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4AD

4AD

Encyclopedia
4AD is a British independent record label
Independent record label
An independent record label is a record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the major record labels. A great number of bands and musical acts begin on independent labels.-Overview:...

 that was started in 1979 by Ivo Watts-Russell
Ivo Watts-Russell
Ivo Watts-Russell was joint-founder with Peter Kent of the English indie record label 4AD. He has also produced several records, himself preferring to use the term "musical director" to explain his role in the creation....

 and Peter Kent, funded by Beggars Banquet Records
Beggars Banquet Records
Beggars Banquet is an English independent record label that began as a chain of record shops owned by Martin Mills and Nick Austin, and is part of the Beggars Group of labels...

, and is still active today. It now forms part of the Beggars Group
Beggars Group
Beggars Group is a British record company that owns or distributes several other labels, including 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, and XL Recordings...

, along with Matador Records
Matador Records
Matador Records is an independent record label, with a roster of indie rock artists and bands.-History:Matador was started by Chris Lombardi in 1989 in his New York City apartment. The following year, Lombardi was joined by former Homestead Records manager Gerard Cosloy, and the two of them have...

, Rough Trade Records
Rough Trade Records
Rough Trade Records is an independent record label based in London. It was formed in 1978 by Geoff Travis who had opened a record store off Ladbroke Grove...

 and XL Recordings
XL Recordings
XL Recordings is a British independent record label owned by Richard Russell. It originated as a 1989 offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records.Though only releasing an average of six albums a year, XL Recordings has worked with The Prodigy, Radiohead, The White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, M.I.A., Vampire...

.

4AD current recording artists include Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink is a Los Angeles-based recording artist who is sometimes associated with the freak folk scene.-Biography:...

, The Big Pink
The Big Pink
The Big Pink is an English electro-rock duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell. The duo signed to the 4AD label in 2009, and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act...

, Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

, Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver is a Grammy nominated folk band founded in 2007 by American indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan. Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was...

, Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura (band)
Camera Obscura are an indie pop band from Glasgow, Scotland. The band formed in 1996 and have released four albums to date.-History:Camera Obscura were formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson, and Gavin Dunbar. Several other members performed with the band before David Skirving joined...

, Deerhunter
Deerhunter
Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...

, Gang Gang Dance
Gang Gang Dance
Gang Gang Dance is an American experimental music band based in Manhattan, New York City. The band is known for its distinctive sound which features synthesized electronics and percussion, plus the varied vocal styles of singer Lizzi Bougatsos...

, The National
The National (band)
The National is an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band's lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone...

, Scott Walker
Scott Walker (singer)
Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

, St Vincent, Twin Shadow
Twin Shadow
Twin Shadow is the stage name of American musician George Lewis Jr. Lewis who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Florida. Around 2000 Lewis moved to Boston where he started the band Mad Man Films alongside Joseph Ciampini of Hooray For Earth, and Zak Longo of Before Lazers. Mad Man...

, tUnE-yArDs
Tune-Yards
tUnE-yArDs is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass...

, among others.

History


Ivo Watts-Russell
Ivo Watts-Russell
Ivo Watts-Russell was joint-founder with Peter Kent of the English indie record label 4AD. He has also produced several records, himself preferring to use the term "musical director" to explain his role in the creation....

 and Peter Kent, employees of the Beggars Banquet record store and label, founded Axis Records in late 1979 as a property of Beggars Banquet that was run by the two. After the first four Axis singles in early 1980, the name was changed to 4AD when it became apparent that the name Axis was already being used by another music company. The solution to this problem came from a promotional flyer that they had printed up to call attention to the new releases. The flyer's designer had added some typography which played on both the new year and the idea of progress:

1980 FORWARD

1980 FWD

1984 AD

4AD

Quickly scrambling for a new name, Ivo glanced at the flyer and suggested "4AD." Peter Kent agreed, and, with that split-second decision, 4AD was born.

An initial idea for the label was that it would be a "testing ground" for Beggars Banquet; successful acts would graduate up to Beggars Banquet after a year at 4AD. The only band to follow this path would be Bauhaus
Bauhaus (band)
Bauhaus was an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy , Daniel Ash , Kevin Haskins and David J . The band was originally Bauhaus 1919 before they dropped the numerical portion within a year of formation...

, who were signed to Beggars Banquet in late 1980 right before Ivo and Peter purchased the label outright.

The two were the sole owners for about a year. Kent sold his share to Watts-Russell at the end of 1981, and started a new Beggars Banquet subsidiary, Situation Two Records. Watts-Russell would maintain ownership of the label, and act as its president, until the late 1990s.

Watts-Russell invited the graphic designer Vaughan Oliver
Vaughan Oliver
Vaughan Oliver is a British graphic designer based in Epsom, South of London. Oliver is most noted for his work with graphic design studios 23 Envelope and v23...

 to create sleeve art for the label, and as a result, 4AD quickly acquired a visually distinctive identity. Its artists, like Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

 and Dead Can Dance
Dead Can Dance
Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

, developed substantial cult followings in the mid-1980s, but 4AD continued to evolve, and, after signing Throwing Muses
Throwing Muses
Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the...

 and Pixies, the label increasingly concentrated on underground American rock music. In 1983, 4AD had a minor hit in America with the Modern English
Modern English (band)
Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You", "Hands Across the Sea", and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 and 2002 with new members...

 single "I Melt With You
I Melt With You
"I Melt with You" is a song by the British post-punk and New Wave band Modern English. The song, produced by Hugh Jones, was a single from the 1982 album After the Snow, and is about a couple making love as nuclear bombs fall. It reached #7 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart and #78 on the Billboard...

". In 1987, 4AD had a UK number one hit with the collaged
Sound collage
In music, montage or sound collage is a technique where sound objects or compositions, including songs, are created from collage, also known as montage, the use of portions of previous recordings or scores...

 "Pump up the Volume
Pump up the Volume (song)
"Pump Up the Volume" is a song and the only single by British recording act MARRS. It was a number-one hit in many countries and is generally regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British house music and music sampling....

" by MARRS
MARRS
MARRS was a 1987 one-off recording act formed by the groups A.R. Kane and Colourbox which only released one commercial disc...

.

In the 1990s, 4AD established an office in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 and enjoyed success with bands such as The Breeders
The Breeders
The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal , her twin sister Kelley Deal , Jose Medeles , Mando Lopez Todd the Fox...

, Red House Painters
Red House Painters
Red House Painters were an alternative rock group formed in 1989 in San Francisco, California by singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.-History:While in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio-born Kozelek became friends with Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. He then moved to San Francisco, California, adding guitarist Gorden...

, Unrest
Unrest (band)
Unrest is an indie rock band from the Washington, D.C. area. It was one of Mark Robinson's projects for what would eventually become the TeenBeat label, also created by Mark while in high school. Developing from an experimental approach of never playing the same song twice, earlier material seemed...

, and His Name Is Alive
His Name Is Alive
His Name Is Alive is an experimental rock band/project from Livonia, Michigan. After several self-released cassettes, they debuted on 4AD Records in 1990, starting a long run at the label...

. In 1999, Watts-Russell sold his share in 4AD back to the Beggars Group (as it had by then become), but the label continued to release music and add new artists to its roster.

Although fans will greatly debate the exact year the "classic 4AD" period ends, a popular theory places the end with the release of the final Cocteau Twins 4AD album
Heaven or Las Vegas
Heaven or Las Vegas is a 1990 album by Scottish rock group Cocteau Twins, their last for the music label 4AD. In terms of chart positions, it is the most successful Cocteau Twins album, reaching number seven in the UK. The album is noteworthy for the musical evolution the band was showing at the time...

 in 1990. Still, 1991 saw the final Throwing Muses album with Tanya Donelly
Tanya Donelly
Tanya Donelly is an American Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and guitarist based in New England who co-founded Throwing Muses with her stepsister Kristin Hersh. She then went on to work in The Breeders and Belly in the 1990s...

 (The Real Ramona
The Real Ramona
The Real Ramona is an album by Throwing Muses. Released in 1991, it was the last album recorded by the band before the departure of founding member Tanya Donelly....

, CAD 1002), the final This Mortal Coil
This Mortal Coil
This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

 album (Blood, DAD 1005), His Name Is Alive's Home Is in Your Head
Home Is in Your Head
Home Is in Your Head is the second studio album by His Name Is Alive, originally released via 4AD in the UK on September 9, 1991, and on Rykodisc in the USA in 1992.-History:...

(CAD 1013), and the Pixies' Trompe le Monde
Trompe le Monde
Trompe le Monde is the fourth and final album by the American alternative rock band Pixies, released in 1991 on the English independent record label 4AD in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States...

(CAD 1014), all of which are generally considered to be "classic 4AD."

Even in 1992, new signings like Belly
Belly (band)
Belly was an alternative rock band formed in 1991 by former Throwing Muses members Tanya Donelly and Fred Abong. The band was based in Boston, Massachusetts, though all of the original members grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. The band consisted of Donelly on lead vocals and guitar, Abong on bass,...

 and Red House Painters
Red House Painters
Red House Painters were an alternative rock group formed in 1989 in San Francisco, California by singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.-History:While in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio-born Kozelek became friends with Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. He then moved to San Francisco, California, adding guitarist Gorden...

 produced records which are also considered amongst the classic era of 4AD. However, the label's deal with Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, although the two companies...

 in the United States in 1992 would start the beginning of a truly new phase in 4AD history. By 1995, whatever remnants of the "classic era" that were left were dying out, as evidenced by the final 4AD release for Red House Painters (Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach (album)
-Double 10" vinyl release:-Release history:-Notes:* Additional musicians: Dan Barbee and Carrie Bradley.* Recorded and mixed at Coast Recorders, San Francisco....

, CAD 5005), and the last albums and break-ups of Belly and The Wolfgang Press. New signings that year included American underground acts Kendra Smith
Kendra Smith
Kendra Smith is an American musician who was a founding member of Dream Syndicate, a member of Opal, and later recorded as a solo artist.-Biography:...

, Tarnation
Tarnation (band)
Tarnation is an alt-country-goth band, formed by Paula Frazer in late 1992, primarily recording on the 4AD label.-History:Tarnation originally consisted of Frazer on vocals and guitar. In 1993, she was soon joined by Brandan Kearney on lap steel guitar and Brent Johnson on guitar and vocals. Next,...

