As part of the Island 50th birthday celebrations, today sees the launch of a new website – www.island50.com . The website focuses on 50 classic albums from the Island catalogue and features an original press review from the time of release for every album (bar Free’s “Fire And Water” – submissions welcome!). The site has been created to be an evolving “wiki” with users encouraged to add their own comments / reviews for each album. Reviews can either be uploaded to the site or emailed to email@example.com
The www.island50.com site also features audio clips of all tracks on every one of the 50 classic albums plus a great archive of classic Island artist videos and exclusive archive footage. A Store will be launching shortly where users will be able to purchase tickets for shows, exclusive merchandise, an Island 50 Book and new physical and digital versions of all the 50 classic albums.
Glenn Cooper, Head of Digital @ Island Records said: “Island has such an amazing and vibrant history we wanted to reflect this in the website. Rather than creating a flat “marketing brochure” we wanted to develop a community encouraging music lovers to take an active part in celebrating our 50th Birthday. It’s also important to us that fans can purchase tickets, merchandise, the Island 50 Book and physical and digital albums through the site so we can offer great value exclusive packages.”
2009 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Island Records, arguably the most prestigious record label in the history of British music. To mark this milestone the label is collaborating with Island founder Chris Blackwell to arrange the Island 50 festival.
Chris Blackwell founded the Island label in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959 with capital of just £1000. Relocating to London in the early 60s Blackwell built the most diverse and enviable back catalogue of any independent record label in history. From Island’s early Jamaican roots in ska and rock-steady, through the label’s expansion to become the cutting edge of progressive rock in the late 60s, and then on to the signing of such international superstars as Bob Marley and U2, Blackwell brought to Island a unique vision and passion which still informs the label’s approach to this day.
The Island label has been responsible for the careers of some of the biggest stars in music including U2, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Traffic, Free, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Toots & The Maytals, John Martyn, Marianne Faithfull, Aswad, Tom Waits, King Sunny Ade, Third World, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, the B52s, Sly & Robbie, Melissa Etheridge, The Slits, Steel Pulse, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Pulp, Tricky, Talvin Singh, and latterly Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, DJ Shadow, Sugababes, Keane, The Fratellis, Scott Matthews, Paul Weller, The Feeling and Portishead