Island Visual Arts

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Island Visual Arts was the home video division of Chris Blackwell's Island Records.

In early 1992, two years following PolyGram's acquisition of Island Records, Island Visual Arts was folded. However, Island Records and its many divisions found underground success before in late 1998, its parent company PolyGram, would be acquired by Seagram and later absorbed into the MCA label unit of what would become the biggest music company today, the Universal Music Group. Through that, many of Island's music DVD releases were distributed under it as was remastered content under the Island Visual Arts division.

However, with the MCA and PolyGram merger into Universal Music came the January 1999 combination of Island Records into its fellow PolyGram sister label, Def Jam Recordings, and the creation of their label unit, the Island Def Jam Music Group. In 2014, UMG disbanded the Island Def Jam Music Group and splintered both labels and its many divisions into their own factions under each wing.

Logo (1989-1992)

Visuals: The logo is animated with painted drawings. There is water, then fish start swimming across the sea. We rise up from the water, and a wave forms. The wave hits an island in the background, which forms the 1975 Island Records logo, which turns into a person on a sailboat singing. The music notes from his singing turn into a bird that flies to the sun, then the image pans down to a globe. A white continent zooms in, and the bird drops down and turns into a rock star that sings in front of a crowd, which then pans to the right, where there are flamenco dancers. The camera zooms in, and we see another bustling crowd, looking at a saxophone player. A tiger suddenly leaps out of the saxophone. The tiger's mouth opens and suddenly the image becomes a U2 concert. One of the singers grows wings, and flies over the water to the same island as we described earlier. The island becomes a skyline with a stylized Grace Jones on the top in her pose from the Island Life album, with people dancing at a building out of different windows. The camera pans to the right, and a random person has his radio blaring. The logo zooms in to the radio's left speaker and see more flamenco dancers. The image zooms out slowly, and we see a sun, and the bird is carrying the word "ISLAND" on his talons. The sun is in full view and the bird flies by, creating the word "ISLAND", with "VISUAL ARTS" below it in a smaller font.

Technique: Oil paint animation.

Audio: An assortment of short song excerpts from the Island label catalog, which are in order:

  • "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small (Island's first hit single)
  • "One Love" by Bob Marley
  • "Many Rivers" by Jimmy Cliff
  • "Seen" by Courtney Pine
  • "With or Without You" by U2
  • "Pull Up to the Bumper" by Grace Jones
  • "Bass & Trouble" by Sly & Robbie
  • "All Right Now" by Free

Availability: It was seen on Robert Palmer Video Addictions and U2 Zoo TV Live from Sydney. Might have also been on some VHS releases of The Harder They Come and other music-related/concert films.

Legacy: This logo is long, but professional and very creative. All the different music may make this logo a favorite among fans of music in general.

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