Oct 28, 2008

EL RECORDS (1985-1989): The eccentric quest of pop innocence

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 :


Anonymous said...

Bonjur la folie!

I'm looking for Circus Maximus by Momus. If anyone can help me find this little gem, i'll gladly trade the following:

El Records - The Legendary B Sides 1995

El Records - Abracadabra Compilation 1992

um... er.. that's it.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

dear drunk santa,
i ll try to rip my vinyl copy of circus maximus (greek copy) for you.
From these compilations i recommend the first one. (Legendary B sides). i think both can be found in some blogs.Just be a little patient.

drunk christmas!

Anonymous said...

his 1st & best album,
simply a masterpiece!

Momus - Circus Maximus (1986)

01.Lucky Like St. Sebastian
02.The Lesson Of Sodom (According To Lot)
03.John The Baptist Jones
04.King Solomon's Song And Mine
05.Little Lord Obedience (5:13)
06.The Day The Circus Came To Town
07.The Rape Of Lucretia
08.Paper Wraps Rock
09.Rules Of The Game Of Quoits
11.Don't Leave
12.See A Friend In Tears

256 kbps, CD-rip:
pass: pervert


Anonymous said...

many thanks to iraklis for CM - you filled a miising link in my heart (and ears).

plus many thanks to la folie du jour for being patient with me when i'm not.

and your welcome for the el record comps.

remember the christmas spirit is what you drink

Anonymous said...

You're my new favorite person. It's nice to find another El fan. Thanks!