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The acronym EMI can also stand for electromagnetic interference, for which see that article. This article is about EMI, the company.

EMI Group plc was formed as Electric and Musical Industries Ltd in March 1931 from a merger of UK Columbia Records and the Gramophone Company/HMV. EMI was the largest record company in the world for nearly fifty years.

The EMI company also includes the following labels; Capitol Records, Pathé Records‚ Electrola in Germany, Columbia Nipponophone in Japan, Path Orient and the China Record Co in China, GramCo in India, and the Odeon, Parlophone, Regal-Zonophone, His Master's Voice and other labels.

Under the control of Sir Louis Sterling, EMI opened the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, England in November 1931.

In the early days, EMI had artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, and the Kingston Trio on it's roster.

In 1955, EMI bought American label Capitol Records.

By the mid 1960s, the label had the Beatles, Cilla Black, the Hollies, Billy J. Kramer, Cliff Richard, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Dave Clark Five, Peter and Gordon, the Animals, Herman's Hermits, the Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, Joe Cocker, the Move and the Beach Boys.

In the 70s, 80s and 90s, the EMI roster included Duran Duran, Paul McCartney, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Knack, Sheena Easton, Kate Bush, Kim Carnes, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, George Michael, the Spice Girls, Bob Seger, the J. Geils Band, Heart, Pet Shop Boys, Chumbawamba, Coldplay and others.

The Sex Pistols were briefly signed to the label in 1976 in a relationship that was fraught with controversy, and that had lasting repercussions for the history of the music industry.

See also: