NIGEL GRAINGE

A&R MAN AND LA­BEL BOSS BORN 1947

Mojo (UK) - - Real Gone - Ian Har­ri­son

From the age of three, Nigel Grainge re­ceived a 78rpm disc ev­ery week from his fa­ther Ce­cil, who owned a record shop on Streatham High Road. A life­long pas­sion for mu­sic duly ig­nited, he joined the Phono­gram im­print’s ac­counts de­part­ment in 1970: from 1973, he worked as the com­pany’s US la­bels man­ager, over­see­ing hits and Top Of The Pops ap­pear­ances for Faron Young, Chuck Berry, The Stylis­tics and The Detroit Emer­alds. Mov­ing into A&R in 1975, Grainge would sign hit acts in­clud­ing Thin Lizzy, 10cc and the Steve Miller Band. In 1977, he set up his own Phono­gram-funded la­bel En­sign, whose early suc­cesses in­cluded The Boom­town Rats, Eddy Grant, Beg­gar & Co and more, while from the mid-’80s he would add Sinéad O’Con­nor, The Water­boys, World Party, The Blue Aero­planes, Stump and oth­ers to the ros­ter. Af­ter sell­ing En­sign in 1986, he founded pub­lish­ing com­pany Dizzy Heights, and later moved to Los Angeles where he worked as an in­dus­try con­sul­tant. In 2015 he served as spe­cial ad­viser to Martin Scors­ese’s HBO se­ries Vinyl.

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