Along with labels like Rough Trade and Sub Pop, 4AD was, and continues to be one of the most important record labels for great indie music. Started by future This Mortal Coil leader Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent in 1979, the label would go on to be home to several influential artists for the next 30-plus years.
First known for it’s more ethereal U.K. acts like Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, or Gothic post-punk pioneers like Bauhaus, the label would eventually bankroll the careers of revolutionary alternative bands like the Pixies and Throwing Muses in the later part of the ’80s.
In a new book commissioned by The Friday Project, music journalist Martin Aston will be profiling the label in “1980 Forward: The Story of 4AD.” Set for release next summer, the author referred to it as “the story of both a label and of one man’s journey and vision; a vision that is still obsessively revered and celebrated for the extraordinary and unique sound and visual imagery that meant people bought records on 4AD simply because they were on 4AD.”
That description is very true, with the 4AD symbol acting much like a badge of honor for the artists that sported it on their records, its mark acting as a seal of great taste. Its legacy has made membership a great prize to new indie artists — when Grimes signed to 4AD in January, she tweeted, “I am so honoured to be releasing my next album with 4AD – a record label I have admired since I was 13.” The label is now also home to D&T favorites St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, and Twin Shadow.
[via The Bookseller]