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Title: The B&C Discography: 1968 to 1975
Author: Mark Jones
Publisher: The Record Press
Paperback: 90 pages
Book Dimensions: 15.593cm x 23.389cm
Keywords: B and C; Lee Gopthal; Island Records; Charisma Label; Stable label; Action label; People label; Sussex label; Seven Sun label; September Productions; progressive rock; soul; funk; folkadelia; folk.
B&C is best remembered for its associations with Trojan and Charisma, but its early affiliations were with Island. B&C followed Island’s lead and created various label imprints to release Jamaican music and R&B. Toward the end of the 1960s, again in Island’s wake, B&C dipped its toes into the murky waters of British progressive rock and folk music. During the early 1970s, the B&C Group of labels consolidated their place in the soul, pop, rock, folk and reggae fields. B&C had major success – and lots of it – but the end, when it came in 1975, was probably inevitable.
B&C started life as a distribution company, set up originally as a sister company to Chris Blackwell’s youthful Island label. Island's early success led B&C's owner, Lee Gopthal, to start releasing records on a handful of his own labels – these releases were licensed from Jamaican producers and from US record labels. The B&C label proper, established in 1969, continued with this licensing model rather than signing artists in its own right. There was no concept of artist development and the B&C Group generally concentrated on singles and budget compilation albums – strategies that set the seeds of the company's own destruction.
Still, whilst B&C was about, some very good music got released, almost despite the business side on occasion. This book does not cover the reggae labels – Trojan and associated labels are best left for another day – but the comprehensive discographies here include all known Action, Stable, B&C, Pegasus, Peg, People, Mooncrest, Dragon, Sussex and Seven Sun label releases. Charisma records are included until the last B&C release on the three shared catalogue sequences. Other B&C–related Charisma records are minutely detailed in The Famous Charisma Discography, the sister volume to this book.