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Popkiss: The Life and Afterlife of Sarah Records Paperback – 20 Nov 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Popkiss: The Life and Afterlife of Sarah Records
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  • A Scene In Between: Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music 1980-1988
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  • The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (20 Nov. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628922184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628922189
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

Review

[A] detailed history of the cult Bristol-based indie ... [White] puts forward a strong case for its worth.
- MOJO

White's book offers a series of discrete essays, each one covering a different theme or particular band … [Its] intriguing chapters explore the non-musical idiosyncracies that made Sarah unique.
- The Wire

Michael White expertly puts Sarah into context with a whirlwind tour of early indie-pop … This interesting read [is] very welcome.
- Record Collector

It's hard to think of another record company that provoked such strong emotions as Sarah: the label, and the music it released, inspired either undying devotion or implacable loathing. Michael White s book shines a brilliant light on a strange and unique moment in indie history, illuminating a fascinating, lost world of pop, politics, passion and postal orders. --- Alexis Petridis, Head Rock and Pop Critic, The Guardian, UK

Combining a zine-like zeal for its subjects with a thorough examination of the cultural context that made them special, the interconnected narratives of Popkiss form an IRL internet for people who believe a record is something to hold, cherish and scratch rather than click into the cloud. This is an essential archive of a pivotal moment in UK pop history that was in danger of fading from our collective pre-web memory. --- Stuart Berman, Pitchfork Contributor and author of This Book Is Broken: A Broken Social Scene Story and Too Much Trouble: A Very Oral History of Danko Jones

More than the labels that inspired its existence, Sarah Records came to define the indie-pop aesthetic. A great record label needs a great biography, and it's hard to think of anyone who could tell the Sarah story as empathetically as Michael White. Popkiss is a triumph. --- Pete Paphides

About the Author

Michael White has been writing about popular and underground music, for publications in his native Canada and internationally, for 20 years.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering how many decades have passed since Sarah Records closed, and therefore how much time there has been to write a fully comprehensive book about the label, it's a shame 'Popkiss' is so brief and misses so many of the bands and stories about the 8 years of this lovely label.

Michael White writes beautifully and respectfully and it's clear that he himself is a devoted fan of the label and its music. But since the message comes over repeatedly in the book (both from White himself and from lots of the artists he speaks to) that the true essence of the label was Matt and Clare, they seem rather absent from the book. Yes, they were interviewed and pop up periodically, but for such a unique business and an unlikely success, it would have been fascinating to know much more about the day to day running of the label, and to read the book in a more chronological order.

It's a good book and any Sarah Records fan will enjoy it, but I feel they will finish the book wondering why so much was missed out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautifully written and perfectly constructed account of both a wonderful little record label but also a specific time and place. Being in Bristol for much of Sarah's lifetime and knowing Clare and Matt a bit, Popkiss was a wonderful evocation of a slightly crazy, small scale endeavour which left a legacy of some very beautiful music to the world. I could quibble with a couple of things (So Said Kay being skipped past, the Sweetest Ache being considered an afterthought) but Michael White gets so much more right than he gets wrong. It's Sarah's politics which shines through though, loud and clear. Quite simply Sarah never let us down.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As described. Arrived in good time. Thank you
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Call me a twaddling fanboy if you like, but Popkiss is a hugely enjoyable evocation of ... 30 Nov. 2015
By Chris Abram - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Call me a twaddling fanboy if you like, but Popkiss is a hugely enjoyable evocation of a lost age of independent music--one that meant a lot to me then and continues to fascinate now. White writes with considerable wit and verve, and I didn't detect any "journalistic errors," though nor was I searching for any. At times I wish he could go into more detail--this book flies by, and there are some avenues not fully explored. But I've been entranced by this peek behind the curtain of a scene that partly defined my youth. Sarah always brought out the haters: plus ca change, it seems.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great historical overview of a wonderful label 12 Jan. 2016
By too_old_to_be_so_indie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a big fan of Sarah Records in the early 90's, and this book is a wonderful history of the label and the bands and the people involved. It's a great introduction for people unfamiliar with Sarah, and a great trip down memory lane for existing fans.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and made me a better music fan 17 Dec. 2015
By Adam Trujillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went into Popkiss a minor Sarah fan (mostly because of Blueboy and The Hit Parade). I left Popkiss not only with a renewed and expanded interest in Sarah, but with warm fuzzy feelings about indie pop at large and my relationship to it as a fan.

The closest comparison I can make is to Simon Reynold's postpunk survey Rip It Up and Start Again. The structures and writing styles of both books are similar, certainly. More importantly, though: both books challenged my perceptions about their subject matters, got me thinking about how I engage with music, and made me a better music fan. Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone interested in 80s/90s indie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Popkids, buy this book...do it now please. 2 Mar. 2016
By T. Mosher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great account of a label that has meant quite a lot to me and many others. It reads amazingly easily. It's a fun romp through the life and death of Sarah and the many bands and fans they touched.
4.0 out of 5 stars I greatly enjoyed the writing style of the author and his devotion ... 22 Mar. 2016
By Brooke Feagin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As one of the few American Sarah Records fans from the latter part of its history, this book was an insightful and interesting history of their inner workings, developments and personal history of both the bands and Haynes/Wadd. I greatly enjoyed the writing style of the author and his devotion to the label is evident. I am a bit disappointed that there was little, or next to nothing regarding Secret Shine of Sweetest Ache. For that reason, Popkiss comes off as a fan guide where only the author's favorites are given voice. Regardless, I still enjoyed this much needed work.
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