To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Capitol Records, Taschen has published a giant hardback book.
75 Years of Capitol Records features hundreds of images from the label’s archives, as well as essays and personal accounts – including a foreword from Beck – covering Capitol’s evolution from a three-man startup to the industry powerhouse it is today. The book also explores the evolution of pop music over the decades and the changing political and cultural landscape that influenced the talent signed by the label.
Just 13 years after its establishment, the label was acquired by EMI in 1955. Regardless of the change up of the label’s ownership, Capitol was responsible for genre-defining records including Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool (1957), which pushed cool jazz into the limelight; Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1965), the psychedelic rock act’s debut album; Kraftwerk’s bilingual concept album Radio-Activity (1975); and Beastie Boy’s Paul's Boutique (1989), a hip hop album composed entirely of samples, minus the group’s vocals.
Taschen’s book also looks at the label’s landmark Hollywood headquarters, Capitol Records Tower, with comments by architectural critics on it being the world’s first circular office building.