Fire Records has marked its 40th anniversary by announcing a wave of catalogue acquisitions.
The UK-based indie launched the careers of bands including Pulp and Spacemen 3. It now has offices in London, New York and Bologna.
The independent label has secured complete buy-outs of the catalogues of Royal Trux, The Chills, Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), Giant Sand, Howe Gelb, Half Japanese and the Bevis Frond.
“These deals represent a way to secure the future of our artists and of the label and a way to solidify our strong relationships with the artists themselves,” said label owner and A&R director James Nicholls. “For many a sale of your catalogue is the end of a journey, but both the label and the artists don’t see it like that as we have long plans together.”
As well as the catalogue acquisitions, Fire Records has signed long-term renewals with Jane Weaver and Vanishing Twin, along with multiple new signings.
Giant Sand and Kristin Hersh will be headlining the label’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Earth venue in Hackney (April 27). The event will be hosted by long-time friend of the label, Stewart Lee, whose documentary King Rocker was produced by Fire Films.
The spirit of independence lives on… the soundtrack has been amazing
"The spirit of independence lives on; it may have been a long and uneven journey; a road trip through wayward outposts and off-the-wall ideas, but the soundtrack has been amazing,” said Nicholls.
An extensive Royal Trux reissue series is already planned.
Royal Trux’s Jennifer Herrema said: “Neil and I are looking forward to the future of Royal Trux with Fire Records.”
“Fire Records is the recording industry teammate I’ve searched for since I started my first band,” said Kristin Hersh. “They are by far our best hope for the future of real music.”
“It’s getting harder and harder to be an independent label and an independent musician, but Fire have shown that both are still possible without compromise,” said Cathy Luca of Vanishing Twin. “What a fantastic gang of people to work with!”
“You have got to be doing something right if you can keep a label running successfully for 40 years – it needs great artists, classic albums, and just as importantly huge amounts of passion and enthusiasm,” said Nigel House of Rough Trade. “Fire has all these in abundance.”