based in milan, like the biggest italian record companies of the 70's, and active since the late 60's, ariston was a very important label, mainly devoted to mainstream italian artists (commercial melodic pop). their catalogue always offered minmal room for italian and foreign rock artists: anyway, they released some relevant italian rock and prog albums and acted as distributor for many foreign record companies until the early 80's

in the wake of the late '70 punk/new wave revolution, ariston, like many others italian labels tried to make money from what was perceived as the latest trends in music, but very often they did so without firm conviction and professional knowledge of the new musical scene

this maybe explains why in the late 70s we had a sort of gold rush, with italian labels all trying to obtain the rights for publishing the catalogue of alternative foreign labels, which was curiously followed by a complete lack of promotion: most labels confined themselves just to make records available, waiting for things to evolve. ariston did so: it obtained the rights on the cherry red catalogue, releasing records without promoting them (another example is dead kennedys, whose records were relesed in italy by ariston)

unluckily, no comprehensive ariston catalogue is now available (and maybe it has never existed), and so we have to rely on collectors and good luck to obtain information

roger marchi