Labelled with Love: A History of the World in 100 Record Labels is a warm-hearted, reflective and affectionate musical odyssey through your record collection. It’s an informative and revealing look at the influential record labels, bands and music that rocked our worlds and shaped our lives.
Following the success of his critically acclaimed memoir, Nirvana – A Tour Diary, Andy Bollen takes a fascinating look at record labels. From the quintessential cool swing of 1950s Capitol with Sinatra, to the legal difficulties of Hendrix and The Who at Track. From the professional stewardship of 4AD and Domino, to the excess of Creation and Casablanca Records.
Each account combines to capture the essence, drama and colourful history of music. The soundtrack evolves into a social commentary: the Second World War (EMI, originally a German company), the Civil Rights movement (Blue Note, Stax, Chess, Sun, Motown) to the peace, love and chaos of the 1960s with JFK, Manson and Vietnam. The 1970s excess of Casablanca Records (Kiss, Village People and disco) through to the 1980s and 1990s (Creation), with Oasis and Britpop.
The book skilfully gets under the bonnet of record labels in an enlightening way. From iconic labels to those disbanded, Bollen brings a unique style to the prose, and illuminates and educates with humour and warmth. Full of ‘fanorak facts’: did you know that Led Zeppelin signed to Atlantic in the US after a glowing recommendation from Dusty Springfield? That Virgin Records were almost called Slipped Discs? That Blue Note’s legendary hard bop trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot while he played on stage … by his wife?
From the jazz age to punk, from the Civil Rights movement to the Miners’ strikes, from the Beatles to Britpop, Elvis to Nirvana, and Ella Fitzgerald to Led Zeppelin, we track popular music through the influential labels who shaped the last 80 years. Bollen analyses and chronicles record labels with the passion of a fan but the eye of a satirist. He covers the greed, excess, brilliance, destruction and mismanagement with each account reads like a despatch from the frontline of popular culture.