Facing The Other Way – The Story Of 4AD
A 2013 MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR:
NME • ROUGH TRADE • TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT • SPIN MAGAZINE • DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘The book is an exquisite reflection of 4AD itself – extravagant, atmospheric, and rich in texture and timbre’
‘One of the greatest stories to emerge from rock and roll’s modern history’
DROWNED IN SOUND
Facing the Other Way: The Story Of 4AD is the first and definitive account of the iconic British record label. From 4AD’s inception in 1980, at the dawn of Britain’s historically influential post-punk movement, the label’s enigmatic founder Ivo Watts-Russell pursued a particularly original, singular and obsessive vision, an artistic venture rather than a commercial exercise, eschewing trends and incorporating equally groundbreaking and stunning record sleeve design.
Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the label’s menagerie of artists and staff, music writer and 4AD aficionado Martin Aston follows the course of the label’s defining years; initially populated by the likes of Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance, each band resembled a new genre on its own, before 4AD embarked on a new era with a wealth of equally startling American signings, including Throwing Muses, Pixies and The Breeders. Yet for every artistic triumph, there was a backlash. Behind the scenes, an accumulation of feuds and enforced commercial compromises in the wake of alternative music’s invasion of the mainstream left 4AD adrift and Watts-Russell a broken man, soon to sever all ties with the music industry, including his beloved label.
This definitive history explains why 4AD has been called the greatest independent label of all time, one of the most influential, and certainly the most collectable. The story of 4AD is an unparalleled drama from a pivotal phase in independent music culture.
With a cover by the label’s legendary designer Vaughan Oliver, FACING THE OTHER WAY is an essential book for all 4AD fans and anyone who loved the music of that time.
‘A fanatically scholarly account of the definitive art-pop label of the 1980s’
THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
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The paperback edition of my book Facing The Other Way: The Story Of 4AD was published by HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project on July 17th 2014 in the UK (£12.99) and August 19th in the US ($19.99). Vaughan Oliver (v23) has revamped his original artwork from the hardcover edition.