Thrill Jockey Records


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Thrill Jockey Records is an American independent record label established in 1992 in New York City by former Atlantic Records A&R employee Bettina Richards. Richards started the label with $35,000 of personal and family capital, while working at a Hoboken, N.J., record store, and ran it from her apartment in Manhattan.

In 1995, she moved the label to Chicago, Illinois, where “rent and taxes are considerably cheaper”.

Thrill Jockey offers full-length streaming of every song on every release in its catalog. “I believe if people can listen to the albums, they tend to buy them,” Richards said in a 2006 interview with Chicago Reader.

Artists who have recorded on the label include Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Trans Am, Mouse on Mars, ADULT., Nobukazu Takemura, Bobby Conn, Tom Verlaine, Freakwater, The Zincs, The National Trust, Eleventh Dream Day, Califone, Chicago Underground Duo, Howe Gelb/Giant Sand, Oval, Town & Country, Archer Prewitt, Sam Prekop, The Lonesome Organist, OOIOO, Pit er Pat, The Fiery Furnaces, and Boredoms, amongst others. Artists on the label have often collaborated with other artists on the label to form spin-off groups.

In 2007, Thrill Jockey bands old and new have recorded songs for a boxed set to celebrate the label’s 15th birthday. Bands were asked to choose a song to cover by any other act on their roster. Plum 7” Box Set compilation will be released December 4, 2007 on ten 7-inch vinyl singles. Some notable tracks include: Directions covering Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker’s “Toy Boat,” while Pullman tackles the Chicago Underground Quartet’s “3 A.M.” Bobby Conn, Califone and Thalia Zedek all cover Freakwater songs, while the Sea & Cake reworks a version of Califone’s “Spider’s House.

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  • TimFoolery

    I love that Thrill Jockey is based in Chicago. I get my albums in a matter of days. Please let Barn Owl make whatever music they want forever. ccc:

    June 2012
  • CookieKentuki

    just wonderful!

    June 2011
  • kristophbye


    May 2011
  • gaga-

    More on the new 12" subscription series, plus an awesome clip of the late, great Jack Rose in Berlin:

    March 2010
  • VanaoTX

    all about tortuga

    May 2009
  • Carezza

    Estas rarezas...

    September 2008
  • yu00

    It's all about Tortoise

    July 2008
  • lytron2

    The Archer Prewitt songs you've uploaded are broken. Somehow they can't be played.

    February 2008
  • ElRoxo

    Thanks so much for posting the Keep On Going video of Trans Am. I've been wanting to see something like it. Finally it's here thanx to you guys :) I think Trans Am has more than enough material to compile on a bad ass DVD (kinda like the Can DVD). I'll keep on waiting for such release.

    October 2007
  • mildsparrow

    Ahhh..Thrill Jockey...home of Bobby Conn - you folks have a great label!

    July 2007
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