, Air Miami
Air Miami
Air Miami was a band from Washington DC. The band was formed by Mark Robinson and Bridget Cross, both former members of Unrest, and drummer Gabriel Stout...

 and The Amps
The Amps
The Amps were an indie-rock band from Dayton, Ohio. Formed by Kim Deal in 1995 after The Breeders went on hiatus, they first began touring as "Tammy Ampersand and the Amps" but it was later shortened to "The Amps."Their album Pacer was released in 1995.Kim Deal originally intended to play all of...

.

In 2008, the Beggars Group recognised that 4AD was its most prestigious and successful label, and re-aligned itself so that several labels (including Beggars Banquet itself) were folded up on to the 4AD label. Bands like Stereolab
Stereolab
Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...

 and The National
The National (band)
The National is an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band's lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone...

 were signed to 4AD as a part of this merger.

Distribution


While 4AD didn't handle any distribution outside the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 for many years, it had many willing distributors in many countries: Columbia Music Entertainment
Columbia Music Entertainment
is a Japanese record label founded in 1910 as . It affiliated itself with the Columbia Graphophone Company of the United Kingdom and adopted the standard UK Columbia trademarks in 1931. The company changed its name to Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd. in 1946. It used the Nippon Columbia name until...

 distributed much of the label in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, while Polygram
PolyGram
PolyGram was the name of the major label recording company started by Philips from as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. In 1999 it was sold to Seagram and merged into Universal Music Group.-Hollandsche Decca Distributie , 1929-1950:...

 subsidiary Vertigo Records
Vertigo Records
Vertigo Records today is a UK-based record label operated by Universal Music UK.-History:Vertigo Records was the name Philips Records chose in the late 1960s for its record sub-label to counter the progressive labels of its rivals EMI with Harvest Records and Decca Records with Deram...

 released many of the label's records in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The United States had always been a tough market for 4AD, even though their records sold well there as imports. Only a few of the label's acts had deals to license their recordings in the USA, among various labels.

In 1992, Ivo signed a five-year distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, although the two companies...

 so that nearly all 4AD releases would see release in the United States. While this seemed to be a simple licensing deal, in reality executives from Warner Bros. took a lot of control during this period, as 4AD shifted focus to the US market, signing more American bands. While still president, it is clear that Ivo ceded some control during this period, and once the deal ended, he offered to sell the label back to Beggars Banquet.

The deal with Beggars was completed by early 1999, and since then it has owned 4AD and its distribution worldwide. This led to many negotiations for the label's back catalogue, like getting back US distribution rights for the Pixies, Cocteau Twins, and The Breeders.

4AD sessions


The 4AD Sessions are an ongoing series of video recordings with various acts from the label's roster. Following on from the Deerhunter
Deerhunter
Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...

 session at the Studio Plateaux on Platts Eyott island in 2008, the recordings see 4AD artists performing back-catalogue covers and alternative versions of their own material. They are housed on the label's website - www.4ad.com/sessions.

Episodes

  • Session 000: Deerhunter
    Deerhunter
    Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...


1. "Cum Horizon (Improvisation)",
2. "Springhall Concert",
3. "Microcastle",
4. "Saved By Old Times",
5. "Never Stops",
6. "Backspace Century (Version II)",
7. "Calvary Scars"
  • Session 001: tUnE-yArDs
    Tune-Yards
    tUnE-yArDs is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass...


1. "Real Live Flesh",
2. "Little Tiger",
3. "Powa",
4. "Hatari",
5. "Jumping Jack"
  • Session 002: Efterklang
    Efterklang
    Efterklang is an indie rock group from Copenhagen, Denmark, formed in December 2000. To date, the band has released three studio albums and are currently signed to the 4AD label, as well as their own record label Rumraket.-History:...


1. "I Was Playing Drums",
2. "Alike",
3. "Me Me Me the Brick House",
4. "Modern Drift"
  • Session 003: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

1. "Menopause Man",
2. "Spires In The Snow",
3. "Little Wig",
4. "Flashback",
5. "L'Estat (According to the Widow's Maid)"
  • Session 004: Stornoway
    Stornoway (band)
    Stornoway is a British alternative indie folk band from the Cowley area of Oxford. It consists of singer and guitarist Brian Briggs; multi-instrumentalists Jon Ouin and Oli Steadman, and the latter's brother Rob on drums. The band is usually joined by trumpeter Adam Briggs and violinist Rahul Satija...


1. "Fuel Up",
2. "On The Rocks",
3. "Here Comes The Blackout",
4. "Watching Birds"
  • Session 005: Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....


1. "Here Sometimes",
2. "Love Or Prison",
3. "Will There Be Stars",
4. "Oslo",
5. "Not Getting There"
  • Session 006: Broken Records
    Broken Records (band)
    Broken Records are a six-piece indie folk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, which formed in December 2006. The band are signed to 4AD and released their debut album, Until the Earth Begins to Part, in June 2009...


1. "A Leaving Song",
2. "A Darkness Rises Up",
3. "You Know You’re Not Dead",
4. "The Motorcycle Boy Reigns",
5. "Home"
  • Session 007: Twin Shadow
    Twin Shadow
    Twin Shadow is the stage name of American musician George Lewis Jr. Lewis who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Florida. Around 2000 Lewis moved to Boston where he started the band Mad Man Films alongside Joseph Ciampini of Hooray For Earth, and Zak Longo of Before Lazers. Mad Man...


1. "Castles In The Snow",
2. "At My Heels",
3. "Forget",
4. "Slow"
  • Session 008: Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance is an American experimental music band based in Manhattan, New York City. The band is known for its distinctive sound which features synthesized electronics and percussion, plus the varied vocal styles of singer Lizzi Bougatsos...


1. "Chinese High",
2. "Mindkilla/KOU-DA-LEY",
3. "Adult Goth/Bond",
4. "Glass Jar"
  • Session 009: Iron & Wine
    Iron & Wine
    Samuel Beam , better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album...


1. "Tree By The River",
2. "Biting Your Tail",
3. "Big Burned Hand",
4. "Half Moon",
5. "Upwards Over The Mountain"
  • Session 010: St. Vincent

1. "Chloe In The Afternoon",
2. "Surgeon",
3. "Strange Mercy",
4. "Year Of The Tiger"

Current

  • Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
    Ariel Pink
    Ariel Pink is a Los Angeles-based recording artist who is sometimes associated with the freak folk scene.-Biography:...

  • Atlas Sound
    Atlas Sound
    Bradford James Cox is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Atlanta, Georgia-based psychedelic and ambient band Deerhunter. He also pursues a solo career under the moniker Atlas Sound. Cox formed Deerhunter with drummer Moses Archuleta in 2001. The band has released...

  • The Big Pink
    The Big Pink
    The Big Pink is an English electro-rock duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell. The duo signed to the 4AD label in 2009, and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act...

  • Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

  • Bon Iver
    Bon Iver
    Bon Iver is a Grammy nominated folk band founded in 2007 by American indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan. Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was...

     (in Europe only; Jagjaguwar
    Jagjaguwar
    Jagjaguwar is an indie rock record label based in Bloomington, Indiana.-History:In 1996, in Charlottesville, Virginia, friends of Darius Van Arman who performed in a band under the moniker The Curious Digit had just recorded a new album, but they were signed to no label...

     in US)
  • Broken Records
    Broken Records (band)
    Broken Records are a six-piece indie folk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, which formed in December 2006. The band are signed to 4AD and released their debut album, Until the Earth Begins to Part, in June 2009...

  • Camera Obscura
    Camera Obscura (band)
    Camera Obscura are an indie pop band from Glasgow, Scotland. The band formed in 1996 and have released four albums to date.-History:Camera Obscura were formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson, and Gavin Dunbar. Several other members performed with the band before David Skirving joined...

  • Deerhunter
    Deerhunter
    Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...

  • Department of Eagles
    Department of Eagles
    Department of Eagles is a band formed in 2000 by friends and New York University roommates Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus...

  • Efterklang
    Efterklang
    Efterklang is an indie rock group from Copenhagen, Denmark, formed in December 2000. To date, the band has released three studio albums and are currently signed to the 4AD label, as well as their own record label Rumraket.-History:...

     (worldwide through 4AD; Rumraket in Scandinavia)
  • Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance is an American experimental music band based in Manhattan, New York City. The band is known for its distinctive sound which features synthesized electronics and percussion, plus the varied vocal styles of singer Lizzi Bougatsos...

  • Inc.
    Inc.
    Inc. may refer to:* Incorporation , An abbreviation of Incorporated, a suffix indicating a corporation* Inc. , an American business magazine* Incoming* Include, included, or includingInc may refer to:...

     

  • Iron & Wine
    Iron & Wine
    Samuel Beam , better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album...

     (in Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia; Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Records
    Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, although the two companies...

     in North America)
  • Joker
    Joker (musician)
    Joker is a UK-based musical artist who creates music in genres such as dubstep and grime. He was named "2009 king of bass music" by XLR8R Magazine and was featured in the September 2009 issue of The Wire magazine. He has contributed to two releases produced by the London-based record company Hyperdub...

  • Mark Lanegan
    Mark Lanegan
    Mark Lanegan is an American rock musician and songwriter. Lanegan began his music career in the 1980s, forming the grunge group Screaming Trees with Gary Lee Conner, Van Conner and Mark Pickerel. During his time in the band Lanegan would start a low-key solo career...

  • The National
    The National (band)
    The National is an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band's lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone...

  • St. Vincent
  • Stornoway
    Stornoway (band)
    Stornoway is a British alternative indie folk band from the Cowley area of Oxford. It consists of singer and guitarist Brian Briggs; multi-instrumentalists Jon Ouin and Oli Steadman, and the latter's brother Rob on drums. The band is usually joined by trumpeter Adam Briggs and violinist Rahul Satija...

  • tUnE-yArDs
    Tune-Yards
    tUnE-yArDs is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass...

