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Mushroom Records

Now known as the Festival Mushroom Group, this former Melbourne music recording company is now wholly owned by News Ltd. The company began operation in Melbourne in 1972 as the brainchild of the then 20-year-old Michael Gudinski. The label's first rock music release was the triple album live recording set of Sunbury 1973, but Skyhooks' Living in the 70s, the biggest selling Australian album of 1975, provided Mushroom's first financial success. Mushroom celebrated its first 10 years with the Mushroom Evolution Concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl which 100 000 people attended over the Australia Day weekend in 1982. In Mushroom's 25-year history to 1998 the company represented 450 artists and produced 16 million albums and 8 million singles. Jimmy Barnes, who accounted for six of the top ten albums, was Mushroom's most successful artist. Other successes include Frente, Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly and Yothu Yindi. At various stages Mushroom has also been a booking agency, tour company and music publisher. In 1993 49% of the company was sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. In 1996 the company turned over $40 million, and in 1998 Gudinski parted with the other 51% to News Corp. Gudinski retained the name Mushroom and now heads the Mushroom Group of Companies continuing his involvement in music publishing and recording, touring, merchandising and marketing. Although Festival Mushroom retained a Melbourne office, its head office is now located in Sydney.

Amanda Mcleod

Warner, Dave, 25 Years of Mushroom Records, Harper Collins, Sydney, 1998. Details