Concord Buys Telarc

On December 19, the Concord Music Group announced its acquisition of Telarc International Corporation, which includes the venerable audiophile label Telarc and the instrumental jazz and world music label Heads Up. Concord already owned many formerly independent labels such as Peak, Playboy Jazz, Stretch, and Concord Picante; in 2004, it acquired Fantasy Records, which encompassed Milestone, Pablo, Prestige/New Jazz, Riverside/Jazzland, Stax/Volt/Enterprise, Specialty, Takoma, and others.

Glen Barros, the Concord Music Group's president and CEO said, "We are incredibly proud to welcome Telarc and Heads Up to the Concord family, as we truly admire these great labels. Telarc's history of impeccable audio and musical standards has made it one of the world’s most respected independent labels, and we are honored to be the ones chosen to safeguard this rich legacy. As with all great record companies, Telarc and Heads Up are built on a solid foundation of great artists and great people. We truly look forward to working alongside Bob Woods, Dave Love [Heads Up's founder], and their talented team and know that they will make a great contribution toward the achievement of our mutual goals."

Telarc president Bob Woods graciously spoke to Stereophile as he was about to undergo reconstructive surgery on a shattered ankle, assuring the magazine that "the collaboration will allow the best of what both companies do so well individually will be shared by the whole.

"In the words of respected business guru Leon Danko, 'Success without succession is failure.' We have not failed or lost something, we are now able to move forward with a plan, with long-awaited oars in hands and wind in our sails.

"With the completion of this deal, Jack Renner will officially exit the company as an owner and operator of Telarc, and [we] know he won't be a stranger to Telarc's halls. We also expect that from time to time he will continue to engineer some of our projects. Jack's 43-plus years in the recording industry comprises a body of work that is truly an awesome accomplishment that will continue to be appreciated by music fans for eternity. He shared his craft with the wonderful engineering team that remains at Telarc to carry on the magic."

It seems that every acquisition press release talks about the synergy between the new partners, but in the case of the Concord Group and Telarc, it actually rings true. Both companies have always respected the intelligence of their consumers, while also delivering great sounding recordings. It's probably too much to expect the Big Four to take a page from their playbook, but that's our New Year's wish.