  • Twin Shadow
    Twin Shadow
    Twin Shadow is the stage name of American musician George Lewis Jr. Lewis who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Florida. Around 2000 Lewis moved to Boston where he started the band Mad Man Films alongside Joseph Ciampini of Hooray For Earth, and Zak Longo of Before Lazers. Mad Man...

  • Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (singer)
    Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

  • Zomby
    Zomby
    Zomby is a dubstep producer who began releasing music in 2007. He has released music on the likes of Hyperdub and Werk Discs. In 2008, he released a full length album, Where Were U in '92?, inspired by the rave scene of the early 1990s...


Former


  • Air Miami
    Air Miami
    Air Miami was a band from Washington DC. The band was formed by Mark Robinson and Bridget Cross, both former members of Unrest, and drummer Gabriel Stout...

     (disbanded)
  • The Amps
    The Amps
    The Amps were an indie-rock band from Dayton, Ohio. Formed by Kim Deal in 1995 after The Breeders went on hiatus, they first began touring as "Tammy Ampersand and the Amps" but it was later shortened to "The Amps."Their album Pacer was released in 1995.Kim Deal originally intended to play all of...

     (disbanded)
  • A.R. Kane (disbanded)
  • Tom Baril (photographer published by 4AD)
  • Bauhaus
    Bauhaus (band)
    Bauhaus was an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy , Daniel Ash , Kevin Haskins and David J . The band was originally Bauhaus 1919 before they dropped the numerical portion within a year of formation...

     (disbanded)
  • Bearz (active)
  • Beirut
    Beirut (band)
    Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zachary Francis Condon, and later expanded into a band. The band's first performances were in Wollaston, United Kingdom, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar...

     (active)
  • Belly
    Belly (band)
    Belly was an alternative rock band formed in 1991 by former Throwing Muses members Tanya Donelly and Fred Abong. The band was based in Boston, Massachusetts, though all of the original members grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. The band consisted of Donelly on lead vocals and guitar, Abong on bass,...

     (disbanded)
  • Heidi Berry
    Heidi Berry
    Heidi Berry is an American singer-songwriter who recorded for Creation Records and 4AD in the late 1980s and 1990s.-Biography:Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1958, Berry's mother was a jazz singer with French-Canadian roots, and her father was an actor. Her mother re-married and the family moved...

     (inactive; currently a teacher)
  • Bettie Serveert
    Bettie Serveert
    Bettie Serveert are a Dutch indie-rock band. Their name translates to "Bettie Serves", or "Service to Bettie", which is the title of a book written by Dutch tennis player Betty Stöve, who made it to the Wimbledon ladies singles final in 1977.-Genesis:...

     (active)
  • The Birthday Party
    The Birthday Party (band)
    The Birthday Party were an Australian rock band, active from 1973 to 1983.Despite being championed by John Peel, The Birthday Party found little commercial success during their career...

     (disbanded)
  • Frank Black
    Frank Black
    Black Francis is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black...

     (active)
  • The Breeders
    The Breeders
    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal , her twin sister Kelley Deal , Jose Medeles , Mando Lopez Todd the Fox...

     (active)
  • Michael Brook
    Michael Brook
    Michael Brook is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer. He plays in many genres, including rock, electronica, world music, minimalism and film scores....

     (active)
  • Harold Budd
    Harold Budd
    Harold Budd is an American ambient/avant-garde composer and poet. Born in Los Angeles, he was raised in the Mojave Desert, and was inspired at an early age by the humming tone caused by wind blown across telephone wires....

    /Elizabeth Fraser
    Elizabeth Fraser
    Elizabeth Davidson Fraser is a Scottish singer best known as the vocalist for the pioneer alternative rock group Cocteau Twins...

    /Robin Guthrie
    Robin Guthrie
    Robin Guthrie is a musician best known as co-founder of the Cocteau Twins. During his career Guthrie has played guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and other musical instruments, in addition to programming, sampling and sound processing...

    /Simon Raymonde
    Simon Raymonde
    Simon Philip Raymonde is an English musician and record producer. He is the son of the late arranger and composer, Ivor Raymonde.-Career:...

  • The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir
    Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares
    The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir is an internationally renowned World Music ensemble that blends traditional six-part a cappella repertoire with modern arrangements. It is most recognized under their contribution to Marcel Cellier's Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares project...

     (active)
  • Celebration
    Celebration (band)
    Celebration is a psychedelic soul band based out of Baltimore, Maryland.-History:Celebration is composed of singer Katrina Ford, multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander, with a number of additional rotating members: Walker Teret plays bass, sometimes guitar, percussion and...

     (active)
  • Clan of Xymox
    Clan of Xymox
    The band Clan of Xymox, also known as Xymox, formed in the Netherlands in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anke [also Anka] Wolbert - and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on a prestigious independent UK label, a...

     (active)
  • Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

     (disbanded)
  • Colourbox
    Colourbox
    Colourbox were an English electronic musical group on the 4AD label, releasing a number of records between 1982 and 1987. The band was formed by brothers Martyn and Steve Young, along with guest singers, until Lorita Grahame joined as a permanent member in 1983....

     (dissolved)
  • Cuba
    Air Cuba (band)
    Cuba were a Big Beat superduo formed by Christopher Andrews and former Chapterhouse drummer Ashley Bates. The group was known for their club performances in Europe and recordings for 4AD Records...

     (a.k.a. Air Cuba) (disbanded)
  • Cupol (one-off collaboration)
  • C.V.O. (disbanded)
  • Dance Chapter (disbanded)
  • Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

     (active)
  • Dif Juz
    Dif Juz
    Dif Juz was a British instrumental band, strongly influenced by dub, who were active in the early to mid 1980s. Retroactively they can be seen to be most strongly allied with the Post-rock movement.- History :...

     (dissolved)
  • Tanya Donelly
    Tanya Donelly
    Tanya Donelly is an American Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and guitarist based in New England who co-founded Throwing Muses with her stepsister Kristin Hersh. She then went on to work in The Breeders and Belly in the 1990s...

     (active)
  • Electricity in Our Homes (active)
  • The Fast Set (disbanded)
  • 50 Foot Wave
    50 Foot Wave
    50 Foot Wave is an American alternative rock band, formed in 2003. The band is fronted by Kristin Hersh, who writes the group's songs with collaborative efforts from the other group members in composing and arranging the music. The group's name is a reference to both an illustration and the term...

     (active)
  • Frazier Chorus (dissolved)
  • Future of the Left
    Future of the Left
    Future of the Left are an alternative rock group based in Cardiff, Wales.- Beginnings :Future of the Left were formed by singer/guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, both previously of Cardiff band mclusky, alongside singer/bassist Kelson Mathias, formerly of the...

     (active)
  • Lisa Germano
    Lisa Germano
    Lisa Germano is an American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has released seven albums featuring her often-hushed vocal style, confessional lyrics, and distinctive violin. Her 1994 album Geek the Girl received widespread critical acclaim, including being featured as a top album of...

     (active)
  • Lisa Gerrard
    Lisa Gerrard
    Lisa Gerrard is an Australian musician, singer, and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with former music partner Brendan Perry....

     & Pieter Bourke
    Pieter Bourke
    Pieter Bourke is an Australian percussionist, composer, and audio engineer. He has collaborated with Dead Can Dance, and recorded material with ex-Dead Can Dance Lisa Gerrard. He also collaborated with Australian musician David Thrussell , first as part of the latter's band Snog, then just the two...

  • B. C. Gilbert & G. Lewis
    Graham Lewis
    Graham Lewis is an English musician.Lewis is the bassist with punk rock/post-punk band Wire, a band formed in 1976...


  • The Glee Club
    The Glee Club
    This article is about the band The Glee Club. For the chain of comedy clubs, see The Glee Club .The Glee Club was an Irish rock band active in the early 1990s....

     (disbanded)
  • Rachel Goswell
    Rachel Goswell
    Rachel Goswell is a singer-songwriter who was a vocalist with shoegazing pioneers Slowdive. Goswell, along with Neil Halstead, Ian McCutcheon and former Chapterhouse member Simon Rowe became Mojave 3 when Slowdive transitioned to a more country/folk rock style...

     (inactive)
  • GusGus
    GusGus
    GusGus are a band from Reykjavík, Iceland. They were founded in 1995. Their discography consists of eight studio albums and one live record.- History :...

     (active)
  • Rene Halkett & David J
    David J
    David John Haskins , better known as David J, is a British alternative rock musician. He was the bassist for the gothic rock band Bauhaus and Love and Rockets....

  • Neil Halstead
    Neil Halstead
    Neil Halstead is a British guitarist and singer, described as "one of Britain's most respected songwriters" by Allmusic. He was a founding member of Slowdive, a band often associated with the shoegazer musical genre...

     (active)
  • Kristin Hersh
    Kristin Hersh
    Kristin Hersh is an American singer/songwriter who performs solo acoustic concerts; she also continues to perform as lead singer and guitarist for alternative rock group Throwing Muses and the hardcore punk-influenced power trio 50 Foot Wave...

     (active)
  • His Name Is Alive
    His Name Is Alive
    His Name Is Alive is an experimental rock band/project from Livonia, Michigan. After several self-released cassettes, they debuted on 4AD Records in 1990, starting a long run at the label...

     (active)
  • The Hope Blister
    The Hope Blister
    The Hope Blister was an ambient band founded by Ivo Watts-Russell, head of the 4AD Records label. The band was something of a continuation of the This Mortal Coil project, but with a fixed line-up on ...smile's OK and focusing on cover versions...

     (disbanded)
  • Rowland S. Howard
    Rowland S. Howard
    Rowland Stuart Howard was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, he played electric guitar in the post-punk group The Birthday Party. Howard died of liver cancer in December 2009, aged 50 years....

     & Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene...

  • In Camera (disbanded)
  • Insides
    Insides
    Insides is the third studio album released by electronica and dance musician Jon Hopkins. Released on May 5, 2009, it reached #15 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Album Chart in 2009. PopMatters listed the album as one of the top ten electronic albums of 2009.-Production:Hopkins's third album,...

     (disbanded)
  • It Hugs Back (active)
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson
    Jóhann Jóhannsson
    Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic musician, composer and producer. He is a co-founder of Kitchen Motors in Reykjavík, the art organization/think tank/record label which specializes in initiating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films,...

