Arista Records is over. The new management at Sony’s RCA division have put the venerable label started by Clive Davis to sleep at age 36. Arista had drifted since 2000 when BMG, which owned it then, let then overall chief Michael Dornemann oversee the ousting of Davis.
Arista has enormous legacy with dozens of huge acts and famous albums to its credit. From Whitney Houston’s catalog – including “The Bodyguard” soundtrack – to Carlos Santana’s amazing Grammy winning comeback with “Smooth” – Arista deserves more than to be a footnote in history.
Davis started it in 1974 from the rubble of little Bell Records with Barry Manilow’s “Mandy.” Hit after hit kept coming, but not all were in the Whitney-Manilow middle of the road category. At different times, Arista released the Grateful Dead, Graham Parker and the Rumour, and the Kinks. A few other artists from the Arista roster:
- Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”
- Dionne Warwick’s return (“Heartbreaker,”“I’ll Never Love this Way Again,”“Deja Vu”)
- Aretha Franklin (“Jump to It,” “Freeway of Love”)
- Carly Simon’s “Coming Around Again,” her Oscar winning “Let the River Run” from “Working Girl”
- Eric Carmen’s classics (“All By Myself” and “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”)
- Air Supply
- Ace of Base
- Taylor Dayne’s 80s disco hits
- Lisa Stansfied’s “All Around the World”
- Lou Reed
- Iggy Pop
- Alan Jackson
- Hall & Oates
- Alan Parsons Project
- Kenny G
among many others…
Clive Davis? He’s working on the new Leona Lewis album even as we speak.