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Sarah Records

Sarah Records

Sarah records is no more, so why this home page? It still means a lot to me and its impact on the indiepop scene is still there. Just recently the radio cherries station of the Harvard college did a 16 hour long special program called the "Sarah Records Orgy".

You should start with reading the history of the label by Julian Lawton below. Then we have the discography below and another one which lists all songs as well. If you are interested to know what else the "Sarah-bands" released on other labels you should check the Sarah connection.

One day we would like to have all of them online, but for now it's the final Sarah Newsletter from January 1996 only. When it came to an end last summer, some members of the indiepop mailing-list decided to do a tribute fanzine. Here's the online-version of This August's farewell kiss. Rated by many as the indiepop-event of the ninetees, here are some reviews of the Sarah 100 party.

We have some special bits on Blueboy, The Field Mice and the Heavenly home page.


Sarah - a great label in the tradition of Postcard & Creation records. A label dedicated to the dying 7" single, to cheap pop, to emotion, to socialism you CAN carry out in your daily life in our world, not to dogma and rhetoric, to living & not saying 'We are the blank generation', to the ideals of both punk rock & hippydom that everone found so embarassing. To be a thorn in everyone's side, despite being a marginal irrelevance. To make you think, to make you feel, to make you love, laugh, cry, and to make you rush in every Monday they release something to buy it, half the time for the insert they write as much as for the records.

Once upon a time Matt Haynes wrote a fanzine with a friend called Are You Scared To Get Happy? which had the unfortunate effect of being SO GOOD everyone tried to copy it & most fell on their faces, because Matt genuinely believed in what he thought & said, while the others believed what Matt said (hence causing problems & schisms as Matt's opinion changed).

At the same time Clare Wadd was writing Kvatch which I've never seen to my shame so I can't comment on it. So back to talking about Matt's end of it - AYSTGH, as it became known, was political with a small 'p' - it was about the politics of life & attacked the growing commercialism of the UK indie scene - the way that HIS heroes, like Alan McGee of Creation, had adopted the marketing tactics of the majors - ltd.ed singles, extra 12" tracks, etc. This resulted in a grand theory in favour of the 7" as the only true pop format, an attack on over-production of music, and over-pricing. And so appeared Sha-la-la records, set up by Matt & some like minded associates; releasing only flexi discs, distributed with fanzines, the label was an attempt at something pure - most of the flexis were 2 bands, although the Poppyheads issued a 4 track flexi-EP. Quite a lot of these flexis are simply brilliant & someone, somewhere ought to persuade the owners to make a compilation LP.

AYSTGH still makes amazingly inspiring reading these days - Matt's prose is as evocative (and 'wimpy') as much of the music he put out. The wimpy tag is a misnomer - it's angry (with capitalism, with sell-outs & compromise, with people who criticise without acting), it's beautiful in a way I can't explain (look read some of those notes on the single sleeves and you'll know what its like) - I once yelped aloud when somehow it came to close to the bone for me which is odd.It's hopelessly idealistic in the face of the fact that he knows it's all going to be shattered (maybe that's the beauty of it - the belief because you have to have something to believe in), it's heartbroken by bands like McCarthy preaching socialism then treating their fans like shit. But above all it communicates love.

At some point he & Clare got together (I think it had something to do with the Sea Urchins actually (Kvatch just beat Sha-La-La to getting them on a flexi)), moved in & formed Sarah, which was a kind of hard vinyl continuation of before.

Sarah 4 is the first joint fanzine & give's you an idea of their shared perspective on life - socialist ideals dashed on the rocks again & again but still hoping that maybe this time, maybe it might work.

Clare's half starts off with self-doubt about whether running a politically & ideologically sound record label and being a sociology student is really just an excuse not to get a crappy job - "Some days I hate myself so much it makes me CRY." But then she explains how important The Orchids are, and I can't explain just what her & Matt's style of prose does to me but it moves me & I now know why I love Sarah records so much. Walking 18 miles to see the Groove Farm - mention of places near where I was born (Sarah's based 5 minutes walk from the hospital, now a luxury old people's home because it was too nice a building for the NHS). Her & Matt's I don't know, yearning for something more, bring me that same feeling that Another Sunny Day & The Field Mice do - close to tears but happy because you know how alive you are. Obviously a lot of other people feel this way too, hence the success of Sarah!!

Matt's half is a hilarious story, half reality/half fantasy - Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream treated as a fantasy character like Santa, with his gnome Alan (I wonder who), and the introduction of the reindeer (later to crop up in the 'sleevenotes') - an attack on the music press (for calling him narrow- minded when rap fans are 'specialists'), on the fans (for not digging Talulah Gosh because the press made it so embarrasing), on Socialists (for listening to the Redskins & Billy Bragg instead of music to incite them indirectly to revolution), of love in Bristol (hmmm, yummy!). Importantly with this was the Another Sunny Day flexi, but I'll explain that later.......

Sarah 14 was two fanzines - Cold & Lemonade (together with the Christine's Cat flexi) - Clare's is a hilarious feminist rant (not hilarious because of it's politics but because of what she says) - it opens with a direct attack on fanzines written by boys for boys about girlie bands, or boys singing about girls "... but then it's probably because you kept blathering on about fields and trees and stars when all she wanted was a bloody good FUCK..." Anger at the fact that everyone just thought Sarah was Matt (and his girlfriend), and some self-mockery too ("and where... hem.... "Feminine Hygeine" items are not only TAXED, but are also found to contain vast amounts of cancer-inducing bleaches, it'd be hard not to believe someone was out to get me"). Mention made of Insight fanzine - run by Tim of Harriet Records - PO BOX 649, Cambridge, MA 02238

Matt's half is another amusing tale - starting off "I remember when we all used to ride bikes.... now we all want to sound like Dinosaur Jr.", of Fieldmice lyrics (see later again), more self-mockery, and attacks on the people who didn't follow the REAL point of AYSTGH (not what bands to like, a set of (non) production values, but an attitude, a way of life).

I've not seen Sunstroke yet, but I've read every other little slip of trash given away with the singles & brilliant & bitterly funny it is too. Recently the handouts have gone 2-sided, with the other side being a sad melancholy evocative piece of memory from Matt or Clare (strangely always putting me in the same frame of mind as Tea Time Song by The Pastels, but that's a reference just TOO snobby to be made (yep, I've got The Pastels 'Songs For Children' on tape.... another joke for some of you to get!).

Hell, I'm sat here reviewing the writings of the label bosses, and not the bands - my god - but it's almost as important, and what really distinguishes them from other labels (Ivo has This Mortal Coil, Alan McGhee has Biff Bang Pow! and Sarah write, and do they write!!). Record labels should ONLY be run by poets.

Following initial good press (a good few of the first 10 releases got Single Of The Weeks) the backlash against janglepop began in earnest & Sarah were knocked & derided to great extent, though this had the additional benefit of making them so unhip they became a cult (I bet Egg records, or Lust wish they were as publicly & vociferously hated) which ensured their success. The Field Mice saw something of a turning point, with Sensitive making John Peel's festive 50 & a few pre-conceptions beginning to fall - as they've made more money so've the records released mounted up - since this time last year we've had nearly 20 singles, and 7 mini-LPs/LPs, which is a good percentage of their catalogue (just under half) - considering that the other half took since November 1987 to mid-1990 to release, one can say that Sarah now looks to be safely established. The Fieldmice have layed down 14 tracks in the studio for a forthcoming full length LP, are not now going to split, the label have found a new group Blueboy (after an Orange Juice song I suspect) that they say is their best yet (I know what they mean! Until tommorow that is and they get another demo) who've recorded a debut single which means they've quite a bit in the pipeline. With time people's preconceptions of the label should fall, although I hope this isn't caused by them becoming less sensitive and emotional but my more people admitting that side of music into their lives, and the fact that 'the kids' coming up won't even be able to follow the jangly-pop-scene/backlash/reaction against the backlash thing. They'll cease to be as important then, as a label, but the music should always remain vital.

