Melodiya (Russian: Μелодия) is a Russian record label. It was the state-owned major record label of the Soviet Union. It was established in 1964 as the "All-Union Gramophone Record Firm of the USSR Ministry of Culture Melodiya". It utilized gigantic resources of numerous recording studios, manufacturing facilities throughout the USSR as well as powerful centres of distribution and promotion system. The best selling format at the time was 33⅓ and 78 rpm vinyl records. As of 1973 Melodiya released some 1,200 gramophone records with the total circulation of 190-200 million per year and 1 million compact cassettes per year and was exporting its production into more than 70 countries. The firm's production was dominated by classical music and music by Soviet composers and musicians, performances by Soviet theater actors, fairy tales for children, etc. For example, Melodiya released performances of works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, which were valued for their authenticity. In other countries, Melodiya recordings imported from the USSR were often sold under the label MK, which stood for Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga ("International Book", Russian: Μеждународная Книга). In the United States, many Melodiya recordings appeared on the domestically manufactured Monitor Records label. In the 1970s and 1980s, Melodiya recordings of classical and folk music appeared on the Melodiya/Angel (USA) and Melodiya/HMV(elsewhere) labels as the result of an exclusive contract with EMI, the owner of both labels. A smaller number of recordings were distributed on other labels, particularly after 1989, before Melodiya granted exclusive rights to BMG in 1994. Being state owned until April 1989, the Soviet recording industry was able to apply a single numbering system to all its releases from 1933 onwards irrespective of origin or place of manufacture. The number sequences for 78s and LPs are strictly chronological, from which it is possible to date many, though not all, releases from the catalogue number Since 2008, some of Melodiya records are available to North American listeners through the Canadian classical label Analekta which is distributed by Entertainment One Distribution in the USA and Distribution Select in Canada. (Rondo DB)

Wikipedia Melodiya
Country Russian Federation
Started 1964
Official website