Did you know (or remember) that Led Zeppelin’s label released Bad Company’s self-titled debut? And that it tried to sign Queen? Impressive…
Swan Song Records was a record label launched by the English rock band Led Zeppelin on May 10, 1974. It was overseen by Led Zeppelin’s manager Peter Grant and was a vehicle for the band to promote its own products as well as sign artists who found it difficult to win contracts with other major labels. The decision to launch the label came after Led Zeppelin’s five year contract with Atlantic Records expired at the end of 1973. Atlantic Records ultimately distributed the label’s product.
Artists that released material on the Swan Song label during its existence included Led Zeppelin itself (including later solo releases by band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant); Bad Company; The Pretty Things; Dave Edmunds; Mirabai; Maggie Bell (and the short-lived band she fronted, Midnight Flyer); Detective; and Sad Café. In addition to these artists, two other noted recording acts (though not signed to the label) were credited artists on Swan Song singles, both of which were UK hits in 1981: B. A. Robertson duetted on with Maggie Bell on the single “Hold On”, and The Stray Cats backed Dave Edmunds on his 1981 single “The Race Is On”.
Swan Song ceased active operations in 1983, and now exists only to reissue previously released material.