Julian Lawton

Releases:
SARAH 001 The Sea Urchins - Pristine Christine (7") Nov 1987
SARAH 002 The Orchids - I've Got A Habit (7") 1988
SARAH 003 Another Sunny Day - Anorak City (5"FLX) 1988
- Anorak City
SARAH 004 No Band - Sarah Fanzine No.1 (Fanzine) 1988
SARAH 005 14 Iced Bears - Come Get Me (7") Apr 1988
SARAH 006 The Poppyheads - Cremation Town (7") Apr 1988
SARAH 007 Another Sunny Day - I'm In Love With A Girl... (7") Jul 1988
- I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist
- Things Will Be Nice
- The Centre Of My Little World
SARAH 008 The Sea Urchins - Please Rain Fall / Solace (7") Jul 1988
SARAH 009 The Golden Dawn - My Secret World (7") Jul 1988
SARAH 010 The Springfields - Sunflower (7") Jul 1988
SARAH 011 The Orchids - Underneath The Window, Underneath The Sink (7") 1988
SARAH 012 The Field Mice - Emma's House (7") Dec 1988
SARAH 013 Christine's Cat - Your Love Is... (5"FLX) Jul 1989
SARAH 014 No Band - Sarah Fanzine No.2 (Fanzine) Jul 1989
SARAH 015 St.Christopher - You Deserve More Than A Maybe (7") 27.Feb 1989
SARAH 016 Another Sunny Day - What's Happened (7") 1989
- What's Happened?
- Can't You Tell It's True?
- Impossible?
SARAH 017 The Golden Dawn - George Hamilton's Dead (7") 1989
SARAH 018 The Field Mice - Sensitive / When Morning Comes To Town (7") 27.Feb 1989
SARAH 019 Brighter - Around The World In Eighty Days (7") Aug 1989
- Inside Out
- Tinsel Heart
- Around The World In Eighty Days
- Things Will Get Better
SARAH 020 St.Christopher - All Of A Tremble (7") Aug 1989
SARAH 021 The Wake - Crush The Flowers / Carbrain (7") 1989
- Crush The Flowers
- Carbrain
SARAH 022 Another Sunny Day - You Should All Be Murdered (7") Nov 1989
- You Should All Be Murdered
- Horseriding
- Green
SARAH 023 The Orchids - What Will We Do Next (7") Sep 1989
SARAH 024 The Field Mice - The Autumn Store Part 1 (7") Jan 1990
SARAH 025 The Field Mice - The Autumn Store Part 2 (7") Jan 1990
SARAH 026 Gentle Despite - The Darkest Blue EP (7") 1990
SARAH 027 Brighter - Noah's Ark (7") Feb 1990
- Noah's Ark
- I Don't Think It Matters
- Does Love Last Forever?
SARAH 028 Action Painting! - These Things Happen / Boy Meets World (7") 8.Feb 1990
SARAH 029 The Orchids - Somethings For The Longing (7") Feb 1990
SARAH 030 Heavenly - I Fell In Love Last Night (7") Mar 1990
SARAH 031 Eternal - Breathe (7") Jun 1990
SARAH 032 No Band - Sarah Fanzine No. 3 (Fanzine) 1990
SARAH 033 The Sea Urchins - A Morning Odyssey (7") Aug 1990
SARAH 034 St.Christopher - Antoinette (7") Jul 1990
- salvation
SARAH 035 Another Sunny Day - Rio / The Very Beginning (7") Sep 1990
- Rio
- The Very Beginning
SARAH 036 The Sweetest Ache - If I Could Shine (7") Nov 1990
SARAH 037 Even As We Speak - Nothing Ever Happens (7") Nov 1990
- Nothing Ever Happens
- Blue Suburban Skies
- Bizarre Love Triangle
- Goes So Slow
- A Stranger Calls
SARAH 038 The Field Mice - So Said Key (10") 1990
SARAH 039 The Sweetest Ache - Heaven-Scented World (7") Nov 1990
