After nearly 50 years in the music business, Philip Israël is still fiercely independent. He started at EMI Records back in 1970s and learned everything from the best people around him in the heyday of rock and pop. Working in A & R at EMI from 1972, his career took him to other labels including K-Tel and Powderworks. He worked with some of the world's biggest bands and artists including The Jackson 5, Kate Bush and Cliff Richard, to name a few.
Philip Israël with Vince Clarke (Erasure/Depeche Mode)
His label experience led him to start Possum Records in the early 1980s. His very keen sense of discovering hits was the catalyst for his new venture at Possum on his very first single release, “Agadoo” by Black Lace. It reached the top of the charts in Australia. He discovered the song by working with Rod Buckle, who at the time was the head of Sonet Records UK which he founded in 1967.
His relationship with Buckle opened doors to more releases from Mute Records and Rhythm King. Israël developed releases and worked with artists, with a string of hits following. Probably the biggest addition to Possum was a song called “The Sign” from an unknown Swedish band called Ace of Base.
Philip Israël with Suzi Quatro & the team from EMI Records
Since the label’s inception it has managed to get a score of Top 10 singles and a few number 1 singles and albums as well. Many other Australian and international acts have found a home and success at Possum Records including Depeche Mode, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Technotronic, Erasure, Twenty 4 Seven, Tom Waits, Beatmasters, Marc Bolan & T.Rex, Ian Dury And The Blockheads, Tony Visconti, Sinitta and Pop Will Eat Itself.
Possum Records is once again getting more involved with Top 40 music and will no doubt continue the success acquired in the past.