You don’t so much affection when a major celebrates an anniversary:
By 1982, 4AD had discovered the haunting sound of the Scottish Cocteau Twins and then signed up Dead Can Dance. However, many fans regard Watts-Russell’s chief achievement as his decision to set up a collaboration between the Cocteaus’ Liz Fraser and other stars in the 4AD stable to create This Mortal Coil, a group still seen as indie gods.
But the label’s biggest commercial hit came from a different direction, with the heavy beat of M/A/R/R/S’s Pump Up The Volume, which reached number one. It was Boston band the Pixies, signed by Watts-Russell at his girlfriend’s insistence, which became 4AD’s biggest overall sellers.
The label’s current roster features Broken Records, the Big Pink, the Nation and Scott Walker, as well as Deerhunter, the band behind next month’s release. Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox is issuing a flyer in the cut-and-paste style of his new-wave heroes from the 1970s.