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This review is from: Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD (Kindle Edition)
I have to admit I was a 50-50 about 4AD records some I loved some just got on my nerves but for 5 years I was on the bands mailing list when I was a record reviewer on a local paper. The one thing I always did know was that I was always excited when a new parcel came from the label as I knew love it or hate it that the music was going to be highly original and high quality with wonderful artwork. I often spoke for ages on the phone to the ever wonderful Deborah Edgely the best press officer I ever had dealing with. I don't think any company had such loyal staff I know I found almost impossible to say I disliked a record because you could hear the genuine sadness in Deborah's voice. Never before or since has a label had such committed staff or work ethic. Then quite suddenly you could sense it was all starting to unravel one or two releases did not seem quite right. Then Deborah left for a few months , came back for a day, I was informed the legendary label figurehead Ivo was going through some sort of Bad patch.
It all seemed so sad but I had no idea what was happening Deborah was the soul of discretion as were her successors. This book is an in depth history of the greatest indie label ever known and it explains all the mysteries It mentions every release and brief band histories of every act on the label. It also gives brief descriptions of everyone who worked in the office or for the Art Department headed by Vaughan Oliver.
The real beauty of the book is that despite its exhaustive insight it is a fantastic read that doesn't get bogged down in the fine detail and tries to give balanced views of all the arguments. I never knew Ivo's crisis was caused by severe depression and I feel so sad for the poor guy in his wilderness years, I myself got hit by depression so badly I did not want to listen to music anymore, like Ivo I am better now but its a horrible feeling.
I can thoroughyl recommend this book to anyone and I have to hope all the people who were involved at 4AD are happy
in their lives. Being involved with the label was a labour of love and has affected all of them in a way that does not happen in most offices. I imagine the writer also suffered severe withdrawal symptoms after his work was finished. If you are a fan of the label or its bands or not but just are interested in music read this book one of the best around.