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Island Records was founded in Jamaica in 1959, taking its name from the 1955 Alec Waugh novel, subsequent film and Harry Belafonte hit song "Island in the Sun".

In its early years, the Island Records story was synonymous with one name - Chris Blackwell. From founding the label with Graeme Goodall and capital of just £1000, until he sold Island almost 30 years later to PolyGram for undisclosed millions, Blackwell built the most diverse and enviable back catalogue of any independent label in history.

From Island's early Jamaican roots in ska and rock-steady (Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Toots & The Maytals), through the label's expansion to become the cutting edge of progressive rock in the late 60s (King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep) and then on to the signing of such international superstars as Bob Marley, Elton John, U2, Mariah Carey, Blackwell brought to Island a unique vision and passion which still informs the label's approach to this day.

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