     (active)
  • Matt Johnson
    Matt Johnson (singer)
    Matt Johnson is a musician best known as the founder and only constant member of the group The The. Johnson is known for his often deeply introspective lyrics. Musically he ranges from slow acoustic hooks to techno-pop....

  • Lakuna
    Lakuna
    Lakuna was an electronic instrumental project begun by drummer David Narcizo after Throwing Muses first split up following their 1996 Limbo album. Lakuna first released a 12-inch called So Happy and then a 1999 full-length album called Castle of Crime. Narcizo provided drums, drum programming, and...

     (one-off project)
  • Last Dance (disbanded)
  • The Late Cord (one-off, thus far, collaboration)
  • Liquorice
  • Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene...

     (active)
  • Lush
    Lush (band)
    Lush were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were one of the first bands to attract the "shoegazing" label...

     (disbanded)
  • MARRS
    MARRS
    MARRS was a 1987 one-off recording act formed by the groups A.R. Kane and Colourbox which only released one commercial disc...

     (dissolved)
  • Mass (disbanded)
  • Vinny Miller
    Vinny Miller
    Vinny Miller is a British singer-songwriter and record producer, once signed to the 4AD label.He first came to musical prominence in 1998 as a 4AD signing under the moniker Starry Smooth Hound, releasing a track co-produced by Guy Fixsen on the label sampler Anakin.Two singles, "Pigpen" and...

     (active)
  • Minotaur Shock
    Minotaur Shock
    Minotaur Shock is the nom de plume of David Edwards, a Bristol-based electronica musician. His 2005 album Maritime was his first album released through 4AD Records, having previously released work via Manchester based Melodic....

     (active)
  • Modern English
    Modern English (band)
    Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You", "Hands Across the Sea", and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 and 2002 with new members...

     (active)
  • Magnetophone
    Magnetophone
    Magnétophone are an electronic / art-rock band originating from Birmingham UK, composed of Matt Saunders and John Hanson...

     (active)
  • Mojave 3
    Mojave 3
    Mojave 3 are a British band, consisting of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Simon Rowe, Alan Forrester, and Ian McCutcheon. Goswell, Halstead and McCutcheon previously played in Thames Valley shoegazing band Slowdive....

     (on hiatus)
  • The Mountain Goats
    The Mountain Goats
    The Mountain Goats is an American indie rock band formed in Claremont, CA by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle himself, despite the plural moniker....

     (active)
  • My Captains (disbanded)
  • Colin Newman
    Colin Newman
    Colin Newman is an English musician, record producer and record label owner.-Biography:Newman is a member of the rock band Wire. When the band temporarily split in 1980, Newman pursued a solo career. His first solo LP, A-Z, was released in 1980 on the Beggar's Banquet label...

     (active)
  • Pieter Nooten/Michael Brook
    Michael Brook
    Michael Brook is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer. He plays in many genres, including rock, electronica, world music, minimalism and film scores....

  • The Paladins
    The Paladins
    The Paladins are a roots rock/rockabilly band from San Diego, California. Founded in the early 1980s by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and his high school friend and double bass player Thomas Yearsley, they have recorded nine studio albums and built a reputation as one of America's hardest-working live...

     (on hiatus)
  • Pale Saints
    Pale Saints
    Pale Saints was formed in 1987 by Ian Masters , Graeme Naysmith , and Chris Cooper in Leeds, England. The group began as a jangly indie pop band, influenced by Primal Scream's early sound.-History:...

     (disbanded)
  • The Past 7 Days (disbanded)
  • Brendan Perry
    Brendan Perry
    Brendan Michael Perry is a singer and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the male half of the duo Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard.-Early life:...

     (active)

  • Piano Magic
    Piano Magic
    Piano Magic is a musical collective formed in the summer of 1996 by Glen Johnson, Dominic Chennell, and Dick Rance in London, England. Their sound has been described as ambient pop, post-rock, indietronica, coldwave, dark wave and ghostrock...

     (active)
  • Pixies (active)
  • Emma Pollock
    Emma Pollock
    Emma Pollock is a Scottish singer, songwriter, and guitarist.-Early life:Pollock studied Physics at the University of Strathclyde and later Archaeology at the University of Liverpool...

     (active)
  • Psychotik Tanks (disbanded)
  • Ra Ra Riot
    Ra Ra Riot
    Ra Ra Riot is an American indie rock band from Syracuse, New York, consisting of vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, cellist Alexandra Lawn , violinist Rebecca Zeller, and drummer Kenny Bernard.-History:...

     (one-off split single with Stornoway
    Stornoway
    Stornoway is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.The town's population is around 9,000, making it the largest settlement in the Western Isles and the third largest town in the Scottish Highlands after Inverness and Fort William...

    )
  • Red Atkins (active)
  • Red House Painters
    Red House Painters
    Red House Painters were an alternative rock group formed in 1989 in San Francisco, California by singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.-History:While in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio-born Kozelek became friends with Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. He then moved to San Francisco, California, adding guitarist Gorden...

     (disbanded)
  • Rema-Rema
    Rema-Rema
    Rema-Rema was a short-lived English music group, consisting of Gary Asquith , Marco Pirroni , Mick Allen , Mark Cox and Max ....

     (disbanded)
  • Richenel (active)
  • Anni Rossi
    Anni Rossi
    Anni Rossi is a singer, violist and keyboardist from Minnesota. She graduated for the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN. She is notable for her unique style of playing the viola and singing, often at the same time, although her solo records also incorporate elements of...

     (active)
  • Scheer
    Scheer (band)
    Scheer was an alternative rock band from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The band members were vocalist Audrey Gallagher, guitarists Neal Calderwood and Paddy Leyden, bassist Peter Fleming and drummer Joe Bates...

     (disbanded)
  • Serena-Maneesh
    Serena-Maneesh
    Serena-Maneesh is an alternative rock band from Oslo, Norway.- Significance of the Name:...

     (active)
  • Shox (disbanded)
  • Kendra Smith
    Kendra Smith
    Kendra Smith is an American musician who was a founding member of Dream Syndicate, a member of Opal, and later recorded as a solo artist.-Biography:...

     (inactive)
  • Sort Sol (on hiatus)
  • Spasmodic Caress
    Spasmodic Caress
    Spasmodic Caress were an English post punk/New Wave band that played many gigs along the East coast and in Ipswich, Colchester and London between 1979 and 1984. They recorded a track for the 4AD Records 12" compilation Presage in 1980 and also released an album on Falling A Records...

     (disbanded)
  • Spirea X
    Spirea X
    Spirea X were an alternative rock band from Glasgow, Scotland, formed by Primal Scream founding member Jim Beattie in 1990.-History:After six years in the band, Jim Beattie left Primal Scream in 1988...

     (disbanded)
  • Spoonfed Hybrid
    Spoonfed Hybrid
    Spoonfed Hybrid were a dream pop duo in the north of England in the early 1990s.The band was formed in 1993 by Ian Masters and Chris Trout, initially as The Long Lost. Masters had just left the band he founded in 1987, Pale Saints, which continued without him. Trout had been guitarist in A.C...

     (disbanded)
  • Starry Smooth Hound
    Vinny Miller
    Vinny Miller is a British singer-songwriter and record producer, once signed to the 4AD label.He first came to musical prominence in 1998 as a 4AD signing under the moniker Starry Smooth Hound, releasing a track co-produced by Guy Fixsen on the label sampler Anakin.Two singles, "Pigpen" and...

     (the original alias of Vinny Miller
    Vinny Miller
    Vinny Miller is a British singer-songwriter and record producer, once signed to the 4AD label.He first came to musical prominence in 1998 as a 4AD signing under the moniker Starry Smooth Hound, releasing a track co-produced by Guy Fixsen on the label sampler Anakin.Two singles, "Pigpen" and...

    )
  • Stereolab
    Stereolab
    Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...

     (on hiatus)
  • Swallow
    Swallow (band)
    Swallow were the British-based duo of Mike Mason and Louise Trehy. Signed to 4AD, they only released one studio album and one special remix collection before leaving the label...

     (disbanded)
  • Sybarite
    Sybarite (musician)
    Sybarite is the solo project of musician Xian Hawkins, who played with the Silver Apples for a number of years in the 1990s. Sybarite produces abstract midtempo electronica, but also contains elements of jazz and classical music...

     (active)
  • Tarnation
    Tarnation (band)
    Tarnation is an alt-country-goth band, formed by Paula Frazer in late 1992, primarily recording on the 4AD label.-History:Tarnation originally consisted of Frazer on vocals and guitar. In 1993, she was soon joined by Brandan Kearney on lap steel guitar and Brent Johnson on guitar and vocals. Next,...

     (disbanded)
  • that dog.
    That dog.
    That Dog is a Los Angeles-based rock band that formed in 1991 and dissolved in 1997, reuniting in 2011. The band consists of Anna Waronker on lead vocals and guitar, Rachel Haden on bass guitar and vocals, her sister Petra Haden on violin and vocals, and Tony Maxwell on drums...

     (disbanded)
  • The The
    The The
    The The are an English musical and multimedia group that have been active in various forms since 1979, with singer/songwriter Matt Johnson being the only constant band member.-Early years :...

     (active)
  • Thievery Corporation
    Thievery Corporation
    Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C. based recording artist and DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists, including current drummer Jeff Franca...

     (active)
  • This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

     (project concluded)
  • Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the...

     (active)
  • Tindersticks
    Tindersticks
    Tindersticks are an Indie rock band from Nottingham, England formed in 1991. They released six albums before singer Stuart A. Staples took on a solo career. The band reunited briefly in 2006, but more permanently the following year...

     (active)
  • Tones on Tail
    Tones on Tail
    Tones on Tail was an "eclectic" musical side project of Daniel Ash of Bauhaus, along with art school friend, flatmate, and "Bauhaus roadie" Glenn Campling in 1982. After the breakup of Bauhaus in 1983, they were joined by drummer Kevin Haskins. Their music was described by one critic as...

     (disbanded)
  • TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

     (active)
  • 23 Envelope
    23 Envelope
    23 Envelope was the name given to the graphic design partnership of graphic designer Vaughan Oliver and photographer/filmmaker Nigel Grierson from 1983-1988...