SARAH 040 The Springfields - Wonder / Tomorrows Ends Today (7") Feb 1991
SARAH 041 Heavenly - Our Love Is Heavenly (7") 8.Jan 1991
SARAH 042 The Orchids - Penetration EP (12") Feb 1991
SARAH 043 Tramway - Maritime City (7") Mar 1991
SARAH 044 The Field Mice - September's Not So Far Away (7") Mar 1991
SARAH 045 Gentle Despite - Torment To Me (7") May 1991
SARAH 046 St.Christopher - Say Yes To Everything (7") May 1991
- it's snowing on the moon
SARAH 047 The Sweetest Ache - Everlasting (7") Jun 1991
SARAH 048 The Wake - Major John (7") 6.Aug 1991
- Major John
- Lousy Pop Group
SARAH 049 Even As We Speak - One Step Forward (7") 6.Aug 1991
- One Step Forward
- Must Be Something Else
- Best Kept Secret
SARAH 050 No Band - Sarah Poly Board-Game (Game) Sep 1991
SARAH 051 Heavenly - So Little Deserve (7") 6.Aug 1991
SARAH 052 Tramway - Sweet Chariot (7") 6.Aug 1991
SARAH 053 Secret Shine - After Years (7") Oct 1991
SARAH 054 The Forever People - Invisible (7") Feb 1992
SARAH 055 Blueboy - Clearer (7") Oct 1991
SARAH 056 Brighter - Half Hearted (7") Oct 1991
- Poppy Day
- Half- Hearted
- So You Said
SARAH 057 The Field Mice - Missing The Moon (12") 16.Sep 1991
SARAH 058 The Hit Parade - In Gunnersbury Park (7") Dec 1991
- In Gunnersbury Park
- Harvey
SARAH 059 Even As We Speak - Beautiful Day (7") Jan 1992
- Beautiful Day
- Nothing Much At All
SARAH 060 Another Sunny Day - New Year's Honours (7") Mar 1992
- New Year's Honours
- I Don't Suppose I'll Get A Second Chance
SARAH 061 Secret Shine - Ephemeral (7") Mar 1992
SARAH 062 The Rosaries - Forever EP (7") May 1992
SARAH 063 The Sugargliders - Letter From A Lifeboat (7") Mar 1992
- Letter From A Lifeboat
- What We Had Hoped
- Strong
SARAH 064 The Harvest Ministers - You Do My World The World Of Good (7") Jul 1992
SARAH 065 Blueboy - Popkiss EP (7") Aug 1992
SARAH 066 The Orchids - Thaumaturgy EP (7"+CD5) Sep 1992
SARAH 067 The Sugargliders - Seventeen (7") Oct 1992
- Seventeen
- Aloha Street
- Fruitloopin
SARAH 068 The Harvest Ministers - Six O'Clock Rosary (7") Oct 1992
SARAH 069 Brighter - Disney (10"+CD5) Oct 1992
- Killjoy
- British Summertime
- Hope Springs Eternal
- Never Ever
- End
SARAH 070 Blueboy - Cloudbabies (5"FLX) 1993
SARAH 071 Secret Shine - Loveblind (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 072 The Sugargliders - Ahprahran (7"+CD5) 1993
- Ahprahran
- Corn Circles
- (Theme From) Boxville
SARAH 073 Action Painting! - Classical Music (7"+CD5) 1993
- Classical Music
- Sensation No. 5
- Hip to Hate
SARAH 074 Blueboy - Meet Johnny Rave (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 075 East River Pipe - Helmet On (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 076 Boyracer - B Is For Boyracer (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 077 The Sugargliders - Trumpet Play (7"+CD5) May 1993
- Trumpet Play
- Unkind
- Beloved
