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Multinational label; also appears as "Mercury Records" or "Mercury Record". Label Code: LC 0268 / LC 00268 A PolyGram company  The 7 digits numerical catalogue numbers were introduced in April 1970. Any item with such a catalogue number is after that date. For the different label designs and the dating, see the given vinylbeat link below. For a list of albums/singles by catalogue number, see the given jazzdisco link below. For all unofficial / bootleg / copy releases of this label please use Mercury (2).
Mercury is one of the oldest labels of the Universal Music Group. It was launched in 1945 by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge of the Mercury Record Corporation of Chicago, Illinois. In 1961 the Dutch company Philips Phonografische Industrie (PPI), having lost its distribution deal with Columbia Records outside North America, signed an exchange agreement with Mercury, and PPI subsequently bought the Mercury Record Corporation and its labels to expand its US base. This meant that the Mercury label was now marketed worldwide via PPI's affiliated record companies (mostly Phonogram companies). In the US, Mercury was distributed by Phonodisc, Inc. from 1 June 1975.
In 1962 PPI formed a joint-venture with Deutsche Grammophon GmbH and ten years later they merged to form PolyGram. Mercury became one of Polygram's flagship labels.
In December 1998, after Seagram acquired Polygram, Mercury became part of the Universal Music Group with the takeover effective from January 1999.
Since its reactivation from 2007 to 2013, the label operated via The Island Def Jam Music Group in the US and by Mercury Records Ltd. in the UK. Recently, the label has also been revived by Universal Music France.
In the UK, the label has been known as the Mercury Music Group from approximately 2007 to 2011.
Since the closure of the Island Def Jam Music Group in April 2014, the label division had been shuttered and phased out once again, this time merging operations with Island Records. The label itself remained in use worldwide.
In the US in 2022, Republic Records acquired and relaunched the label with some artists from Republic and and it will continue as their imprint.