     (4AD's design regulars in the '80s/'90s; now v23)
  • Ultra Vivid Scene
    Ultra Vivid Scene
    Ultra Vivid Scene was an American alternative rock band, started by Kurt Ralske.Former Nothing But Happiness and Crash guitarist Ralske started Ultra Vivid Scene in 1987, was signed to 4AD Records in 1988, and released his first UVS EP, She Screamed, in 1988...

     (disbanded)
  • Underground Lovers
    Underground Lovers
    Underground Lovers are an Australian alternative rock band and one of the most lauded music acts in the country's alternative scene throughout the 1990s. While the band has experienced many lineup changes during its existence, the nucleus of the band since its inception has been Vincent M...

     (disbanded)
  • Unrest
    Unrest (band)
    Unrest is an indie rock band from the Washington, D.C. area. It was one of Mark Robinson's projects for what would eventually become the TeenBeat label, also created by Mark while in high school. Developing from an experimental approach of never playing the same song twice, earlier material seemed...

     (disbanded)
  • Vaughan Oliver
    Vaughan Oliver
    Vaughan Oliver is a British graphic designer based in Epsom, South of London. Oliver is most noted for his work with graphic design studios 23 Envelope and v23...

     & v23 (active)
  • M Ward (active)
  • Wolf & Cub
    Wolf & Cub
    Wolf & Cub are a band from Adelaide, Australia. Three of the original members hail from Port Augusta, South Australia. Their music is predominantly psychedelic with elements of Rock. The four-piece were signed to record label 4AD. An aspect of the bands music that makes them unique is their use of...

     (active)
  • The Wolfgang Press
    The Wolfgang Press
    The Wolfgang Press was an English post-punk band, active from 1983 until 1995, recording for the 4AD label. The core of the band was Michael Allen , Mark Cox , and Andrew Gray , with many guest musicians....

     (disbanded)
  • Xmal Deutschland
    Xmal Deutschland
    Xmal Deutschland , often written as X-Mal Deutschland, was a musical group from Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 1980 with a completely female line-up, they became successful outside their native country. The lead singer of the band is vocalist Anja Huwe...

     (disbanded)

Selected discography


1980
  1. Bauhaus
    Bauhaus (band)
    Bauhaus was an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy , Daniel Ash , Kevin Haskins and David J . The band was originally Bauhaus 1919 before they dropped the numerical portion within a year of formation...

    , "Dark Entries
    Dark Entries
    "Dark Entries" is the second single released by British gothic rock band Bauhaus. It showcases the guitar playing of Daniel Ash and tight rhythm section of David J and Kevin Haskins...

    " (AD 3); the only AXIS single to be re-issued under the 4AD name
  2. Modern English
    Modern English (band)
    Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You", "Hands Across the Sea", and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 and 2002 with new members...

    , Swans on Glass (AD 6);
  3. Rema-Rema
    Rema-Rema
    Rema-Rema was a short-lived English music group, consisting of Gary Asquith , Marco Pirroni , Mick Allen , Mark Cox and Max ....

    , Wheel in the Roses (BAD 5); the first release bearing the 4AD logo
  4. Bauhaus
    Bauhaus (band)
    Bauhaus was an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy , Daniel Ash , Kevin Haskins and David J . The band was originally Bauhaus 1919 before they dropped the numerical portion within a year of formation...

    , In the Flat Field
    In the Flat Field
    In the Flat Field is the debut album by British gothic rock band Bauhaus, released in October 1980 on 4AD.-Recording:Following a 30-date tour, Bauhaus set out to Southern Studios in London to record their first album. As the band had a clear conception of what they wanted the record to sound like,...

    (CAD 13); the first full-length LP on 4AD
  5. Modern English
    Modern English (band)
    Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You", "Hands Across the Sea", and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 and 2002 with new members...

    , Gathering Dust (AD 15); later the inspiration for This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

    's first record


1981
  1. The Birthday Party
    The Birthday Party (band)
    The Birthday Party were an Australian rock band, active from 1973 to 1983.Despite being championed by John Peel, The Birthday Party found little commercial success during their career...

    , Prayers on Fire
    Prayers on Fire
    Prayers on Fire, by Australian rock group The Birthday Party, was released in April 1981 on the 4AD label. This was the band's first full length release on an international record label . After leaving Australia to broaden horizons in England, the band returned to Melbourne to record this album...

    (CAD 105); first full-length from revered post-punk band
  2. Dif Juz
    Dif Juz
    Dif Juz was a British instrumental band, strongly influenced by dub, who were active in the early to mid 1980s. Retroactively they can be seen to be most strongly allied with the Post-rock movement.- History :...

    , Huremics (BAD 109); debut EP from proto-"post rock" outfit
  3. Natures Mortes (Still Lives) (CAD 117); definitive summary of the label's post-punk years, originally only available in Japan


1982
  1. Colin Newman
    Colin Newman
    Colin Newman is an English musician, record producer and record label owner.-Biography:Newman is a member of the rock band Wire. When the band temporarily split in 1980, Newman pursued a solo career. His first solo LP, A-Z, was released in 1980 on the Beggar's Banquet label...

    , Not To (CAD 201); Third solo LP from Wire frontman, featuring several previously unreleased Wire
    Wire (band)
    Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman , Graham Lewis , Bruce Gilbert , and Robert Gotobed...

     tracks
  2. Modern English
    Modern English (band)
    Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You", "Hands Across the Sea", and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 and 2002 with new members...

    , After the Snow
    After the Snow
    After the Snow is Modern English's second album, released in 1982 on 4AD Records in the United Kingdom, Vertigo Records in Canada and Sire Records in the United States...

    (CAD 206); LP contains 4AD's first mainstream hit, the New Wave classic "I Melt with You
    I Melt With You
    "I Melt with You" is a song by the British post-punk and New Wave band Modern English. The song, produced by Hugh Jones, was a single from the 1982 album After the Snow, and is about a couple making love as nuclear bombs fall. It reached #7 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart and #78 on the Billboard...

    "
  3. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Garlands
    Garlands
    For other uses, see Garland Garlands is the 1982 debut album of Cocteau Twins. It is the only album with original bassist Will Heggie.-Track listing:#"Blood Bitch" – 4:34#"Wax and Wane" – 4:04#"But I'm Not" – 2:45...

    (CAD 211); debut LP from band who would come to define the label's aesthetic


1983
  1. The Wolfgang Press
    The Wolfgang Press
    The Wolfgang Press was an English post-punk band, active from 1983 until 1995, recording for the 4AD label. The core of the band was Michael Allen , Mark Cox , and Andrew Gray , with many guest musicians....

    , The Burden of Mules (CAD 308); debut LP from long-time 4AD mainstay, including former Rema-Rema members
  2. This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

    , Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust (BAD 310); debut EP from Ivo's house band, including popular cover of Tim Buckley
    Tim Buckley
    Timothy Charles Buckley III was an American vocalist, and musician. His music and style changed considerably through the years; his first album was mostly folk oriented, but over time his music incorporated jazz, psychedelia, funk, soul, avant-garde and an evolving "voice as instrument," sound...

    's "Song to the Siren"
  3. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Head over Heels (CAD 313); the band's second LP begins to define the band and label's sound


1984
  1. Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

    , Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance (album)
    Dead Can Dance is the debut album recorded by Dead Can Dance in 1984. This album differs greatly from later Dead Can Dance releases. The instrumentation consisted of guitars, bass and drums with added percussion and the very distinct sound of the Yang Chin as played by Lisa Gerrard. This album has...

    (CAD 404); debut from the band who would become the label's biggest-selling act
  2. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , The Spangle Maker
    The Spangle Maker
    The Spangle Maker is an EP by the Scottish rock group Cocteau Twins, released on 4AD records in April 1984. It was the first recording to be released after Simon Raymonde joined the band...

    (BAD 405); first release with new bassist Simon Raymonde
    Simon Raymonde
    Simon Philip Raymonde is an English musician and record producer. He is the son of the late arranger and composer, Ivor Raymonde.-Career:...

     crystallizes the band's sound
  3. This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

    , It'll End in Tears
    It'll End in Tears
    It'll End in Tears was an album released in 1984 by 4AD using the name This Mortal Coil as an umbrella title for a loose grouping of guest musicians and vocalists brought together by label boss Ivo Watts-Russell. When released in late 1984, the album reached #38 on the UK Albums Chart...

    (CAD 411); debut LP was an international underground success
  4. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Treasure (CAD 412); a fan favourite, but one of the band's least favourite albums


1985
  1. Clan of Xymox
    Clan of Xymox
    The band Clan of Xymox, also known as Xymox, formed in the Netherlands in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anke [also Anka] Wolbert - and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on a prestigious independent UK label, a...

    , Clan of Xymox
    Clan of Xymox (album)
    Clan of Xymox's eponymous debut in 1985, and their first release on the 4AD label .The album was produced by Ivo Watts-Russell and recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh...

    (CAD 503); debut LP from classic goth band
  2. Dif Juz
    Dif Juz
    Dif Juz was a British instrumental band, strongly influenced by dub, who were active in the early to mid 1980s. Retroactively they can be seen to be most strongly allied with the Post-rock movement.- History :...

    , Extractions (CAD 505); only full-length from the band, which is very much in-line with the classic 4AD sound
  3. Colourbox
    Colourbox
    Colourbox were an English electronic musical group on the 4AD label, releasing a number of records between 1982 and 1987. The band was formed by brothers Martyn and Steve Young, along with guest singers, until Lorita Grahame joined as a permanent member in 1983....

    , Colourbox (CAD 508); debut LP from pop-collage artists, considered ahead of its time today
  4. Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

    , Spleen and Ideal
    Spleen and Ideal
    Spleen and Ideal is the second album recorded by Dead Can Dance, released in 1986. The line up continued with Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard, Scott Rodger, James Pinker and Peter Ulrich with the addition of Gus Ferguson on Cello...

    (CAD 512); second LP that advanced the band's sound considerably
  5. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , The Pink Opaque
    The Pink Opaque
    The Pink Opaque is a 1986 compilation album composed of tracks originally recorded between 1982 and 1985 by Cocteau Twins. A joint release by the UK-based 4AD and the USA-based Relativity Records, it was the band's the first official domestic USA release.-History:After signing to 4AD in 1982,...

