The Recommended Sampler 1982: 25th Anniversary Edition


"A keystone reissue of an historic collection featuring: Vogel, Faust, Art Bears, Stormy Six, The Homosexuals, Joseph Racaille & Patrick Portella, Feliu Gasul, The Black Sheep, Univers Zero, Aksak Maboul/Honeymoon Killers, The Work, Henry Cow, Decibel, Art Zoyd, The Muffins, Heiner Goebbels, Amos, Conventum, Vera C, This Heat, The Residents, R. Stevie Moore, Ron Pate/Raudelunas, Piccio dal Pozzo and Roberty Wyatt. Total time: 2 hours. Recommended Records was set up in the late 1970s by Chris Cutler and Nick Hobbs -- both then busy with Henry Cow -- on the back of the worst possible business model imaginable: to collect and distribute music which, in Cutler's judgement, was original, important or excellent -- and otherwise generally unknown. No major labels, just releases by independents or artists themselves, with particular emphasis on ignored European releases. It was an interesting moment: punk and the new wave had unsettled the old certainties, major labels were floundering and a new generation was setting up its own channels of information and distribution. Out of this stimulating chaos, all sorts of innovations and alternative propositions emerged, especially outside the UK/U.S. axis, which by then had become complacent and arrogant -- because they had 'invented' rock and what else was there to know? Thus Recommended quickly became the principle source of information about a diverse new underground of innovative music that wasn't jazz, rock, new wave, or anything quite. By 1982, Recommended was in its fourth year. The catalog had expanded and the label was firmly established. A sampler seemed an obvious and necessary next step. Compiling extracts from existing releases would have been boring, so we asked the most interesting groups in our catalog to record something new. The result was two hours of music released as a double LP in a hand silk-screened sleeve that was, as it turned out, a time capsule -- a tidy slice taken across a fascinating forking of musical paths that captured a moment of growth that foresaw a variety of possible futures. 26 years on, it has become a highly-prized collector's item, not only because of the breadth and quality of the music it contains, but also because of its early geographical reach. A lot has changed in little more than a generation."