American; out of Detroit, Michigan. Invictus was one of
a pair of labels started by the legendary songwriting and production team of Brian Holland,
Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland in 1969, after they left Motown;
the other being Hot Wax (q.v.). Invictus charged out of the starting
blocks with early singles by Freda Payne ('Band Of Gold'; INV-502) and the
Chairmen of the Board ('Give Me Just A Little
More Time'; INV-501) riding high in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Chairmen continued to have hits in Britain until 1973, but things quietened down for
Invictus after that. Dozier left the company in the mid '70s, and
the label ceased to issue records in 1978; according to Billboard
(2nd of October 1982) it remained involved in legal wrangles into the early
'80s. The Holland brothers set up a new company, H-D-H Records, in 1984.
British manufacture and distribution of Invictus were by EMI (1,
3) until the end of 1973, when CBS took over. The basic label
design remained unchanged, but the colour of the label and the size and position of the
credits changed (2), as did the company sleeve. CBS-era demos usually
had a large hollow 'A' either in red (4) or in black, but at least one single had a medium-sized
'A' instead (5). Thanks to Bob Mayhead for discographical information.
('Both Sides Now'; www.bsnpubs.com)
Copyright 2006 Robert Lyons.