Richard Branson set up the iconic label, which went on to sign Sex Pistols, in 1973

Virgin Records will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year with a series of special events, an exhibition, documentary film and the release of a compilation CD.

The label, which was launched in 1973 by Richard Branson, first put out Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’, which went on to sell 15 million copies. It then went on to sign the Sex Pistols and then PiL, Magazine, Devo and XTC throughout the post-punk era. Other artists on its roster throughout the last four decades include The Human League, Massive Attack, Spice Girls, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers and The Verve.

Richard Branson said in a statement:
”Virgin Records is where it all started for Virgin and 40 years later it’s great to see we are still being innovative. This exciting series of events is the perfect way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Virgin Records and the artists, from Mike Oldfield to Emeli Sandé, who continue to disrupt the status quo.”



An exhibition of the label, featuring new photographs, videos and memorabilia will take place at a yet-to-be-announced gallery at London’s Mornington Crescent. This will coincide with the release of a book written by former NME journalist Adrian Thrills and documentary film by Paul Tilzey. A series of gigs featuring artists on the Virgin roster from past and present will take place at London’s KOKO this summer. Finally, a double compilation CD will be released: one disc with current Virgin artists covering tracks by artists from the label’s roster, another disc with original tracks.