The typical names of a record label companies are usually composed of one or two words accompanied with another one word which is "records" or "recordings".

There are Decca Records, Columbia-CBS Records, Capitol Records and many other [some word] Records. But there are also Big Brother Recordings, Wichita Recordings, XL Recordings, etc.

Are there any semantic aspects to prefer "records" over "recordings" or maybe it is just a matter of taste?

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    The "Record" companies you mention were founded in the first half of the 20th century, when "records" were vinyl discs. The "Recordings" companies were started in 1989 or later, when tapes, CDs, and mp3s outsold vinyl records. Certainly things like tax records are kept on media other than vinyl, but in audio, the word "record" is strongly associated with vinyl. Also, the record companies are in the US and the recordings companies are in the UK. – jejorda2 Apr 1 '15 at 16:42
  • Uh, what's a "record"?? – Hot Licks Apr 1 '15 at 17:38

"Records", beside having a close reference to vinyl records, as the comment suggests, evokes the products that the company sells to customers.

"Recordings" evokes the act of preserving performances on some media for future reproduction.

Thus, the semantic difference is between references to the product vs. the activity. This is akin to putting "beer" vs "brewery"/"brewing" in the name of the company that produces gently alcoholic beverages from grains. It doesn't REALLY matter, in other words.

If I had to decide to name a company today, I would consider that recorded performances are now distributed in a bewildering variety of media and channels, so the reference to a specific product or media type may be a touch off trend. It may be better to refer to the activity.

  • Yes, you may make hundreds of “recordings” in the studio in the course of making one “record” that you share with the public. Vinyl is not relevant. Vinyl is an LP record, optical is a CD record, digital is an MP4 record. The word “record” is used in the same sense as “criminal record” — writing something down in permanent form. Records don’t change over time. Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” record permanently captures a fixed moment of Miles Davis’ music career. Doesn’t matter if that record is stored on LP, CD, MP4, or a future music delivery medium. – Simon White Apr 1 '15 at 21:31
  • "produces gently alcoholic beverages"? Do you mean "produces slightly alcoholic beverages"? – Brian Hitchcock Apr 2 '15 at 7:32
  • gently just sounded more delicious – Kosmorova Moo Apr 2 '15 at 17:19

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