4th & B'way Records  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

4th & B’way Records (spelled out completely as Fourth and Broadway Records in the UK) was a US-based subsidiary of Island Records that specialized in street-oriented music such as hip-hop. Established in 1984, it was the flagship label of the Island Trading Company, the independent-distribution parent company of Island's other labels that operated in the US. However, 4th & B'way was not distributed through major-label channels—the flagship Island label was distributed by Atlantic Records at that time—until the label and distribution company were acquired by PolyGram Records in 1989, when Island Trading became a unit of PolyGram Group Distribution and was renamed Independent Label Sales (ILS). It was also one of several US-based Island labels that were named after nearby New York City streets when Island’s US headquarters were located at 14 East 4th Street in Manhattan, in the same building that held the legendary Greenwich Village branch of Tower Records—and also nearby at 400 Lafayette Street. When Island moved its headquarters to the Worldwide Plaza Building at 825 8th Avenue in 1995—where PolyGram's US headquarters were located—the empty 4th Street offices became the headquarters of V2 Records. In the UK, Fourth and Broadway was established in 1992, and it had a different roster than its American version, although it did release titles from its American cousin and vice versa. 4th & B’way was shut down in 1998, shortly after Chris Blackwell left Island Records, and before the merger of the PolyGram and MCA label families that became Universal Music Group.

Pop hit "Pump up the Volume" by MARRS was distributed by 4th & B'way in the USA. Other notable artists included Eric B and Rakim and Noel.

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