    (CAD 513CD); compilation of 1982-1985 material intended for US release; released only on CD in the UK, the label's first release on the medium


1986
  1. Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares
    Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares
    The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir is an internationally renowned World Music ensemble that blends traditional six-part a cappella repertoire with modern arrangements. It is most recognized under their contribution to Marcel Cellier's Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares project...

    , Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares
    Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (album)
    Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares is an album of Bulgarian folk songs performed by the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir with guest-soloists Yanka Rupkina, Kalinka Valcheva and Stefka Sabotinova.The album was the result of fifteen years of work by Swiss ethnomusicologist and...

    (CAD 603); reissue of songs by the internationally renowned Bulgarian folk ensemble
  2. Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the...

    , Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses (1986 album)
    Throwing Muses is the 1986 debut album of the band Throwing Muses, released on 4AD. This was the first album by an American band to be released on 4AD, which had concentrated primarily on British-based acts up to this point...

    (CAD 607); debut LP from the first American band signed to 4AD
  3. This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil
    This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

    , Filigree & Shadow
    Filigree & Shadow
    Filigree & Shadow is an album released in 1986 by Ivo Watts-Russell's supergroup, This Mortal Coil. The supergroup consists primarily of artists attached to the 4AD label, of which Ivo was the co-founder and the owner and president...

    (DAD 609); second album from Ivo's project is the label's first double album


1987
  1. MARRS
    MARRS
    MARRS was a 1987 one-off recording act formed by the groups A.R. Kane and Colourbox which only released one commercial disc...

    , Pump up the Volume
    Pump up the Volume (song)
    "Pump Up the Volume" is a song and the only single by British recording act MARRS. It was a number-one hit in many countries and is generally regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British house music and music sampling....

    (AD 707); the label's only single to reach number one in the UK charts, generally regarded as a significant milestone in the development of British house music
    House music
    House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

     and music sampling
    Sampling (music)
    In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

  2. Lonely Is an Eyesore
    Lonely Is an Eyesore
    Lonely Is an Eyesore is a compilation of music by artists on the 4AD label released in June 1987. The album was produced by Ivo Watts-Russell and recorded at Blackwing Studios, London. The album was engineered and mixed by John Fryer...

    (CAD 703); compilation album released in many formats, showcasing the label's diverse lineup
  3. Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

    , Within the Realm of a Dying Sun
    Within the Realm of a Dying Sun
    Within the Realm of a Dying Sun is the third album recorded by Dead Can Dance, by now predominantly the duo Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry along with Peter Ulrich, after the departure of Scott Rodger and James Pinker in 1987....

    (CAD 705); another classic LP typical of the label's output of the era
  4. Pixies, Come on Pilgrim
    Come on Pilgrim
    Come On Pilgrim is the debut mini-LP release by the American alternative rock band Pixies, released in September 1987 by 4AD.- Background :...

    (MAD 709); debut mini-album culled from the band's demo tape
  5. Pieter Nooten/Michael Brook
    Michael Brook
    Michael Brook is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer. He plays in many genres, including rock, electronica, world music, minimalism and film scores....

    , Sleeps with the Fishes (CAD 710); atmospheric album from former Clan of Xymox
    Clan of Xymox
    The band Clan of Xymox, also known as Xymox, formed in the Netherlands in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anke [also Anka] Wolbert - and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on a prestigious independent UK label, a...

     member Nooten and noted guitarist/producer Brook


1988
  1. Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the...

    , House Tornado
    House Tornado
    House Tornado is a 1988 album by Throwing Muses. Produced by Gary Smith and Engineered by Paul Kolderie, it was recorded at Fort Apache Studios in Cambridge, MA. The album was released internationally on the 4AD label, except in the United States, where it was released by Sire Records...

    (CAD 802); the band's second LP is their first to be released in the USA
  2. Pixies, Surfer Rosa
    Surfer Rosa
    Like Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa displays a mix of musical styles; pop guitar songs such as "Broken Face", "Break My Body", and "Brick Is Red" are featured alongside slower, more melodic tracks exemplified by "Where Is My Mind?". The album includes heavier material, and prominently features the...

    (CAD 803); Steve Albini
    Steve Albini
    Steven Frank Albini is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman, and Flour, and is currently a member of Shellac...

    -produced album that proved to be massively influential on nearly all alternative rock to follow
  3. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Blue Bell Knoll
    Blue Bell Knoll
    Blue Bell Knoll is the fifth album by Scottish band Cocteau Twins.This was the first LP by the Twins to receive major-label distribution in the USA, as it was originally licensed by Capitol Records from 4AD for North American release...

    (CAD 807); the band's most successful LP to date received major-label distribution in the USA by Capitol Records
    Capitol Records
    Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...



1989
  1. Pixies, Doolittle
    Doolittle (album)
    Doolittle features an eclectic mix of musical styles. While tracks such as "Tame" and "Crackity Jones" are fast and aggressive, and incorporate the band's trademark loud–quiet dynamic, other songs such as "Silver", "I Bleed", and "Here Comes Your Man" reveal a quieter, slower and more melodic...

    (CAD 809); another extremely influential LP that now routinely ranks high in lists of all-time best albums
  2. Lush
    Lush (band)
    Lush were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were one of the first bands to attract the "shoegazing" label...

    , Scar (JAD 911); debut EP by English quartet that straddled the line between airy, melodic pop and shoegaze
    Shoegazing
    Shoegazing is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It lasted there until the mid 1990s, with a critical zenith reached in 1990 and 1991...



1990s
  1. The Breeders
    The Breeders
    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal , her twin sister Kelley Deal , Jose Medeles , Mando Lopez Todd the Fox...

    , Pod (CAD 0006); debut of Pixie Kim Deal
    Kim Deal
    Kimberley Ann Deal is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the bassist of the alternative rock band the Pixies and the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Breeders. Deal first joined the Pixies in January 1986 as the band's bassist, adopting the stage name Mrs...

    's side project that eventually became her main band
  2. His Name Is Alive
    His Name Is Alive
    His Name Is Alive is an experimental rock band/project from Livonia, Michigan. After several self-released cassettes, they debuted on 4AD Records in 1990, starting a long run at the label...

    , Livonia
    Livonia (His Name Is Alive album)
    Livonia is the debut LP by His Name Is Alive. It was originally released on 4AD in the UK in 1990 and in 1992 on 4AD/Rykodisc in the USA.-History:...

    (CAD 0008); American band begins a long run at 4AD with a debut that carries on in the tradition of the label's 1980s heyday
  3. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Heaven or Las Vegas
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Heaven or Las Vegas is a 1990 album by Scottish rock group Cocteau Twins, their last for the music label 4AD. In terms of chart positions, it is the most successful Cocteau Twins album, reaching number seven in the UK. The album is noteworthy for the musical evolution the band was showing at the time...

    (CAD 0012); the band's final album on 4AD; was said by Ivo to be "the best record 4AD ever released."
  4. Belly
    Belly (band)
    Belly was an alternative rock band formed in 1991 by former Throwing Muses members Tanya Donelly and Fred Abong. The band was based in Boston, Massachusetts, though all of the original members grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. The band consisted of Donelly on lead vocals and guitar, Abong on bass,...

    , Star (CAD 3002); debut album of the side-project by Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses
    Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that toured and recorded extensively until 1997, when its members began concentrating more on other projects. The group was originally fronted by two lead singers, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, who both wrote the...

    ' Tanya Donelly
    Tanya Donelly
    Tanya Donelly is an American Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and guitarist based in New England who co-founded Throwing Muses with her stepsister Kristin Hersh. She then went on to work in The Breeders and Belly in the 1990s...

  5. Red House Painters
    Red House Painters
    Red House Painters were an alternative rock group formed in 1989 in San Francisco, California by singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.-History:While in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio-born Kozelek became friends with Anthony Koutsos, a drummer. He then moved to San Francisco, California, adding guitarist Gorden...

    , Red House Painters
    Red House Painters (Rollercoaster)
    Red House Painters is the second album by the group Red House Painters, released in spring 1993 by 4AD. 8 remaining songs from the same recording sessions made up the band's second self-titled album, Bridge...

    , a.k.a. Rollercoaster (DAD 3008); acclaimed, sprawling double album from the pioneering slowcore band
  6. Unrest
    Unrest (band)
    Unrest is an indie rock band from the Washington, D.C. area. It was one of Mark Robinson's projects for what would eventually become the TeenBeat label, also created by Mark while in high school. Developing from an experimental approach of never playing the same song twice, earlier material seemed...

    , Perfect Teeth (CAD 3012); jointly-released with TeenBeat Records
    TeenBeat Records
    Teen Beat is an independent record label, originally based in Arlington, VA, now based in Cambridge, MA. It was founded by Mark Robinson in 1984 at Wakefield High School along with Phil Krauth , Andrew Beaujon , Tim Moran , and Ian Zack .The label was originally set up like a lending library...

  7. Lush
    Lush (band)
    Lush were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were one of the first bands to attract the "shoegazing" label...

    , Split
    Split (Lush album)
    Split is the second album by British shoegazing act Lush, released on 4AD on June 13, 1994 in the UK and a day later in the US. Two singles were released from the album: "Desire Lines" and "Hypocrite," both released on May 30, 1994...

    (CAD 4011); the band's critically acclaimed second album
  8. Mojave 3
    Mojave 3
    Mojave 3 are a British band, consisting of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Simon Rowe, Alan Forrester, and Ian McCutcheon. Goswell, Halstead and McCutcheon previously played in Thames Valley shoegazing band Slowdive....

    , Ask Me Tomorrow (CAD 5013); debut album from former members of shoegaze band Slowdive
    Slowdive
    Slowdive were an English shoegaze band that formed in 1989. The band formed in Reading, Berkshire and primarily consisted of Nick Chaplin , Rachel Goswell , Neil Halstead , and Christian Savill...

  9. Thievery Corporation
    Thievery Corporation
    Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C. based recording artist and DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists, including current drummer Jeff Franca...

    , Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi
    Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi
    Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi was the debut album of the Thievery Corporation, originally released in 1997. Guest vocals include Pam Bricker and Bebel Gilberto.-Original release:This was released by Eighteenth Street Lounge Music on June 7, 1997....

    (CAD 8006); an unlikely and short-lived foray into the electronic, downtempo world for 4AD


2002
  1. The Breeders
    The Breeders
    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal , her twin sister Kelley Deal , Jose Medeles , Mando Lopez Todd the Fox...

    , Title TK
    Title TK
    Title TK is the third album from the American alternative rock band The Breeders. The album was released on May 20, 2002 by 4AD in the United Kingdom and distributed by Elektra records in the United States. Title TK was engineered by Steve Albini, who also engineered The Breeders' debut album Pod...

    (CAD 2205); strangely intimate, feminine garage rock and an admirably honest portrait of the band


2004
  1. Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

    , Misery Is a Butterfly
    Misery Is a Butterfly
    Misery Is a Butterfly is the sixth studio album by Blonde Redhead, released in 2004.- Track listing :# "Elephant Woman" – 4:49# "Messenger" – 3:21# "Melody" – 4:36# "Doll Is Mine" – 3:06# "Misery Is a Butterfly" – 5:07# "Falling Man" – 3:26...

    (CAD 2409); a creative leap forward for the band
  2. TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

    , Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes (CAD 2420); otherworldly debut album from feted Brooklyn band


2005
  1. Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins
    Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

    , Lullabies to Violaine
    Lullabies to Violaine
    Lullabies to Violaine is a Cocteau Twins boxset released by 4AD Records in October 2005. Comprising four CDs, the boxset collects the tracks from every Cocteau Twins EP from "Lullabies" to "Violaine".- CD One :#Lullabies...

    (CTBOX 2); compilation of all Cocteau Twins' EPs, singles, and B-sides spread over four compact discs; remastered by Robin Guthrie and released to coincide with the label's 25th anniversary
  2. TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

    , Dry Drunk Emperor (n/a); a free download track, never formally released, gifted to fans and to remember those affected by Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina
    Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...



2006
  1. TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

    , Return to Cookie Mountain
    Return to Cookie Mountain
    Return to Cookie Mountain is the second studio album by American art rock group TV on the Radio. It was released July 6, 2006 worldwide by 4AD, and issued in the U.S. and Canada on September 12, 2006 by Interscope Records and Touch and Go Recordings. However, an unmastered version of the album...

    (CAD 2607); "the best album of 2006" according to many critics' end-of-year lists
  2. Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (singer)
    Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

    , The Drift
    The Drift
    - Personnel :* Scott Walker – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Sax, Sound Treatment* Hugh Burns – Guitar* Ian Thomas – Drums* Mark Warman – Keyboards, Orchestration, Conducting, Percussion, Woodwind, Sound Treatment* Philip Sheppard – Orchestration, Conducting, Cello...

    (CAD 2603); the first album from the reclusive Scott Walker in over a decade
  3. Beirut
    Beirut (band)
    Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zachary Francis Condon, and later expanded into a band. The band's first performances were in Wollaston, United Kingdom, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar...

     Gulag Orkestar
    Gulag Orkestar
    Gulag Orkestar is the debut album of Beirut. It was recorded in 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.It is written in the booklet that the front and back photos were found in a library in Leipzig, torn out of a book...

    (CAD 2619); accomplished debut album from the then 19-year old Zach Condon
  4. Plague Songs
    Plague Songs
    Plague Songs is an album of songs, by various artists, about the ten Plagues of Egypt described in the Book of Exodus.The songs were originally commissioned by the British arts organisation Artangel for its project The Margate Exodus, which centres around a one-day event that took place in Margate...

    (CAD 2616); an album of songs by various artists (including Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

    , Brian Eno
    Brian Eno
    Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

     & Robert Wyatt
    Robert Wyatt
    Robert Wyatt is an English musician, and founding member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine, with a long and distinguished solo career...

    , and Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (singer)
    Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

    ) about the ten Plagues of Egypt
    Plagues of Egypt
    The Plagues of Egypt , also called the Ten Plagues or the Biblical Plagues, were ten calamities that, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth...

     as described in the Book of Exodus


2007
  1. Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

    , 23 (CAD 2717); second album for 4AD from the New York trio
  2. Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (singer)
    Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

    , And Who Shall Go to the Ball? And What Shall Go to the Ball? (CAD 2731); original score for a modern dance performance by CandoCo
    CandoCo
    Candoco Dance Company is a contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin. Dandeker, who had previously trained with the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, suffered a fall whilst dancing on stage...

    ; limited to just 2,500 copies
  3. Beirut
    Beirut (band)
    Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zachary Francis Condon, and later expanded into a band. The band's first performances were in Wollaston, United Kingdom, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar...

    , The Flying Club Cup
    The Flying Club Cup
    The Flying Club Cup is the second studio album by Balkan folk band Beirut, released on October 9, 2007 on 4AD Records. The album was pre-released on iTunes on September 4, 2007....

    (CAD 2732)


2008
  1. The Breeders
    The Breeders
    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal , her twin sister Kelley Deal , Jose Medeles , Mando Lopez Todd the Fox...

    , Mountain Battles
    Mountain Battles
    Mountain Battles is the fourth album from the American alternative rock band The Breeders. The album was released on April 7, 2008 by 4AD in the United Kingdom and April 8, 2008 in the United States....

    (CAD 2803); the band's first new material for nearly six years
  2. Atlas Sound
    Atlas Sound
    Bradford James Cox is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Atlanta, Georgia-based psychedelic and ambient band Deerhunter. He also pursues a solo career under the moniker Atlas Sound. Cox formed Deerhunter with drummer Moses Archuleta in 2001. The band has released...

    , Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel
    Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel
    Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel is the first studio album by Atlas Sound, the solo project of Deerhunter lead vocalist Bradford Cox. The album was released in North America by Kranky Records on February 19, 2008 and in Europe by 4AD on May 5, 2008...

    (CAD 2811 CD); expanded version of the debut album by Bradford Cox
  3. Bon Iver
    Bon Iver
    Bon Iver is a Grammy nominated folk band founded in 2007 by American indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan. Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was...

    , For Emma, Forever Ago
    For Emma, Forever Ago
    For Emma, Forever Ago is the debut album from Wisconsin band Bon Iver. It was self-released in 2007 and received wider release on the Jagjaguwar label in February 2008...

    (CAD 2809)
  4. Stereolab
    Stereolab
    Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...

    , Chemical Chords
    Chemical Chords
    Chemical Chords is the tenth studio album by the band Stereolab, released in August 2008. The album title is referenced to by Tyler, The Creator during the final verse of "Fin," from The Odd Future Tape.-Track listing:# "Neon Beanbag" – 3:49...

    (CAD 2815); first 4AD release from the band; released almost a year before announcing their hiatus
  5. TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

    , Dear Science
    Dear Science
    Dear Science is the third album by American art rock band TV on the Radio. It was released via Interscope Records in the United States, Touch and Go Records on iTunes and was licensed through 4AD in Europe and all remaining territories. Despite the marketed release date of September 22–23, the...

    (CAD 2821)


2009
  1. Dark Was the Night
    Dark Was the Night
    Dark Was the Night is the twentieth compilation release benefiting the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS...

    (DAD 2835); a compilation album with proceeds going to the Red Hot Organization
    Red Hot Organization
    Red Hot Organization is a not-for-profit, 501 3, international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.Since its inception in 1989, over 400 artists, producers and directors have contributed to over 15 compilation albums, related television programs and media events to raise...

  2. Camera Obscura
    Camera obscura
    The camera obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side...

    , My Maudlin Career
    My Maudlin Career
    My Maudlin Career is the fourth studio album by the Scottish indie pop band Camera Obscura. The album was released in April 2009 via 4AD and, like its predecessor, was produced by Jari Haapalainen of The Bear Quartet...

    (CAD 2907); fourth studio record from Glasgow-based indie pop act
  3. St. Vincent, Actor
    Actor (album)
    Actor is the second album by musician St. Vincent, released by 4AD on May 4, 2009, in the United Kingdom and a day later in the United States. The first single released was "Actor Out of Work" that April. St. Vincent wrote the album using the computer music application GarageBand.-Reception:The...

    (CAD 2919)
  4. The Big Pink
    The Big Pink
    The Big Pink is an English electro-rock duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell. The duo signed to the 4AD label in 2009, and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act...

    , A Brief History of Love
    A Brief History of Love
    A Brief History of Love is the debut album from British electro-rock duo The Big Pink. The album was released on September 14, 2009 on 4AD. The Big Pink signed with 4AD in February 2009, and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act. The band were also named as "one of the...

    (CAD 2916)
  5. Atlas Sound
    Atlas Sound
    Bradford James Cox is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Atlanta, Georgia-based psychedelic and ambient band Deerhunter. He also pursues a solo career under the moniker Atlas Sound. Cox formed Deerhunter with drummer Moses Archuleta in 2001. The band has released...

    , Logos
    Logos (album)
    Logos is the second studio album from ambient experimental project Atlas Sound. It was released on October 19, 2009, in Europe by 4AD, and on October 20 in the US by Kranky Records. The album features guest contributions from Noah Lennox and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier...

    (CAD 2930); second album from Bradford Cox; features collaborations with Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) of Animal Collective
    Animal Collective
    Animal Collective is an experimental psychedelic band originally from Baltimore, Maryland, currently based in New York City. Animal Collective consists of Avey Tare , Panda Bear , Deakin , and Geologist...

     and Lætitia Sadier
    Lætitia Sadier
    Lætitia Sadier is a French musician best known as the singer of the post-rock band Stereolab.-Stereolab:...

     of Stereolab
    Stereolab
    Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier , both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes...



2010
  1. Tindersticks
    Tindersticks
    Tindersticks are an Indie rock band from Nottingham, England formed in 1991. They released six albums before singer Stuart A. Staples took on a solo career. The band reunited briefly in 2006, but more permanently the following year...

    , Falling Down a Mountain
    Falling Down a Mountain
    Falling Down a Mountain is an album by Tindersticks, released in 2010 on 4AD/Constellation Records. Although the album failed to chart in their homeland, it still became a commercial success in Greece, by charting at #2 spending 5 weeks on the international artist charts.-Track listing:#"Falling...

