Chrysalis Records was a British record label that was created in 1969. The name was both a reference to the pupal stage of a butterfly and a combination of its founders names, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis. It started as the Ellis-Wright Agency.
Chrysalis records was put together specifically for prog rock acts, back in the days when the genre was so popular that entire record labels were being built around it. In an interview for Jethro Tull's video 20 Years of Jethro Tull, released in 1988, Chris Wright states "Chrysalis Records might have come into being anyway, you never know what might have happened, but Chrysalis Records really came into being because Jethro Tull couldn't get a record deal and MGM couldn't even get their name right on the record". This was after the single Sunshine Day/Aeroplane was incorrectly credited to Jethro Toe.
Chrysalis records entered into a licensing deal with Chris Blackwell's Island Records for distribution, based on the success of bands like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and Procol Harum, which were promoted by the label. Jethro Tull signed with Reprise Records in the United States, which led Chrysalis to an American distribution deal with Reprise's parent company, Warner Bros. Records. This lasted from 1972 until U.S. Chrysalis switched to independent distribution in 1976. PolyGram handled international distribution and Festival Records covered Australia and New Zealand. Chrysalis records artists included Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson, Steve Hackett (US), Gentle Giant, Procol Harum, Supertramp (except the US), Uriah Heep (US), Greg Lake and Cozy Powell.
Jethro Tull-Living in the past (1969)