THE TOP FIVE INDIE LABELS OF ALL TIME . . . ACCORDING TO THE BLOGOSPHERE

Posted: May 8, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Whew. I’m exhausted from yesterday’s post. The hardest part of doing the survey was seeing how many great albums only got one, two

1. Matador

Matador houses artists as diverse as The New Pornographers (and, of course, A.C. Newman), Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power and (formerly) Interpol. And just about all of them got votes. There were votes for albums by Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, The Ponys, The Frogs . . . Even Laura Cantrell got one for “Humming by the Flowered Vine.”

Plus, Matador current and past artists include some pretty cutting edge rap stars, like Large Professor and Mr. Lif. Not to mention Liz Phair, whose Exile album got about 10 votes. And, finally, they’re generous with the MP3s, instead of the lame-ass streaming offered by so many other labels. This label was far and away the most popular, representing about a third of all the votes I received.

The label was so popular, that it joined with Capitol a while back, but in 1999 they severed all ties. Yay! I’ve heard rumors, though, that they have signed back on with the RIAA. Boo! I hope it ain’t true.

Taste some of their catalog:

Hammer and Nails-Laura Cantrell (unreleased studio track)

14th Street-Laura Cantrell.

Folk Death 95-Mogwai

Double Vision-the Ponys

2wice-Mission of Burma

2. Sub Pop

Matador was the easy #1 label, but Sub Pop was no slouch, getting almost 50 votes in total. Lots of good finds here, including the best-selling indie album, “Give Up” by Postal Service. In addition the artists who appear in the top 25 list I posted yesterday, we got votes for albums by Band of Horses, The Thermals, Wolf Parade, Hot Hot Heat, Shins, Sleater Kinney, Jesus and the Mary Chain, and a little-known alum of the label, NIrvana.

Here’s some artists who got votes, but didn’t make the top 25 . . .

Bandages-Hot Hot Heat

Handsome Furs-What We Had

Phantom Limb-Shins

the Straight Life-Mudhoney

Shine a Light-Wolf Parade

The Funeral-Band of Horses

Monkey-Low (video)

3. Merge Records.

Merge records only streams stuff by their artists, but in addition to repping the #1 album on the list, they have Destroyer, Dinosaur Jr., M Ward, Spoon, and, of course, The Arcade Fire.

4. 4AD

Home of the Pixies, Red House Painters, and Mojave, to name a few. As well as The Cocteau Twins, whose “Treasure” album got a few votes. They offer downloads for sale.

5. Barsuk

Largely on the strength of Death Cab For Cutie, who got many votes for many albums, Barsuk squeaked by Kill Rock Stars and Beggars UK for the final, fifth slot.

Other artists who got votes include The Long Winters and Nada Surf.

Comments
  1. DuMaurier says:

    Kill Rock Stars belongs on the list of top five. Though I can’t argue with Matador taking the top spot.

  2. vanillaqueen says:

    How about On-U, Ron Johnson Records, C/Z, Fat Cat , Warp, Dischord, SST etc. etc.? Not to mention zillions of hip hop, electronica, reggae and soul labels. Just like the top 25 album list, this is mainly “flavor of the month” (or year) stuff, shamefully neglecting musical history and tons of stuff much more interesting and innovative than anything Arcade Fire, Bloc Party or Belle & Sebastian will ever record.

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