Sire Records Chairman Seymour Stein is leaving the label he founded and sold to Warner Music in order to pursue “the next phase” of his career.
Rani Hancock, who was named President of Sire Records when the label relaunched in 2017, will be left in charge.
Stein founded Sire in 1967. It was acquired outright by Warner in 1976 after success with Ramones, The Dead Boys, the Undertones and Talking Heads.
The label is also known for Madonna, Pretenders, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, k.d. lang, The Cult, The Replacements, Ice-T, and dozens more.
On Saturday (July 14), Stein was honored with the Recording Academy’s prestigious Trustees Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles for his work across a near 60-year career.
In making the announcement, Stein said: “Writing and promoting my autobiography, Siren Song, along with the news of my Grammy Award, brought a flood of memories from my earliest days at Sire right up to the present.
“I was very fortunate during my youth to learn from so many great indie label people, like Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler at Atlantic, and my greatest mentor, Syd Nathan at King Records.
“I went on to work with so many other great indies around the world as Sire grew to become the legendary brand it is today. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the amazing artists – far too many to name – who have called Sire home over the years.
“I’ve enjoyed much of my time at Warner’s, but in truth I long for my indie roots and the greater independence that I experienced back in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.”
“I’ve enjoyed much of my time at Warner’s, but in truth I long for my indie roots and the greater independence that I experienced back in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.
“So the time has come to move on to the next phase of my career, leaving Sire in the hands of Rani Hancock, whom I sincerely wish all the luck in the world.
“I’m very proud that Sire was named the #15 label of the past 100 years in a major poll conducted by Variety earlier this year. I trust that it will continue to be a place where great songs and great artists will live for many years to come.
“Rest assured, I intend to remain active, and I’ll be back in action again soon. I’m looking forward to the future and continuing to develop new artists in the music business that I love so much.”
The Trustees award was presented to Stein by Henry Rollins, who said: “Seymour is the ultimate visionary indie, hearts and minds music executive of all time.
“His unquenchable passion has made the world a better, more open, free and cool place for almost six decades… Seymour, thank you for being the kind of record man that makes music history.”
Music Business Worldwide