Departing from Cherry Red and after a short involving with Blanco Y Negro (Warner bros) legendary indie guru, artist and label man Mike Alway founded EL RECORDS, perhaps at first as a home for artists who were too "strange" to sign straight in major label.
The first numbers were really amazing: the SHOCK HEADED PETERS, MOMUS, VIC GODDARD, MONOCHROME SET albums & singles demostrated the start of a really different approach: diverse & unsual, while new artists joining the label (Louis Phillipe, Simon Turner, Would-Be-Goods, Marden Hill, Anthony Adverse, Always...) defined El`s characteristic profile of stylism, eclectisism, intellectualism, weirdness, englishness, loungness, pseudosnobbism, "imaginary fashion" following, retro, amateurlike sound.... and other eccentrities.
El Records was a backlash to the middle-eighties death of indie electric form, a backlash to dark, warmless, freshless, miserable, stupid post punk situation...
Due to its peculiar image, El Records had neither underground nor overground recognition (apart from Japan), soon was taken over by Cherry Red (1989) and declined... receiving (as expected) some afterdeath cult status honours.
Nowadays, as a subsidiary label of Cherry Red, El has been releasing good retro material, still diverse and often surprisingly great.
See Mike Alway interviewed about El Records story at :