Top 10 Best Record Labels

The Top Ten
1 Warner Records

Warner Records has signed very big artists like Madonna, Prince, Gorillaz, Paris Hilton, Metallica, and Bebe Rexha. Their biggest male and female pop artists, and the best-selling male and female singers, Prince and Madonna, have set the bar high for Warner and their ranking. I don't think UMG has seen such big artists like those two.

Everyone is missing one key aspect of record retail: catalog albums. Albums that are more than a year old account for 30% of a label's sales. This puts Warner Records at the top since their catalog is so rich. If you throw in their whole distribution arm (WEA) - Warner, Elektra, Atlantic - you have almost all of the great albums of the past 50 years. Albums that still sell every day include Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Metallica. WEA accounts for 30% of all record sales in the US, mainly on the strength of their catalog sales.

2 Island/Def Jam

Island/Def Jam has a very big record of Pop, Hip Hop/RnB acts like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, Lionel Richie, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Sisqo, Amerie, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Elton John. Island/Def Jam definitely holds its place among the top 10 record labels of all time.

Island Records, and especially Chris Blackwell, brought us some of the best music of all genres and popularized genres others wouldn't have.

Rihanna is signed to Def Jam. She is so awesome. Many others are from Def Jam. Really, it is doing a great job in the music industry.

3 Aftermath

Aftermath is considered to be the spiritual successor of the late West Coast label Death Row Records. Founded by Dr. Dre after his departure from Death Row, he has signed legends like Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Busta Rhymes. Aftermath is still a strong label with Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak on their roster.

50 Cent, Eminem, and Dre are amazing. They each have great qualities. Eminem is one of the best of all time. Every album is different but all are amazing. Dre is one of the best producers of all time and he's been rapping for 30 years! Let's not forget that he discovered Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. 50's Get Rich or Die Tryin' was a major hit and he has more than 300 million dollars. Kendrick Lamar is also very promising.

4 Atlantic

Atlantic Records is known to be among the top 3 of the most influential labels of all time. Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, AC/DC, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Wiz Khalifa, Sean Paul, David Guetta, Skrillex, Charlie Puth, and Flo Rida were Atlantic's biggest hitmakers. They all dominated the music industry in their time, including the two legendary female rappers Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott. They're also known to be the greatest rock and soul label of all time.

From Ray Charles to Aretha Franklin to Led Zeppelin to Wiz Khalifa, Atlantic Records is pretty much the dominant and most influential label of modern music from all corners. And with Atlantic absorbing some of Parlophone's catalog (because of WMG purchasing some of EMI) to be distributed in the US, the record label will become more influential than ever.

5 Young Money Entertainment

Young Money has Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, and others. They are the label. They have the queen of rap, which should put them higher on this list.

This record label is so amazing, and they have nothing but the greats in it.

I also want Young Money to sign me up if they think I have a good voice. I am 14 years old and live in Germany. I love singing and sing all the time, even sometimes at school. It's my dream to work for Young Money Label (YML).

6 Epic

Epic Records has signed legendary artists like Michael Jackson (the biggest solo artist of all time) and holds the biggest catalog from a solo artist. That alone elevates the rank of Epic.

Natasha Bedingfield sure looked cute as an Epic Records artist. If you haven't listened to her songs, it could be a good idea. Also, from the Epic Records catalog is the soundtrack to Aquamarine (the 2006 children's film).

Rihanna, Chris Rene, Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc.

7 Cash Money Billionaire Records

Cash Money is one of the most productive record labels at present and comprises artists who are the best-selling in the hip-hop industry. It is also one of the record labels with numerous members. Brian Williams, aka Birdman, is doing a really good job with this record label.

This company has some of the best artists ever, but I still have to admit it's not as big as JAIDJMG. Seriously, I think they brag about it too much in every song they do.

Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Birdman, Drake, Tyga - what's there to love? These rappers are so horrible it's a miracle that this record label even made it to the top 100.

8 Motown

Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Amos Milburn, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Temptations - ALL Motown! These legends are just a few of Motown's finest. The greatest soul singers all flock to Motown. Without it, artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, or MJ would be nobodies. The face of music would be different, weaker. Motown changed and improved the direction of music.

Motown is among the best record labels of all time. With artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Boyz II Men, and many more, they have proven that they deserve much respect among the big labels.

9 Shady Records

No one compares with Eminem in the rap game. He is a legend and will remain the king of rap forever! And I know he is doing well with his record label too. He is finding real talents and bringing them out to the mainstream. Every artist on Shady Records knows what they are actually rapping about. They don't spit like other artists on other labels. Salute to the LEGEND!

This label is flawless. Every single rapper is a true lyricist. Just listen to their cypher. Not to mention they dominated the game from '99-'06. Plus, they have three of the best-selling rappers ever.

10 Interscope Records

Interscope Records is known to be the biggest rap and alternative label of all time. With legendary rappers like Tupac, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and N.W.A, they've left a legendary status in the rap and hip-hop music world.

They are also known for producing great alternative artists like Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish.

This record label provides heaps of freedom for the artist and does not push them to do things they don't want to do. They allow artists to express their work freely and have their own image.

If you are ever offered a deal with Interscope Records, I advise that you say yes.

The Contenders
11 Nuclear Blast

I'm just curious as to how a label can be #36 on a list with the following bands: Slayer, Hammerfall, Nightwish, Sabaton, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Kreator, Epica, Sonata Arctica, Soulfly, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Sepultura, Black Sabbath, Immortal, Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Blind Guardian, Motörhead, ACDC, Meshuggah, and Metallica, to name a few. How is this not number one?

