Chandos Records arose from a band music publisher 'Chandos Music', founded in 1963, and Chandos Productions, a record production company which produced LPs for Classics for Pleasure, and especially, RCA's work in the UK. Its first record was Bloch's Sacred Service (ABR1001). Important early recordings were made for Mariss Jansons, Nigel Kennedy and the King's Singers – before they moved to bigger contracts with EMI.
The name "Chandos" refers to James Brydges, the first Duke of Chandos (1674-1744), at whose Palladian-style house Cannons, Handel was engaged as a composer-in-residence for approximately a year (1717-1718). In addition to the eleven "Chandos" anthems, Handel also wrote other works, including Acis and Galatea.