XL Recordings (or simply XL) is an English independent record label founded in 1989 by Richard Russell, Tim Palmer and Nick Halkes, and owned by Russell and Beggars Group. The label originated as a 1989 offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records.
Though only releasing an average of six albums a year, XL Recordings has worked with Adele, Beck, Dizzee Rascal, Electric Six, FKA twigs, Gil Scott-Heron, Gotan Project, The Horrors, Jai Paul, M.I.A., The Prodigy, Peaches, Radiohead, Sampha, SBTRKT, Sigur Rós, Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend, The White Stripes and The xx. The label releases albums worldwide and operates across a range of genres.
The label was launched in 1989 to release rave and dance music. It was originally an offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records' more commercial dance label called Citybeat which was known for records by acts such as Freeez, Starlight, Dream Frequency and the Ultramagnetic MCs. However, with the success of acts such as The Prodigy and SL2, XL superseded Citybeat in the company's line up.
During the early nineties, XL Recordings releases were dance oriented ranging from Belgium techno (T99 "Anasthasia") to breakbeat hardcore (SL2 "On a Ragga Tip") to drum and bass (Jonny L "I'm Leavin'"). This period of XL's history has been recorded on the XL Recordings Chapters compilation series. In 1993 Halkes left XL to form the EMI-owned commercial dance label Positiva, and subsequently his own independent commercial dance label Incentive. After Palmer retired Russell took over the running of the business.
Russell later broadened the musical horizons of the label whilst maintaining a credo of working with artists he saw as original and inventive. In 1994 the label released The Prodigy's second album, Music for the Jilted Generation which debuted in the UK Albums Chart at number one, and in 1997 it released the third album by The Prodigy, The Fat of the Land which entered the British and American charts at number one and went on to be number one in 26 countries. Associated Artists