Too Pure

Last updated

Too Pure
Parent company Beggars Group
Founded 1990
Founder Richard Roberts
and Paul Cox
Defunct 2008
Distributor(s) Beggars Group
Genre Alternative rock
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location London
Official website

Too Pure was a London-based independent record label formed in 1990 by Richard Roberts and Paul Cox. The label gained prominence after the release of PJ Harvey's debut album Dry in 1992, and subsequently found further success in the late 1990s and early 2000s with albums by indie rock artists such as Mclusky and Electrelane. The label was closed in 2008.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

PJ Harvey English musician and singer-songwriter

Polly Jean Harvey, MBE known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet and composer. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments.

<i>Dry</i> (album) 1992 studio album by PJ Harvey

Dry is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, released on Too Pure Records on 30 March 1992. The album was recorded at The Icehouse, a local studio in Yeovil, United Kingdom. The first 5000 LPs and first 1000 CDs included demo versions of the album's tracks and Dry was subsequently released in the United States on Indigo Records in the US. Both versions were released in 1992.



Too Pure started off as an experimental label and built its reputation by releasing primarily alternative/independent music which its founders felt was being ignored by major labels. At its inception Too Pure was largely preoccupied by the so-called Camden Lurch scene, through its 'Sausage Machine' night in North London (documented by its Now That's Disgusting Music (1990) compilation). The label discovered PJ Harvey but was struggling to hold on to the artist after the success of single "Sheela Na Gig", as an industry feeding frenzy brought in a host of major labels. Eventually Too Pure secured UK release rights as long as the album was licensed to Island Records for the rest of the world. Island picked up all futures of the band at the same time.

Sheela-Na-Gig (song) PJ Harvey Song

"Sheela-Na-Gig" is a song by English alternative rock singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, written solely by Harvey. The song was released as the second single from her debut studio album, Dry, in February 1992. The single was the second, and final, single from Dry and only single from the album to enter the charts in both the United Kingdom and United States. An accompanying music video, directed by Maria Mochnacz, was released alongside the single.

Island Records is a British record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica, and was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A&M Records, another label recently acquired by PolyGram, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island in particular having exerted a major influence on the progressive music scene in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s.

4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell bought into the company to help the founders fund the signing of PJ Harvey, who was discovered at the Sausage Machine gigs. This enabled the label to release the PJ Harvey debut album Dry and develop and sign more artists. The label was briefly distributed in the US by Rick Rubin's American Recordings through Warner Bros. Records from 1995 to 1997 in a deal done by former agent and American Recordings exec Marc Geiger, in conjunction with founder Richard Roberts. Nick West, an old friend of Richard Roberts and formerly of Fiction Records and Polygram, was brought in to run Too Pure US, out of American Recordings' offices in Burbank, CA. The label had some notable successes at college radio in the US, with both Laika and Long Fin Killie playing Loolapalooza. Laika toured with both Radiohead and Tricky. The contract was bought out by American Recordings parent company Warner Bros in April 1997, after American Recordings hit financial difficulties.

4AD record label

4AD is a British independent record label, founded by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent in 1980. It was originally funded by, and an imprint of, Beggars Banquet.

Ivo Watts-Russell is joint-founder with Peter Kent of the indie record label 4AD. He has produced several records, although he prefers to use the term "musical director".

Rick Rubin American music producer

Frederick Jay Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Run-DMC, Rubin helped popularize hip hop music.

Too Pure became majority owned by the Beggars Group, taking over and increasing the shareholding previously owned by Watts-Russell. Remaining founder Paul Cox and MD Nick West were minority shareholders. Co-founder and mainman, Richard Roberts moved to Australia in 1997, being replaced by Nick West. From 2001 the label was run by Jason White, formerly of the Mean Fiddler and the former press officer at Too Pure, following the departure of Nick West, who'd returned from the US to run the label as MD from 1997. Nick West also established the Derrière de la Garage publishing arm of the label in order to sign Hefner's publishing.

Beggars Group record label

Beggars Group is a British record company that owns or distributes several other labels, including 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Young Turks.

On 7 July 2008, it was announced on its Web site that Too Pure "is no more" and that "the artists currently on those labels will be released through 4AD," yet it will continue operating its Too Pure Singles Club. In 2009 Paul Riddlesworth took over the reins of the Too Pure singles club signing bands that include Pulled Apart by Horses, Friendship, Bear Hands, JEFF the Brotherhood, The Lucid Dream, DZ Deathrays, Fear Of Men, The Lovely Eggs, Dead Skeletons, Deaf Club, False Advertising, Seize The Chair, Best Friends and HOOKWORMS. In 2013, the roster added Beard Of Wolves, Seasfire, Menace Beach, Black Moth, Department M, Lola Colt and Sealings. The Singles Club continues to run as a subscription based label.

