Celebrating the success of 90 years as one of the world's most iconic record labels, Decca celebrates in style as a part of the V&A Performance Festival.

Nearly as old as the Queen, this year witnesses one of the most iconic anniversaries in musical history – Decca Records’ 90th birthday. Home to countless legendary musicians from Luciano Pavarotti to David Bowie, Dame Vera Ling to Bing Crosby, Tom Jones to Billie Holiday and The Rolling Stones, this originally British musical incubator has seen it all in its 90 years of pure action. Failing to fall behind with the times, Decca Records brilliantly earned the title ‘The Supreme Record Company’ after its pledge in 1929 to develop into an International home for talented artists worldwide. Pioneering as a pivotal platform for a new generation of fresh ambitious artists at the forefront of their scenes with names such as Andrea Bocelli, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Gregory Porter who magnificently continue to represent the label’s cultural legacy.


Celebrating nine decades of excellence, Decca will be marking the historic occasion with the release of their lavishly illustrated first-ever comprehensive history of the label ‘The Supreme Record Company: The Story Of Decca Records 1929-2019‘. More than just a label, but also a major innovator in recorded sound. The label’s revolutionary work in developing radar with the Decca (Dulcephone Portable Gramophone) Navigator System had a significant impact during the Second World War. Bringing that impactful sound right back into our modern flow, Decca will be charting 20 of their most iconic records of all time on two programmes airing on BBC Radio 2 and Releasing their own Decca Podcasts which consist of 45 unique 90-second podcasts, outlining some of the key aspects of the record labels history. Followed by rare David Bowie videos, Pavorotti feature film, re-issues and rarities, a return to Decca’s lost recording studio, performances and a record day store day on 13th April for exclusive vinyl releases.


Just when you thought their magnificent celebration was over, London’s most prestigious art venue The V&A will be opening their doors on Sunday 5th May for an exclusive Decca Record 90th Anniversary event, a fun packed day for all – plus it’s free!


A public event open to all, spread over five rooms will see a part of the V&A transform into a celebration of the worlds historic label, featuring a host of performances, child-friendly musical workshops and rare artefacts from Decca’s history. Decca is also thrilled to present live performances from two of the label’s finest names – cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason, who performed at the Royal Wedding, and rising singer-songwriter Rhys Lewis, with other appearances to be announced. Admission is free, but some events may be ticketed on the day.


We sit down with Decca Record’s go-to man and world-renown author Daryl Easlea to discuss what their 90th anniversary means to them…




  • Decca Staff Dinner April 14th 1934

How does turning 90 impact Decca Records as a whole and why does this celebration mean so much to you all?

The 90th anniversary is really important because Decca hasn’t celebrated an anniversary for many years, and it’s only been really within the last 10 years that Decca really has found its feet again, not that they were ever lost but adjustments needed to be made. Founded in 1929 by a Stockbroker called Edward Lewis who was not a music man by name, but loved music and he bought a company which were producing Grammarphones at the time, but not the records to play on them. Records were a big thing back then so he thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a company that makes the Grammarphones and the records to put on them?’ Founded 90 years ago and has been going ever since really, just a few years younger than the queen aha.

What was the most iconic yet most memorable era for Decca?

I think every era has been very iconic for Decca for different reasons. I think a lot of Pop and Rock fans think of the ’60s because that is the decade that is synonymous with the growth of that decade. Now being a part of the Spotify/Apple music generation who listens back to those memorable days with adverts and films, it still has a currency. Moving from The Rolling Stones to Tom Jones who is now on The Voice and then into the Rock era and more, those were all iconic eras really. Rock and the ’90s were probably the most prominent eras for Decca because we had Pavarotti and other extremely talented musicians that just led to classical and 90’s music to be more popular than pop!

Tell us a little bit about your special day with the V&A and what visitors and supporters from Decca can expect to see?

We’re celebrating this all at the V&A and we have Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing the Chello for us, he was the fantastic young Cellist who played at Harry and Meghan’s wedding and Rhys Lewis who is an absolutely amazing singer-songwriter and Tom Ravenscroft who will be djing. We have an amazing collection of rare David Bowie promos from his time, Decca being shown on the big screen alongside beautiful Pavarotti artifacts, a village fate, talks, memorabilia and more! All lovely ways to celebrate the label’s achievement and success in music history over the past 90 years. We also have a book coming out about the label’s history which is coming out in July.

Why did Decca team up with the V&A for this event rather than another prestigious London based art venue?

We have worked with the V&A in the past and we have a really lovely relationship with them, so they asked if we could be a part of their Performance Festival celebrating art and culture. In a way, Decca is not dissimilar to the V&A. If you go to the Science Museum, you know you are going to see Science related artwork, you know what you’re going to get. Whereas, the V&A has a lot of different elements in there. Is it a fashion museum? Science museum? Art museum? It has bits and bobs from everywhere and that’s why we think we fit in so well because they are not limited and fixed within their work. Two great British institutions, exporting around the world and collaborating together is a perfect date in my eyes.

How has Decca adjusted to the continuous fluctuations in music for 90 years without fail?

Looking at the overview of Decca in 90 years, Decca is in the same place it has always been, slightly left of centre and it doesn’t have the Ariana Grande’s, but it does have legendary historic and organic talent that will probably never go. We are right on the cutting edge in a different way than other record labels. The great diversity that Decca has always had stays present through the raw and rare talent we find and work endlessly with.

Do you think that music has died due to the oversaturation of music and the rise of technology?

My personal view is I think music has been viewed as overdone, as it’s so difficult to be heard above the noise and to be seen amongst the crowd. But you can still be caught and found, the youth have moved away from physically buying the artifacts but they still are listening to the music which keeps us flowing. Music is more alive than ever before in my opinion.

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