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HMV Records

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Multinational label, often displayed as H.M.V. or HMV. Label Code: LC 00233 / LC 0233 Please note: Releases on the His Master's Voice label often also display the EMI logo. This indicates that His Master's Voice was part of the EMI Group and EMI should not be added as a label.

His Master's Voice (HMV) is a label created in 1901 by The Gramophone Co. Ltd., which was founded in 1897 in the UK by the US businessman William Barry Owen. In 1899, the painter Francis Barraud sold, for £100, the rights to the painting of his dog 'Nipper' listening to a gramophone. The first records in the UK depicting the dog and gramophone logo were issued in 1909, after which, the label became unofficially known as "His Master's Voice" or "HMV" due to the prominence of the phrase around the top perimeter of the record label. Prior to 1909, the label carried the "Recording Angel" trademark, which still appeared smaller on the bottom of some labels and was embossed on the blank side of the records. This label is not for releases on the primarily US-based Victor and RCA Victor and related labels which used the dog/gramophone trademark and slogan starting in 1902.

From 1902 until 1957, the label had a reciprocal exchange agreement with Victor (later RCA Victor) in the USA to distribute each companies recordings in their respective countries; This agreement ended when EMI/HMV purchased American label Capitol Records in 1955 to distribute EMI recordings in North and South America.

In 1931, parent company The Gramophone Co. Ltd. and Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd. merged to form Electric & Musical Industries Ltd. (EMI), however His Master's Voice label remained under the immediate control and registered ownership of The Gramophone Co. Ltd. In 1973, the rights to the label (trademark) were reassigned to renamed company EMI Records Ltd. The brand is now owned by the Universal Music Group.

German releases commonly use the translation Die Stimme Seines Herrn French releases commonly use the translation La Voix De Son Maître Italian releases commonly use the translation La Voce Del Padrone Spanish releases commonly use the translation La Voz De Su Amo Colombian releases use the translation La Voz Del Amo Portuguese releases commonly use the translation A Voz Do Dono Czech releases commonly use the translation Hlas Jeho Pána Turkish releases commonly use the translation Sahibinin Sesi

For unofficial releases using the identity of this label, see His Master's Voice (2).

Please note: HMV is used for the UK record retail chain behind some promotional and reissue releases (circa 1989 to present day).

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