Banana Records Logo

Where Yellow Turns To Gold!
in the great music city of Cleveland, Ohio

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About Banana Records

Original Business Card
The original Banana Records business card.
Please note: The address and phones are long gone.
To contact Banana, go to our contact page.

Banana Records released its first record in 1982, but the birth of the label can be traced back to 1973, when the concept of a record label was first developed as the recording subsidiary of Mab Zab Ltd.  At the direction of Mab Zab’s all-powerful, all-knowing, but usually benevolent leader, The Big Banana, Banana Records would be the commercial vehicle used to share the musical creations of Mab Zab members with the world.

The Big Banana bestowed the responsibility of bringing this vision to reality to Mab Zab co-founder Jim Butterfield.  The fact that procrastination is a hallmark quality of Mab Zabbers, it took Jim 9 years to finally release that first record, but it was worth the wait.

The Big Banana’s original vision for Banana Records has remained consistent since 1982.  We specialize in Cleveland, Ohio-based artists, and musical genres are varied, but lean heavily to garage rock, power pop, and occasionally dance pop.  The name Banana Records is a tip-of-the-hat to the Beatles’ label, Apple. In fact, Lennon & McCartney’s description of Apple as a “clearing-house outlet” for many forms of artistic expression is what the Big Banana had in mind.  Under the steady guidance of Jim Butterfield, Banana has emulated Apple’s dubious reputation for corporate disorganization, inconsistency and lack-of-continuity.  That is probably why Banana took a record release hiatus from 1990 until 2020.

Mr. Butterfield has proven to be a true Captain of Industry with a vision that only The Big Banana can truly appreciate.  A prime example of this vision was Jim’s decision in 1989 to “pass” on an up-and-coming new Cleveland band called Nine Inch Nails.  His consistency can also be seen in the fact that Banana Records has relocated its corporate headquarters 7 times since 1982, with headquarters in:

  • Cleveland

  • New York

  • New Jersey

  • Cleveland

  • Cocoa Beach, FL

  • Atlanta

  • Chicago

. . . and finally back to Cleveland

Though no records were released from 1990-2020, Banana’s music publishing arm, Mab Zab Music has continued to publish and promote songs by some of Cleveland’s best musicians.

At the direction of The Big Banana, Mr. Butterfield has been ordered to re-establish Banana Records as an active label, and new releases are planned for 2021.  Stay tuned…..

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