Sire Records is an American record label founded by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. It was established in 1968 with the release of The Deviants' album "Ptooff!" and a distribution contract with London Records. In the late 1960s, Seymour Stein traveled to Europe and the Far East to sign progressive British and European bands that didn't have American label deals. Notable artists from this era include Renaissance, Climax Blues Band, and Focus, whose instrumental "Hocus Pocus" became Sire's first Top 10 hit.
In the mid-1970s, Sire Records played a pivotal role in the punk and NYC new wave scene by signing influential acts like *The Ramones*, *The Dead Boys*, and *Talking Heads*. This move solidified Sire as one of the first large independent labels to embrace these emerging genres. During this time, distribution changed hands multiple times, starting with London Records (1968-1972), then Dot Records/Famous Music (1972), followed by ABC Records (1974).
Warner Bros. Records signed a distribution deal with Sire in 1977 before eventually acquiring the label in 1980. It was during this period that Sire signed its most iconic artist, *Madonna*, who went on to become one of the label's biggest successes. Throughout the 1980s, many Sire albums were released through Warner subsidiary Reprise