Atlantic Records in the 1980

Atlantic in the 60’s and 70’s is always so celebrated. It is interesting to know what happened later, after the golden years and before Ahmet retired in the 1990s.

Tellingly, we can see the change of times: the best selling band is no longer a classic act like Led Zeppelin, now it is time for the mainstream corporate rock of Foreigner.

Atlantic signed Foreigner, one of the most commercially successful acts of the decade, in 1977.

Genesis, Yes, and Pete Townsend of The Who also sold their share of records for Atlantic.

A global recession fostered an atmosphere of caution at the beginning of the 1980s, but 1981 proved to be one of Atlantic’s best years. Although Atlantic released Peter Gabriel, former lead singer for Genesis, just before he reached international solo success, it scored more than its share of success with his old band and its new singer, Phil Collins, who would also become an international superstar on his own. Another of the decade’s great acts, the Australian rock band INXS, also recorded on Atlantic. It lost the Rolling Stones, however, to CBS Records, which agreed to pay the stellar fee of $24 million for the next four Stones albums. At the end of the decade Atlantic began to languish. Further misfortune arrived when Ahmet Ertegun’s brother, Nesuhi, died in 1989.

via The Atlantic Group — Company History.

By the way, this link comes from a phenomenal database from, a website funded by Paul Allen to help entrepreneurs connect with angel investors.  There are hundres of well-written company profiles there.

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