The Corporate History of the Verve Music Group (1990–2005)
The experience of Verve Records during the PolyGram-Universal merger of 1998, engineered by Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., demonstrates how the implications of neoliberal financialization were translated into the conditions of possibility for jazz recording on the major labels between 1980 and the turn of the millennium. The merger imposed dramatic cuts upon the company’s artist roster and workforce, and, as such, it telegraphed Bronfman’s privileging of the company’s publicly traded stock over existing stakeholders in the company. Alongside its analysis of the PolyGram-Universal merger and its implications for the Verve Music Group, chapter 4 also examines Richard Seidel’s cultivation of Verve’s roster of instrumental “young lions,” and their subsequent displacement in the wake of the merger.
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