Front Line Records

Front Line was a reggae subsidiary of Virgin Records established in 1978. Over forty albums were issued on the label before it folded in 1979.


Virgin had been releasing reggae records since BB Seaton's "Dancing Shoes" in 1974. By 1975, label owner Richard Branson had begun signing roots reggae artists, and in the three years that followed, Virgin released successful albums by the likes of U-Roy, The Mighty Diamonds, Keith Hudson, Johnny Clarke, Peter Tosh, and I Roy. Johnny Rotten is rumoured to have signed with Virgin because of the company's progressive policy towards reggae. In 1978, Branson decided to form a subsidiary label dedicated wholly to reggae, and called this Front Line.

Branson and Rotten travelled to Kingston and signed artists to the label including Prince Far I, Big Youth, Prince Hammer, Tappa Zukie, Sly Dunbar, and The Twinkle Brothers. Many of the artists who had previously released records on Virgin also moved to the new label. Front Line folded after two years although some of the artists remained signed to Virgin.

Many of the albums were reissued on compact disc in the 2000s.

-- Courtesy (Wikipedia) --