SARAH 078 East River Pipe - She's A Real Good Time (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 079 Even As We Speak - Blue Eyes Deceiving Me (7"+CD5) 1993
- (All You Find Is) Air
- Getting Faster
- Blue Eyes Deceiving Me
SARAH 080 Blueboy - Some Gorgeous Accident EP (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 081 Heavenly - P.U.N.K. Girl (7") Jul 1993
SARAH 082 Heavenly - Atta Girl (7"+CD5) Jul 1993
SARAH 083 The Sugargliders - Will We Ever Learn (7"+CD5) 1993
- Will We Ever Learn?
- Dolly
- Reinventing Penicillin
SARAH 084 The Harvest Ministers - If It Kills Me And It Will (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 085 Boyracer - From Purity To Purgatory (7"+CD5) 1993
SARAH 086 The Sugargliders - Top 40 Sculpture (7") 1993
- Top 40 Sculpture
- 90 Days Of Moths And Rust
- Your Jacket
SARAH 087 Action Painting! - Mustard Gas (7"+CD5) 1993
- Mustard Gas
- Art Student
- Collapsing Cloud
SARAH 088 Blueboy - River (7"+CD5) May 1994
SARAH 089 Secret Shine - Greater Than God (10"+CD5) Apr 1994
SARAH 090 The Hit Parade - Autobiography (7"+CD5) May 1994
- Autobiography
- The Dispossessed
SARAH 091 Ivy (UK) - Wish You Would (7") summer 1994
SARAH 092 Ivy (UK) - Avenge (7"+CD5) summer 1994
SARAH 093 Aberdeen - Toy Tambourine (7"+CD5) 3.Oct 1994
SARAH 094 Northern Picture Library - Paris (7") Sep 1994
SARAH 095 Northern Picture Library - Last September Farewell Kiss (7"+CD5) 17.Oct 1994
SARAH 096 Boyracer - Pure Hatred 96 (7"+CD5) Oct 1994
SARAH 097 Aberdeen - Fireworks (7"+CD5) Mar 1995
SARAH 098 Shelley - Reproduction Is Pollution (7"+CD5) 1995
SARAH 099 Blueboy - Dirty Mags (7"+CD5) 1995
SARAH 100 Various Artists - There And Back Again Lane (CD) 28.Aug 1995
- Action Painting! - Mustard Gas
SARAH 401 The Orchids - Lyceum (10") 4.Sep 1989
SARAH 402 The Field Mice - Snowball (10") 4.Sep 1989
SARAH 403 St.Christopher - Bacharach (10") May 1990
SARAH 404 Brighter - Laurel (10"+CD) 1991
- Christmas
- Frostbite
- Summer Becomes Winter
- Something To Call My Own
- Ocean Sky
- Out To Sea
- Maybe
- Journey's End
SARAH 405 East River Pipe - Goodbye California (10"+CD) 1993
SARAH 406 Harvey Williams - Rebellion (10"+CD) Mar 1994
- Song For A Weekend
- Gidea Park
- The Stunt-Man
- Song For Close Friends
- The Girl From The East Tower
- Don't Shout At Me
- She Sleeps Around
SARAH 407 East River Pipe - Even The Sun Was Afraid (10"+CD) Jun 1995
SARAH 601 The Field Mice - Skywriting (LP) 1990
- Triangle
- Canada
- Clearer
- It Isn't Forever
- Below The Stars
- Humblebee
SARAH 602 The Wake - Make It Loud (LP+CD) Nov 1990
- English Rain
- Glider
- Firestone Tyres
- American Grotto
- Joke Shop
- Holy Head
- Henry's Work
- Cheer Up Ferdinand
SARAH 603 Heavenly - Heavenly vs. Satan (LP+CD) Jan 1991
- Cool Guitar Boy
- Boyfriend Stays The Same
- Lemonhead Boy
- Shallow
- Wish Me Gone
- Don't Be Fooled
- It's You
- Stop Before You Say It
SARAH 604 Talulah Gosh - They've Scoffed The Lot (LP) Feb 1991
SARAH 605 The Orchids - Unholy Soul (LP+CD) May 1991