Pulled Apart by Horses England indie rock band

Pulled Apart by Horses are an indie rock and alternative rock band from Leeds, England. They formed in early 2008.

JEFF the Brotherhood American rock band

JEFF the Brotherhood is an American two-piece rock band consisting of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Their style has been described by music writers as containing elements of psychedelic rock, garage rock, punk and pop. They have released five original LPs on the label Infinity Cat, one live album on Third Man Records, and assorted singles and splits with noted artists such as Ty Segall, Best Coast, and Screaming Females. They tour extensively and have played shows across the United States and internationally.

False Advertising are a three-piece alternative rock group from Manchester and Oxford, England.


Billy Mahonie band

Billy Mahonie is a British post-rock band.

Bows were a British-based band, who have released two albums on the Too Pure label.

Electrelane English indie rock band

Electrelane were an English indie rock band, formed in Brighton in 1998 by Verity Susman and Emma Gaze. The band comprised Susman, Gaze, Mia Clarke, and Ros Murray. Their music drew from wide range of influences including Neu!, Stereolab, Sonic Youth, and The Velvet Underground. Although the band had strong feminist and political views in their personal lives, they generally preferred to not communicate that directly to their fans or through their music; one exception is their inclusion of the protest song "The Partisan," which they began playing while on tour in the United States during the months preceding the 2004 Presidential election. The band, when playing live, had a reputation for a focused show that minimised audience interaction and rarely included more than one encore.

See also

Related Research Articles

American Recordings (record label) record label

American Recordings is an American record label headed by producer Rick Rubin. The label has featured artists such as Slayer, the Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Danzig, Trouble, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, The Mother Hips, and System of a Down.

<i>Rid of Me</i> 1993 studio album by PJ Harvey

Rid of Me is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey. It was released by Island Records in May 1993, approximately one year after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Dry. It marked a departure from Harvey's previous songwriting, being more raw and aggressive than its predecessor.

Mark Ellis, known by his professional pseudonym Flood, is a British post-punk and alternative rock record producer and audio engineer. Flood's list of work includes projects with recording acts like New Order, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Marc and the Mambas, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Ministry, The Charlatans, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Erasure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Foals, a-ha, Orbital, Sigur Rós, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Pop Will Eat Itself and Warpaint. His co-production collaborations have included projects with Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, with whom he co-founded the Assault & Battery studio complex. In 2006, his work with U2 led to his sharing of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Mclusky Welsh post-hardcore band

Mclusky, originally known as Best, were a three-piece post-hardcore group formed in Cardiff, Wales. The group consisted of Englishman Andrew "Falco" Falkous from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Jonathan Chapple and Jack Egglestone (drums), who replaced previous drummer Matthew Harding in late 2003.

Pram are a British experimental pop band, formed in the Balsall Heath/Moseley area of Birmingham, England in 1988.

Laika were an English band founded in 1993 by Margaret Fiedler and John Frenett, both formerly of Moonshake, and producer and engineer Guy Fixsen.

<i>Mclusky Do Dallas</i> 2002 studio album by Mclusky

Mclusky Do Dallas is the second studio album by Welsh indie rock band Mclusky, released on 1 April 2002 by Too Pure.

Hefner were a British indie rock band formed in east London in 1995. They were active from about 1996 until 2002; since then they have played together only once, for a tribute to the DJ John Peel, who was a strong supporter of theirs.

Mick Harvey Australian musician

Michael John Harvey is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known for his long-term collaborations with Nick Cave, with whom he formed the Boys Next Door, the Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Margaret Fiedler McGinnis is a London-based American vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and noted guitarist. She is best known as a founding member of UK indie groups Moonshake and Laika and as live guitarist with PJ Harvey and Wire.


Moonshake was a UK-based experimental rock/post-rock band existing between 1991 and 1997. The only consistent member was singer/sampler player/occasional guitarist David Callahan, who initially co-led the project with Margaret Fiedler. The band was notable for its extensive use of textures and sampler technology in a rock context.

"Young Hunting" is a traditional folk song, Roud 47, catalogued by Francis James Child as Child Ballad number 68, and has its origin in Scotland. Like most traditional songs, numerous variants of the song exist worldwide, notably under the title of "Henry Lee" and "Love Henry" in the United States and "Earl Richard" and sometimes "The Proud Girl" in the United Kingdom.

Long Fin Killie was a Scottish experimental rock/post-rock band, which released three albums and several EPs on the British avant-rock label Too Pure in the 1990s.

PJ Harvey discography

The discography of PJ Harvey, an English alternative rock musician, consists of nine studio albums, two collaboration albums with John Parish, twenty-two singles, one extended play, three compilation albums and a number of collaborations with other artists.

<i>Singles 2001–2005</i> compilation album by Biffy Clyro

Singles 2001–2005 is a compilation album by Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro, released 7 July 2008. The album features singles from the band's time with former label, Beggars Banquet.