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4AD is a British independent record label that was started in 1979 by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent, funded by Beggars Banquet Records, and is still active today. It now forms part of the Beggars Group, along with Matador Records, Rough Trade Records and XL Recordings.

It was originally formed as Axis Records, but this was quickly changed to 4AD when it became apparent that the name Axis was already being used by another music company.

In 1980 Kent left the company to start another label (also funded by Beggars Banquet): Situation Two Records. Shortly afterwards, Watts-Russell invited the graphic designer Vaughan Oliver to create sleeve art for the label and as a result 4AD quickly acquired a visually distinctive identity which complemented the artful and atmospheric music that it was releasing at that time. Its artists like the Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance developed substantial cult followings in the mid-1980s, but 4AD continued to evolve, and, after signing Throwing Muses and Pixies, the label increasingly concentrated on underground American rock music. At the same time, 4AD somehow had a freak UK Number One hit in the early days of music with the collaged and influential “Pump Up The Volume” by M/A/R/R/S.

In the 1990s, 4AD established an office in Los Angeles and enjoyed success with bands such as The Breeders, Red House Painters, Unrest, and His Name Is Alive. In 1999, Watts-Russell sold his share in 4AD back to the Beggars Group (as it had by then become), but the label continued to release music and add new artists to its roster.

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    May 2015
  • grunge1ofil


    April 2015
  • BlackSirius

    F* awesome

    February 2015
  • AngryGermanKid

    4AD & Mute <3

    January 2015
  • Blessedheart

    Some of my stuff has a 4AD vibe which some might enjoy! Please have a listen: Matt Ford

    July 2014
  • rkzenrage

    Changed my life. My sanctuary during my teens. Thank you!

    January 2014
  • robarnott

    spotify:user:malick:playlist:2i7x1K3Ui7x8GNUvnftWNl Made a playlist of my favourite songs

    September 2013
  • xEN66

    Everything I love in the world of music at the moment seems to signed to 4AD!

    August 2013
  • Stugard

    Please marry me.

    July 2013
  • JustChewIt

    best label ever. brilliant artists.

    August 2012
  • damnruckus

    4AD FTW

    August 2012
  • plumi0


    June 2012
  • RussellChap

    Not everything on 4AD is gold (No label is perfect) but the world of music would've been a poorer place with Ivo Watts-Russell, Peter Kent & the Cocteau Twins.

    November 2011
  • Drudkle

    Love.. that is all.

    September 2011
  • TyShamrock91

    I just got a tattoo today of 4AD's Logo on my arm, I love 4AD!

    August 2011
  • Mace993

    My favorite record label atm

    August 2011
  • PartySanCTG

    This and Creation were the best British indie/altie labels.

    April 2011
  • forablueguitar

    My favourite record label, I mean they've released stuff by Ariel Pink, Beirut, The Breeders, Broken Records, Camera Obscura, Cocteau Twins, Deerhunter, Department of Eagles, The Mountain Goats, The National, Pixies, Red House Painters and St Vincent. That list includes some of my favourite artists of all time, and there's probably more brilliant 4AD releases that I just haven't got my hands on.

    February 2011
  • Namey

    4AD do a great disservice to themselves not allowing their music to stream here while lesser names get all the fans that completely miss their grand catalogue...Helps to retain their mystique I guess.

    December 2010
  • PartySanCTG

    Macij: I forgot Lisa Germano. XD

    December 2010
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