I was working at the Ellis-Wright Agency when it expanded and changed its name to Chrysalis sometime in the late summer or autumn of 1968. Jethro Tull’s first album ‘This Was’ was released in November that year, but you could argue that Chrysalis really emerged when records started appearing on it’s own label in late 1969.
Either way it’s been a forty-year story, of an extraordinary, at times almost surreal, range of music. Just on Chrysalis Records it not only includes Jethro, T.Y.A. and Procol, Blondie and Billy Idol,Benatar and Huey Lewis and the News, Spandau Ballet and Ultravox but also in a random and incomplete list… Astor Piazzola, Richard and Linda Thompson, Monie Love, Milli Vanilli, Robin Trower, Rupert Everett, Frankie Miller, Lynx, Stockhausen, The Babys, Paul Hardcastle, Lonnie Donnegan, Nick Gilder, Steeleye Span, Rory Gallagher, Leo Sayer and a variety of labels, 2-Tone with the Specials and the Selector, Go Discs with Billy Bragg and the Housemartins, Blue Guitars with the Mighty Lemon Drops and Shop Assistants, Cooltempo with Adeva and Kid ‘N’ Play, Ensign with the Waterboys,World Party and Sinead o’Connor,China Records with Labi Siffre and the Art of Noise. There is an equally long and varied list in Chrysalis Music, one that is still being extended today.
Inextricably wrapped up in this story are the people who worked there creating wherever or whenever a unique atmosphere and doing some amazing things. I know they are all rightly proud of their various achievements and contributions. We were supported by a fabulous and bizarre cast of managers, promoters, and agents, sleeve designers photographers, drug dealers, video makers, PR’s, promo people and a high-voltage concept generator.
We’re making some efforts to work out how all this forty year story can be commemorated but in the meantime you can keep in touch through a Chrysalis Records Facebook site and a Chrysalis-reunion website http://www.chrysalis-reunion.com