(from Red Roses 5)
Open nearly any pop fanzine over the last three or four years and nine times out
of ten you're likely to find tucked away inside somewhere an opinion on Sarah
records or failing that one of the bands on the label. Ranging from at times almost
embarrassingly blind devotion to scorn and outrage that they've betrayed their
original values, they've produced more views than any other label currently in
existence. On the plus side they have proved conclusively you can release records
on your own terms & for your own enjoyment, while on the minus influenced a horde
of shoddy cheap imitations.
Most of the criticism seems to stem from the fact that when the first singles
& fanzines appeared they continued to state their aim to be a purely 7" label
an idea Matt had passionately championed in "Are You Scared To Get Happy?" Then
shock! horror! they released a 10" (5 songs) & two 12" (5 songs & 3 songs for
£1.99) that are great value & packed with wonderful songs. It may have made more
sense just have started to release singles without stating the fact they were
all gonna be 7" but they can't do a great deal about that now can they? Look how
many 12"s (with two good songs & a crappy instrumental) did Creation release in
their first 50 singles (how many shite 7"s for that matter?) Medium Cool started
with a blaze of optimism & two flexis then when everyone's back was turned quickly
decided 12" were a good idea & got swallowed up by Midnight. Name one other label
who have now released 56 singles & 53 have been 7"?
Then there's the compilations LPs, you don't like them? You've already got everything
on them? Then don't bloody buy them!! For someone who hasn't got all the singles,
or any of them, they're the perfect introduction & line the Sarah compilations
up against the fifteen? twenty? from Creation (sorry I've lost count) which one
would you want?
If you value independence as highly as I do than you should look at Sarah with
the pride they deserve as a label who with the barest of compromises have achieved
a unique position as a label with over eighty releases that hasn't resorted to
a mirror image of EMI or whoever.