Music business

Label owner Wolverhampton pulls releases from Russia, urges music industry to do more

Paul Birch, owner of Revolver Records, received the BEM for services to music

Paul Birch, who founded Revolver Records in the city more than 40 years ago, said his label has thousands of releases internationally – including albums by The Scorpions, Leo Sayer, UFO, Lamont Dozier, Jane’s Addiction, Misfits and The Stone Roses.

Mr Birch, who is also a labor adviser for Blakenhall, said he had already withdrawn a number of records from the Russian market and was now deciding between two other appropriate steps to take.

“We have warned our distributors and we are hesitating between two positions at the moment: either stop all sales in Russia, or donate all sales from Russia to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or to the Red Cross,” he added. mentioned.

“Music usually leads the way when it comes to ethics, but in the war in Ukraine, sports, not music, lead the way. In fact, the music seems to be lagging behind.

“I would be interested to hear people’s views on the way forward. I have also written to Frances Moore, Director General of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) asking them to take the lead on Music’s position.

“This week the Association for Independent Music (AIM) is hosting a conference and Revolver has offered to sponsor a debate on where music should take it,” he said.

“Here’s my question – with sanctions this week not only from governments like France and Italy seizing yachts and property belonging to oligarchs, but also companies like Visa and Mastercard pulling out of Russia, what is – if applicable – the response of the music?”

Revolver also releases records from MP4 – a parliamentary rock band made up of cross-party MPs Kevin Brennan, Pete Wishart, former MP Ian Cawsey and Sir Greg Knight.

“We just released Kevin Brennan’s solo album on digital, CD and vinyl,” Mr. Birch said. “Kevin is a member of the parliamentary select committee on digital technology, which looked into the role of major players.

“He was chosen by Parliament to introduce a stand-alone Digital Music Bill earlier this year.”

Mr. Birch is a former board member of the British Phonographic Industry Council, Phonographic Performance Limited, IFPI, and a founding member of AIM.

He received the British Empire Medal for Services to Music in 2020.

Revolver, which is located on Goldthorn Hill, is an independent recorded music and publishing company established in 1979. Warner Music is one of the top three music companies after Universal and Sony.

This week, concert giants Live Nation and music streaming platform Spotify ceased operations in Russia, as the invasion of Ukraine continues.