The first official account of the iconic record label.
An NME Book of the Year 2013 · A Rough Trade Book of the Year 2013 · A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year 2013
This Mortal Coil, Birthday Party, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Throwing Muses, Breeders, Dead Can Dance, Lisa Germano, Kristin Hersh, Belly, Red House Painters. Just a handful of the bands and artists who started out recording for 4AD, a record label founded by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent in 1979, a label which went on to be one of the most influential of the modern era.
Combining the unique tastes of Watts-Russell and the striking design aesthetic of Vaughan Oliver, 4AD records were recognisable by their look as much their sound. In this comprehensive account concentrating on the label’s first two decades (up to the point that Watts-Russell left), music journalist Martin Aston explores the fascinating story with unique access to all the key players and pretty much every artist who released a record on 4AD during that time, and to its notoriously reclusive founder.
With a cover designed by Vaughan Oliver this is an essential book for all 4AD fans and anyone who loved the music of that time.
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Martin Aston has been writing about and reviewing music since 1984. He has a particularly deep appreciation for the independent music scene. He is the author of two previous books: Pulp (MacMillan, 1995) and Björkgraphy (Simon & Schuster, 1996). ‘I’ve until now avoided writing more books as I enjoy occasionally leaving the house,’ he says. ‘Writing Facing the Other Way: The Story Of 4AD has reminded me of this luxury. But it’s been as compelling as it’s been overwhelming, documenting not just a visionary record label, but an entire era, one that can never be seen again.’
Martin has also written for a variety of publications including MOJO, Q, Guardian, The Times, Attitude, Radio Times and BBC Music Online.Review:
‘4AD get the lavish label history they deserve’ – MOJO
‘Aston has impressive access to some of rock’s most reclusive figures’ – Q
‘The book is an exquisite reflection of 4AD itself―extravagant, atmospheric, and rich in texture and timbre.’ – PITCHFORK
‘Facing The Other Way represents one of the greatest stories to emerge from rock and roll's modern history’ – DROWNED IN SOUND
‘The conviction of Aston's storytelling blows dust off the needle so that those records and their often magical beauties are dragged out to be admired once again... Compelling stuff’ – MOUTH MAGAZINE
'Martin Aston's 600-page chronicle is a suitable extravagant enterprise' – GUARDIAN
“A fanatically scholarly account of the definitive art-pop label of the 1980s.” – THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
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