Operating intially from a basement at the top of Bristol’s Blackboy Hill and later from a house in the south of the city overlooking Bedminster station, Sarah Records – run by myself and Clare Wadd – released a hundred 7” pop singles (or equivalents, such as fanzines, or board games) between 1987 and 1995 and then celebrated its centenary by taking out half-page adverts in NME and Melody Maker announcing that it would be throwing a party and shutting itself down. And that it didn’t do encores.
Sarah’s eight years were the years when CDs took over and vinyl died, when majors set up fake indies and indie became a genre not an ideology. They were the years before mobile phones, home computers and the internet; the years of call boxes, paste-ups and fanzines sent through the post. They were the years of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, of Clause 28 and the Poll Tax. The were the years when Lad Culture took hold and the years when a label that had marked its fifth anniversary by taking out adverts calling for socialist and feminist revolution and denouncing the hypocrisy of most so-called political bands could, apparently, be dismissed as girly and twee (yes, it still rankles; and not just because, more than two decades on, we still need socialist and feminist revolution).
Words were an important part of Sarah: from fanzines and newsletters to liner notes and inserts tucked inside the sleeves. At some point, I’ll add some of it to this site: for now, you can find out more at the SARAH RECORDS WEBSITE. 2015 also saw the release of a film (My Secret World) and book (Popkiss) about the label: again, details are on the site.