Even by the standards of Alex Ogg’s previous work (The Hip Hop Years, No More Heroes etc), Independence Days is an exhaustive undertaking. Collating more than 150 interviews, it traces the story of the UK independent record label boom from the late 70s to the mid-80s, a period which saw a new generation of independent spirits take up the baton and revolutionise the course of popular music.
Independence Days cover the era’s most celebrated labels including Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet/4AD, Factory, Cherry Red and Mute, and covers releases by notable acts such as The Smiths, Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, New Order, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Gary Numan, Teardrop Explodes, Nick Cave, KLF etc. There is also extensive coverage of a myriad of less familiar labels and their unique stories, revealing a fabulous, almost Shakespearean cast of characters along the way, simultaneously profiling their achievements and contributions.
From the budget, DIY ethic beloved of many labels and their audiences to the grandiose packaging of Factory and 4AD and eventual chart dominance of Depeche Mode and New Order, all the key moments are documented through painstaking research, analysis and eyewitness accounts. Scheming, rivalries and fiscal brinkmanship contrast with the optimism and opportunism - and incredible diversity of music - of a decade when anything seemed possible.
Interviewees include: Geoff Travis, Daniel Miller, Ivo Watts-Russell, Dave Robinson, Ted Carroll, Bill Drummond, Roger Armstrong, Penny Rimbaud, Richard Boon, Martin Mills, Richard Scott, Iain McNay, Mike Stone, Mike Alway, Bob Last, Terri Hooley, Bill Gilliam, Charlie Gillett, Miles Copeland, Seymour Stein and Geoff Davies among others.
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