Captiol/EMI. Afterwards, the Shelter logo was replaced by an egg with a hand-scrawled "S" on it.

From 1974 until 1975 (sporting a yellowish label and their new logo), Shelter was then distributed by MCA Records. Afterwards, the label from 1975 to 1977 was distributed by ABC Records (the first label being yellow; the second one was reddish-orange with the Shelter logo inside a Saturn-like planet with a crescent man-in-the-moon at the bottom of the label). In 1977, Shelter transferred distribution to Arista (principally for the Dwight Twilley Band), but the rights to Tom Petty and J.J. Cale were retained by ABC. Shelter continued as an active label until 1979, when ABC was sold to MCA. MCA released one more album using the Shelter label (a J.J. Cale album), then all remaining Shelter recordings held by ABC were put on another MCA subsidiary entitled Backstreet Records. The Shelter/Arista deal terminated in 1981, which was the effective end of Shelter Records.

During 1993, the Shelter catalogue was bought out by Capitol/EMI, and their imprint The Right Stuff reissued many titles (except for Tom Petty and J.J. Cale albums, as the Tom Petty Shelter albums are controlled by Petty himself and currently distributed by Rhino,owned by the Warner Music Group, and the J.J. Cale Shelter albums are controlled by Universal, the successor to MCA).

See also

* List of record labels


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