red roses for me

Sarah Records

(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.

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