I love Nuclear Blast. They have a lot of metal bands that aren't as big as giants like Metallica and Slayer but are still pretty well-known. Some examples are Enslaved and Sonata Arctica.

12 Capitol

Capitol Records has produced blockbusters like Katy Perry, Lewis Capaldi, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Maggie Rogers, and many more. Capitol is among the top labels for pop and alternative music.

Coldplay and Pink Floyd are signed to Parlophone (some Pink Floyd albums are under Columbia in the US, if I'm not mistaken). Beyoncé is signed to Columbia, as is Bob Dylan.

Although Capitol has significance in early jazz and pop/rock, there have been barely any great artists signed to this label since 1980.

The Beatles are better than all these new artists you name. So is Pink Floyd. Only Bob Dylan and The Doors come close. Katy Perry, hip hop, you've got to be kidding me.

13 Roadrunner Records

A record company for all metalheads, whether you like soft metal or hard and rough metal. Summed up: a lot of great metal bands on this label.

The best artists are here. Great labels when speaking of quality albums. This record label is one of the best five around the world, I'd say.

Dream Theater, Megadeth, Machine Head, Opeth, Obituary, Annihilator, Fear Factory... A lot of great bands and excellent musicians.

14 Strange Music

This label consists of real raw lyrical and flow ability. The artists on the label, hands down, put every other rapper out there to shame.

Everyone at Strange makes great music. It should be ranked higher. Tech, along with Krizz, Ces Cru, Rittz, Stevie Stone, Murs, and Brotha Lynch, are the best. Their music is superior, as most music sounds the same.

The guys at Strange bring something different with every album.

15 Geffen

Geffen is an amazing rock label! Nirvana, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Blink-182, Weezer, and Papa Roach. There's so much more. I honestly believe it's the best record company ever created!

Oh, and there's Elton John, John Lennon, and Eagles. No big deal, right?

Geffen also did soundtracks to Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1998), Silverado (1985), and Bratz: The Movie (2007). They soon entered the tween pop music scene with the Slumber Party Girls, Melissa Joan Hart, and Daechelle.

Good bands and artists were signed. Nirvana, both Rob Zombie and his original band White Zombie, and many others.

16 Columbia

Columbia Records holds its name with the record label that has the greatest vocalists of all time, especially female artists like Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Chloe x Halle, Adele, and even Rosalía. To be honest, I've always seen Columbia as an opera label because of these artists.

Here are just some names who have worked with Columbia: Adele (in America), Louis Armstrong, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Cher, Celine Dion, Judy Garland, Marvin Gaye, Bette Midler, Katy Perry, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, and Barbra Streisand.

17 Century Media Records
18 Fueled By Ramen

Fueled by Ramen has established itself as one of the greatest band labels of all time. With artists like Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, Gym Class Heroes, Travis Barker, and many more, Ramen has made a significant mark.

Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Fun., Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Twenty One Pilots, The Academy Is..., A Rocket to the Moon, and many more.

Greatest indie/alternative names in the business work here.

19 Grand Hustle

Hustle Gang music and its trap style have enabled a lot of other rappers to be viewed as artists by the masses. It continues to shake the whole game with new talents and unexpected competition that competes with the giants of the hip-hop industry. In fact, they are the other giants in the hip-hop game with the most recognized, admired, and listened-to artists. DJ Drama's "Ghetto" featuring Cassper Nyovest increased Hustle Gang's viewership. B.o.B and T.I. are the solid foundation that cements the growth of the label and its artists.

20 Universal Music Group

Universal has some of the biggest artists in the game right now. They include Ariana, Drake, Nicki, Lil Wayne, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Demi Lovato, and they've signed with Taylor Swift. Their artists are always on top of the charts and doing so well. Plus, they bring artists together to collaborate: Ariana and The Weeknd on "Love Me Harder," Ariana and Nicki on "Side to Side," "Bang Bang," and more, Nicki and Drake, and more!

They control like 28-29% of the music industry. Should be at the top of the list if we're honest.

This is the biggest label. Its gains are always superior.

21 Walt Disney Records
22 Gotee Records
23 Monstercat Monstercat is a Canadian-based independent electronic dance music record label located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

How is this not #1 on the list? They made Crab Rave! This is the most interactive label when it comes to the fanbase. The CEO listens to the fanbase and has a Twitter account. They've done more community events than any other label on this list and are still one of the few major labels left that are independent.

I can't wait to see what this label can achieve in the next 10 years. The empire can't be stopped. With amazing signature artists that the fanbase knows and the new debuts the label is picking up almost every week, we have no idea how big the community will be within even the next 2-3 years.

All in all, I can at least say this is the most humble and honest label out of the options. Everyone be sure to subscribe to both of their channels on YouTube and turn on post notifications. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter too. All hail Mike Darlington.

24 RCA

Amazing label. The likes of Miley, Elvis, Bing, Justin Timberlake, and Chris Brown.

One day, I would like to be signed here. Quite frankly, this should be in the top 10.

Chris Brown and it's not in the top 3?! You guys have to be kidding me. RCA is dominating pop and RnB music out there. It has the best artists, definitely a top 3.

Home of Disney legends Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and others. Definitely top ten worthy.

25 EMI

So many major acts over the years... an amazing history... Kate Bush, The Beatles, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Robbie Williams, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie, Queen, and the list goes on.

They had the Beatles. Only that makes them one of the greatest record labels of all time.

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