SARAH 606 The Field Mice - Coastal (LP+CD) 1991
SARAH 607 The Field Mice - For Keeps (LP+CD) Oct 1991
SARAH 608 The Sweetest Ache - Jaguar (LP+CD) Apr 1992
SARAH 609 The Sea Urchins - Stardust (LP+CD) Sep 1992
- A morning odyssey
- Cling film
- Day into day
- Everglades
- Please rain fall
- Pristine Christine
- Solace
- Sullen eyes
- Summershine
- Wild grass pictures
- Yor're so much
SARAH 610 Heavenly - Le Jardin De Heavenly (LP+CD) Jul 1992
SARAH 611 The Orchids - Epicurean (LP+CD) Aug 1992
SARAH 612 Blueboy - If Wishes Were Horses (LP+CD) Sep 1992
SARAH 613 Another Sunny Day - London Weekend (LP+CD) Oct 1992
- Anorak City
- I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist
- Things Will Be Nice
- The Centre Of My Little World
- New Year's Honours
- I Don't Suppose I'll Get A Second Chance
- Rio
- The Very Beginning
- What's Happened?
- Can't You Tell It's True?
- Impossible?
- You Should All Be Murdered
- Horseriding
- Green
SARAH 614 Even As We Speak - Feral Pop Frenzy (LP+CD) 2.Feb 1993
- Beelzebub
- Beautiful Day
- Falling Down The Stars
- Zeppelins
- Anybody Anyway
- Love Is The Answer
- To See You Smile
- Straight As An Arrow
- Squid
- One Thing
- Sailor's Graves
- Spirit Of Progress
- Cripple Creek
- Swimming Song
- One Step Forward
- Drown
- O.G.T.T.
SARAH 615 Secret Shine - Untouched (LP+CD) 1993
SARAH 616 The Harvest Ministers - Little Dark Mansion (LP+CD) 1993
SARAH 617 The Orchids - Striving For The Lazy Perfection (LP+CD) Jan 1994
SARAH 618 The Wake - Tidal Wave Of Hype (LP+CD) Mar 1994
SARAH 619 The Sugargliders - Compilation (LP+CD) 1994
- Letter From A Lifeboat
- Strong
- Seventeen
- Aloha Street
- Ahprahran
- (Theme From) Boxville
- Unkind
- Trumpet Play
- Will We Ever Learn?
- Reinventing Penicillin
- 90 Days Of Moths And Rust
- Top 40 Sculpture
SARAH 620 Blueboy - Unisex (LP+CD) May 1994
SARAH 621 East River Pipe - Poor Fricky (LP+CD) 7.Nov 1994
SARAH 622 The Hit Parade - The Sound Of The Hit Parade (LP+CD) Jul 1994
- On The Road To Beaconsfield
- As I Lay Dying
- Grace Darling
- Hello Hannah Hello
- Walk Away Boy
- Farewell My Lido
- The Fool
- House Of Sarah
- She Won't Come Back
- Crying
- She's Lost Everything
- So This Is London
SARAH 623 Heavenly - The Decline & Fall Of Heavenly (LP+CD) 28.Sep 1994
SARAH 587 Various Artists - Shadow Factory (LP) 1988
SARAH 376 Various Artists - Temple Cloud (LP) 1990
- Action Painting! - These Things Happen
SARAH 545 Various Artists - Air Balloon Road (CD) 1990
- Action Painting! - These Things Happen
SARAH 501 Various Artists - Glass Arcade (LP+CD) Sep 1991
SARAH 583 Various Artists - Fountain Island (LP+CD) Nov 1992
SARAH 628 Various Artists - Engine Common (LP+CD) 1993
SARAH 530 Various Artists - Goal Ferry Bridge (LP+CD) 21.Nov 1994
- Action Painting! - Classical Music
SARAH 359 Various Artists - Battery Point (LP+CD) 17 Jul 1995
- Action Painting! - Mustard Gas
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