    (CAD 3X02); first release of 2010 for 4AD using the new catalog numbering scheme 3X--
  2. The National
    The National (band)
    The National is an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band's lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone...

    , High Violet
    High Violet
    High Violet is the fifth studio album by The National, which was released on May 10, 2010 in Europe and on May 11, 2010 in North America via 4AD. The band produced the album themselves assisted by Peter Katis with whom they worked on their previous albums Alligator and Boxer at their own studio in...

    (CAD 3X03)
  3. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Before Today
    Before Today (album)
    - Personnel :*Chris Cohen – backing vocals*John Golden – mastering*Aaron González – bass guitar*Dennis González – trumpet*Stefan González – drums*Max "Sax" Kaplan – saxophone*Douglas Lee – artwork*Jim Lehnert – alto sax, baritone sax...

    (CAD 3X15)
  4. Fragments from Work in Progress (BAD 3X17); a Record Store Day
    Record Store Day
    Record Store Day is an internationally celebrated day observed the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose, as conceived by independent record store employee Chris Brown, is to celebrate the art of music...

     exclusive 12" vinyl EP featuring unreleased tracks from Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Tune-Yards
    Tune-Yards
    tUnE-yArDs is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass...

    , Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

    , Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance
    Gang Gang Dance is an American experimental music band based in Manhattan, New York City. The band is known for its distinctive sound which features synthesized electronics and percussion, plus the varied vocal styles of singer Lizzi Bougatsos...

    , and The Big Pink
    The Big Pink
    The Big Pink is an English electro-rock duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell. The duo signed to the 4AD label in 2009, and won the prestigious NME Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act...

  5. Stornoway
    Stornoway (band)
    Stornoway is a British alternative indie folk band from the Cowley area of Oxford. It consists of singer and guitarist Brian Briggs; multi-instrumentalists Jon Ouin and Oli Steadman, and the latter's brother Rob on drums. The band is usually joined by trumpeter Adam Briggs and violinist Rahul Satija...

    , Beachcomber's Windowsill
    Beachcomber's Windowsill
    Beachcomber's Windowsill is the debut album by Stornoway. The title is that of an early, unreleased song by the band. It was released in 24 May 2010 on the 4AD label...

    (CAD 3X20); debut long-player from Oxford based indie folk four piece
  6. Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead
    Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace , which formed in New York City in 1993....

    , Penny Sparkle
    Penny Sparkle
    Penny Sparkle is the eighth studio album by Blonde Redhead, released on in the U.K. and in the U.S.-Track listing:...

    (CAD 3X27)
  7. Deerhunter, Halcyon Digest
    Halcyon Digest
    Halcyon Digest is the fourth studio album by American indie rock band Deerhunter. It was released September 28, 2010 to very enthusiastic reviews...

    (CAD 3X38)


2011
  1. Iron & Wine
    Iron & Wine
    Samuel Beam , better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album...

    , Kiss Each Other Clean
    Kiss Each Other Clean
    Kiss Each Other Clean is the fourth studio album by Iron & Wine, released January 25, 2011 via 4AD and Warner Bros. in the US. The album's title is taken from the lyrics of track 10, "Your Fake Name Is Good Enough for Me"...

    (CAD 3103)
  2. tUnE-yArDs
    Tune-Yards
    tUnE-yArDs is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass...

    , w h o k i l l
    W h o k i l l
    w h o k i l l is the second studio release by Merrill Garbus' experimental solo-project tUnE-yArDs. It was released on 4AD Records on April 19, 2011.-Musical Style:...

    (CAD 3106)
  3. Bon Iver
    Bon Iver
    Bon Iver is a Grammy nominated folk band founded in 2007 by American indie folk singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It includes Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan. Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was...

    , Bon Iver (CAD 3117)
  4. St. Vincent, Strange Mercy
    Strange Mercy
    Strange Mercy is the third studio album by musician St. Vincent, released by 4AD on September 12, 2011, in the United Kingdom and a day later in the United States. The album's cover art was designed by St. Vincent, and was photographed by Tina Tyrell. The album peaked at #19 on the Billboard 200,...

    (CAD 3123)
  5. Atlas Sound
    Atlas Sound
    Bradford James Cox is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Atlanta, Georgia-based psychedelic and ambient band Deerhunter. He also pursues a solo career under the moniker Atlas Sound. Cox formed Deerhunter with drummer Moses Archuleta in 2001. The band has released...

    , Parallax
    Parallax (Atlas Sound album)
    Parallax is the third studio album from Bradford Cox's solo project Atlas Sound, released November 7, 2011 on 4AD. The album debuted at #97 on the Billboard 200 and has received mostly positive reviews.-Album title:...

    (CAD 3130)

Catalog numbering scheme


For the most part, 4AD's official UK releases follow a standard scheme for designating catalog numbers. Although there have been some variations over the years, some general rules can be devised to easily determine the format (LP, CD, etc.) and year of release by looking at a 4AD catalog number.

Prefix


The first part of a catalog number is a prefix that contains a variation of "AD," based on the 4AD name. Some standards are:
  • AD = single
  • BAD = EP
  • CAD = full-length LP
  • DAD = double LP
  • MAD = mini-LP
    Mini-LP
    A Mini-LP or Mini-album is a short album, usually retailing at a lower price than an album that would be considered "full-length".-History:...



Special editions of releases had an extra "D" added to the prefix:
  • CAD D = special edition of a full-length LP
  • DAD D = special edition of a double LP


Some other "AD" variations have been used less frequently over the years, including (but not limited to):
  • EAD = electronic download
  • GAD = reissue (usually mid-priced)
  • HAD = remastered or significantly altered reissue (usually with some combination of bonus tracks, re-mastering, or new artwork)
  • JAD and MAD = "mini album" that is longer than an EP but shorter than an LP
  • SAD = Super Audio CD
    Super Audio CD
    Super Audio CD is a high-resolution, read-only optical disc for audio storage. Sony and Philips Electronics jointly developed the technology, and publicized it in 1999. It is designated as the Scarlet Book standard. Sony and Philips previously collaborated to define the Compact Disc standard...

     release (as in the Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance
    Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

     2008 remastered reissues)
  • TAD = temporary/limited release


4AD only released one LP on DAT format, Cocteau Twins' Blue Bell Knoll
Blue Bell Knoll
Blue Bell Knoll is the fifth album by Scottish band Cocteau Twins.This was the first LP by the Twins to receive major-label distribution in the USA, as it was originally licensed by Capitol Records from 4AD for North American release...

, which was designated CADT 807.

Numerical designation


The second part of the catalog number is a number that represents the year of release (via the number of years since 1980, following the '1980 Forward' theme), and the order of release in the particular year. For example, This Mortal Coil
This Mortal Coil
This Mortal Coil was a gothic dream pop supergroup led by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of the British record label 4AD. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band's recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom...

's LP It'll End in Tears
It'll End in Tears
It'll End in Tears was an album released in 1984 by 4AD using the name This Mortal Coil as an umbrella title for a loose grouping of guest musicians and vocalists brought together by label boss Ivo Watts-Russell. When released in late 1984, the album reached #38 on the UK Albums Chart...

is CAD 411. The "CAD" represents that the release is an LP, the "4" in 411 represents 1984, and 11 marks the 11th release of that year. This is the vinyl LP release; cassette versions have "C" added to the prefix (CADC 411 in this example); CD versions have "CD" added at the end (CAD 411CD).

A side effect of this scheme is that it made it seem like 4AD had hundreds of releases early on. Once again using CAD411 as an example, a causal observer might assume this was the 411th release in the label's catalog, when 4AD actually had less than 100 total releases in their catalog at the time. In the 1990s, 4AD changed the first part of the number from "100s" to "1000s," temporarily making the number not correspond with the number of years since 1980. Releases in 1990 used "00" directly after the prefix (e.g., the Pixies' Bossanova
Bossanova
Bossanova is the third album by the American alternative rock band Pixies, released in August 1990 on the English independent record label 4AD in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. All of Bossanovas original material was written by the band's frontman Black Francis; it...

, CAD0010, released in the fall of 1990); 1991 used "10" directly after the prefix (e.g., This Mortal Coil's Blood, DAD 1005, released early in 1991), 1992 used "20," and so on for the rest of the 1990s.

Wanting to return to numbering with the years since 1980, 4AD had to provide a workaround for releases in the year 2000. Since the "20" numerical designation had been used in 1992, all releases in 2000 used "2K" (e.g., Mojave 3
Mojave 3
Mojave 3 are a British band, consisting of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Simon Rowe, Alan Forrester, and Ian McCutcheon. Goswell, Halstead and McCutcheon previously played in Thames Valley shoegazing band Slowdive....

's Excuses for Travellers
Excuses for Travellers
-Singles:* "In Love with a View" ** 7" vinyl, TAD 2K03*# "In Love with a View"*# "Prayer for the Paranoid" * "Any Day Will Be Fine" ** CD single, BAD 2K04CD; 7" vinyl, AD 2K04*# "Any Day Will Be Fine"...

, CAD 2K05, released in early 2000). Since 2001, the catalog numbering scheme has finally been able to return to the original format with the first part of the number representing the years since 1980. Things have not been too consistent since, and there have been several gaps. 2010 releases start the numerical designation 3X, as "30" had already been used in 1993.

External links

  • Official site
  • Eyesore Database: Complete 4AD Discography through ca. 1998, sporadic updates for releases since then
  • 4AD: The Perfect Antidote: Complete 4AD Discography and Miscellany from 1980–2007
  • Ingebrigtsen, Lars Magne (2000). Eyesore list of 4ad groups Retrieved 22 February 2005.
  • Keibel, Jeff (2004). 4AD: Facing The Wrong Way fan site. Retrieved 17 February 2005.
  • Zax, Andy
    Andy Zax
    Andy Zax is a music historian and producer of CD boxed sets and reissues by Talking Heads, Rod Stewart, Echo & the Bunnymen, Television, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Judee Sill, John Cale, Nico, The Neon Philharmonic, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, The Sisters of Mercy,...

    (1999). An Official History of 4AD. Retrieved 27 January 2005.