Varese Sarabande

Varèse Sarabande is an American record label, distributed by Universal Music Group, which specializes in film scores and original cast recordings. It aims to reissue rare or unavailable albums as well as newer releases by artists no longer under a contract. The label’s name was derived from combining French-born composer Edgard Varèse’s last name with the musical term, sarabande, a slow Spanish dance.

Varèse Sarabande’s roots trace back to 1972, with the introduction of a predecessor imprint called Varese International. The first LP release was Lumiere by Dub Taylor. Varèse International Records was originally conceived as an avant garde classical label. In the years that followed, under the management of the founder–owners, Dub Taylor and Chris Kuchler, the label expanded its catalogue to include jazz, classical and other genres of recordings. In 1977, Tom Null’s Sarabande Records merged with Varèse International to form Varèse Sarabande Records. The early LP issues of the label were reissues of classical recordings from the American Decca, Remington and JVC labels. The first film soundtrack LP album was released in 1978.

Originally founded in 1977 by Tom Null, Chris Kuchler and Dub Taylor, this label was first stationed at 6404 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. During its early years, it issued classical music and film score LPs and became the world’s largest producer of original motion picture scores on compact disc. In 2003, Varèse celebrated its 25th anniversary by releasing two 4-CD compilation sets. Additional 4-CD sets were released in 2008 and 2013 to commemorate the label’s 30th and 35th anniversaries.

Presently, the label resides at 11846 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, California and the soundtrack department is overseen by executive producer Robert Townson, who has long been an impassioned advocate for the art of motion picture scoring. To date, he has produced over 1100 CD releases and is a staunch supporter of the latest generation of composers, including Alexandre Desplat, Brian Tyler, Marco Beltrami, John Powell and Michael Giacchino. Townson’s 1000th album, released in the summer of 2010, was a deluxe presentation of Alex North’s Spartacus.

Varèse Sarabande releases oldies and reissues through its Varèse Vintage imprint. The label is overseen by Cary E. Mansfield, a veteran producer. Mansfield has been involved in all aspects of the music industry from sales to production for many major record labels including Universal Music and Motown Records, for which he produced the critically acclaimed Hitsville USA box sets. Varèse Vintage is dedicated to the preservation of multi-genre pop music from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and has produced over 600 releases.

The label also handles exclusive distribution for other specialty labels: Fynsworth Alley, Fuel 2000, Sunswept Music, Perpetual Music, 10 Spot, Water Music Records, Wildcat Records and Along the Blues Highway.

Varese Sarabande