Odeon Records

The history

“Odeon Records” was a record label founded in 1903 by Max Straus and Heinrich Zuntz of the “International Talking Machine Company” in Berlin, Germany. The company was named after a famous theatre in Paris, which classical dome appears on the “Odeon” record label.

While other companies were making single-side discs, “Odeon” made them double-sided and that attracted a lot of attention to the brand. “Odeon records’” sound was also excellent quality which was highly appreciated by the public.

The Berlin “Odeon” plant recorded, processed, and exported records to many European countries, as well as India, all of Arabia, South and Central America. In the 1920s and 1930s about 70% of the German “Odeon” production was exported.

“Odeon” repeatedly made attempts to get on the Russian market. In the beginning of 1910 “Odeon” sent to St.-Petersburg the most experienced Italian engineer Patetti who recorded well-known opera singer L.J. Lipkovskaya, actor K.A. Varlamov and operetta prima V.M. Shuvalova. In the following 1911 the company expanded its repertoire, and made much more recordings of N.A. Shevelev, A.I. Dobrovolskaya, M.I. Vavich, and etc. However, “Odeon” did not play any significant role in the history of Russian recording.

When the Russians entered Berlin in 1945 they destroyed large areas of the “Odeon” factory, sitting in East Berlin. “Odeon” failed to recover from this blow. Within the EMI organization, the brand-name continued to be used on labels for pressings made for West Africa.

In Brazil the label survived until the mid-1960s when it finally disappeared completely.