Launched in 1983 by Martin Hooker, Music For Nations established itself as a European leader in the rock and metal world, with early signings like Tank, Exciter, Metallica (who had three gold albums while on MFN), Slayer and Megadeth paving the way. As Music For Nations grew, the company expanded its operation to include not just licensed acts from the US, but its own signings. It released albums by artists including Paradise Lost, Opeth, Anathema, Cradle of Filth, Testament and countless other metal bands. As well as the traditional metal bands Music For Nations went on to sign up and coming UK bands such as Tigertailz who had a top 40 album while signed to Music For Nations.
In February 2015 Music for Nations relaunched through Sony's commercial department, with plans to reissue albums from their catalogue including Anathema, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Cradle of Filth and others. They also intend to, in the spirit of the label's original purpose, sign original heavy talent for singles, EPs and compilation albums.
In October 2017, Music For Nations signed two new signings,in the form of Metalcore band Bury Tomorrow and Blanket. In June 2018, American metalcore band Killswitch Engage joined Music for Nations' UK roster; the band's forthcoming album will be marketed by Metal Blade Records in the United States, and internationally through Columbia/Sony.