MCA Records posted gross domestic sales of $ 450 million, marking the label’s best year in its 50-plus years.

The figure eclipses the 1992 sales figure, which was previously the label’s best year, with sales topping $ 400 million.

“The numbers reflect a really solid performance by all parts of the company,” said Al Teller, chairman of MCA Music Entertainment Group. “They are tributes to the artists and staff of MCA Records and the distribution strength of Uni.”

MCA led the charge in the country music marketplace in ’93, earning the top spot among the genre’s label ranks thanks to strong numbers for releases from Reba McEntire, Mark Chesnutt, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill.

The label also scored big with the return of Meat Loaf, whose “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell” has hit triple-platinum territory, silencing wags who moaned when the release was announced at last year’s National Assn. of Record Merchandisers conference.

Strong selling efforts from Jodeci, Wreckx-N-Effect and Tom Petty also helped the label occupy several top berths on the pop charts by year’s end, with four of the label’s artists occupying top 10 spots on the pop charts in the second week of ’94. Teller sees this as a precursor to the label’s strength in the new year.

Rolling out more rock

Teller also said the label hopes in 1994 to step up its slate of rock acts. “The rock groundwork is being laid, and we’ll see the successful fruits of those efforts very soon,” he said.

In addition to launching a second country imprint, Decca Records, MCA increased its international emphasis late last year, opening outposts in Belgium , France, Holland, Italy, Spain and Sweden to complement operations in Germany and Japan.

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